Stryper, The Canyon Santa Clarita, November 3, 2018
It’s been two years since Stryper (Isaiah 53:5) celebrated their 30th Anniversary of To Hell With The Devil (Isaiah 53:5). The Yellow and Black attack Stryper is back out on tour in support of their recent release God Damn Evil via Frontiers Music Srl, making a stop at The Canyon Santa Clarita, Valencia California on Saturday, November 3, 2018.
I’m going to be upfront for a moment; when I received the press release for Stryper’s new release God Damn Evil, I was taken back by the title of the album, starting at a young age I was taught never to say the “father’s name in vain.” Unfortunately, there was a bit of controversy due to the title, as Walmart will not sell their album in the stores. There is always a logical explanation, as front man Michael Sweet explains the album title, stating “it’s a statement that is needed in our society. We’ve seen evil rise to new levels, and this title is simply a prayer request asking God to damn or condemn all the evil around us.”
Arriving at The Canyon Santa Clarita at approximately 7:40 PM, waiting in line for my credentials, I am overhearing the hostess state all seating was sold out, and only limited standing tickets available, it was a packed house, I would say the show was sold out!
The lights dim as the introduction music starts, entering the stage drummer Robert Sweet as he waves acknowledging the fans, guitarist Oz Fox, I along with all the fans were ecstatic seeing Oz with a smile on his face, he looked fantastic, as we all have heard of his recent health scare, newcomer bassist Perry Richardson (Firehouse), and lastly front man Michael Sweet to a deafening cheer by the fans. Opening the show with Yahweh from the album Fallen, followed by The Valley from their recent release God Damn Evil, rounding out the first three songs with Calling on You from the album To Hell With The Devil. Now that’s how you do it!!
The yellow and black bumblebee look, and the big hair was most noticeable in the 80s which left a lasting impression for years to come, as their look and stage attire changed over time the yellow and black strips remains on the drum set and guitars. Stryper’s set was mainly focused on the platinum status album To Hell With The Devil, adding Can’t Live Without Your Love and God Damn Evil from the album with the same name along with a compilation of fan favorites.
Over three decades and twelve studio albums that is an accomplishment, I can see why they have such a loyal fan base f you put your religious beliefs aside, think out of the box, Stryper is a unique metal band, phenomenal musicianship. Robert Sweet has an unusual style of drumming producing a thunderous rumble, Oz Fox the quiet giant, newcomer bassist Perry Richardson all smiles enjoying the moment, Michael Sweet is the ultimate front man, hits those high notes, even without the tight pants of the 80’s, if you were at the show you know where that came from, humorous, well spoken, and shreds that signature Washburn guitar.
I’ve been honored to cover their shows, enjoy every moment, and you will too, Stryper is out on tour till November 18th. Keep up with news and tour dates on all social media. You only live once… so live!!!
Till next time!
Additional Stryper live photos here!
Calling on You
More Than a Man
All for One
In God We Trust
Always There for You
Can’t Live Without Your Love
Soldiers Under Command
God Damn Evil
Sing Along Song
To Hell With the Devil
(Review and Photos by Tammy Greene – Greene Sound Lens Photography)