Last night Judas Priest and Whitesnake played at Jones Beach. It was a very loud, very hard rocking evening of old classics. During this tour Judas Priest is playing all the songs from the 1980 British Steel album. This was the last album of theirs I bought so I knew all those songs, which was great because there are probably another 6-8 albums after that which I know nothing about. They did play songs off of other albums as well, but not as much as I would have liked.
Their sound hasn't changed in any discernible way in all these 30+ years, and the band has done a great job with the botox, plastic surgery and hairweaves/wigs so that they look terrific and play great. Well, Rob Halford shaves his head, but he is sporting a head tattoo, which led to a lengthy discussion about whether head tattoos hurt more than arm or back tattoos. I say no, Jeannine says yes.
Happily, Halford appeased the audience by coming out on a motorcycle at the encore. I believe he had stopped doing this for many years, but at this time, when we are in full nostalgia mode, it is a requirement to appease the old folks lest they riot.
The one oddity of the concert was Rob Halford's stance. He didn't look up for the first two songs, and for the rest of the night he sang with his body bent forward, his head tucked in, which is exactly the opposite way a normal singer stands. The classic pose of the rocker with his head thrown back, chest out, hair waving in the breeze and the microphone poised upward from his lips in that rather sexual way, is what we expect from Mr. Halford.
I came to the conclusion that one of the amps was disguising a teleprompter so that he could remember the words to all these old songs. Jeannine did not agree and stuck to the theory that he was wearing a back brace that didn't allow him to stand up and sing simultaneously. I googled around but could find no evidence one way or the other, or even a reference about this new posture. I think the likely answer is that in order to get that amazing power from his voice, he has to hunch in around the microphone and tense up his diaphragm.
Glenn Tipton (through the binocs) looked hot as ever though he is actually 4 years older than both Halford and Coverdale. His face hasn't aged a day. Same for David Coverdale (Whitesnake) who looked so young that a group of men asked me, during the intermission, if I was sure that it was in fact Coverdale singing, since nobody had expressly introduced him by name. They had a very good point there.
This close up photo I found on this website, shows that in fact he is aging, and possibly had the botox recently, since none of those lines were apparent to me. However, none of this matters, since he still has an incredible voice and is one of the all time legends of rock and roll.