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‘We’re not slowing down, we’re speeding up’: Saxon and Uriah Heep bring tour to downtown Grand Rapids

British Metal legends Saxon and Rock icons Uriah Heep are set to co-headline at GLC Live at 20 Monroe

/Courtesy photo from Saxon press team

Iconic British rock legends Saxon and Uriah Heep are set to bring their Hell, Fire & Chaos - The Best Of British Rock & Metal tour to Grand Rapids this May, in a co-headline show that is set to rattle windows and blowout some speakers. 

Saxon and Uriah Heep will be co-headlining at GLC Live at 20 Monroe on Tuesday with doors open at 6 p.m. and the show slated to begin at 7 p.m.

With over 45 years of experience in rocking audiences, both bands have come together in America fresh off the European leg of their tour, where they shared the stage with metal legends Judas Priest. 

Biff Byford, the Saxon lead singer and bass player since 1979, says after nearly 5 decades in the music industry, he is enjoying his tenure.

“To do a job for 50 years, you gotta love that job,” Byford said. 

Currently touring their 24th studio album, “Hell, Fire and Damnation,” the band has seen many members come and go, but Byford has remained a constant figurehead of the heavy metal crew. 

“There are lots of ups and down … But touring ends up just like a road trip with your buddies, surrounded by music. Doesn’t get old,” Byford said about this current tour with his bandmates. 

The current Saxon lineup is the longest-running, with Doug Scarratt and Brian Tatler on guitar, Nibs Carter on bass and Nigel Glockler on drums. 

Saxon’s setlist will be comprised of their classic metal tracks such as “Wheels Of Steel,” “747 (Strangers in the Night),” “Strong Arm of the Law,” “Power and the Glory,” “Denim and Leather,”  in addition to new material from Hell, Fire and Damnation.

“We’re not slowing down, we’re speeding up,” said Byford when discussing Saxon’s newest album, which sports angel-winged knights holding swords and shields battling an onslaught of horned demons on the album cover. 

Saxon’s albums have an iconic history of epic cover art since the ‘80s. Power and the Glory, released in 1983 and the band’s best-selling album to date, had its’ cover produced by the iconic filmmaker Ridley Scott, the director of Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982). 

“I actually went out to dinner a couple of times with Ridley. My manager and him were friends,” Byford said. “He really did us a favor with putting together that work.”

Uriah Heep, considered part of the “Big Four” in the ‘70s among Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, has been rocking stages for over 50 years. 

In 2023, the band released their 25th studio album titled “Chaos & Colour.”

Considered a UK rock institution, the band’s current lineup comprised of lead vocalist Bernie Shaw, guitarist Mick Box, drummer Russell Gilbrook, keyboardist Phil Lanzon and bassist Dave Rimmer, plan to run a setlist of classic hits such as “Easy Livin’,” “Sweet Lorraine” and “July Morning,” as well as new tracks from Chaos & Colour.

When asked what the audience can expect at the show, Blyford had nothing but simple wishes for anyone who comes through. 

“Enjoy themselves. Check out the new albums and the awesome merch at the shows. Both bands are on fire right now,” Blyford said. “Get ready to come and see some ‘80s metal and ‘70s Prague rock — we’re gonna lift the roof off.”

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