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Rob Halford

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jlewmdob
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Hey there, I'm a frequent reader of this forum but don't post too often. Not sure if this is where to post this, but it seems this page gets the most traffic.

I went to see Judas Priest last night on their "farewell" tour. I was completely blown away. I had heard stories of past tours saying that Rob Halford had lost "it". I can tell you firsthand that those stories are not true. Halford absolutely nailed every thing. Also, if you're considering going to this show, it's well worth it. I've been to shows where the headliner plays for an hour at most. Priest played for 2 1/2 hours. Also, for a guy who had almost no time to prepare for a tour, fill in guitarist Richie Faulkner was amazing.

Any thoughts on Halford's technique out there?

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I've never been more than a casual fan of the genre, but Halford has always been an extreme talent and was a trailblazer in musical style. I've got a lot of respect for him, but my personal tastes tend to favor soul/rock singers over metal ones, so I haven't delved that deeply into his material.

I will say one thing, if this is your area of interest, you are in the right place. The founder of the forum, Robert Lunte, as far as I know is one of the best in the world at teaching operatic metal styles of singing, both continuing on in the legacy of David Kyle (who taught Geoff Tate amongst others) and is passionate about staying on the cutting edge of vocal technique.

Funny you should say people are saying Halford lost it, as I heard the same about Tate around the time I saw a Queensryche concert maybe half a decade ago. Yeah, that was BS too. I think Tate has angered metal fans by making some decidedly 'un-metal music.' Hey I'm not a fan of all that much after Mindcrime myself, but that doesn't mean he can't sing anymore. Anyway, if fans don't like they music the accusations of 'not being able to sing anymore' can come around pretty fast, so it's often the case they probably don't know what they are talking about.

Anyway, operatic metal was never my thing as a singer (back when I was a singer, I'm injured now) so I wouldn't bother to try offering much advice or discussion on technique other than: if you ever have any interest in learning to sing more like Halford yourself, I'm not sure there is anyone better than Lunte for doing this, as this is really his forte and his passion too.

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KillerKu, hey thanks for reading my post. I actually prefer the Paul Rodger's, Lou Gramm's of the world myself. But any chance I get to see a vocal legend in person, I take it. I was more commenting on how well his voice sounds after 40 years of touring, singing the material he does, night after night. It seems he has re-dedicated himself to the craft for this "farewell" tour. Funny, I read the same stuff on YouTube or something about Tate. Also, one of my favorite current artists, Myles Kennedy, has been criticized for ducking notes live. I saw Alter Bridge twice on their last tour and both times he was amazing. I think that the casual listener doesn't quite get what all goes into live performing. You have great nights, and not so great nights. They want to hear the song exactly like it sounds on the cd. Well, enough of my rant.

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KillerKu, hey thanks for reading my post. I actually prefer the Paul Rodger's, Lou Gramm's of the world myself. But any chance I get to see a vocal legend in person, I take it. I was more commenting on how well his voice sounds after 40 years of touring, singing the material he does, night after night. It seems he has re-dedicated himself to the craft for this "farewell" tour. Funny, I read the same stuff on YouTube or something about Tate. Also, one of my favorite current artists, Myles Kennedy, has been criticized for ducking notes live. I saw Alter Bridge twice on their last tour and both times he was amazing. I think that the casual listener doesn't quite get what all goes into live performing. You have great nights, and not so great nights. They want to hear the song exactly like it sounds on the cd. Well, enough of my rant.

you just made a friend because these two are two of my all-time inspirations. b.t.w., one of gramm's inspirations was paul rodgers!!

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Thanks man. I read this forum several times a week, but rarely post. It's a great tool for us vocalists. I know you're a big Lou fan, his voice to me in his prime is what soulful, bluesy, from the heart rock singing should sound like. I recently saw "Foreinger" live with Kelly ?, he's good, but there's no replacing a legend's voice. That same show, Journey was the headliner. My thoughts are the same there, Arnel Pineda, while amazing in his own right, can not replace Steve Perrry. I must say that he's damn close though.

