Singer Rob Halford of the famous English heavy metal band Judas Priest is making headlines after he was caught on camera kicking a phone out of a fan’s hands in the middle of a song.
Planet Rock reports that Halford was performing at the Rosemont Theatre in Illinois on Saturday, May 25th, and that many fans in the sell-out crowd were shooting photos and videos with their phones.
But one particular concert-goer at the very front of the crowd was reportedly shining or flashing his phone’s LED light while shooting the performance, and the distraction got on Halford’s nerves.
The singer, without warning, ran to the front of the stage and gave the fan’s phone a strong kick “with great gusto,” sending the phone high into the air before it landed several rows back.
Halford has since released a statement defending his actions.
“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 singer tells Loudwire. “However, if you physically interfere with The Metal God’s performance you now know what will happen.”
Many famous music artists have taken a stand against the widespread practice of shooting photos and videos throughout concerts rather than “fully enjoying the show” — rock star Jack White banned fan photos at his shows last year, announcing that attendees would need to have their phones put into locking smartphone pouches to ensure a “100% human experience.”
But performers generally don’t go so far as to kick phones and cameras out of their fans’ hands.