I've been a fan of Stryper
since I was first given their "Soldiers Under Command"
cassette by a friend over 25 years ago. But sadly I have never seen them in concert until last night. And I know it isn't important but I should preface this by saying I'm not a Christian, never have been. I'm a fan of the music and I take the lyrics as pure fantasy, just like Dio or Sabbath. Whether it's dragons and wizards or Jesus and God, it's all just fantasy to me. And that's that. On to my review.
I arrived at Reverb in Reading, Pa. at around 7:40. This is a new venue. They just opened in May and this was my first time inside the venue. I had previously attended an outdoor show on their patio but never been inside before. It's a really cool and pretty big venue.
The first band was already playing when I arrived. I didn't catch their name but they were a local Christian metal band. They were kinda nu-metal and didn't fit in with Stryper
, aside from the whole Christian thing. Not really my thing. But the drummer was really good and he looked to be about 13 years old. They played for about 20 minutes after I arrived. 30 minutes total, I think. Didn't get their name, much less the set list. After much searching I found out the band's name was The World Outside
and they are from Kutztown, Pa. So, there ya go.
Next band up was KILLINGER
from Canada. They are on the whole tour with Stryper. Pretty good band. Kinda like an 80's melodic hard rock band. The singer had a pretty powerful voice and the drummer was a maniac. Not a bad opener for Stryper. They played for 35 minutes. Their set list was as follows:
We Are Here
I Don't Care
You Still Love Me
After a 25 minute change up, Stryper
hit the stage looking and sounding like it was 1986. Phenomenal! Michael Sweet
's voice is still in top shape. Sure he can't hit some of those really high screams like he used to (although he did hit one or two) but his voice is in great shape. I was standing directly in front of Tim Gaines
and he is a monster on the bass. Slapping and plucking like a madman. Oz Fox
was on fire as well. One awesome solo after another. And his vocals were almost as powerful as Michael's. I never realized how much he contributes to the songs vocally. Wow! As for Robert Sweet
, well, he sounded amazing but I couldn't see him the entire show because of the weird way they set up the amps in front of his kit and the fact that he faces sideways when he plays. Kinda strange. But he was amazing. Pounding his ass off. All 4 guys were top notch. Excellent show. And I filmed a few songs and they came out excellent! Here is one of them: ALL FOR ONE http://youtu.be/Ki2llCi1oD0
And yes they still throw out the bibles and yes, this atheist caught one. It has a Stryper
VIP pass sticker on the front. Is it a sacrilege to desecrate a bible? Oh well, I ripped the cover off and put it in my ticket scrapbook. Great show!!
Stryper's set list:
Murder By Pride
Loud 'N' Clear
The Rock That Makes Me Roll
Calling On You
More Than A Man
Breaking The Law (Priest cover)
Shout It Out Loud (Kiss cover)
Heaven And Hell (Sabbath cover)
All For One
To Hell With The Devil
Soldiers Under Command