“There are a few more,” he added. “I’ll keep ’em under [wraps], ’cause I don’t wanna give any things away. But this planned 50th-anniversary tour is gonna be something special. So we’ll definitely be digging deep into the PRIEST catalog and pull out songs that we’ve never played before.”
Last December, Halford told Milwaukee’s 102.9 The Hog radio station that PRIEST will definitely play some rarely performed songs during the 50th-anniversary trek. “All the way from ‘Rocka Rolla’ to ‘Firepower’,” he said. “The thing about our show is we take you on a journey with our music through the decades. It’s all about dynamics and presentation and production. So, we’ve got that. We’ve been building this for quite a while, and more likely than not, we’ll be pulling out some songs that we’ve never, ever played before, which gives the show an extra kick. But it’s gonna be a great show, a great tour. Fifty years of JUDAS PRIEST — I can’t wait.”
Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of JUDAS PRIEST. Halford joined JUDAS PRIEST in 1973 and Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then returned to PRIEST in 2003. Founding guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Richie Faulkner.
A month before the start of PRIEST‘s “Firepower” tour, Tipton bowed out due to the worsening of his Parkinson’s disease, first diagnosed six years ago (after being stricken by the degenerative condition at least half a decade earlier). His spot in the band is being filled by “Firepower” album producer Andy Sneap.
Last year, Hill was asked by Austin Chronicle whether he feels like the last man standing in PRIEST. “Em, not really, only when people mention it,” he laughed. “I mean Rob, obviously, and Glenn still counts as well, although he’s not doing a great deal of live work. He’s always there, and of course Scott [Travis, drums] has been with us since 1989. And even Richie Faulkner , this is his ninth year. So, it’s a fluid current, if you know what I mean. So, no, I don’t feel like the last man standing, or anything like that.”
Downing said in October 2018 that all of PRIEST‘s living former and current members should be involved in the group’s upcoming 50th-anniversary celebration.