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Stryper


Venue: Irving Plaza, Manhattan, New York
Date: 9/18/09
Reviewed By: Kevin Alba
 
 

Having seen Stryper twice before in recent years I was excited for this show because I know just how heavy and tight these guys are when they hit the stage. As I walked into Irving Plaza and was getting my wristband for beer I could hear Michael Sweet singing the first verse to ‘Soldiers Under Command’ with the audience a cappella style. Making my way up the steps towards the stage area the band then ripped into the song itself and I just had to stop for a second to soak in how amazingly heavy and tight they sounded. Entered the room I could see that it was packed from front to back and people were going wild. I quickly found Rich (owner of the Metal Asylum) and planted myself in position for what would be a great night of Christian heavy metal.

Following ‘Soliders’ was the title track to their excellent new album "Murder by Pride". Also represented from that offering sprinkled in the set were ‘Alive’, ‘Peace of Mind’ (Boston cover), ‘4 Leaf Clover’, ‘Eclipse of the Son’ and ‘My Love I’ll Always Show’. Each of these songs sounded great and fit right in with the classics as the band departed from the more modern sound they picked up on “Reborn” and reincorporated that classic metal sound Stryper are known for.

‘Open Your Eyes’ was the only song included from ‘Reborn’ which I actually dug even though it wasn’t traditional Stryper. I actually wouldn’t have minded another song or two from "Reborn". ‘Honestly’ as expected got the biggest response of the night as Michael Sweet mentioned it was the song that brought them to arenas back in the 80’s. Prior to ‘Honestly’ being played bibles were tossed into the audience (something Stryper have been doing for 20 years) in hopes to spread the word of Jesus. ‘The Way’ as always was ultra heavy and my favorite song in the set causing myself to do a little headbanging. The encore consisted of just ‘To Hell With The Devil’ and surprisingly was not followed up with the closing prayer. Also, I wonder why they disregarded the album "In God We Trust" and the hit singles ‘Always There For You’ and ballad ‘I Believe In You’?

Stryper is so much fun and they get the fans so into the show that by the time they were done playing 18 songs it felt like I had only been there for a half hour and wanted more. It was great to have the original line up of Michael and Robert Sweet, Tim Gaines and guitarist Oz Fox all together again. The crowd was made up of a lot of long time fans, mostly middle aged and up, and for the most part not your typical Metal crowd. It shows that Stryper’s brand of heavy metal reaches a lot of people outside of the Metal community. Also, it was quite funny to see two guys rocking out wearing Deicide and Suffocation shirts (both being bands from the death metal scene) which just goes to show that Stryper even touches a chord in fans that listen to the most unholy of music.

If you haven’t heard their new album yet be sure to pick it up because it does not disappoint. Hope to see them back on the road soon.

Setlist:

Soldiers Under Command
Murder by Pride
Loud 'N' Clear
The Rock that Makes Me Roll
Reach Out
Calling on You
Free
More than a Man
Alive
Peace of Mind
4 leaf Clover
Eclipse of the Son
Honestly
Open Your Eyes
All for One
My Love I'll Always Show
The Way
Abyss (intro)
To Hell With the Devil

 
 
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