40 years! That’s how long L.A.’s W.A.S.P. has been in action! So it’s only appropriate that they take to the road to celebrate their longevity with their “40 Years Live World Tour,” topping off the celebration by bringing fellow quadragenarians Armored Saint.
Armored Saint kicked things off a shade past 8 pm and blasted through a blistering set that belied the band’s years. John Bush could not have delivered a better vocal performance and the setlist clearly demonstrated the timelessness of the band’s catalog. From “Reign of Fire” off of Symbol of Salvation to the one-two punch of “Can U Deliver” and “March of the Saint” (both from the band’s 1984 debut LP March of the Saint), these guys are clearly in top form. Even their new material off their pandemic album Punching the Sky slide right in. In thanks the packed floor of the Regency Ballroom responded enthusiastically as they sang and fist-pumped along.
With Armored Saint’s over, the sold out Regency had an opportunity to take a breather as the W.A.S.P. crew set about putting the final touches on the carnival freakshow themed stage which included a massive mic stand that required three burly crew members to manhandle into place.
W.A.S.P. took the stage and launched into a medley of “On Your Knees,” “The Flame,” “The Torture Never Stops,” and “Inside the Electric Circus” which hit the crowd like a ton of bricks due in no small part to Blackie Lawless’ vocals. Holy shit, how good he sounded was totally expected at 66 years old! I think folks expect the black hair dye but hot damn did he sound good!
Some of the carnival banners were pulled down revealing screens that projected classic W.A.S.P. videos that went along with the songs and providing some visual stimulation because while Mike Duda (bass) and Doug Blair (lead guitar) were more than happy to use the expanse of the stage to rock out, Blackie was more inclined to stick to the platform where the crew planted his mic stand and would face drummer Aquiles Priester with his back to the crowd when not singing.
W.A.S.P.’s encore kicked off with a video highlighting their tumultuous early days battling censorship and the infamous “Tipper Sticker” before launching into “Animal” which seemed to get truncated by a clever segue straight into The Who’s “The Real Me” before closing out with “I Wanna Be Somebody” which resulted in a mush (not mosh) pit.
It’s hard to believe that two bands that have hit the forty year mark can pull off what happened this past Friday night … an absolutely packed house with the heat and humidity level peaking (at least one person passed out) made for a mighty good time!
- On Your Knees / The Flame / The Torture Never Stops / Inside the Electric Circus
- L.O.V.E. Machine
- Wild Child
- The Idol
- The Great Misconceptions of Me
- Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)
- Blind in Texas
- Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)
- The Real Me
- I Wanna Be Somebody
- Reign of Fire
- End of the Attention Span
- Long Before I Die
- Last Train Home
- Chemical Euphoria
- Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
- Symbol of Salvation
- Win Hands Down
- Can U Deliver
- March of the Saint
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