NEPA Scene Staff

Judas Priest celebrates ’50 Heavy Metal Years’ at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre on Oct. 19

Judas Priest celebrates ’50 Heavy Metal Years’ at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre on Oct. 19
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From a press release:

One of metal music’s all-time greats, Judas Priest, will get the opportunity to celebrate their 50th anniversary again this year with the launch of a new North American fall tour featuring classic progressive metal band Queensrÿche as the opening act.

The 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour is being fueled by the highest-charting album of Priest’s career, “Firepower,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 upon its release in 2018.

That year, the Firepower Tour kicked off at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, and it was announced today that Judas Priest will return to the Wilkes-Barre Township venue on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m.

“Defending the heavy metal faith for 50 years, the Priest is back!” vocalist Rob Halford said.

Tickets, which start at $49.50, go on sale this Friday, June 24 at 10 a.m. online at and in person at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena (255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre).

Additionally in 2022, band members Halford, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill, and Scott Travis will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Time to don the leather and studs and roll out the Priest Machine celebrating our 50 Heavy Metal Years!” Tipton commented.

Judas Priest originally formed in 1970 in Birmingham, England, an area that many feel birthed heavy metal. The original nucleus of musicians would go on to change the face of the genre. Throughout the 1970s, they 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.

It was during the ’80s 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, they performed at some of the decades biggest concerts (1980’s Monsters of Rock, 1983’s US Festival, and 1985’s Live Aid) and were the first to exclusively wear leather and studs – a look that began during this era and would eventually be embraced by metalheads throughout the world.

Priest’s success continued throughout the ’90s 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 the band 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 group, as evidenced by a show-stealing performance on the TV program “American Idol” that also served as Faulkner’s debut performance with the band. That year, they also released of a new compilation, “The Chosen Few,” which included 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 2018, they unleashed their latest studio album, “Firepower” (produced by Andy Sneap and Tom Allom), which received global success and critical acclaim. In 2020, a fully official and authorized photographic book titled “Judas Priest: 50 Heavy Metal Years” was issued, followed in 2021 by the 42-CD box set “Judas Priest: 50 Heavy Metal Years of Music.”

Few rock or metal acts remain as much of a must-see live attraction as Judas Priest. Their fall run begins on Oct. 13 in Wallingford, Connecticut and wraps up on Nov. 29 in Houston, Texas.

“After the horrific last few years of restrictions we’ve all had to endure, what better place to break free than the land of the free – the USA?” Hill said.

See NEPA Scene’s 2021 photos of Judas Priest and Sabaton performing at the Santander Arena in Reading here.