So when Ian Hill started talking about touring with Maiden, I thought, great, this would be awesome to have Priest go out with them, cut down on the tour dates, and make each show that much more special.  Let’s look at the fact that the band used to come around to major urban areas like New York once every touring cycle, now they’re coming around several times a year over saturating the market.  But hey, if they can’t get Maiden, why not have the biggest Maiden imitators out there, Sabaton.  But if they couldn’t sell well with a double bill of them and Deep Purple, how is Sabaton going to help pack the houses?  To top things off, the passing over of K.K. Downing’s importance to the band in the press release is like a slap in the face to fans.  You’re too stupid to think he’s important to the band’s history, as a result, let’s rewrite it to help sell the story we want.  It’s a travesty, that the band couldn’t work this out for the fans.  I’m not saying fire Richie, or Andy, I’m saying praise K.K., and let him appear like Glenn Tipton from time to time on stage.  Fans really don’t care about behind scenes feuds, they just want to be entertained.  K.K. co-wrote every original song off of 1980’s British Steel, all the way up to 1997’s Jugulator.  This includes important albums by the band like Screaming For Vengeance, Defenders Of The Faith, and Painkiller.  Arguably the most important songs in the band’s catalog, that’s every radio hit you’ve ever heard, like “Breaking The Law”, “Living After Midnight”, “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll”, “Turbo Lover”, and “Painkiller” all co-written by Downing.  I wish they would have been able to work something out to make all parties involved happy.  All of this said, I wish the band well, and thank them for 50 years of service!

Here’s the press release for the upcoming tour:

One of heavy metal’s all-time greats, Judas Priest will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year with a world tour coming to the US 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 #5 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! 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

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 the previous guitarist 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.


9/9/2020 in Oxon Hill, MD at MGM National Harbor
9/11/2020 in Uniondale, NY at Nassau Coliseum
9/12/2020 in Ledyard, CT at Foxwoods Casino Arena
9/14/2020 in Philadelphia, PA at The Mann Center
9/15/2020 in Newark, NJ at Prudential Center
9/17/2020 in Charlotte, NC at PNC Music Pavilion
9/18/2020 in Orlando, FL at Central Florida Fair – Rebel Rock Fest
9/21/2020 in Grand Rapids, MI at Van Andel Arena
9/23/2020 in Detroit, MI at Fox Theatre
9/24/2020 in Youngstown, OH at Covelli Centre
9/26/2020 in Chicago, IL at Rosemont Theatre
9/27/2020 in Minneapolis, MN at The Armory
9/29/2020 in Milwaukee, WI at Miller High Life Theatre
9/30/2020 in St. Louis, MO at Saint Louis Music Park
10/2/2020 in Oklahoma City, OK at The Zoo Amphitheatre
10/3/2020 in Dallas, TX at Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
10/5/2020 in Austin, TX at HEB Center
10/6/2020 in San Antonio, TX at Freeman Coliseum
10/8/2020 in Albuquerque, NM at Sandia Resort and Casino
10/9/2020 in Denver, CO at The Mission Ballroom
10/11/2020 in Salt Lake City, UT at Vivint Smart Home Arena
10/13/2020 in Phoenix, AZ at Arizona Federal Theatre
10/15/2020 in Los Angeles, CA at Microsoft Theater
10/17/2020 in Las Vegas, NV at Zappos Theatre at Planet Hollywood

Article by Victor M. Ruiz of Mars Attacks Radio & Podcast, and Galaxy Of Geeks Podcast.  Connect with him on Twitter:  @vmr907

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3 thoughts on “News: Judas Priest – 50 Heavy Metal Years

  1. Concert promoters book these tours. They know the band’s “draw” and book the venues accordingly. They know to not bite off more than they can chew. In this day and age, it’s not about how many tickets you can sell, it’s about getting enough people into a building to make money on merch and beer sales, after paying the band their guarantee. Shows are often not “sold out” but when you get to the show, there are no empty seats. Promoters have no shame. They use groupon, and they discount tickets or just flat out give them away if a show is not selling. Look no further than the current KISS tour. I know people who have gotten buy one get one free tickets, or $20 tickets, or just flat out free tickets.

    And on the KK Downing issue: I wish he was playing with them too. But he’s not. And it seems like it’s not going to happen. People who are upset with this can choose to stay home and not support the tour. However, I suspect when push comes to shove, people will not really care. I saw the Firepower tour. While it is sad to not see Glenn on stage, I still had a very good time at the show. All of these bands’ days as a touring entity are numbered. I’ll be at the Newark show

    1. I don’t disagree with you, but their press release really diminishes K.K.’s importance to the band. I love Firepower, and it’s a great return to form by the band, I also really like Richie as a player, I think he’s really solid. I also love Andy as a producer, he’s helped shape some of my favorite albums of all time. I had been saying for eons that he needed to work with them, because this is the perfect example of a band left to their devices, and having the wrong people saying yes to them (e.g. Nostradamus, Christmas albums, and $80 t-shirts), which has steered them in the wrong direction with essentially every album they’ve recorded since Halford came back, sans Firepower. I doubt K.K. ever plays with them again, unless the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame induction happens. Would be something if Maiden ends up touring with K.K.’s band instead!

      With regards to Kiss, groupon, and giving tickets away, this has more to do with scalpers getting their hands on tickets before the fans, and resorting to getting what they can for the tickets. Too many shows where people don’t get close to sniffing a ticket unless it’s the secondary market. It’s no surprise that a lot of those same tickets end up on these sites after. Not saying that’s always the case, but for some of these tours it is.

  2. Just got my ticket victor/Nassau coliseum Long Island ny/50 years of the metal god,they better deliver the goods🤘🤘🤘🤘😎🍺🤘🤘🤘

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