British heavy metal legends Judas Priest will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year with their 50 Heavy Metal Years tour. Swedish metal rockers Sabaton will also be featured on the tour as the opening act.
Formed in 1970 in what many consider to be the mecca and genesis point of heavy metal, Birmingham, England, Judas Priest have enjoyed a fabled career, blazing a trail for all aspiring past and present metal acts. The band’s current lineup consists of founding members Rob Halford (lead singer), Ian Hill (bassist) and Glen Tipton (lead guitarist), as well as 30-year veteran Scott Travis (drummer), Richie Faulkner (rhythm and lead guitarist), who joined the band in 2011 and Andy Sneap (rhythm and lead guitarist), who has been with band since 2018 in light of Tipton’s Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. The band has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its 2020 class.
“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!”
Momentum for the tour will be driven not only by the band’s 50th anniversary, but also the wave of support and acclaim from their most recent album, 2018’s Firepower. It was the band’s highest-charting release of all time, coming in at number five on the Billboard 200. The album was produced by Tom Allom and Sneap, who would go on to tour with the band that year following Tipton’s diagnosis. The band featured several hits, including “Lightning Strike.”
Despite being in their 50th year the band shows no signs of slowing down. In January, Faulkner revealed on Twitter that he, Tipton and Halford were preparing to start the songwriting process for a 19th studio album. The trio began working on material for the new album on February 3, per another tweet from Faulkner.
The band’s European summer tour ends August 9 in the United Kingdom, and the official 50 Heavy Metal Years tour kicks off September 9 in Oxon Hill, Maryland. It concludes October 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ticket information can be found through the band’s website.
09/09 – Oxon Hill, Maryland – MGM National Harbor
09/11 – Uniondale, New York – Nassau Coliseum
09/12 – Ledyard, Connecticut – Foxwoods Casino Arena
09/14 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Mann Center
09/15 – Newark, New Jersey – Prudential Center
09/17 – Charlotte, North Carolina – PNC Music Pavilion
09/18 – Orlando, Florida – Central Florida Fair – Rebel Rock Fest
09/21 – Grand Rapids, Michigan – Van Andel Arena
09/23 – Detroit, Michigan – Fox Theatre
09/24 – Youngstown, Ohio – Covelli Centre
09/26 – Chicago, Illinois – Rosemont Theatre
09/27 – Minneapolis, Minnesota – The Armory
09/29 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Miller High Life Theatre
09/30 – St. Louis, Missouri – Saint Louis Music Park
10/02 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The Zoo Amphitheatre
10/03 – Dallas, Texas – Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
10/05 – Austin, Texas – HEB Center
10/06 – San Antonio, Texas – Freeman Coliseum
10/08 – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Sandia Resort and Casino
10/09 – Denver, Colorado – The Mission Ballroom
10/11 – Salt Lake City, Utah – Vivint Smart Home Arena
10/13 – Phoenix, Arizona – Arizona Federal Theatre
10/15 – Los Angeles, California – Microsoft Theater
10/17 – Las Vegas, Nevada – Zappos Theatre at Planet Hollywood