RKCNDY, Seattle - Saturday, May 2, 1998
After a few years away from the music scene Rob Halford is back, but a radically different persona now darts erratically around the stage. Accompanied by flamboyant industrial style guitarists, a technically perfect drummer and a keyboard player, 2wo (pronounced 2) finally became a reality for several hundred fans here this evening. The trappings of the heavy metal demigod, once the envy of every leather clad biker, with or without an actual bike, have been replaced with clothes that enhance Halford's totally bald head and blackened eyes. His look fits the music perfectly.
The set list below may look familiar to owners of the bands debut release, Voyeurs, released a few weeks before this tour started. It's an exact match of the CD running order, literally brought to life by musicians who obviously know what they're doing.
The lead guitarist, made from spare Marilyn Manson bits, taunted the audience often while playing with amazing dexterity. Occasionally spitting into the air, his spittle raining down upon his emaciated frame as he throttled his guitar with agile fingers. I'm sure there were lots of people at the packed venue there to see and hear a little bit of Judas Priest, but not knowing what a Judas Priest fan looks like I didn't spot any. They didn't get to relive the metal years but won't have left disappointed. With the electronics making up the majority of the total output it was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a keyboardfest.
The flavour was full-on rock, with plenty of posing and leaping around. Halford often stood there twitching, looking for all the world like someone about to self destruct, all the while peering out at an audience who, for the most part, seemed elated to be in the same room.
We took a quick peek sidestage, before and after the show, to see what kind of gizmos were being used to help things move smothly along, and spotted one solitary rack containing a few ADAT machines, an Alesis D4, a ZIP drive and a few other things. Other than that (assuming the ADAT's produced little more than extraneous percussion, SFX and almost all the keyboard parts) the show was run entirely from the stage. With Rob Halford well in control, back at the helm.