Thirty years is a damn long time to be doing the same thing for. What makes it impressive is if you are still good at said thing and have the same passion for it after that amount of time. Ticking both of those boxes is no easy feat for most, but seems to come naturally to American metallers W.A.S.P.
Currently on the road with their 30th anniversary tour, the band are proving that even after all this time, they still know how to put on bloody good show. Blackie Lawless, now the only original member left, is clearly showing the years of rock and roll lifestyle have taken its toll on him, but that doesn’t affect his onstage charisma one tiny bit. He strutted onto the stage at the near capacity HMV Picture House in Edinburgh to screams of delight from fans both young and old, proving old school metal is still very much alive.
The opening section of the show featured hits from their first four albums and arguably some of their greatest hits. Blasting L.O.V.E Machine, Wild Child and I Wanna Be Somebody so early in the set appeared to be an instant crowd pleaser. It almost felt like an encore in reverse. The stage itself featured multiple large video screens, playing the original music videos from the 80s in perfect unison with what we were witnessing onstage. The middle section was a condensed version of the Crimson Idol tour, cut-down to around 30 minutes. The video screens this time around were used to show a series of videos running us through the rise and downfall of fictional rock star Jonathan Steel. Although unsettling at times it was a simple, but compelling visual effect. The final segment was the left over material, including Widowmaker which was a treat, as it is rarely played live anymore. I did feel slightly short changed by this section due to an early finish. It gave the gig an abrupt ending; almost feeling like the band themselves weren’t aware of the ridiculously early curfew in the venue of 10pm. This meant we weren’t treated to the full two hours promised in the tour info and I can’t help but feel we missed out on a hit or two.
Despite the early finish, Lawless and crew are showing they are still very much in the game when it comes to live music and this tour is a must see for all old school metal fans. The set was packed with sing-along hits and if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, Doug Blair’s impressive light up guitar hopefully will be!
On Your Knees
The Torture Never Stops
The Real Me (The Who cover)
Hellion / Don’t Need No Doctor / Scream until You Like it
Sleeping (in the Fire) / Forever Free
The Headless Children
I Wanna Be Somebody
The Crimson Idol Medley
The Great Misconceptions of Me
Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)
Take Me Up
Blind in Texas