Iron Maiden, Halford, Queensrÿche Launch Tour

Old school metal came roaring back in a major way this week as Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche, and former Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford launched their joint tour on Tuesday in Toronto.

The metal triple bill is playing a handful of Canadian dates this week before hitting U.S. soil Saturday with a sold-out show at New York's famed Madison Square Garden.

Fans this weekend will get their first look at "Halford," the latest undertaking from the former Judas Priest frontman. Halford boasts that after his musical experimentation with Fight and Two, his new band's upcoming debut album, "Resurrection," will be his first "true metal" release in eight years (see "Rob Halford Returns To Metal Roots"), and he's looking forward trying out the new material on the road with Maiden.

"I think it's a great place for me to introduce the 'Resurrection' music, to introduce the new band, and it's

a perfect scenario for the world of metal,"Halford told MTV News of the tour. "Metal works in any environment, but particularly well from a large production. There's nothing more glorious than seeing a metal band in a big venue with a big stage -- lots of lights, lots of sound, lots of speakers, and the spectacle of a lot of people going mental for it. It's just amazing, and I'm grateful that I've got this opportunity to let it take off in this way."

The trek also gives Halford, possessor of one of metal's most infamous wails, the chance to test his mettle with two other notoriously leather-lunged frontmen: Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson and Queensrÿche's Geoff Tate.

"It's going to be an extraordinary moment, from a vocalist's point of view," Halford said. "This is a dream come true to have Dickinson, Tate, and Halford all under the

same roof. If you think about it for a minute, it's pretty amazing. [RealVideo]

"It's going to be a great trip around the country," he added.

To many, the Maiden/Queensrÿche/Halford bill smacks of nostalgia, but the trek finds Maiden currently enjoying the strongest radio support of its career, thanks to its recently released "Brave New World." With the album, Maiden managed to recapture its classic sound without sounding dated, an approach that Halford also employed (with similar results) on "Resurrection."

"We all carry elements from the past with us, in a good way," Halford explained. "I'm not talking about nostalgia or an old vibe or whatever. It's just about a built-in ability to continue with a sound that you're familiar with or comfortable with, but like anybody, you want to make new music. You want to keep it fresh."

Similarly, Halford is optimistic that he and his tourmates will be able to keep it fresh on the road while giving fans

what they want. "When you see these bands and when you see these musicians, it's totally of this moment," Halford said. "You're not looking through the metal mist of eons past. That's not what it's about at all. It's a legacy. It's a heritage, and at the end of the day, it's just great music." [RealVideo]

If you want to check out Halford, Maiden, and Queensrÿche on the road, here's where to look:

  • 8/5 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
  • 8/6 - Mansfield, MA @ Tweeter Center For The Perf. Arts
  • 8/8 - Hartford, CT @ Meadows Music Theatre
  • 8/9 - Portland, ME @ Cumberland Civic Ctr.
  • 8/11 - Burgettstown, PA @ Post-Gazette Pavilion @Star Lake
  • 8/12 - Camden, NJ @ Blockbuster - Sony E Center
  • 8/13 - Scranton, PA @ Coors Light Amph. @ Montage Mountai
  • 8/15

    - Clarkston, MI @ Pine

    Knob Music Theatre

  • 8/16 - Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Six Flags P.A.C.
  • 8/17 - Holmdel, NJ @ P.N.C. Bank Arts Center
  • 8/19 - Maryland Heights, MO @ Riverport Amphitheatre
  • 8/20 - Bonner Springs, KS @ Sandstone Amphitheatre
  • 8/23 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center
  • 8/25 - Chicago, IL @ UIC Pavilion
  • 8/26 - Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheatre
  • 8/27 - St. Paul, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
  • 8/29 - Colorado Springs, CO @ World Arena
  • 8/30 - Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  • 9/1 - Dallas, TX @ Smirnoff Music Centre
  • 9/2 - Spring, TX @ C.W. Mitchell Pavilion
  • 9/3 - San Antonio, TX @ Sunken Garden Amph.
  • 9/4 - San Antonio, TX @ Sunken Garden Amph.
  • 9/6 - El Paso, TX @ University Of Texas
  • 9/8 - Albuquerque, NM @ Mesa Del Sol Amphitheatre
  • 9/9 - Phoenix, AZ @ Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion
  • 9/10 - Irvine, CA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
  • 9/12 - San Diego, CA @ San Diego Sports Arena
  • 9/13 - Universal

    City, CA @ Universal Amphitheatre

  • 9/15 - Bakersfield, CA @ Centennial Garden
  • 9/16 - Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
  • 9/18 - Anchorage, AK @ Sullivan Sports Arena
  • 9/20 - Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
  • 9/21 - Vancouver, BC @ Pacific Coliseum