Update: Judas Priest have commented on Rob Halford’s cell-phone kick. “The facts are we love our fans and you can film us all you like and watch our show on your phone rather than in the flesh,” the wrote on Twitter. “However, if you physically interfere with the Metal God’s performance you now know what will happen……..”
Original story: Some artists want you to lock up your cell phones when you come to their concerts. Others think fans take photos that rival those of professional shutterbugs. And then there’s the Metal God, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford. Your right to take photos of the pioneering metal group is solely at his discretion. That is, if you’re within kicking distance.
At a gig in Rosemont, Illinois earlier this week, Halford extended his leather boot into the front row without missing a note of singing the band’s 2005 comeback anthem “Judas Rising.” A fan in the Golden Circle had his phone up for long enough that the singer noticed it and decided to kick it out of his hand in one glorious motion. Blabbermouth suggests that the fan had the flash on his phone, which sparked Halford’s ire.
The irony of knowing this, of course, is that it was caught on camera by other fans in multiple angles (collated via Blabbermouth). Moreover, there was another fan a mere feet from the one who lost his phone taking video or photos — and he (we assume it’s a he) continued to do so even after Halford practiced his martial arts training on the first fan.
Although the video is funny and Halford’s kick is both impressive and awesome, we should point out that the phone had to land somewhere. We hope it didn’t land on the head of a more respectful fan. In addition to being injurious to others, Halford’s kick could open the band up to lawsuits. But then again, these are metalheads — hell-bent for leather, as one of Priest’s best songs goes — so odds are they’ll take the beating and keep on headbanging.
In 2013, Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene compiled a 10-point list of annoying concert behavior and proper etiquette. Top of the list was “Taking pictures the entire freaking show.” “You want to show all your friends on Facebook and Twitter that you saw a cool concert. Fine,” the entry reads. “Take a photo. Take five if you want! But please, don’t take 77. You always manage to hold your camera right in my line of sight. You don’t even look like you’re enjoying the show while you’re doing this. All your attention is on the photos. And you know what? Those photos are all going to look like shit. Every single one of them. You’re too far away. You’ll probably never even look at them. Also, you see those guys right in front of the stage with the giant cameras? They’re taking great professional pictures. There’s really no need for yours.”