Monday, July 13, 2009

Judas F**ing Priest

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.


11 comments:

highkickev said...

I was wondering the same thing about his stance the whole evening and also why he only appeared on stage when he was singing. Then he went into a hands-behind-the-back rollerblading pose.

Jill said...

Yes! The rollerblading pose! I thought of it more as pacing back and forth, but you are more descriptive. All around it was great though.

Anonymous said...

I've been misquoted! A victim of The Media! I merely proposed that a back brace would explain both the stance AND the heavy layers of clothing. I still stand by the head tattoo hurting more than other soft body parts. Great pix!

Melanie said...

Nice photos.

Alex in NYC said...

Yeah, I'm not sure when Halford adopted his new stance, but it's certainly a more recent development (i.e. last few years). When I saw them "back in the day" (as the hip kids say) circa the Screaming For Vengeance tour, Rob was endearingly all over the place. Glad to hear they're still doing "Hell Bent for Leather" (the motorcycle number).

Jill said...

Yes, Alex, you and I both would think that the motorcycle goes with Hell Bent For Leather and we would both be wrong. They did not do that song, much to my sincere dismay. By singing the whole of British Steel it really limited the number of other songs they had time for and they did at least 3 songs I never heard before.

There is a youtube video of Halford singing some lyrics at one of the trials they went through a few years ago for indecent lyrics or being responsible for teen suicide or some such crap, where he looks so small, like a long lost uncle who is bewildered and needs a good meal. I will try to find it and post it.

Alex in NYC said...

The lyrics he's reading in the courtroom are from "Better By You, Better Than Me" from the STAINED CLASS record. Ironically, they didn't write that toon, rather its a Spooky Tooth cover.

Alex in NYC said...

Weird that they'd wheel out the bike and NOT do "Hell Bent..." though.

hntrnyc said...

I had a hard time making up my mind if that was David Coverdale or....Joan Baez with a makover. Kinda frightening.....Thanx for the Priest coverage, they still hold up remarkably well.

Roger said...

When Halford returned to Priest, he did start using a teleprompter for his lyrics; very openly even. Perhaps it has been decided since then that this is not metal/cool, so they hide the damn thing nowadays?

Jill said...

I found this link that does have Halford admitting he uses a teleprompter. Not a back brace, I win.

http://chriswasanon.blogspot.com/2006/12/november-29-2006-rob-halford-visits_01.html