July 9, 2014 Judas Priest celebrate “Redeemer of Souls” in NYC 7-8-14
Not much can phase midtown Manhattan early in the week on a work day with patrons hustling to get where they have to be. However a visit from one of heavy metal’s most storied and beloved bands of all-time in Judas Priest would be enough to cause a massive stir of excitement in New York City on Tuesday July 8th. On one of the hottest days of the summer thus far in the Northeast, more than 400 dedicated fans lined the streets outside Hard Rock Cafe in Time Square for a chance to meet the metal gods for a special autograph signing event. The rare occasion was a celebration of the release of their seventeenth studio album, Redeemer of Souls, which hit the shelves of record stores nationwide the same day. Fans that purchased the CD at f.y.e. off 43rd Street would have the chance to partake in the festivities along with some lucky contest winners such as Long Island rock station 102.3 FM WBAB winners Johnny Wildchild and Christine Rockarolla. Ecstatic for the chance to meet one of the founding fathers of heavy metal, this crowd was buzzing long before the doors of the Hard Rock Cafe opened at 6 PM.
With chatter heard amongst attendees of fond memories of Judas Priest, which has withstood over four decades, countless classic albums, and live performances for the ages, all heads turned down the street as The Priest approached. Drawn to their arrival by the thunderous retort of motorcycles escorting Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, and Richie Faulkner; which were chauffeured in a classic convertible Cadillac, even those passing by had to look at the grand and crowd-rousing speculate unfolding before their eyes. In good spirits and excited to meet their fans, Halford, Tipton, and Faulkner were all smiles and waved to the gracious crowd. One by one exiting the car, each received cheers, and when Halford stood up and saluted everyone with metal horns there was pandemonium.
Moving into The Hard Rock Cafe, the three musicians took their place behind a large backdrop of the Redeemers of Souls classic priest style artwork and the anxious wait was over. Moving the line in a smooth and steady fashion, each fan was given a chance to cross paths with the band to exchange words and get their fresh-out-of-the-plastic albums signed. Overwhelmed with joy, it was easy to see how much Judas Priest has meant to this group of people who have followed the band through the years. For many, they look to their music as strength, inspiration, and exile from everyday life. All humble and pleasant, Tipton and Halford showed their audience as much love and gratitude as they could for the years of support. Newest guitarist Faulkner fit right in the bunch with respect given by fans that are also anxious to hear him perform on his first Priest album ever. While some may have yet to pop the album into their players, others already gave it a spin hours before the meet and greet and word is spreading fast that Redeemers of Souls is an album Priest fans will love for years to come.