The singer explained it was a nod to the British band’s home city of Birmingham, and a well-known landmark which may date to the 12th century. A video of the bull making an appearance in Virginia Beach can be seen below.
In a recent interview with LifeMinute, Halford said Priest’s 50 Heavy Metal Years tour was an opportunity to reflect on the band’s past. “When I was a kid, when we were kids growing up in the [English] Midlands, we were surrounded by heavy industry, the steel mills, the iron factories and everything like that,” he said. “So we’re kind of taking you into what we call the Judas Priest metal works, where the metal is made. And so that’s what we surround ourselves with.”
He continued: “We have a spectacular lighting show that we’ve always put an emphasis on, great things happening on the video screens, what we wear… And a couple of crazy things – like this gigantic, huge, inflatable bull that’s half the size of the stage. … Where we’re from in Birmingham, it’s famous for this bullring, as it was called. And the bulls that used to be sold there as part of trade and commerce and so forth, they’re kind of synonymous with that. So we’ve got this thing happening at the end of the show, and people [say] ‘Oh my God! Is that real?’”
By the 18th century, the “bull ring” in Birmingham was the location where the animals were baited before being slaughtered. In the 1960s a shopping mall was built there and also took the name “Bull Ring.” It was replaced by a new “Bullring” mall in 2003, which houses the large-scale bull statue on which Priest’s inflatable appears to be based.
“It’s just a great, great night out and a celebration of everything that you know and love,” Halford said of the tour. “But the music leads the way. We’ve always said that you can’t build all these things around songs that don’t match it. So we’ve done that — we’ve done that over and over again. So we have a great set list, a really cool set list. It’s like a time machine. … You can’t miss this show… you only do a 50th anniversary once in your life. So come and check it out.”
Judas Priest’s Inflatable Bull on Stage
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