Rob Halford has revealed some of the newly added songs that fans can expect to see in JUDAS PRIEST's setlist when he and his bandmates return to the United States this spring for a run with fellow classic heavy rockers URIAH HEEP. The 32-date trek will kick off on May 3 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and wrap on June 29 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Speaking to Kirby Ray of the St. Louis radio station Real Rock 99.3, Halford said about the upcoming tour (hear audio below): "When PRIEST first came over to America in the late '70s, we played every place — we were on the road for months and months and months. We played every bar, every club. Anywhere we could plug the amps in, we played. So now when we do these big PRIEST tours, it takes about three legs — this is the third leg of the 'Firepower' tour — to come and see all of our metal maniacs. So when PRIEST hits the road, it's from Halifax over to Seattle down to San Diego and Miami and every place in between.
"This will be the final leg of PRIEST in America for this year and the third 'Firepower' USA run," he continued. "We're mixing it up. If you saw us when we came through the St. Louis area last time, we're bringing a different show this time. We've got a different stage set, costumes, lights, and, most importantly, the music. We're bringing out some real beautiful old classics that we haven't played before or we haven't in a long time. So it's gonna be a real treat."
Asked about the rarely performed tracks that PRIEST fans may hear on the spring tour, Halford said: "We've probably got close to 12 or maybe 15 songs that we're knocking around in the jam room… That's how some of these tracks like 'Killing Machine' [the title track of PRIEST's 1978 album] came out onto the live stage. 'Cause the guys would jam. I was in my room and I'm, like, 'What are they doing? Is that 'Killing Machine'? I haven't heard that in, like, 30 years.' And I go in. I'm, like, 'Yeah. It's 'Killing Machine'. It sounds good. Let's try it out.' And we played it live, and the fans were loving it. So I'm sure we'll put that on the setlist when we come back to St. Louis."
As for some of the other songs that could be aired during the tour, Rob mentioned "Out In The Cold" (from 1986's "Turbo"), "Rapid Fire" (from 1980's "British Steel"), "The Sentinel" (from 1984's "Defenders Of The Faith") and "(Take These) Chains" (from 1982's "Screaming For Vengeance").
This past February, guitarist Richie Faulkner told Atlanta's rock station Rock 100.5 that PRIEST will have "a few surprises" in the setlist on the upcoming tour, adding that they will be "songs that maybe people haven't heard for a long time, or ever from the band." He said: "It's exciting just to see people's faces when you throw a new song in there or a blast from the past."
Back in January, JUDAS PRIEST performed "Killing Machine" live for the first time since 1978 during a concert at Zénith de Paris in Paris, France.
During last year's "Firepower" U.S. tour, JUDAS PRIEST's set included rarities like "Running Wild", "Bloodstone" and "Tyrant", plus "Saints In Hell", which had never been performed live before.
Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Singer Rob Halford joined the group in 1973 and guitarist Glenn Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then came back to PRIEST in 2003.
JUDAS PRIEST's latest album, "Firepower", was released in March 2018 via Epic.