30 Photos: Judas Priest celebrates 50 heavy metal years at Nassau Coliseum


Long Island, the Priest is back!

The Metal Gods, forged in the fires of Birmingham, England in 1970, descended on Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Tuesday for their “50 Heavy Metal Years” tour.

The Long Island performance saw the quintet open with a trio of “Screaming for Vengeance” bangers, “Electric Eye,” “Riding on the Wind” and “You Got Another Thing Comin’.” They plowed ahead with powerhouses old and new with 1983’s “Jawbreaker” and 2018’s “Firepower.”

Before Priest took to the stage, special guest Queensryche performed hits including “Queen of the Ryche,” “Operation Mindcrime” and “Empire.” The American prog-metal institution also performed “Behind the Walls,” a fresh cut off their new album “Digital Noise Alliance.”

For their golden anniversary victory lap, Judas Priest blasted through the hits, such as “Heading out to the Highway” and “Judas Rising,” as well as infrequently performed tracks including “Between the Hammer and the Anvil,” sprawling epic “Beyond the Realms of Death” and full-blown rager “Screaming for Vengeance.”

Perhaps the greatest surprise from the evening was “Genocide,” a deep, deep cut from their second album, “Sad Wings of Destiny,” which frenzied the crowd with its syncopated, blood-pumping verse riff and extended guitar solos, which singer Rob Halford himself seemed to enjoy, sitting stage right to watch axemen Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap in awe.

The band, rounded out by bassist and only constant member Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis, capped the evening with a three song, audience-participation-required encore of “Hell Bent For Leather,” “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight.” As expected after decades of showmanship, Halford rode onto the stage for the first encore astride his trusty motorcycle, whip in mouth, ready for action. However, the band introduced Long Island to its brand new stage prop for the anniversary tour: a massive inflatable bull.

The red-eyed bull was but one theatrical aspect that represented the original band member’s childhoods in the Midlands of England. Their stage was decked with barrels and warning signage to portray a dangerous, grimy iron factory straight out of Birmingham aptly dubbed “J Metal Works,” the likes of which polluted the atmosphere and perforated ear drums, inspiring Priest to recreate — and ultimately define — the sound “heavy metal.”

GreaterRockvilleCentre attended and photographed the Metal Gods’ face-melting performance from the pit at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Please scroll down view all the shots from the evening.