Dream Setlist: Judas Priest Busts Out All The Hits For Their 50th Anniversary

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Judas Priest
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ralph Arvesen/Shutterstock (10266764z) Judas Priest – Richie Faulkner and Rob Halford Judas Priest in concert, Austin, USA – 29 May 2019

Out of all the bands in the metal scene, there are very few that give fans just what they want every concert. Judas Priest is one of those few. In my experience seeing the band they bust out hits mixed with classic songs every tour they go on. You’ll hear the likes of “Breaking the Law” mixed with “Saints In Hell”. They don’t discriminate based on how many years it’s been since the track came out or how long it’s been since they’ve played it last. It’s a fun treat for fans of the band to scour the setlist whenever a new tour starts.

Out of the eight times I’ve seen the band in concert, I can single out three setlists that they’ve done that are nearly perfect in my eyes. Thanks to Setlist.fm you can check them out too.

We’ll get to the criteria for the show, but since Judas Priest has done a “farewell” tour already, it won’t be like the Iron Maiden Dream Setlist I did. The three sets I picked out are from their Firepower World Tour, Epitaph World Tour, and the Metal Masters Tour they did with Motorhead, Heaven and Hell, and Testament.

Examples of Past Setlists To Draw From

Metal Masters Tour 2008 Setlist

Courtesy of Setlist.fm

If Iron Maiden was my first concert, this was my second one. What a show to go to and find that Heavy Metal Faith at. Judas Priest weren’t really promoting an album at the time. You could say this was for the Nostradamus world tour, but they didn’t really play very many songs from that album. It’s a nice blend of the hits in “Breaking the Law”, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin”, and “Hell Bent For Leather”. You’ve also got some of the deeper cuts like “Between The Hammer And The Anvil”, “Hell Patrol”, and “Rock Hard Ride Free”. They haven’t played these songs since this tour. It’s probably a pretty quintessential Judas Priest setlist. It was on the shorter side for their most recent treks, but it’s a solid one nonetheless. We, and Judas Priest, can do better though.

Epitaph World Tour 2011 Setlist

Courtesy of Setlist.fm

Apologies for the weird cropping on this one, but it’s a behemoth of a set. This is from their San Bernardino stop on the Epitaph World Tour. This one was the first with guitarist Richie Faulkner. K.K. Downing had abruptly left the band earlier in 2010. This tour was supposed to be a farewell for the band because they felt like they couldn’t go on without their founding member. Good thing Richie Faulkner is a guitar god, and he gave the band new life. K.K. Downing on the other hand, has only been a dickhead about the band, and is sour grapes that they haven’t asked him back.

The gimmick for this tour was that they would play the handful of Priest classics in addition to at least one song from every Judas Priest album. It made for a fun trip down memory lane. This tour was the one that really made me a huge fan of the band. Those early albums all are the foundation for hard rock and heavy metal, but they sound a bit dated when you listen to them now. On this tour they brought out songs like “Starbreaker”, “Blood Red Skies”, and “Never Satisfied” that they hadn’t played in many years.

Of the “blend the hits and deep-cuts” setlists this is probably the best on they’ve ever done. It hit all the spots for a new fan or someone who’s loved Judas Priest for 40 years.

Firepower 2019 Setlist

By the time the Priest had reached the third leg of the Firepower World Tour, they had traversed the globe playing metal for everyone. The last leg of the tour was for the incredibly die hard fans. The first leg’s setlist gets an honorary mention. Firepower in general gets a gold star, A+, whatever else great I can say about it. It’s one of the finest heavy metal albums of the past 25 years. Judas Priest had no right to make an album that good, with that many amazing tracks. It’s tantamount to their longevity as a band and how great they work together with their current lineup. This set was 16 straight deep cuts from their history and the Firepower album.

They finished the show with the crowd pleasers, but overall this is my favorite set they’ve done. It takes massive gall to run out a setlist like this for a band as big as Judas Priest. If Iron Maiden playing all of 2006’s A Matter of Life and Death was controversial, this was a sure-fire hit with fans.

My Dream Judas Priest Setlist

So we’re not going to have any frills for this tour, it’s just the “Kick Your Ass World Tour” or whatever Judas Priest would call it. Since Judas Priest has busted out over 20 songs on a tour before, we’re going to stick to that model. Also, we’re gonna bust out some deep cuts but we’re not limited to having songs from every album. Sorry fans of Rocka Rolla, but there aren’t going to be any from that album here. This takes into account the songs they’ve also played on tour recently. So songs like “Metal Gods”, “All Guns Blazing”, or a lot of the material off Redeemer of Souls or Firepower aren’t going to make the cut. Remember, it’s my dream setlist, you have your own!

To set up the scene, like with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest starts their concerts with a tape of “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath. It’s a tribute to another luminary in the field of heavy metal and we’re going to start off with that here too. Judas Priest has a wide variety of songs that could start off a concert. If picking one for Iron Maiden was easy, picking one for the Priest is going to be difficult.

They’ve opened with “Firepower”, “Rapid Fire”, “Prophecy”, “Dragonaut”, and “Electric Eye” on the majority of their concerts in the past 15 years. Since this is a special concert for their 50th Metal Anniversary, we’re going deep off the bat.

The Dream Setlist for Judas Priest’s 50th Anniversary

Youtube playlist of the setlist:

Opening Tape: “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath
Fades Into Tape of Industrial Work Noise, Steel Being Melted and Shaped

  1. Ram It Down
  2. Riding On The Wind
  3. Evil Never Dies
  4. Locked In
  5. Cathedral Spires
  6. Solar Angels
  7. Genocide
  8. A Touch of Evil
  9. Turbo Lover
  10. Blood Red Skies
  11. Breaking The Law
  12. Rock Hard Ride Free
  13. Reckless
  14. Beyond the Realms of Death
  15. Eat Me Alive
  16. Diamonds and Rust
  17. Painkiller
    Priest Leaves the Stage
    Encore 1.
    The Hellion Tape
  18. Electric Eye
    Halford Comes Back Out On The Harley Davidson
  19. Hell Bent For Leather
  20. Victim of Changes
    Encore 2.
  21. Living After Midnight
  22. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’

Final Thoughts On The Dream Judas Priest Setlist

That was a hell of a setlist to make. I originally had about 35 songs I would want to see on this tour and had to cut it down to the 22 that you see. Some classics like “Sinner”, “Metal Gods”, “The Ripper”, “Heading Out To the Highway”, and more had to get left off. The reasoning for some of these was to get to songs like “Cathedral Spires” that Priest has either never played live before or haven’t played in ages like “Genocide”. Judas Priest is the kind of band that can surprise you every single tour by bringing out some of these classic songs. A normal tour wouldn’t include as many songs and might only have 2-3 deep cuts that make the set. This 50th Anniversary show is supposed to show the breadth of what Judas Priest is.

They are the quintessential heavy metal band in my opinion. If I was going to show someone what heavy metal is all about I would definitely hand them a copy of a Judas Priest CD. Whether that’s Painkiller, Screaming For Vengeance, or British Steel remains to be seen. I’m sure whenever Judas Priest can get back on the road for their 50th Anniversary shows, they will. The setlist is definitely not going to look the same. But this is what I would want to see.

What would your dream setlist look like? What other bands would you like to see get this treatment? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.

Give the first Dream Setlist a check right here:

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