Music: Judas Priest

One of the most important bands in Heavy Metal's history, Judas Priest, has been making music since 1969, but its tour coming to U.S. Bank Arena Tuesday night has been announced as its last. Of course

One of the most important bands in Heavy Metal's history, Judas Priest, has been making music since 1969, but its tour coming to U.S. Bank Arena Tuesday night has been announced as its last. Of course, we're living in an era when “farewell tours” are largely embarked upon to make some cash and ensure future cash via a reunion tour. So we can’t help but take the Priest news with a big ol’ grain of salt. But if the band's current Epitaph Tour really is its last, they deserve a proper eulogy. How about, "Without Judas Priest, Heavy Metal would not sound the same"? Besides inspiring countless musicians to shred with classic albums like Stained Class and British Steel, Halford's revelation that he is a gay man also had an impact — in the largely “macho” world of Metal, there's no doubt that Halford's sexuality had at least some former homophobes rethinking their beliefs. Even when the band wasn’t at its most unified, it provided inspiration — when the rest of the group hired Judas Priest tribute band frontman Tim “Ripper” Owens to replace Halford for a spell in 1996, it gave Rock & Roll lore a story worthy of a Hollywood script (unfortunately, that script was for the mediocre Rock Star, starring Mark Wahlberg). Tuesday’s local arena show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets (through ticketmaster.com) are $29-$49. Opening acts are Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Hard Rock DJ (and Lady Gaga galpal) Lady Starlight and a new version of classic rockers Thin Lizzy, featuring some Lizzy alum and ex-members of Whitesnake and Def Leppard.

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