Judas Priest plans to play albums from its past and present in their entirety this year.
The group will hold a preliminary 30th anniversary of its 1980 “British Steel” album during a 17-date North American summer concert tour that kicks off July 1 in St. Charles, Mo., and also includes a stop at Milwaukee’s Summerfest on July 2 before wrapping Aug. 2 in Universal City, Calif. Whitesnake will open all of the dates.
“British Steel” was a commercial breakthrough for Priest on these shores, launching the radio hits “Breaking the Law” and “Living AFter Midnight.” The title track and “Metal Gods” have also become staples in the group’s repertoire. It was certified gold in 1982 and platinum in 1989.
Meanwhile, frontman Rob Halford tells Billboard.com that plans are afoot to stage Priest’s latest release, the 2008 rock opera “Nostradamus,” in it’s entirely later in the year. “I would say we’re hypothetically looking towards late fall, early winter — in our heads we’ve got September, October lodged in our heads,” Halford says. “That’s the next big moment for the band. We’ve never done anything like that before.”
“Nostradamus,” Priest’s 16th studio album, debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and garnered a pair of Grammy Award nominations, in both the Hard Rock and Heavy metal categories.
Halford says the group is currently running through ideas of how to present “Nostradamus” on stage. “Are you just gonna stand there and play?” he notes. “Are you going to have screens? Extras? Are you going to have a stage set? What are you gonna do? Those are all things we have yet to hammer down, but we’re ready to bring something very special and unique and different to the performance. It’s going to be quite an exciting achievement for the band towards the end of ’09.
“But what’s the rush? It’ll be ready when it’s ready.”
Here’s the dates for Judas Priest’s North American tour with Whitesnake:
July 1: St. Charles, MO (The Family Arena)
July 2: Milwaukee, WI (Summerfest – Harley Davidson Stage)
July 3: St. Paul, MN (Taste of Minnesota at Harriet Island)
July 7: Mansfield, MA (Comcast Center)
July 8: Canadaigua, NY (CMAC)
July 9: Toronto, Ont. (Molson Amphitheatre)
July 11: Holmdel, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)
July 12: Wantagh, NY (Nikon at Jones Beach)
July 14: Cleveland, OH (Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre)
July 15: Independence Township, MI (DTE Energy Music Theatre)
July 17: Walker, MN (Moondance Jam)
July 18: Cadott, WI (Rockfest/Chippewa Valley Music)
July 21: Cincinnati, OH (PNC Pavilion @ Riverbend Music)
July 29: Paso Robles, CA (California Mid State Fair)
July 31: Concord, CA (Sleep Train Pavilion)
Aug 1: Marysville, CA (98 Rock Jamboree @ Sleep Train Ampitheatre)
Aug 2: Universal City, CA (Gibson Amphitheatre)