Judas Priest Singer Rob Halford’s Phoenix Favorites

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By Niki D’Andrea

On Thursday, August 28, the Metal Masters Tour will bludgeon the brains of thousands at Cricket Wireless Pavilion, as Testament, Motörhead, Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio), and Judas Priest take the stage for a metal fest unlike anything that’s come before. For Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, a show in the Valley of the Sun is a savored homecoming -- Halford’s lived in Phoenix since 1985. He also owns homes in San Diego and Amsterdam, but spends the majority of his off-time at his home in Paradise Valley.

I recently had the chance to speak with Halford about the Metal Masters Tour, the new Judas Priest album, and his favorite things about Phoenix. You can read about the former two things in the music section of this week’s issue (“Seer Review,” August 28, 2008), but we saved the desert dishing for this blog.

For tickets to the Metal Masters Tour at Cricket Pavilion, visit www.livenation.com.

Rob Halford’s Phoenix Favorites

The weather: “It’s very special when I’m in my house in Phoenix overlooking the Valley and the thunder and lightning rolls through. It’s very heavy metal weather.”

Mavericks in Shangri-La: “I still like the maverick element that exists around Phoenix. When I first discovered Phoenix in the late ‘70s, it was like my Shangri-La, to some extent. It’s a remarkable place, and I’ve seen it grow to -- what is it now, over three million people?” [There are more than 4 million people in the metro area now]

Good Eats: “I like to get in the car and drive up to Carefree and go get hot wings at the Satisfied Frog. That’s always a treat; I try to do that at least a couple of times a year.”

Our Deserts and Western-Feel: “[I like] just being out in the desert, hiking around the Valley. It’s still got what I call that traditional American-feel, especially from the Western perspective. And I think other Arizonas are just as proud of their capitol of Phoenix as people from the Big Apple might feel. It’s a beautiful place. It’s unique, it’s special, and it means everything to me.”

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