Since my last post, I have moved from North Carolina to Texas. While there, Blackie Lawless paid a visit during his band’s first visit to the U.S. in over a decade. What followed was unlike any concert I’d been to before.
Listening to albums makes it clear that Blackie is a great songwriter. His voice when singing is practically the exact same as it was decades ago! His vocals are still unmistakable. And during this tour, the band brought out some of their biggest hits such as “Animal” (you know the alternative title), “Blind in Texas” (of course), “I Wanna Be Somebody”, and more. The live performance of “Heaven’s Hung In Black” is newer but was a great tribute to the troops and a powerful moment.
The music was loud, and while there was no blood or raw meat being tossed into the stands, there were skeletons, disembodied heads, and a bit of horror imagery. The musicians were all on point with electric riffs and solos, with everyone keeping up. W.A.S.P. is not the easiest band to play for as they can master just about any genre of music, but this iteration nailed it!
What separated this concert for me as a fan from others was the show. There was an atmosphere. The presence of the band was different. Blackie Lawless has a unique charisma. Not only do they make music, but they have this almost magical storytelling element, which demands the attention of the audience. People were sucked in. Whether Blackie was riding on the back of a skeleton or engaging the audience, or tossing water into the crowd, everyone was thrilled to be there the entire time. They went from almost thrust to horror-inspired, to rock n’ roll, to “hair metal”, to power ballads that can induce tears in listeners throughout the concert. In the end, it was a wonderful performance. W.A.S.P. are every bit the showmen as they are musicians!