Judas Priest Walk Back Decision to Tour as Quartet After Fans’ Outcry

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Judas Priest Performs At The Microsoft Theater - Credit: Getty Images
Judas Priest Performs At The Microsoft Theater - Credit: Getty Images

Judas Priest have walked back their decision to tour as a quartet following outcry from the heavy metal legends’ fans.

Earlier this month, Judas Priest announced plans to perform their 50th anniversary tour as “an even more powerful, relentless four piece heavy metal band,” Blabbermouth reported; Judas Priest hadn’t performed as a quartet — vocals, one guitar, bass and drums — since 1974, at which point second guitarist Glenn Tipton joined the group.

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While Judas Priest promised sporadic appearances by Tipton on the road — the guitarist largely retired from touring in 2018 due to his battle with Parkinson’s, but continues to record with the band — the decision to move forward as a four-piece meant Andy Sneap, who serves as the band’s touring guitarist and producer, would not accompany Judas Priest on the 50th anniversary trek.

However, after Sneap’s absence was criticized by fans — Sneap himself said he was “incredibly disappointed” by the band’s decision — Judas Priest announced Saturday that they “unanimously” decided to tour with their two-guitar assault, Snead included.

“Hello metal maniacs…given all that has recently evolved and transpired we have decided unanimously as a band to continue our live shows unchanged with Rob [Halford], Ian [Hill, bassist], Richie [Faulkner, guitarist], Scott [Travis, drummer], Andy and Glenn joining us whenever he’s able,” the band said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “So see you all soon as we forge ahead celebrating 50 massive heavy metal years of Judas Priest together!”

Postponed nearly two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. leg of Judas Priest’s 50th anniversary tour begins March 4 in Peoria, Illinois.

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