STRYPER's Michael Sweet has defended Rob Halford over the JUDAS PRIEST singer's handling of a fan at a recent concert.
Halford kicked a cell phone out of a fan's hand during PRIEST's May 25 show 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.
According to eyewitness accounts, Halford appeared frustrated that the fan had turned the light on his camera on while filming the gig, making it harder for the singer to focus on his performance. As a result, Halford decided to kick the cell phone away while the band was playing the song "Judas Rising".
After footage of the incident went viral, Halford issued a statement in which he said: "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. However, if you physically interfere with The Metal God's performance, you now know what will happen."
On Thursday night (May 30), Sweet took to his Facebook page to weigh in on Halford's actions and comments, writing: "I love Rob Halford and he's right. It's hard enough to concentrate on what you're doing onstage let alone with a light/flash in your eyes throughout the entire show blinding you and distracting you. Why is this so hard to understand? Phones should be put away so everyone can enjoy the show. We're talking about a few hours of our lives."
A number of other artists have reacted to the presence of phones at concerts in recent years, including SLIPKNOT's Corey Taylor, who smacked a cell phone out of a distracted fan's hands, and IRON MAIDEN's Bruce Dickinson, who lambasted a fan for texting during a show, calling him a "wanker."
STRYPER's "2019 History Tour - Greatest Hits & Covers" kicked off earlier this month and is scheduled to run through mid-June.
JUDAS PRIEST is touring North America in support of its 18th studio album, "Firepower". The band next plays in Dallas on Friday (May 31).