Saturday, September 26, 2009

W.A.S.P. - March 3, 2006

Although I had been a WASP fan since the late-80s, my first opportunity to see the band perform live did not come until 2006. Unfortunately, this was WASP sans Chris Holmes for the second time. Still, I was interested in seeing what the Blackie Lawless band performing under the name of WASP could do.

The concert took place at a small club in Sayerville, New Jersey, The Starland Ballroom, an excellent venue to see a concert. There were a plethora of opening acts; all of them bands that I never heard of, most of them were bands that would never be heard from again.

It was a Friday night in New Jersey and I was at the concert with Tommy, Metal Eddie, and two of his friends. I had given up alcohol for Lent that year and so I was sitting through these horrendous bands with no booze or beer, a rough time indeed.

When it came time for WASP to take the stage, Metal Eddie had us all get as close to the stage as possible. He drifted his way through the crowd and within moments we were approximately 6 feet away from center stage. WASP came out and a loud cheer came over the Ballroom.

WASP started the show with On Your Knees, which is a great opener, and for my first time experiencing them live, it was an amazing moment in my personal concert history. Blackie’s microphone stand was definitely unique, the likes of which I’d never seen before. A huge pogo stick with a skeleton skull and torso on the front, Blackie could hop on it and sway back and forth like he was on a motorbike. It was a cool effect and an excellent stage prop.

L.O.V.E. Machine is the next song I recall and man was I screaming along with Metal Eddie and the crew. This was a song that I had actually forgotten about, so hearing it again brought back great memories and the chorus chant of “L.O. (BOOM! BOOM!) V.E. (BOOM! BOOM!) All I want is my love machine!” had the band and the crowd at maximum volume. That moment reminded me why I love metal music so much. The power in the song and the rush of adrenaline had me feeling euphoric.

The concert would take off from there. Great WASP hits were performed that night including Wild Child, Animal, The Headless Children, and Chainsaw Charlie. While I was disappointed that Forever Free was not performed, it would be my only complaint of the night. Even with three guys that none of us knew filling in on the instruments, WASP was amazing in concert. Blackie might be a self centered, egotistical maniac, but he can back it up with his performance. Over the top screeching rock and roll with plenty of stage props, chats with the crowd, and of course the mega-hits.

Unlike the days of old (highlighted by reviews I read back in the day), there was no raw meat showered onto the audience. I was hoping that would come out, but it just didn’t happen. Blackie did mention the PRMC and Tipper Gore (talk about living in the past) before performing Animal, and it was a funny trip down nostalgia avenue. The song itself was exceptional as was Blackie all night long.

When the big encore came in the form of Blind In Texas, I can’t even begin to tell you how nuts I went. This was my favorite WASP song, and it was just made to scream along with. The entire crowd sang every word and really got into the moment. Blackie and the band ate it up and gave a killer presentation. I’m Blind in Texas indeed.

Considering that I had no expectations going into the concert, I came out a bigger fan than before. WASP was incredible and they gave a night to remember. Sitting through the lousy openers and not being able to drink any beer was all worth it in the end. WASP kicked our asses and I’m proud to say that I was hoarse the next day.

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