My vocal inspirations are my Dad and my uncle. My dad is more of a "classic rock" bluesy sounding guy, while my uncle possesses close to a 4 octave range. Both amazing in their own right, I try to take a bit from both of them.

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Thanks man. I read this forum several times a week, but rarely post. It's a great tool for us vocalists. I know you're a big Lou fan, his voice to me in his prime is what soulful, bluesy, from the heart rock singing should sound like. I recently saw "Foreinger" live with Kelly ?, he's good, but there's no replacing a legend's voice. That same show, Journey was the headliner. My thoughts are the same there, Arnel Pineda, while amazing in his own right, can not replace Steve Perrry. I must say that he's damn close though.

My vocal inspirations are my Dad and my uncle. My dad is more of a "classic rock" bluesy sounding guy, while my uncle possesses close to a 4 octave range. Both amazing in their own right, I try to take a bit from both of them.

it was my inability to sing lou gramm songs (all of it, range, stamina, strength) that brought me to vocal study. nobody i know sounds quite like him. he's got this quasi-operatic tone, especially in his early years.

do you cover any of his songs? nice vocals b.t.w...nice!

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Hansen, yes that's his name. He is really good, they're coming back to Cincinnati in a few months on an acoustic tour. May have to check that out.

Videohere, we used to do a Whole Lotta Love/Jukebox medley. What a challenge that was for sure! We recently learned Hot Blooded and have played it out a few times.

Thanks for the compliment. I started taking singing seriously when I joined my first band about 5 1/2 years ago. Up til then, I was singing karaoke for beers. I knew nothing about proper breathing, support, pitch accuracy or anything else regarding singing. I was basically winging it. I must say the folks on this forum have been a great help in my journey. I had one lesson a few years back with Jaime Vendera, and have recently begun taking lessons with a Bel Canto instuctor. I'm from the school of thought that good technique is good technique no matter how you get there. Ultimately our goals are the same, to sing healthily and rocking...:)

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This is why Halford has lost "it". While he is AMAZING in his new tone (heard on Nostradamus) he does not have the voice anymore for the VERY demanding songs and sets that Priest performs. The original Painkiller has taken an enormous toll on Robs voice since he used a very strainous head voice for it.

I truly love Priest and their latest studio effort is in my ears the best they've ever done. Pestilence And Plague anyone? ;D

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Hansen, yes that's his name. He is really good, they're coming back to Cincinnati in a few months on an acoustic tour. May have to check that out.

Videohere, we used to do a Whole Lotta Love/Jukebox medley. What a challenge that was for sure! We recently learned Hot Blooded and have played it out a few times.

Thanks for the compliment. I started taking singing seriously when I joined my first band about 5 1/2 years ago. Up til then, I was singing karaoke for beers. I knew nothing about proper breathing, support, pitch accuracy or anything else regarding singing. I was basically winging it. I must say the folks on this forum have been a great help in my journey. I had one lesson a few years back with Jaime Vendera, and have recently begun taking lessons with a Bel Canto instuctor. I'm from the school of thought that good technique is good technique no matter how you get there. Ultimately our goals are the same, to sing healthily and rocking...:)

before my vocal polyp (i'm doing therapy now trying to shrink it w/o surgery) i did a bunch of them. it's that punch to his vocals, if you don't have that punchy belt sound, they just won't sound good.

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@ Snejk, To tell you the truth, I'm not sure he's ever been able to sing that song in a way that sounded like the album version.

Here he is back in the 90s:

Honestly, I think he got closer to the studio sound here in like 2010:

But seriously, listen to the album version, and keep in mind it's heavily modified in the studio, with liberal mixing, reverb, you name it:

It's a ridiculously high pitched song, I mean, near comically high pitched. Sure he has really bad nights now and then, but it was never really a polished sound in the first place in that song. He always squealed it with that extremely heady voice and on his good nights he still has some of that.

