W.A.S.P. - 02 Academy, Leeds, Saturday, October 14th, 2017
Celebrating 25 years since 'The Crimson Idol' album was released, W.A.S.P are touring the UK in celebration playing the full album. Although a strong album in it's day (1992), I do wonder why the band feel it worthy of a full gig?
WASP have consistently brought out records although member line ups have obviously changed over the years. Now the band alongside Blackie Lawless are long time bassist Mike Duda and original guitarist on Crimson Idol who then became full time member in 2006, Douglas Blair, powering the outfit from the back is Brazilian drummer, Aquiles Priester, recruited for the tour.
W.A.S.P still draw in the crowds tonight in Leeds, hitting the stage to 'Titanic Overture' - Blackie Lawless still with trademark growl leads us into a pounding 'The Invisible Boy'. The sound is heavy and Blackie is still in fine voice. Whilst the 2 guitarists at Blackie's side do their fair share of running around the stage Blackie moves very little, occasionally walking to the drum riser and back.
Around the stage are large video screens showing black and white videos of each song played, bizarrely, which I found to be distracting. Seeing ex-bass player Johnny Rod leaping around in old footage during The Who cover 'The Real Me' whilst Mike Duda was throwing shapes seemed insulting.
'The Idol' and 'Hold On To My Heart' followed each other and were the best songs from the concept album for me. They showed Blackie can still portray the emotion of the slower songs in a live setting where Blair switched to twin neck custom guitar for the title song although one of the solos was strangely missing!
There were a few of the classic WASP hits which woke the crowd up after the ballads. 'Wild Child' got the fist pumping down the front and we got the color video too. Shame there was none of the songs from 'Headless Children' - their best album of their career to me. Perhaps less self indulgence next time around and more "life" in the act may give fans the W.A.S.P show they deserve.
By John Mather