W.A.S.P. LIVE – THE CRIMSON IDOL FALLS
Metro Theatre, Sydney Australia
8 April 2008
Photos by guest contributor CEEG
I don’t normally waste my time writing less than positive reviews, but after the initial disappointment of the night, anger has set in.
For a person who has had "Wild Child" as her ring tone from the day she bought a mobile phone with MP3 capabilities, I was very excited when the Australia tour was announced with the following press release:
For the first time ever, Blackie Lawless will be bringing his legendary band W.A.S.P to Australia. The Crimson Idol World Tour celebrates the 15th Anniversary since the release of the landmark “The Crimson Idol” album (1992).
W.A.S.P. will be performing 2 gigantic sets
SET 1: The Crimson Idol album in its entirety
SET 2: A mix of old classics and new material including tracks from the latest album ‘Dominator’ released in April 2007.
The venue website advertised the doors opening at 19:15 — 1 support band, 2 sets by the headliner—the times gelled. Something should have ‘clicked’ when we arrived at about 2030 and THE POOR were still playing…
Many of us were surprised at the nominated support. Couldn’t we at least have singer Skenie’s current band on the bill? Talk about flogging a dead horse. The same thing happened when Judas Priest played Australia in 2001. The support band, Heaven, hadn’t played for 15 years and did the Judas Priest support never to be heard of again…another wasted opportunity for a current gigging band.
Later that evening I found out that another band had actually played before THE POOR, WIKKID BLISS. Can’t tell you anything about them as I didn’t know they were playing in the first place so didn’t do the research.
THE CRIMSON IDOL album performance was greatly acknowledged by long-time fans as Blackie and band played on the dimly lit stage with THE CRIMSON IDOL movie playing as the backdrop. Blackie looked fit and constantly fluffed his hair in that one-handed manner he and Paul Stanley share, but paranoia was obviously infecting him as security were not just hunting for cameras, but even people raising phones to snap a picture were almost jumped upon by a pack. Seeing this I kept my eye out for nearby security as a guy in front of me, our guest photographer CEEG, was managing to get some great shots of the band. I’d brought my “little digital” but it’s still way too big to be subtle.
Blackie’s performance was faultless given the amount of backing tracks used which leads me to a question—if you’re going to use backing tracks should you at least hire session singers so when your band members are in front of microphones and you’re standing in front of the drums with your back to the audience, it’s not your voice booming through front of house?
As for the 2nd set, I think a few promoters may have learnt to include minimum terms into a contract because from where I stand “set 2” was just a long encore of "Love Machine"; "Wild Child"; "Blind In Texas"; "I Wanna Be Somebody" and a song from the new album I haven’t had a chance to get yet and probably won’t now.
On the opposite side I was given good revues from fans in Brisbane and in Melbourne. Melbourne hosted 2 separate shows and a meet and greet session as a bonus for the 2nd show.
Which brings me to another question—is it too much to ask for consistent quality of shows around the country?
I received a chain email with the WASP set list for the 2nd Melbourne show (via request). It started with the medley Inside The Electric Circus/On Your Knees/Hate To Love Me; Love Machine; Wild Child; Widowmaker/Sleeping In The Fire; Take Me Up; The Real Me; The Headless Children; I Wanna be Somebody. Encore: Chainsaw Charlie; Heaven’s Hung in Black; The Idol; Blind in Texas.
If bands are going to tour Australia on the coat tails of faultless legends like Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne, then they need to step up to the plate. Luckily, for what I expected to be the first half of the show, I got a good seat in the stalls and watched what turned out to be a very expensive $95 movie without popcorn. I expect more bangs for my buck!