Song of the Day: When Rob Halford Joins Forces with PANTERA

Today marks the seventh anniversary of PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist Dimebag Darrell‘s murder. I’m sure we all remember where we were when we heard the news. Friends of mine received eyewitness accounts of what happened that fateful night in Ohio and it’s just absolutely tragic. Let’s also not forget the other people who were killed that night, Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson, Erin Halk, and Nathan Bray. If you were into metal in the early to mid 90’s, this was a very big deal.

So let’s enjoy this song from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie soundtrack, which features JUDAS PRIEST‘s Rob Halford with PANTERA as his backing band on “Light Comes Out of Black.” The way Dime follows Halford‘s awesome falsettos (i.e. “Cemetery Gates“) and Halford and Phil Anselmo‘s dual vocals are killer.

Concert Memories: METALLICA, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, CANDLEBOX, FIGHT @ Cal State Dominguez Hills, Dominguez Hills, CA (07/26/94)

Back in the summer of 1994, I was a pimple faced teenage metalhead whose world revolved around classic rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. And like virtually every metalhead on the planet, I viewed METALLICA as the absolute infallible, invincible gods of metal. The band had taken the world by storm with the Black Album and they were in the midst of the height of their popularity.

After missing out on the first few rounds of the Black Album tour as well as the dream tour with GUNS ‘N ROSES, my time had finally come to see my first concert via the 1994 Shit Hits the Sheds Tour. To say my friend and I were stoked is an understatement. In hindsight, I really didn’t even know to expect at a metal show. Man, was I in for a surprise.

The tour’s Los Angeles-area stop took place on a huge grass field at a university, and there was definitely a festival vibe to things. There were thousands of people on the field. The crowd was a great reflection of the Los Angeles metal scene in general at the time. There were diehard fans since the 70’s and 80’s, young fans, lots of female fans, and a diverse array of cultural backgrounds represented. To this day, I have never seen such a wide array of metal shirts in all my life.

Up until that tender age, I had never smelled weed smoke before but I knew exactly what that skunky smell was right when it hit me. There were literally hazes of smoke flowing over the field the whole day. Yeah, this was LA alright.

Despite arriving in the late afternoon, the show had already started with Rob Halford‘s FIGHT playing songs off their excellent debut, War of Words. Watching the Metal God stalk the stage with his big, black goatee and singing better than on the record was a truly awesome site to behold.

ALICE IN CHAINS were originally on the tour but had to pull out due to drug issues with singer Layne Staley. I was bummed out as Facelift and Dirt had greatly impacted my young life. Unfortunately, for some godforsaken reason, super shitty CANDLEBOX took their place on the tour. Their brand of soft rock did not go over well as the audience quickly booed them continuously and gave them the finger. The band eventually got butthurt enough that they were forced to cut their set short. The lame singer made sure to give us all the finger before he left the stage. We all had a good laugh about that.

As dusk settled in, Venice, CA’s SUICIDAL TENDENCIES took the stage to the roaring approval of the crowd. As soon as the first note was played, the crowd went apeshit. Gigantic moshpits instantaneously formed all across the field. Everyone was pushing, shoving, and just going crazy. I got sucked into a few pits and was too busy fighting for my life to be scared. By the middle of SUICIDAL‘s set, I found myself near the front of the stage and utterly smashed like canned sardines against everyone else around me. It was hard to breathe at times and that was a freaky feeling. The band was awesome so it helped to distract you from the discomfort of elbows flying, crowd surfers landing on your spine, and lots of man sweat from strangers being rubbed on you. It was easy to see just why vocalist Mike Muir was such an icon. The man is charismatic as hell.

Once SUICIDAL concluded their set, I was more than relieved because I could finally get a breather from the madness. The grass field had been transformed into a dirt field and the air was thick with dirt and dust. I was thirsty as hell but there was no way I could get to the vendors as I was stuck right near the front of the stage.

It took at least an hour for METALLICA to hit the stage. The wait was excruciating to say the least. I hadn’t seen my friend since SUICIDAL played and figured I’d have to find him after the show. Once “Ecstacy of Gold” starting playing, the crowd was instantly energized. James Hetfield ran out on stage playing the first notes to “Breadfan” and the madness went to a whole new level. Plumes of weed smoke bellowed into the night air. Everyone was furiously headbanging, pumping their fists, singing along, moshing, pushing, kicking, punching, and any other primal behavior possible. The crowds of today in the U.S. don’t even come close to the brutality of those final years of metal’s mainstream heyday.

Throughout their 2+ hour set, you couldn’t help but think that METALLICA were indeed the gods. Seemingly endless classic song after classic song put me in heaven. And to be up so close to the band was just amazing. I could clearly see every member’s faces. Watching Lars disappear through his secret trap door behind his drumkit was hilarious. I don’t think I’ve ever been to another show with so much enthusiasm. People were high fiving each other after every song and headbanging together in camaraderie while others chose to bash each other to a pulp. It was a special night where thousands gathered to enjoy the thing they enjoyed most in life, metal music.

After the show, I eventually found my friend and both of us were covered in dirt and dust. He managed to escape the moshpits by fleeing to the side of the field. My eyeglasses were bent out of shape while being in my pocket, and my shoelaces were severed. I was coughing up and sneezing dirt for days. Also, I was sore all over for days.

Since that summer night, I’ve gone to literally hundreds of shows but nothing compares to that show. It was the perfect night, time period in my life, and era of metal to have my first concert experience. Who knew that METALLICA would not only ruin my life but the lives of millions around the world two years later with their next record?

