Todd La Torre has confirmed that QUEENSRŸCHE pulled out of SCORPIONS' rescheduled "Sin City Nights" Las Vegas residency in order to support JUDAS PRIEST on the "50 Heavy Metal Years" North American tour dates in March-April 2022.
JUDAS PRIEST was forced to postpone around two dozen North American shows on its 50th-anniversary tour in late September after the band's guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during a performance at the Louder Than Life festival. Ticketmaster has since revealed that QUEENSRŸCHE will serve as the opening act on the rescheduled dates, which will kick off on March 6 in Denver, Colorado and conclude on April 13 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
La Torre, who has been fronting QUEENSRŸCHE for nearly a decade, discussed the band's upcoming tour with PRIEST in a new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We've got a tour in March that wasn't supposed to [be made public] yet… All in all, I think it's about six weeks' [worth of shows]."
As for QUEENSRŸCHE's decision to withdraw from SCORPIONS' Vegas residency — which is also scheduled to take place in March and April — and do the PRIEST tour, Todd said: "The SCORPIONS, we really like them as people. We're friends with them and we've gotten to tour with them several times. It's one of those things where it's, like, 'Gosh, what do you do?' People that aren't in the business don't understand how things work sometimes.
"I think it's great for [QUEENSRŸCHE] to go out with [JUDAS PRIEST]; the optics are great. And we're very honored to have gotten that."
Todd went on to clarify that no official announcement has yet been made regarding QUEENSRŸCHE's participation in the PRIEST tour.
"I think what happened was Ticketmaster started revealing [the dates and the opening act] to [ticket] holders, so it came out prematurely," he said. "We're not saying anything [publicly]. It's not our tour to reveal anything, and we respect the authority and the privacy that they have. It's their show. And so when they announce something with everything, then we will. I'm not announcing anything."
So far, the following shows have been announced for PRIEST's tour with QUEENSRŸCHE, with more to come:
Mar. 06 - Mission Ballroom - Denver, CO
Mar. 07 - Maverik Center - West Valley City, UT
Mar. 09 - Angel Of The Winds Arena - Everett, WA
Mar. 10 - Moda Center - Portland, OR
Mar. 12 - Fox Theater - Oakland - Oakland, CA
Mar. 13 - Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood - Las Vegas, NV
Mar. 16 - Arizona Federal Theatre - Phoenix, AZ
Mar. 18 - The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory - Irving, TX
Mar. 20 - H-E-B Center at Cedar Park - Cedar Park, TX
Mar. 21 - Freeman Coliseum - San Antonio, TX
Mar. 23 - Nashville Municipal Auditorium - Nashville, TN
Mar. 25 - Ameris Bank Amphitheatre - Alpharetta, GA
Mar. 27 - Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center - Charleston, WV
Mar. 29 - The Met Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Mar. 30 - Prudential Center - Newark, NJ
Mar. 31 - The Theater at MGM National Harbor - National Harbor, MD
Apr. 02 - Foxwoods Resort Casino - Mashantucket, CT
Apr. 04 - Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell - Lowell, MA
Apr. 07 - Scotiabank Centre - Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Apr. 11 - Place Bell - Laval, Quebec, Canada
Apr. 13 - FirstOntario Centre - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
A complete list of dates can be found on JUDAS PRIEST's web site.
SCORPIONS have since tapped SKID ROW as the new opening act for the Vegas residency.
Last month, QUEENSRŸCHE's Michael Wilton confirmed that returning guitarist Mike Stone will likely contribute guitar solos to the band's next studio album.
Since late May, Stone has been handling second-guitar duties in QUEENSRŸCHE, which announced in July that longtime guitarist Parker Lundgren was exiting the group to focus on "other business ventures."
Stone originally joined QUEENSRŸCHE for the 2003 album "Tribe" and stayed with the band for six years before leaving the group.
For the past four and a half years, Casey Grillo has been filling in for QUEENSRŸCHE's original drummer Scott Rockenfield, who stepped away from the band's touring activities in early 2017 to spend time with his young son.
In early October, Rockenfield filed a lawsuit against the band's fellow original members Wilton and Eddie Jackson (bass), alleging, among other things, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful discharge.