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.

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  • Doug R. on

    Tomorrow @ 11AM on the History Channel on Counting Cars – Judas Priest! The name of the episode is “Heavy Metal,” and for JP it has nothing to do with a car, only a guitar! The episode is from July 2014, right after Redeemer Of Souls was released. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should, it is really good. And if you can’t watch it, DVR it! Redeem yourself, don’t be left “Out In The Cold!” 😉

    • shannon mehaffey on

      what about what the critics are saying?

    • Doug R. on


    • MikeyMan on

      Thanks, Doug R.

      DVR’d it and watched it. Pretty cool!

  • Ray Gillen on

    Man reading those old articles just reassures the fact I wouldn`t take him back either. The dude just left them hanging when they are about to start a tour . No cares on what would happen to the band . They`re are just several things he says that just comes off as totally disgruntled and doesn`t give a $hit about the guys. It irks me that people think the guys in Priest are the bad guys for not letting him back in the band. Karma got him in the ass because his investment in the golf course which was a big chunk of his money went under. He lost a ton of money and had to sell his rights to the music and had to sell off a huge amount of equipment. Would you let him back in your band after if he left you and your guys hanging and jeopardized the future of the band, especially after you know he wants back in because he`s broke? Folks need to read these stories before they call the guys in the band aholes for not letting him back in.

    • Taskerofpuppets on

      This is true and relevant. We reap what we sow, I guess.

    • tasnam on

      Great points Ray and I agree.
      I know a lot of Companies I do business with have a “policy” if you quit you can never be hired back.
      It is an integrity issue.
      Now music is “artistic” + a business so not sure if that hard line is the right tactic BUT imagine if they hired him back….he starts having issues whilst on the road with Glenn and then decides, “I QUIT” – they would not only look bad but might create irreparable financial damage.

    • shannon mehaffey on

      …but what would you say to the critics?

  • robert davenport on

    I have to say Ray, you make a great point but , when you are in a business which priest has always been , and you are unhappy and miserable which he obviously was , or why else leave a band as groundbreaking as priest , it really doesn’t matter what the business has to deal with – also people say and do things they don’t always mean when they are angry – if your unhappy you quit and get out and work somewhere else – i actually just did that myself a few months ago and i’m Glad I did ! – I’m not calling Halford or hill or Tipton aholes at all , I think they and their mgnt. are being punitive , and they are making a ridiculously short sighted & stupid business decision not to bring kk back – it’s also a poor creative decision as well – kk is still an amazing player . And will put a lot more butts in seats – he is doing his own priest so he can continue to work and I’m sure that will sell a ton of tickets – IMO he wants back in to enjoy all of it , he was part of creating something special – he wants to celebrate the amazing music he helped create the fans and yes even the money – and remember they let Halford comeback when he quit to go solo , they had to scramble and get a replacement – I think Kk will be just fine however it plays out –

  • robert davenport on

    All of our points of view are reasonable , and it really looks like both priest and Kk have moved on without each other , wish it was different , both will do great out on the road – I’m expecting Judas priest to play what Halford can sing well – and kk priest will deliver deep cuts from earlier priest at least I hope so –

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