HALFORD to Tour North America with OZZY OSBOURNE

Metal God Records and Rob Halford are pleased to confirm HALFORD North American concert dates November and December with Ozzy Osbourne.

Ozzy Osbourne & Rob Halford 2010 North America Fall Tour:
Nov. 12 – Victoria, BC – Save On Foods Memorial Centre
Nov. 14 – Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
Nov. 16 – Calgary, AB – Pengrowth Saddledome
Nov. 18 – Edmonton, MB – Rexall Place
Nov. 20 – Winnipeg, MB – MTS Centre
Nov. 23 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Nov. 25 – Ottawa, ON – Scotiabank Place
Nov. 27 – Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
Dec. 01 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden Arena
Dec. 03 – E. Rutherford, NJ – Izod Center
Dec. 05 – Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena
Dec. 12 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center

HALFORD will also perform at Seattle’s Showbox on November 10th and Denver’s Ogden Theatre on December 15th. Tickets available September 17th and 18th for Halford’s Seattle and Denver headline performances at Ticketmaster.com.

Rob Halford will be touring in support of his new studio release, Halford IV Made Of Metal, featuring fourteen (14) new Halford studio recordings debuting world-wide September 27, Oct 8 (UK & EU), September 28th (North America) and October 13, 2010 (Japan).

HALFORD Announces Intimate Show in San Francisco

Metal God Records and Rob Halford are pleased to announce an intimate HALFORD concert performance Saturday, July 17th at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California.

Join the HALFORD band members as they prepare to embark upon their first concert tour in more than seven years performing soon-to-be released tracks and rare tracks from The Metal God’s HALFORD, FIGHT and JUDAS PRIEST repertoire.

“It’s 2010 and I am excited to say the HALFORD band are heading back to the Bay area this July (17th),” comments Rob Halford. “We are preparing the HALFORD set lists, crew, etc., for this year’s Montreal Heavy Metal Festival, Ozzfest and many soon-to-be-announced dates. The Regency Ballroom will be a great venue to enjoy the band work, up-close. Get ready my Bay-area Metal Maniacs I’m bringing a night of blistering Heavy Metal to town.”

Tickets go on-sale Sunday, May 23, 2010 at www.TicketMaster.com.

The Metal God Bringing FIGHT to Hollywood

Compelling, stark and aggressive War Of Words – The Film starring Rob Halford and his first solo band FIGHT unleashes upon legions of metal maniacs November 20th in North America, November 30th in the United Kingdom & Europe, December 3rd in Australia & New Zealand and December 19th in Japan.

After nineteen years, more than a dozen global concert tours and dozens of gold and platinum awards as the defining vocalist of JUDAS PRIEST, Rob Halford departed the band in 1992 to pursue a solo career immediately releasing “Light Comes Out of Black” supported by members of PANTERA. The track rocketed to the top of radio playlists, and later that summer Rob would assemble his own band FIGHT, and place most of its new tracks from War Of Words in heavy-radio rotation while aggressively ushering in a new sound for the metal communities.

FIGHT War Of Words – The Film documents a key moment in heavy metal history combining behind-the-scenes, hand-held and pro-shot footage of FIGHT‘s original 1992 K5 rehearsal and demonstration-recording sessions; 1993 Amsterdam recording sessions of the original War Of Words Epic / Sony audio release, and pre-tour interviews climaxing with a full-length 5.1 concert filmed at 22 venues in 20 select cities during FIGHT‘s first five months of its 1993 – 1994 Nailed To The Road / War Of Words World Tour.

Rare audio and film footage of FIGHT‘s earliest concert performances in Europe, United Kingdom, USA, Mexico and Japan have been restored. Stereo and 5.1 Dolby surround mixes have been produced by Roy Z. 5.1 Dolby surround encoding and mastering for DVD and The Metal God’s Theatrical Premiers handled by industry giant Technicolor.

Theatrical premieres:

New York 11/14
Hollywood 11/20
San Francisco 11/28
Detroit 11/28
London 12/18
and other select cities

Tickets may be purchased at: www.DandEEntertainment.com.

Rob Halford will attend select premiers for a 30-minute conversation on the assembling of FIGHT and songs written for War Of Words.
Tickets are limited for this rare opportunity to experience and participate in a rare conversation with The Metal God, Rob Halford, as he relates his experiences of his first solo band.

Movie-sized posters of War Of Words – The Film will be distributed to all in attendance after the performance.

War of Words – The Film – Limited Edition Digipak:

The movie will be released in a numbered edition, 6 panel custom-designed digipak with 20 page booklet, original Rob Halford autograph and bonus audio CD, War Of Words – Remixed & Remastered.

Bonus footage and original FIGHT promotional videos included on DVD.

K5 – The War of Words Demos:

A companion release to the film is a rare audio recording from Rob Halford‘s library. K5 – The War of Words Demos featuring original demonstration recordings of War of Words plus five (5) new tracks.

Retail appearances:

Rob Halford and guitarist Metal Mike Chlasciak will appear and sign “new product only” at FYE in Manhattan on Thursday, November 15, 2007 12 PM and J&R Music World in Manhattan on Friday, November 16, 2007 5.30 PM. They will appear and sign “new product only” at Vintage Vinyl in New Jersey on Saturday, November 17, 2007 5.30 PM.

FIGHT reunion:

Rob Halford is uniting the original members of FIGHT: Brian Tilse, Russ Parrish, Jay Jay and Scott Travis in Hollywood, California at 5:00 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2007 for an exclusive autograph session of ‘new product only’ at

Best Buy
West Hollywood, CA
1015 N LA Brea Avenue
West Hollywood, CA

FIGHT will also be in attendance for the theatrical premier at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA 8:00 P.M on 11/20.