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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » March 29, 2012
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Judas Priest Are Back
March 29, 2012   
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British heavy metal band Judas Priest must have liked the enthusiastic welcome they got at last year’s Metal Hammer Festival in Katowice—on April 14 they are playing the city’s Spodek arena again.

The heavy metal legends were the biggest act at the festival and their gig in August had been advertised as the last opportunity to see the band live in Poland. Now, however, Polish fans will be treated to a concert on the group’s farewell Epitaph World Tour.

Audiences at the Spodek arena will hear Rob Halford (vocals), Glenn Tipton (guitar), Richie Faulkner (guitar), Ian Hill (bass) and Scott Travis (drums). Judas Priest will play a selection of standards and several tracks which have never been performed on stage before.

Alongside Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest were a band which molded the heavy metal sound of the 1970s and heavily influenced the genre for years. The band was formed by schoolmates Kenneth K. Downing (guitar, who left the band last April) and Ian Hill (bass). The name Judas Priest was borrowed from a 1967 song by Bob Dylan, “The Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest.”

The group played their first concert in March 1971 and soon became a local sensation. However, the state of their finances left something to be desired and the band members had to choose between a career in rock music and full-time jobs. As a result, the band’s line-up changed repeatedly. In 1973, Judas Priest signed their first professional record contract with a minor label called Gull, requiring them to hire a second guitarist. Glenn Tipton proved to be a good choice, as next to Halford’s intense vocals, the guitar pyrotechnics from the Downing-Tipton duo became Judas Priest’s trademark and went on to inspire lots of young heavy metal bands.

The British Steel album from 1980 strengthened the group’s position and is widely considered a heavy metal milestone. It spawned such heavy metal classics as “Breaking the Law,” “Metal Gods,” “Living After Midnight” and “Grinder,” all of which are fixtures of every Judas Priest concert.

The last release from Judas Priest was a double concept album from 2008, entitled Nostradamus.

Over their four decades in the music business, Judas Priest have sold over 35 million albums. In 2006, Judas Priest, Kiss, Queen and Def Leppard were the first acts to be inducted into the VH1 Rock Honors hall of fame and their song “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin” was ranked fifth in the “40 Greatest Metal Songs of All Time.” The MTV.com website named Judas Priest the second most influential heavy metal band after Black Sabbath.

Judas Priest Epitaph World Tour, April 14, 8 p.m.
Katowice, Spodek arena, Tickets zl.135-450
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