JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton has posted the following message on the band's official web site:
"Well, we've finished the first leg of the PRIEST tour in Europe and had a fantastic reaction from everywhere starting in Helsinki and finishing in Istanbul. We played countries that we have never been to before such as Romania and Turkey which we found fascinating — there were even fans from Iran at the Istanbul show! It goes to show just how rock and metal is underestimated and so popular all over this world!
"First of all, I'd like to apologize for the two shows we missed in Serbia and Croatia. Unfortunately I had been in pain with a stomach illness from almost the beginning of the tour and wasn't as focused as I should have been on stage. It got to a point where it needed immediate attention and we may have had to cancel a lot more dates, if not the whole tour, and I was forced to return to England for treatment. We have never played Croatia or Serbia before and I know the fans have waited so long to see the band and were very disappointed. The rest of the band have been very supportive of me and we will do everything we can to get back and play those markets and make up for the missed shows.
"Everyone out there loves the new set list and it's great to be playing tracks like 'Hell Patrol', 'Hammer and the Anvil' and 'Sinner' as well as some new tracks off the new album 'Nostradamus' (which everyone's already singing along with!!) and as always, PRIEST classics like 'Breaking The Law', 'Hell Bent For Leather' and 'Painkiller'. I think the new set has something for every PRIEST fan!!
"We've played together with so many great bands on this European leg — old friends like DEF LEPPARD, WHITESNAKE and MOTÖRHEAD. New bands such as AIRBOURNE — great lads from Australia — and it was good to see KISS again at the the Download Festival in the UK — we toured with them in the early days in the U.S. and unlike many other bands who gave us very little stage or lights, KISS were generous and helped us out which we appreciated in those days!
"All of the festivals had a great atmosphere backstage as well as out front — it was nice to see Ripper [former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim Owens] out there with Yngwie [Malmsteen] and we watched or were watched by many other bands from the side of the stage including some of the newer bands such as CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, DISTURBED, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and many more. But when Neil Young came back and told us how much he'd enjoyed the show at Roskilde in Denmark, I think that meant more to us than anything! He's such a nice guy and has written so many classic songs in his time. We watched about an hour of his set before we had to leave — and enjoyed every second; his songs bringing back lots of great memories.
"We are planning a second leg in Europe including some UK dates probably in the New Year but are now off to the States and Canada for the next leg before heading to Australia, Japan, Korea, Japan and finishing in Mexico and South America.
"We'd like to thank PRIEST fans the world over — the support has been fantastic and there are still many more places for us to play and we are going to do our best to reach out to every one and every country!"
Professionally filmed footage of JUDAS PRIEST's June 27, 2008 performance at the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium can be viewed below (courtesy of Belgium's TMF channel).
"Eat Me Alive":