WASP are undergoing something of a resurgence at the moment. Following their last ‘greatest hits’ tour which received glowing reviews, Blackie and the band started writing new material and the new album ‘Golgotha’ is now also gaining favourable feedback in the press. After 33 years it would appear that WASP are still a major player in rock.
Support for tonight’s show came in the familiar shape of The Treatment. I have seen The Treatment on many occasions over the last few years as they appear to be the default support act of the moment. Considering the exposure they have had on their many jaunts around the UK and beyond, it is surprising they have yet to move on beyond the lower leagues.
Unfortunately all I saw of the band tonight was them packing their equipment into the back of a van outside the venue on my way in as proceedings had kicked off at a very early hour (the whole show was over by 21.15!)
I made it to the front of the crowd just as the lights dimmed and the PA pumped out the intro tape containing many WASP classics which built up the anticipation. With a huge cheer Blackie Lawless and co. hit the stage and fired into ‘On Your Knees’ much to delight of the crowd. Blackie, as always, is the ringmaster and led the change as ‘On Your Knees’ gave way seamlessly to ‘Inside The Electric Circus’.
More old favourites followed including ‘The Real Me’ and one of my personal favourites ‘L.O.V.E Machine’ but with a new album under their belt it would have been rude not to play a few tracks. We were treated to ‘The Last Runaway’, the first track to be released from the album, the title track ‘Golgotha’ and the rock ballad ‘I Miss You’. Apparently ‘I Miss You’ was the first track written for the band’s classic ‘Crimson Idol’ album back in 1992 but never made the final cut, not quite sure why as it is a quality track.
Stage set wise the large screens on stage and the video projections would have been familiar to anyone who saw the band on their last UK jaunt, a bit too familiar for my liking. The videos accompanying the Crimson Idol sections of the show were exactly the same and a bit overlong.
The amount of time the band spent off stage during the evening led to the show being a bit disjointed, in a set lasting 90 minutes I would say the band were off stage for around 20 minutes in total. 14 songs in 70 minutes, value for money? Still, the guys ended things on a high with encores of ‘Chainsaw Charlie’, ‘Wild Child’ and ‘I Wanna Be Somebody’ complete with the crowd screaming out the chorus.
An entertaining evening then but one with a few frustrating elements. You can read my views on the new album ‘Golgotha’ elsewhere on GRTR!, my general overview being that the album has moments of greatness but a lot of it is very standard WASP territory. This was much like tonight’s show; good, but a few too many déjà vu moments and musical gaps to be truly memorable.
Review by David Wilson
Photos by Darren Griffiths
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