JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD Is Recovering From A Cold; North American Tour To Resume On Thursday
April 5, 2022
Earlier today (Tuesday, April 5),JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner spoke to Sean P McKenna of East Coast Live about the cancelation of the band's concert last night at Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell in Lowell, Massachusetts. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're resting up. Yesterday, we had to, unfortunately, cancel the show. And the reason for that is so that we can preserve our health and get better. Rob's [Halford, PRIEST singer] got a bit of a cold. So we can preserve our health, get back on track and do the rest of the shows in Canada. Yeah, that's what we're aiming to do.
"Obviously, [some of] these [other] guys [in PRIEST] have been doing it for 50 years; I've been doing it for a few years with them. Even if you don't tour as a musician, we all get sick from time to time. It's gonna happen. When you're on the road, it's a rigorous schedule. And even pre-COVID, now post-COVID, so to speak, you're gonna catch bugs and stuff like that; it's just part of the life we lead. And obviously being a singer, if it was me or Ian [Hill, bass] or Scott [Travis, drums] or Andy [Sneap, guitar], I think we could maybe just hammer through it, but obviously when your instrument's your voice, it's a bit harder to do. So he's resting up, he's resting his voice, he's on some meds, and he's gonna get through it."
Asked if he and his PRIEST bandmates have had to be extra careful with their health while touring during the pandemic, Richie said: "I think everyone's gotta be vigilant. Obviously, the lockdowns and restrictions are kind of being relaxed around the world. So in one respect, you can be a bit more relaxed, but in another respect, because they're being relaxed, you've gotta be a bit more vigilant. So it's a bit of both, really. It's nice that it's been relaxed because we can now enjoy live music again, and to see the fans and the looks on their faces to be experiencing, in our case, heavy metal shows again, live heavy metal shows, is fantastic. And it's great for us again as well to be able to deliver a live heavy metal show and see the looks on those fans' faces and be part of that live heavy metal community again, it's fantastic.
"Obviously, I don't think [COVID-19 has] gone away completely yet — we're still hearing of cases here and there — so we've gotta be somewhat careful. It depends on what you listen to, what kind of sources you listen to, but you've gotta be somewhat vigilant. But again, I think it's got to the point where everyone's living their lives but kind of using common sense in terms of being safe."
Faulkner added that PRIEST expects to resume its tour on Thursday, April 7 at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Fans who attended PRIEST's concert on Saturday (April 2) at the Premier Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut reported that Halford seemed to be feeling sick and was struggling to hit the high notes during the show, as evidenced in some of the fan-filmed video clips which have since surfaced online (see below).
PRIEST's current North American tour kicked off on March 4 at Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois and is scheduled to conclude on April 13 at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Support on the trek is coming from QUEENSRŸCHE.
Halford recently publicly revealed that he battled prostate cancer during the pandemic. He previously mentioned his cancer battle in the new chapter added to the updated paperback edition of his autobiography, "Confess". In "Confess", Halford revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer after experiencing symptoms for at least a couple of years.
In July 2020, Rob underwent prostatectomy, an operation where the entire prostate gland is removed plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles. After more cancer was found last year, he went through radiation treatments in April and May 2021 and eventually got then all-clear in June 2021. He also had an appendectomy after a tumor was discovered on his appendix.
Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during the band's performance at the Louder Than Life festival in late September. Faulkner was rushed to the UofL Health - Jewish Hospital where the cardiothoracic surgery team needed approximately 10 hours to complete a life-saving surgery.
PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease eight years ago after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier. Tipton announced in early 2018 he was going to sit out touring activities in support of "Firepower". He was replaced by "Firepower" producer Andy Sneap, who is also known for his work in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT.
It is with regret we announce that unfortunately tonight’s show at Paul E Tsongas Arena, Lowell, MA is being cancelled due to non-covid related illness. We hope to be able to make this show up in the near future. Refunds available at point of purchase pic.twitter.com/7Hxj37ekTU