Watch Judas Priest Perform Without Studded Leather Clothing
The European leg of Judas Priest's 2022 tour began last night (May 31) in Berlin, Germany, and the band delivered quite a different show than usual. They performed without their typical studded leather clothing, massive stage props and flashy lights, making for a more stripped-back experience.
The concert took place at the intimate Huxleys Neue Welt venue, which has a capacity of about 1,600. Footage shows the band wearing jeans, regular shirts and sneakers, and Richie Faulkner took to his Instagram to praise the experience.
"Last night in Berlin was glorious and something I’ve never done with the band before. No leather, no studs. No screens, no motorbike. No massive light show or inflatable Birmingham bull. Exposed speakers, just jeans, T-shirts, a small club and it was all purely about the music," the guitarist wrote. "All of us together and the raw power of the music. It was truly a great experience and one I’d love to do again sometime."
"It’s great when you strip it all back to what it’s all about, the music and the people of our great heavy metal community. Thank you all for making it such a special night," he continued.
See his post, as well as some other photos and fan-filmed footage from the show below.
Priest were one of the first groups to popularize biker fashion in heavy metal. Since then, studs, leather, spikes and motorcycles have been a part of rock 'n' roll and metal culture.
"A good look has been important since rock 'n' roll began. I think the way that Priest had that journey of visual discovery was just by experimentation more than anything else. If you look at primitive footage of Priest on The Old Grey Whistle Test on the BBC [from 1975], when we looked a little bit like Greta Van Fleet, it’s remarkable," Rob Halford once told Rolling Stone of how they developed their trademark fashion style.
"I think we developed our look in simple steps. You’d look at yourself and go, 'No, this doesn’t feel right. The music is so strong, angry, and dark in places, and it’s deep and full of power … and I’m wearing a paisley shirt. I need to do something about this.' So just putting out a simple leather biker’s jacket was, for my part, just a major, major step."
Judas Priest's next scheduled show will take place in Gdańsk, Poland on Friday, June 3 at the Mystic Festival. They'll play throughout Europe for the remainder of 2022, except for a performance at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, Calif., which is set for the weekend of Oct. 6. See all of the band's upcoming dates on their website.