October 9, 2016
Gas Monkey Live
By Andy Laudano
Photos by Andy Laudano
To Hell With The Devil Stops In Dallas
It was a night of celebration when Stryper's To Hell With The Devil 30th Anniversary Tour rolled into Gas Monkey Live. To Hell With The Devil was the album that put Stryper on the map and catapulted them to superstardom, becoming the first Christian metal album to go platinum. Thirty years later, Stryper is still together, touring and making new music.
Very few bands have been together that long and still have all their original members. To mark the occasion, Stryper would be performing the album in it's entirety. And as an extra special treat, they would once again don the yellow and black costumes they wore onstage back then.
Before the show started, a special 15 minute documentary was shown, featuring vocalist/guitarist Michael Sweet narrating the history of the band. Then Stryper took the stage and began what has become their signature album with the title/opening track, "To Hell With The Devil." Two huge singles, "Calling On You" and "Free" followed as the huge crowd sang along with them.
Next was the monster power ballad, "Honestly" that was all over MTV in the 80s. Other highlights included "The Way," "Sing Along Song" and "Rockin' The World." By the time they finished with "More Than A Man," you couldn't help but be impressed by just how strong of an album that was from top to bottom.
Just as impressive was how after over 30 years the band still sounds this good. Michael may not hit every high note he did back in the day but he still sounds phenomenal. His brother, drummer Robert Sweet is so much fun to watch, playing on his trademark sideways drum kit. Guitarist Oz Fox can solo and shred with the best of them. Bassist Tim Gaines also sounded great.
Following a quick wardrobe change, Stryper returned and played another set, touching on most of their previous albums before ending with their biggest non To Hell With The Devil hit, "Soldiers Under Command." They returned once more, with the final encore, "Co'mon Rock" to end this special night.
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