Stryper 08.12.16

Stryper-2016-4571Christian Rock and Heavy Metal are two music genres that normally don’t mix. But on Friday August 12th at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Stryper pulled it off.  Stryper is an American Christian heavy metal band from Orange County, California. If you remember the early days of MTV, then you might remember Stryper as one of the “Hair or Glam Bands” of the 80’s.  They wore spandex suits that looked like Bumble Bees, Yellow and Black, with lots of Aqua-Net hair spray.  The group’s current lineup consists of Michael Sweet (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Oz Fox (Guitar), Timothy Gaines (Bass), and Robert Sweet (Drums).  Starting later this fall, they will be touring to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their multi-platinum album, To Hell With The Devil.  They told us that they will be getting their old Yellow and Black spandex suits out of the closets for this tour.  Michael said, “It is a scary idea to try and fit into the old suits after 30 years of eating good food.”

Stryper-2016-4504I remember Stryper from the MTV 80s and was interested in hearing how they sound now.  Unlike a lot of other bands from that era that only tour and play their past greatest hits, Stryper has said that they will continue to produce new music and tour.  The members of Stryper do not just give lip service to their Christian beliefs, both Tim and Oz passed out Bibles during the show and Michael talked a lot about their beliefs and how it influences their music.  From a hard or heavy metal rock music point of view, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between their musical riffs and other heavy metal bands.  Another difference was the crowd.  I did not see a lot of shoving and pushing or even crowd surfing, but the crowd was into the music, dancing and singing along with a lot of the songs.  The band also seemed to really enjoy playing and interacting with the audience.  During Breaking the Law, a Judas Priest cover, they brought out local heavy metal singer Veronica Freeman.  Michael has been helping her write and produce new songs.  The crowd really got into it when the band played Surrender and Soldiers Under Command.  Overall, I really enjoyed the show and it will be interesting to see them again when they do their anniversary tour later this year.

Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Lucky Man
Location: Marquee Theatre

Stryper Setlist:                                  (Album)
Sing-Along Song                                (To Hell with the Devil)
You Know What to Do                       (The Yellow and Black Attack)
Revelation                                             (No More Hell to Pay)
Always There for You                        (In God We Trust)
Lady                                                        (Against the Law)
Heaven and Hell                                 (Black Sabbath cover)
Shout It Out Loud                               (KISS cover)
Breaking the Law                                (Judas Priest cover)
Co’mon Rock                                        (The Yellow and Black Attack)
In God We Trust                                   (In God We Trust)
No More Hell to Pay                            (No More Hell to Pay)
Surrender                                               (Soldiers Under Command)
King of Kings                                        (Fallen)
Soldiers Under Command                (Soldiers Under Command)
Makes Me Wanna Sing                      (Soldiers Under Command)
Calling on You / Free / To Hell With the Devil       (To Hell with the Devil)

The concert also featured Tridon, Hands & Feet, and Color Of Chaos as the lead-up bands.  Tridon is a local Phoenix high energy hard rock band.  The band current members are Rick Fredrick (Vocals), Chad Edwards (Drums), Jon Cornely (Rhythm Guitars/Backing Vocals), Tyson Rupp (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals) and Mykk Hannan (Bass).  Tucson band, Hands & Feet is a 3 member Progressive Rock band.  Its current members are Paul Almquist (Guitar & Vocals), Mark Caniglia (Drums) and Bob Mangen (Bass).  Local Phoenix rock band, Color of Chaos is a relatively new band (2 years old) but made up of seasoned musicians, Lance Eric (Bass), Steve Carlson (Lead Vocals), Danny Ott (Drums) and Steve Favela (Guitar).  They will be releasing their self-produced EP, “Hollywood” on Sept 1st 2016.  These are local Arizona bands and perform at a lot of the local bars.  Go see them if you get a chance, you will enjoy the show.


Hands & Feet

Color of Chaos

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2016


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