Saturday, September 17, 2011

VIDEO: Judas Priest singer falls off motorcycle on stage in Brazil

Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford fell off the motorcycle he rides onto the stage at the end of each show during Thursday night's concert at Ginásio Nilson Nelson in Brasilia, Brazil.

It looks like nothing major, as Halford had planted the bike and it was standing still at the time; Rob appears to simply fall over to the left with the bike as it goes down. The singer quickly rights the bike and the band launch into “Hell Bent For Leather” during their encores.

I’m having a serious Priest flashback watching the footage because the last time I saw Halford take a header on the bike was during the band’s show here in Toronto during the “Painkiller” tour.

In those days, “Leather” was the set opener, and as the engines roared, Halford made his entrance from underneath the drum riser at center stage. It turned out the riser wasn’t fully upright when Rob came charging out, causing him to smash his head, break his nose and fall unconscious on stage with the bike by his side as dry ice surrounded him. Priest kicked into “Leather” unaware of the incident; the guys looked at each other in confusion and performed the full track as an instrumental while roadies dragged their singer, and the bike, off the stage.

When “Leather” finished, a few minutes passed while the guys looked side stage for some clue as to what to do, with the crowd anxiously awaiting some resolution; they were then given the green light, started up “Heading Out To The Highway,” and Halford returned to the stage triumphant as the crowd roared its approval and the concert continued.

The August 19, 1991 show at the CNE Grandstand went on to became one of Priest legend, as it was Rob’s final gig with them for 13 years (although he had informed the group six weeks earlier - on July 4, 1991 - that he was leaving the band).

The Brasilia footage looks completely tame by comparison and, yes, you had to see it to believe it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t easily locate any video of the Toronto ’91 incident (IF it exists at all?) but someone has posted the audio, so I’ll share it here as one of the rarest moments in Priest history.

Judas Priest Judas Priest

Judas Priest – Hell Bent For Leather
Ginásio Nilson Nelson - Brasilia, BR – September 15, 2011

Judas Priest – Hell Bent For Leather (instrumental) (audio only)
CNE Grandstand – Toronto, ON – August 19, 1991

See also:

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Halford: Live DVD from Japan due this October
Judas Priest announce more North American dates
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Judas Priest: Farewell tour clarification
James Durbin tops the hennemusic Hot 10
VIDEO: James Durbin covers Skid Row
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Judas Priest: James Durbin is our hero
Judas Priest talk about American Idol experience with James Durbin
VIDEO: Judas Priest rock American Idol finale with James Durbin
Judas Priest to play American Idol finale tonight with James Durbin?
Sebastian Bach almost became singer for Judas Priest