JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford kicked a cell phone out of a fan’s hand during the band’s May 25 concert in Rosemont, Illinois.
The incident happened six songs into PRIEST‘s set at at the Rosemont Theatre where the group was playing as part of its North American tour with URIAH HEEP. According to eyewitness accounts, Halford‘s frustration appeared to stem from the fact that the fan had turned the “light” on his camera on while filming the show, making it harder for the singer to focus on his performance. As a result, Halford decided to take matters into his own hands and kicked the cell phone away while the band was playing the song “Judas Kiss”.
Fan-filmed video footage of the incident can be seen below. (Note: Halford‘s kick appears around the 39-second mark in the bottom clip.)
A number of musicians have come out in recent years to say that mobile technology is ruining the concert experience, including SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor. He told “Loudwire Nights” that “it’s fine” if people want to take pictures of his bands’ shows, but not so much if they are videotaping entire performances. “It’s one thing to film it, it’s another thing to just be staring at your screen while you’re filming it,” he said. “It’s right there. Are you so terrified of real life that you can’t do anything unless it’s on that little four-by-four screen? Ugggh. It’s very weird.”
Last year, GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna spoke out against cell-phone use at concerts, saying that there’s “something really magical that happens when” you are not experiencing live performances through a “little four-inch screen.”
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach in 2015 urged fans to keep their cell phones at the bottom of their pockets and just watch his performances. “Be in the moment,” he said. “You’re distracted and it’s distracting to the performer as well. Like, put your fuckin’ cell phone away, dammit! You’re never even going to watch that footage.”
Back in 2012, Bruce Dickinson chastised a fan for texting during an IRON MAIDEN concert, calling him a “wanker.”
When Axl Rose reunited with his former GUNS N’ ROSES bandmates, Duff McKagan and Slash, for the first time in 23 years at the Troubadour in Los Angeles in April 2016, the concert was phone-free.
“God, it was wonderful,” McKagan told The New York Times. “It was the old-school feeling, where people were dancing and getting down. It was really cool.”