WASP: Live at the Circus, Helsinki 2012

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Spread the metal:

17’TH OCTOBER 2012

REVIEW AND PICS BY MARKO SYRJALA

American heavy metal band, W.A.S.P., has been annual visitors in Finland during the last decade, and this year was no exception. Since there’s no new album to promote, this tour was built upon the band’s 30’TH Anniversary. The ads said that this tour will be the most prominent spectacle W.A.S.P. has ever created, and the message was well-received since all four shows in Finland were practically sold out a long time ago. About 1500 eager fans arrived in The Circus, and they were ready to witness the spectacle.

It was about 10:30 PM when Blackie Lawless and his gang took the stage. The packed house went crazy as the band opened with “On Your Knees,” followed by the rarely played early gem “Torture Never Stops” and the Who cover “The Real Me.” A fan favorite, “L.O.V.E. Machine” and “Wild Child,” were sung very loud by the faithful before it was time to slow it down a bit. A pair of ballades, “Sleeping in the Fire” and “Forever Free,” sounded phenomenal, but it would have been great to hear the entire song instead of these edited versions. The band has been doing these stupid medleys forever, and to be honest… it does not serve anyone. The epic “Headless Children” and the band’s biggest hit, “I Wanna Be Somebody,” closed the first part of the show with a storm before it was time for a little break.

The second part was advertised as “a 25 minute shortened version of THE CRIMSON IDOL complete with the movie accompaniment.” It started up with another medley (damn!!), which consisted of parts of “The Invisible Boy,” “I Am the One,” and “The Gypsy Meets The Boy,” The acoustic “The Idol” sounded good and even emotionally. The song was the highlight of the whole show. “The Great Misconceptions of Me” then closed the second part, which definitely should have been longer… Anyway, this part of the show was entertaining, and the video screens got some justice properly.

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The third part was originally advertised as “A third part consisted of material from the new studio album, older material and everything in between.” Still, since there’s no new studio album in sight at the moment, we had to be content with the latter part only. Blackie’s moving microphone stand “Elvis” was now dragged on stage, and the third part opened up surprisingly with Mike Dupke’s drum solo. The solo was as dull as usual, but things got better when the band next headed into “Chainsaw Charlie.” The song is always a killer in the live situation, and it did not disappoint, but I didn’t get why it was included on the “everything in between” section instead of the Crimson set? A beautifully bleak DOMINATOR track, “Heaven’s Hung In Black,” worked out fine, and there was a lot to see on the screens during the song.  Next Blackie told few stories about “Elvis.” It was built by the Disney movie people and how he was once almost crashed by “him.” He also did remember to mention that Finland was the country that gave WASP its first gold album (THE LAST COMMAND). That was a great bridge to jump on “Blind in Texas,” which was the evening’s final track.

Well… There’s no denying that this was an entertaining and professional show. The crowd was wild, Blackie was in good shape, and the band played extremely tightly, but since this was the 30’TH Anniversary tour, I was expecting a bit more. The tour was advertised as “The biggest spectacle W.A.S.P. has ever created,” but it wasn’t. It wasn’t even close. The stage was a stripped-down set with no classic WASP theatrics in sight. The “Elvis” microphone stood there, but where’s all blood, pyrotechnics, bombs, etc., which the band became known at the time? Also, the setlist… It’s almost beyond belief how difficult it seems to be for Blackie to make actual changes/additions. On tour like this, fans want to hear more obscure set with songs like: “Mean Man,” “Fistful of Diamonds,” or even “Animal, Fuck Like a Beast” On the other hand, the band has released 14 studio albums in its 30-year career, but only 5 of those are present on the set. In fact, “Heaven’s Hung in Black” was the only song included from the past twenty years, including eight albums. That says something.

Although most of the crowd, especially the first-timers, were pleased about the show, there’s a need for a little more effort if the band wants to continue playing sold-out shows like this in Finland in the future.

SETLIST

On Your Knees

The Torture Never Stops

The Real Me

L.O.V.E. Machine

Wild Child

Sleeping (in the Fire) / Forever Free

The Headless Children

I Wanna Be Somebody

The Titanic Overture

The Crimson Idol Medley

(The Invisible Boy / I Am One / The Gypsy Meets The Boy)

The Idol

The Great Misconceptions of Me

Drum Solo

Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)

Heaven’s Hung in Black

Blind in Texas

CONCERT / TOUR PROMOTER

WWW.STAHL.FI

OFFICIAL WASP PAGE

WWW.WASPNATION.COM

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