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Date: 3/24/11
Venue: BB King Blues Club, NYC
Reviewed By: Rich Catino


Taking a break from writing songs about their Christian faith, Stryper recently released a hard rockin new album of covers aptly titled "The Covering". Now I know Stryper (along with many other 80s hair bands with a lot of melody), get a bad rap for not being "hard" or "metal" enough for metalheads to be lumped into the genre because of the commercial singles and ballads that made them successful. But if you listen to songs like ‘Soldiers Under Command’, ‘The Rock That Makes Me Roll’, ‘To Hell With The Devil’, ‘The Way’, ‘The Writings On The Wall’ and ‘Against The Law’ (why are they not playing these live?), among others, you’ll see Stryper are both hard rock and heavy metal depending on the tune. And, keeping within the vibe of ‘The Covering” (and probably to finally get this message across to the ignorant and/or stubborn meatheads), the hit single ballad ‘Honestly’ was not played.

"The Covering" tour sees singer Michael and brother Robert Sweet (drums), guitarist Oz Fox, and bassist Tim Gains, each night including a few of these classic hard rock and metal songs from the forefathers who shaped Stryper’s music. The New York crowd sang along and really enjoyed Kiss’ ‘Shout It Out Loud’ and Black Sabbath’s ‘Heaven And Hell’, but with ex-TNT singer Tony Harnell joining them on Priest’s ‘Breakin The Law’ it added that extra umph to the spirited chorus. And better yet was hearing ‘Over The Mountain’ from Ozzy Osbourne since he never ever plays the gem (and WHY????). I also would like to have heard Van Halen’s ‘On Fire’ and ‘Highway Star’ which are also found on "The Covering". Mixed in with the four covers were Stryper classics ‘Free’, ‘Calling On You’, and heavy closers ‘Soldiers Under Command’ and ‘To Hell With The Devil’, plus a few unearthed that are rarely played; ‘More Than A Man’, ‘Surrender’, and ‘Loving You’. But why still nothing from the “In God We Trust” album? They skipped over it on the 25th anniversary tour too.



Sing-Along Song
Murder By Pride
The Rock That Makes Me Roll
Over the Mountain
Loving You
Reach Out
Calling On You
More Than a Man
Shout it Out Loud
Heaven and Hell
Breaking The Law
The Way
Abyss (intro)
To Hell With the Devil
Soldiers Under Command

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