The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has always been a bit standoffish in terms of heavy metal.
And while the almighty Metal Gods have finally entered the Hall, Judas Priest managed to do the impossible when they reunited with some of their long-lost metal brothers for their induction.
Being inducted this weekend with the “Musical Excellence Award” (seriously, no real induction), Priest rolled into the Microsoft Theater in LA like they owned the place, with Rob Halford screaming his lungs out through songs like “Living After Midnight” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin.”
After being given the illustrious honor by Alice Cooper, the Priest of old and new came together, with K.K. Downing joining the band onstage for the first time in nearly a decade.
Amid all of the other inductions were former drummer Les Binks and Dave Holland, both of whom helped Priest’s songs come alive on albums like British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance.
Though Glenn Tipton had talked about retiring from touring recently to deal with his bout with Parkinson’s Disease, the guitar duo that pumped out those classic riffs weren’t going to miss this, tearing through some of their classics like “Breaking the Law” without breaking a sweat.
You also have to give it to Rob Halford in the footage, tearing through the songs in their original key and still squealing like a heavy metal banshee, reminding all of the new kids on the block how it really gets done.
Rob’s acceptance speech was especially poignant, reinforcing that metal is for everyone regardless of what they look like or who they love:
“I’m the gay guy in the band. We call ourselves the heavy metal community which is all-inclusive, no matter what your sexual identity is, what you look like, or what you believe in or don’t believe in. Everybody’s welcome.”
Even if The Rock Hall is going to give it a few more years before giving acts like Iron Maiden their just due, this performance is reason enough for more metal to make it into those hallowed halls.
There may have been brighter stars being inducted that night, but from the minute that they took the stage, Priest seemed to find their congregation pretty fast.