Sunday, March 09, 2008

W.A.S.P. at the Keyclub

After a late afternoon rehearsal with Outlaw Engine I headed over to the Keyclub around 8pm to see W.A.S.P. Doors were supposed to open at 7pm but I had a feeling there would be several opening bands.
Upon arrival the security quickly informed me about the no camera policy for the night. I'm not sure what Blackie has against cameras but his anti camera policy is nearly as famous as is his tendency to cancel concerts and even tours.

I bought my ticket day of show as you have to do with W.A.S.P. due to the previously mentioned cancellations and headed over to the Rainbow for a quick dinner. After dinner I caught two of the opening bands. First was a local band from LA called Intentional Rage. They did ok, heavier music that the W.A.S.P. crowd seemed to enjoy. The second band was Fatal Smile from Sweden. They looked like a throw back to the Sunset Strip scene circa 1986/1987. They played well and looked good but their songs weren't great. I was kind of surprised that Blackie would bring Fatal Smile out as an opener the entire tour.

The W.A.S.P. set was a performance of the Crimson Idol album in its entirety. They used professionally shot video which played on the screen above the band throughout the show. The video was surprisingly well done including actors and movie sets. The performance was sync'd with the video so as Blackie sang lyrics the characters in the movie would say those lyrics as dialog within the movie. Very well done.

Considering the video was sync'd you knew the band was playing to a backing track. You could hear keyboards and Blackie's backing vocal through the performance. On previous tours this seemed like cheating but with this presentation it served a purpose.

The crowd didn't seem all that familiar with the material and although I hadn't listened to the album in years I knew the songs and was able to enjoy the set. One thing I noticed about the performance is that this represents Blackie's serious side both as a performer and as an artist. The show included perfectly executed lighting effects, a new band that could play the music well, and a visual experience that fully tied in with the story being told. One thing I never caught from the album is that the primary character in the story hangs himself. It was visually shown so there was no misinterpreting Blackie's story of Jonathan any longer.

After performing The Crimson Idol they came out for an encore and played a handful of hits. Looking back the day after I almost wished they hadn't come out to play a hits encore. After seeing and hearing such a dramatic performance it seemed out of place for the band to come out with party songs like Blind In Texas and jump and run around the stage. Although I do admit the crowd was very into the mini-hits set after a night of hearing unfamiliar music.

I'm glad I went to the show. It was unlike any other W.A.S.P. show I've seen and I doubt this is a tour Blackie will be able to top.

March 8, 2008
Los Angeles, CA

Mephisto Waltz (taped intro music)
The Titanic Overture
The Invisible Boy
Arena Of Pleasure
Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)
The Gypsy Meets The Boy
Doctor Rockter
I Am One
The Idol
Hold On To My Heart
The Great Misconceptions Of Me

L.O.V.E Machine
Wild Child
Take Me Up
Blind In Texas

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