concert review 


The Yellow and Black is Back
Stryper Reborn

Stryper with Seven Hours Later at The Big Easy, Spokane WA, 17 Oct. 2005

Singer Lynn Edward Glezen of Seven Hours Later both looks like and was made up like Robert Smith of the Cure whom, he said, influenced their first album. I bought It's About TIme from their table in the foyer, where CDs and shirts were going at the bargain price of $5 each. I don't know if it's the album he was talking about, but I like it a lot. "Are you here to see Stryper?" he teased the crowd. They got down to their task as a warm up band and got everyone on their feet singing. Their take on "Knocking on Heaven's Door" seemed meant to mock the Guns and Roses version, itself already almost a parody of Dylan's original. The lead guitarist did "Amazing Grace" the way Jimi Hendrix did "The Star Spangled Banner. All in all, a great opening band.

7HL Warms Up the Crowd
C'mon Rock
Robert Tears Up the Skins

New Kid Makes Good
OI Reach Out

Stryper came on and did a musical reprise starting with "Share What It's All About" and "Loving You" from The Yellow and Black Attack (1983). Then "The Rock That Makes Us Roll" from Soldiers Under Command, with Michael Sweet on a flying V, then "I Reach Out." Robert Sweet tossed out New Testaments and drumsticks to the crowd in the time-honored Stryper way, then burned into "Counting On You" and "Free" from To Hell with the Devil (1986). There was a medly with Oz Fox on acoustic guitar, "Honestly" sliding into "Passion", which started out mellow and cranked into "One for All," both from the new CD, Reborn. We were also treated to a solo showcasing Robert Sweet's awesome talent as a drummer, along with a virtuoso set from new guy bassist, Tracy Ferrie, who's replaced Tim Gaines.

The encores were sure fire crowd pleasers and two of Stryper's best-known songs: "To Hell with the Devil," from the album that got the most airplay on MTV, and "Soldiers Under Command," the anthemic title track from their second album.  Michael Sweet invited the crowd to  support World Vision, his charity of choice, and their work to help  kids with AIDS, and  an information area was set up  in the foyer by the CD table.  The venue was set up with a balcony and a full bar along with back of the main floor,  separate from the seating and the large dance floor concert area. "Not many people buy drinks at a concert like this, I guess," I said to the bartender, but he had a great attitude. "That's OK, I get to go home early and watch the game," he laughed. Reviews often peg Reborn's sound somewhere between old Stryper and Michael Sweet's solo albums, but at least in concert, the Yellow and Black is back. -Gord Wilson.

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