Well, what can you say? If you wanted to see a Rock N Roll show this was the place to be Fresno, CA Tower Theatre for Performing Arts. It was the tour that was never supposed to happen as the promoters told Blackie Lawless, there was no following for W.A.S.P in the USA. W.A.S.P. once again proved the critics wrong, sold-out show after sold-out show W.A.S.P. rocked the masses as the fans turned out to support the band that had not been in the USA touring for at least 10 years.
This was a night to remember, as the opening act was none other than Armored Saint. Armored Saint opened for W.A.S.P. back in the early days, and by the looks of it, they are still having fun together all these years later. Of course, the fans that went to the sold-out show in Fresno, CA were there to see W.A.S.P. but Armored Saint warmed up the crowd nicely. Armored Saint went way back into their early catalogue and came back into the newer stuff in their arsenal. Armored Saint threw their more recent release of “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” into the mix and it fit extremely well. These guys were there to get the crowd pumped for W.A.S.P and they left no one behind, by the end everyone was on their feet stamping clapping and cheering for more.
Armored Saint Set List:
• Reign of Fire
• End of the Attention Span
• Nervous Man
• Last Train Home
• Chemical Euphoria
• Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
• Win Hands Down
• Can U Deliver
• March of the Saint
• Mad House
After being warmed up by Armored Saint the anticipation grew for W.A.S.P. to hit the stage. The crowd started to get louder and revved up. The first chords struck as the lights went down sent the theatre into a giant roar, most likely heard for blocks away. The band came out in a dimly light stage and started the night off with a montage of 3 classic W.A.S.P. tunes all moshed together. It fit well as the light came up and you could see the stage with an electric circus feel with monkeys hidden off in behind speakers, skulls adorned the stage hanging from chains, and the backdrop was multiple banners.
Blackie and the members of W.A.S.P were there to prove a point and they did. They sounded great, the energy level was through the roof as Blackie shifted across the stage, with the tassels on his boots shaking all over the place. Blackie played to the crowd very well getting them to pump their fists into the night air and scream the words to the
classic hits he belted out.
W.A.S.P played the classic hits and were on fire with every one played, yes they use backing tracks so the songs sounded fuller, but Blackie was there to prove his point that he still could rock with the best of them. Blackie for being 66 years young bounced across the stage side to side interacting with the crowd so graciously. When he wasn’t keeping up bouncing around the stage with the other guys he was behind his microphone stand “Elvis” singing his heart out.
For listening to W.A.S.P. as a teenager but never getting to experience W.A.S.P. live before this night, I can honestly say that this is a bucket list concert. The energy that the band and Blackie had that night was infectious, it got into the very soul of the fans by the end of the night and the encore the entire theatre was blowing the roof off chanting for Blackie.
The encore Blackie took a little break to address the crowd and talk about the promoters telling him that W.A.S.P. no longer had a following in the USA, but the fans from city to city have proven them wrong with multiple sold-out venues across America. His final words to the promoters that night were to “Suck It”. As the fans proved again that W.A.S.P. is still wanted in the USA. This is one of the last shows I will be attending this year and it will be hard to top it!
W.A.S.P. Set List:
• The End
(The Doors song) – Played while band took stage
• On Your Knees / The Flame / The Torture Never Stops / Inside the Electric Circus
• L.O.V.E. Machine
• Wild Child
• The Great Misconceptions of Me
• The Idol
• Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)
• Blind in Texas
• Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)
• The Real Me
(The Who cover)
• I Wanna Be Somebody
Check out more of my photos and reviews here: Shawn Sand