By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With sales of their seventeen studio album releases reaching over 45 million worldwide and a career spanning almost five decades with no current signs of slowing down, legendary English heavy metal band Judas Priest will return to Rio de Janeiro to perform live on Thursday, April 23rd at Vivo Rio.
Fronted by lead singer Rob Halford, with current members also including Ian Hill, Glenn Tipton, Scott Travis, and Richie Faulkner, the band will perform in Rio before going on to play as part of the Monsters of Rock 2015 festival in São Paulo on Saturday, April 25th.
Both concerts are part of the Judas Priest’s ongoing Redeemer of Souls Tour, a ninety-six show worldwide tour begun in October of last year, held in support of their seventeenth studio album entitled Redeemer of Souls.
With many line-ups changes, breakups and reunions, Redeemer of Souls marked the band’s first release in six years following 2008’s Nostradamus.
“Everything on ‘Redeemer of Souls’ has come from Tipton, Halford and Faulkner and it was just really exciting to be in the studio while these songs were being born because, that’s literally what happens. You go in the studio with nothing and then at the end of the day you may have a tune that’s going to be around a lot longer than you are. That’s the power of metal, metal is eternal,” Halford told Loudwire’s Full Metal Jackie during an interview last year.
Formed almost five decades ago, in 1969 in Birmingham, England, Judas Priest is considered by many critics to be one of the most influential metal bands in global music history. With hits that include, “Breaking the Law“, “Pain Killer“, “The Sentinel”, “Beyond the Realms of Death”, “Electric Eye“, “Victim of Changes”, and “Hell Bent for Leather,” among many others, the band, in the 70s and 80s, helped to shape the future sound of heavy metal and made leather, studs, spikes, and chains mainstays in metal fashion.
The band also proved to be one of the most progressive among the metal community when frontman Halford officially came out as homosexual in 1998.
Halford explained the reactions to the announcement on Radio New Zealand National’s program “Saturday Morning,” saying; “The most extraordinary thing was the fact that the fans went, ‘Rob, we don’t care about that side of you. We just wanna hear you sing, we wanna see Priest, we wanna see the show, hear the songs,’ ” he said, adding, “That was a tremendous sign of tolerance and intelligence.”
In terms of the connection between the leather and chains style with his homosexuality, Halford said. “In the gay world, there’s a section of our community that is very much involved in that side of things, but it never really crossed my mind, in all honesty. I’ve said this before: When I found all those early embellishments to find the visual side of Priest, the sexual connotations never entered my mind for a second, but later on, I saw the humor side of it, and definitely the irony.”
The upcoming Judas Priest shows in Brazil mark the sixth time the band has toured the country. Previous shows include a 1991 appearance at the second edition of Rock in Rio.
Also joining Judas Priest on the São Paulo Monsters of Rock 2015 line-up will be Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Motorhead, Manowar, Black Veil Brides, Accept, Rival Sons, Unisonic, Coal Chamber, Yngwie Malmsteen, Primal Fear, Steel Panther, De la Tierra, and Doctor Pheabes. That festival will take place on Saturday, April 25th and Sunday, April 26th in São Paulo’s Arena Anhembi. See the official Monster of Rock website here, for more information.
For Judas Priest’s Thursday night show in Rio, Vivo Rio gates will open at 8:30PM. Starting off the night will be Robertinho de Recife, a Brazilian guitarist who has performed with bands including Quiet Riot and Chicago, among others. Additionally fellow Monsters of Rock 2015 line-up members, German heavy metal band Accept perform at Vivo Rio before Judas Priest takes the stage on Thursday. The night promises to be one not to be missed by metal-heads in the Marvelous City.