Covid may have put the brakes on Blackie Lawless celebrating W.A.S.P.‘s 40th anniversary as originally intended but the delay has only seemed to have created more interest in the rescheduled dates. Many dates on this tour had sold out well in advance and KK’s Steel Mill was no exception. The queue to get in trailed around the block and once inside it was packed to the rafters.
It was clear that some thought and expense had gone in to the production, the stage being dressed like a travelling freak show adorned with chains and skulls and, of course, Blackie’s ridiculously over the top mic stand, Elvis.
Taking to the stage through a surfeit of dry ice, they rattled through a medley of early favourites with a focus on their eponymous debut, ‘On Your Knees’ and ‘The Torture Never Stops’ epitomising early 80’s american metal. Aquiles Priester’s rolling drums usher in ‘L.O.V.E. Machine’ which has the crowd singing along and a scorching solo from Doug Blair. Some of the backdrops are removed to reveal screens which play old videos to complement the songs being played.
In addition to the band’s 40th anniversary it’s also 30 years since the acclaimed ‘Crimson Idol’ was released so it seems as good a reason as any to revisit that album and good that they opt for the both ‘The Idol’ and ‘The Great Misconceptions Of Me’ despite their length. The more commercial ‘Chainsaw Charlie’ rounds off the Idol section before ‘Blind In Texas’ brings the main set to a close.
There’s then an odd interlude when an old interview plays over the PA and I’m not sure what this added, but normal business resumed when the band walk back out and launch into ‘Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)’ that segues into a cover of the Who’s ‘The Real Me’. There’s then no other way to end the show with by going right back to the start for ‘I Wanna Be Somebody’ that has Lawless riding atop Elvis in a moment that encapsulates the sheer exuberance of the band and why 40 years on they still continue to sell out shows around the world.
On Your Knees / The Flame / The Torture Never Stops / Inside the Electric Circus
The Great Misconceptions of Me
Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)
Blind in Texas
Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)
The Real Me
I Wanna Be Somebody