One of heavy metal’s all-time greats, Judas Priest will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with a world tour coming to the U.S. in the fall. The 50 Heavy Metal Years tour will also feature Sabaton as openers and is being fueled by the highest-charting album of Priest’s career, Firepower, which peaked at number five on the Billboard 200.
“Judas Priest are primed and ready to deliver the goods with our 50 Heavy Metal Years anniversary celebration stage show spectacular,” the band said in a statement. “Performing a blistering cross section of songs from our lives in metal — we can’t wait to raise horns with you again at this once-in-a-metal-lifetime event.”
Judas Priest 50 Heavy Metal Years tour dates:
Sep. 9 – Oxon Hill, MD @ MGM National Harbor
Sep. 11 – Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
Sep. 12 – Ledyard, CT @ Foxwoods Casino Arena
Sep. 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Mann Center
Sep. 15 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
Sep. 17 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
Sep. 18 – Orlando, FL @ Central Florida Fair – Rebel Rock Fest
Sep. 21 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena
Sep. 23 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
Sep. 24 – Youngstown, OH @ Covelli Centre
Sep. 26 – Chicago, IL @ Rosemont Theatre
Sep. 27 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Armory
Sep. 29 – Milwaukee, WI @ Miller High Life Theatre
Sep. 30 – St. Louis, MO @ Saint Louis Music Park
Oct. 2 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Zoo Amphitheatre
Oct. 3 – Dallas, TX @ Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Oct. 5 – Austin, TX @ HEB Center
Oct. 6 – San Antonio, TX @Freeman Coliseum
Oct. 8 – Albuquerque, NM @ Resort and Casino
Oct. 09 – Denver, CO @ The Mission Ballroom
Oct. 11 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
Oct. 13 – Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona Federal Theatre
Oct. 15 – Los Angeles, CA @ Microsoft Theater
Oct. 17 – Las Vegas, NV @ Zappos Theatre at Planet Hollywood
Judas Priest originally formed in 1970 in Birmingham, England (an area that many feel birthed heavy metal). The original nucleus of musicians – Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, KK Downing & Ian Hill (along with several different drummers over the years) would go on to change the face of heavy metal. Throughout the 70’s Priest were responsible for helping trail blaze metal with such classic offerings as Sad Wings of Destiny (1976) Sin After Sin (1977) and Hell Bent for Leather (1978) as well as one of the genre’s top live recordings Unleashed in the East (1979) among others.
But it was during the 80’s that Priest conquered the world, becoming a global arena headliner on the strength of such all-time classics as British Steel (1980) and Screaming for Vengeance (1982), as well as being one of the first metal bands to be embraced by the then-burgeoning MTV, plus performing at some of the decades biggest concerts (1980’s Monsters of Rock, 1983’s US Festival, and 1985’s Live Aid) and being the first to exclusively wear leather and studs – a look that began during this era and would eventually be embraced by metal heads throughout the world. Priest’s success continued throughout the 90’s and beyond with the addition of drummer Scott Travis, as evidenced by such additional stellar offerings as Painkiller (1990) Angel of Retribution (2005) and A Touch of Evil: Live (2009) the latter of which saw Priest win a Grammy Award for a killer rendition of the classic Dissident Aggressor.
In 2011 new guitarist Richie Faulkner came in to replace K.K. Downing who had left in 2010 – the move seemed to have reinvigorated the band, as evidenced by a show-stealing performance on the American Idol TV program that also served as Faulkner’s debut performance with the band (also in 2011 was the release of a new compilation The Chosen Few which included Priest classics selected by some of metal’s biggest names) and the Epitaph concert DVD in 2013.
Priest’s next studio effort would arrive in 2014 Redeemer of Souls which was supported by another strong tour.
In 2017 (and again in 2019) Judas Priest received a nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and got ready to unleash their latest studio album Firepower (produced by Andy Sneap and Tom Allom) which received global success and critical acclaim.
Few rock or metal acts remain as much of a must-see live attraction as Judas Priest. And the forthcoming 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour will undoubtedly drive this point home.