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Date: 02/22/08
Venue: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
Reviewed By: Rich Catino


The Titanic Overture
The Invisible boy
Arena Of Pleasure
Chainsaw Charlie
The Gypsy Meets The Boy
Doctor Rockter
I Am One
The Idol
Hold On To My Heart
The Great Misconceptions Of Me


Love Machine
Wild Child
Take Me Up
Blind In Texas

On the day of New Jersey’s first snow storm of the season I wasn’t sure if this show would be happening. Later in the day after digging myself out of the house I was happy to read through the Starland’s Myspace bulletin that Wasp was still playing and it was well worth the trip making up for the lousy weather (and I also had a day off work as schools were closed).

Wasp was no short of excellent meeting all my expectations I had for the live presentation of this milestone album called “The Crimson Idol”. Blackie lawless brings to the stage (with no breaks) his semi autobiographical “Crimson Idol” story (still I think his best with the self titled album, plus “Last Command” and “Headless Children” tie a close second)) live note for note including all the acoustic intros, interludes, and pre taped speaking parts and other sounds. This was still theatrical Wasp just minus the blood and guts, a mode Blackie switches off and on given what type of theme the record has that Wasp is out promoting.

Rounding out the experience was a video screen playing the short film (telling the story and showing the events to lead character Jonathan's troubled childhood and his rise and fall from fame) originally done for the album's release in 1992 which was perfectly synched up with the band's performance for each song.

Lead guitarist Doug Blair respectfully recreates Bob Kulick’s original parts I’d say 95% the way he recorded them and ensuring he is faithful even plays a double neck to get the full impact of the clean acoustic parts on songs like “The Idol” and “Hold On To My Heart”. Mike Duda is always a ball of energy on the bass and Mike Dupke on drums also stays pretty true to what Frankie Banali originally played on the album.

As an added bonus three classic songs were in the encore plus one new off the latest album “Dominator” called “Take Me Up” which I thought was very good even though I have been hearing less than positive things about the album itself.

Don’t miss this special presentation of “The Crimson Idol” if you can.


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