STRYPER BRINGS THE YELLOW & BLACK ATTACK TO LOS ANGELES
Show Date: November 14, 2009
Location: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Venue: Club Nokia
Reviewer: Jason Spring
Band Website: www.stryper.com
Stryper – the original Christian hair metal band – is celebrating the 25th anniversary since the release of ‘The Yellow And Black Attack’, so what better occasion for a World Tour?!
I grew up banging my head to Stryper and when they announced an L.A. date my buddy and I snatched up tickets and planned the 1300 mile road trip from Vancouver, Canada. Two things we didn’t know at the time; that we were in for the show of a lifetime, and that a Vancouver date would be added to the tour. Off to L.A. we went – 18 hours straight in my MD-X, rocking the whole way of course!
The show was at Club Nokia, a decent sized venue in downtown L.A. Manic Drive opened the show with a very unique sound of modern pop-metal, somewhat reminiscent of Linkin Park. They had good energy and the Toronto three piece was quite entertaining on stage. Next up was Flight Patterns, a Boston band formed by Michael Sweet Junior. These guys tried hard and were pretty good, but their style of music just wasn’t my cup of tea as it reminded me a bit too much of Weezer and all that other forgettable ’90’s stuff.
Stryper then hit the stage and just lit it up. They were decked out in modern Yellow & Black attire, and the drum kit had no less than 18 cymbals – all of which were put to good use! The set had a great mix of old and new, though I wish they played more than just “All For One” from the ‘Against The Law’ record. Stryper‘s original four members were in tip top shape – both physically and musically. The vocals were bang on, though not quite as high as they were 25 years ago – that was a good thing though, as it modernized their sound. The dueling and harmonizing guitar leads of Michael Sweet and Oz Fox were nothing but ear candy, and Robert Sweet‘s drumming was wild. Tim Gaines, who has returned for these Anniversary shows, was very solid on bass guitar, with more of a traditional ‘metal’ stance and facial expressions.
I’ve seen a lot of great bands over the years, and the best in terms of live performances have been Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Tesla and Firehouse, but I gotta say that Stryper rose right to the top, especially given the positive message of their big anthems and the huge amount of crowd participation. I have never seen so many metal-heads singing along – it was quite something! Of course Stryper gave out Bibles and tossed a lot of guitar picks during the show.
They played for 90 minutes and had the crowd begging for more. These four men know how to rock, they are extremely tight and they have not strayed from their message of hope. We were so blown away by this show that we had no choice but to get tickets for the Vancouver show the next Saturday. We had an 18 hour drive home to figure out how to tell our wives we were going out again the next Saturday! The Vancouver show was in a much smaller venue but we were right at the stage leaning on the bass guitar monitor. They did it again and absolutely blew us away for a second time. We even considered driving down to Seattle the next night!
Like a fine wine, Stryper has gotten better with age!