If you put all of the studio effects on that house of blues performance era and gave him multiple takes, it's not 'that' much different. Considering he's like 60 years old, I wouldn't really call that losing it when he doesn't sound worse than in the 90s.

I dunno, Halford was never my thing, but I appreciate he's out there doing his thing, wailing like a banshee. It's always been a very extreme, stylized sound and not something you'll hear singing the national anthem too often like my man Marvin Gaye. Now whether it's 'your' thing, that's a whole different ball game. Halford always seemed to take it further than Dickinson and I'm glad he's out there satisfying his fans. People like Halford should exist and I'm glad people appreciate the way he pushed boundaries, and wasn't afraid to try something that might offend people or fall on it's face in pursuit of a new sound that expresses something different. We could use a lot more people like that in popular music.

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Amen, brother Keith.

And, I'm giving a spoiler alert. I know this will burst bubbles and break hearts and I can't help it. What is on the album is the result of studio professionals. What is live is another story. Sorry if that hurts feelings but I just can't help it.

In fact, and it's standard knowledge, even here, that live performances are often drop-tuned 1/2 to 1 whole step from the album. And it's not to save the singer. It's because high frequencies are attenuated or blocked so easily. Lower frequencies carry farther. And a live show in front of thousands of fans needs to carry far, even with a 180 dB sound system.

kiss, kiss, hug, hug ....

And I know Keith can back me up on that. He's pretty much the only one here that is playing live, fairly regularly. And it is different than spending all week on one song, a few hours a night, in your home with all the stuff your mixing software can do.

Live is a toss-up between how you feel that night plus the FOH idiosyncracies.

Word up?

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You're right, Halford has never been able to dish out Painkiller like it sounds in the studio version - for all the reasons that has been listed!

However, if you listen to the latest live versions of it, you can not ignore that he has no core anymore, sometimes you hear some head voice creeping in the back of his "growling" but generally he has lost "it" for that song. Rock in Rio version still had some core and head voice left. This is CLEARLY audible from these clips.

But you are still right, it's a tremendously hard song to sing!!

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This is why Halford has lost "it". While he is AMAZING in his new tone (heard on Nostradamus) he does not have the voice anymore for the VERY demanding songs and sets that Priest performs. The original Painkiller has taken an enormous toll on Robs voice since he used a very strainous head voice for it.

I truly love Priest and their latest studio effort is in my ears the best they've ever done. Pestilence And Plague anyone? ;D

OK, so last night I saw Judas Priest in Rochester, NY. And I have to say, this video must have been on a bad singing day for Rob. Last night, he was both mind blowing and ear shattering. He sang the 2.5 hour set better than I have ever (and I mean ever) sang them before. All the high notes were perfect, and he even "over sang" songs (meaning added ultra high screams). AND, he actually used an operetic clean voice in a few places that just stunned me. He could very easily sing opera... So please do not watch this video and think that this is the way Halford is singing.. It isn't.

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Totally agree Keith. I saw him a week ago and he was absolutely amazing! Painkiller was the highlight of the show for me and he nailed it!

Yeah, best show ever! Did BLS open for them whe you saw them? Zakk did a guitar solo, most of which was an arpeggio on the same scale with a wah for like 5 minutes lol. He was soooooo very hammered!

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Ha! Yes BLS opened and I swear that solo lasted at least 10 minutes! I actually felt myself nodding off during it! I remember thinking how can I be falling asleep? BLS was very loud that night however Zakk's vocals were not very loud. Did you notice that at all during your show?

Very good show. I saw them in St. Louis on the 11th and two nights later saw Guns 'n Roses in Kansas City. I was not expecting a lot from Axl after all these years but he was FANTASTIC! I saw the original band in '91 and he was much better Saturday night than he was the first time I saw them. He was so good I am going to Indy in a couple weeks to see him again!

Pretty great weekend for me, 2 of my top 5 vocalists of all time in 3 days!

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