June 28, 2013
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Andy Laudano
Photos by Andy Laudano
Christian Metal from Orange County
It's hard to believe that Stryper, the Christian metal band from Orange County, California, has been around for thirty years. Unlike many of their peers, Stryper can boast that they still have all four original members: brothers Michael (vocals/guitar) and Robert Sweet (drums), guitarist Oz Fox and bassist Tim Gaines. Even more amazing, while still clad in their trademark yellow and black stage gear, the band's members look as if they have barely aged at all since their '80's heyday. Most importantly, they still sound every bit as good as they did back then...maybe even better.
The first of two Texas shows, Stryper kicked off their 30th anniversary tour in Dallas. Frontman Michael Sweet told the crowd at the jam-packed Granada Theater that starting the tour in Texas was a priority for the band since Stryper's very first tour began in Texas.
The band opened the show hard and fast with the title track of their 1986 platinum release, "To Hell With The Devil." As can be expected from an anniversary tour, the set was filled with all of the band's greatest hits. Much to their fan's delight, all three of Stryper's huge MTV video hits were played. "Calling On You" and "Free" were performed back to back while the big ballad, "Honestly" was saved for a tender moment later in the show.
The band's 2011 album,The Covering, was also well represented. Stryper nearly brought the house down with their covers of Kiss' "Shout It Out Loud," Van Halen's "On Fire" and a killer version of Black Sabbath's "Heaven And Hell" that would have made Ronnie James Dio proud!
But the show wasn't all about nostalgia. Stryper gave their fans a taste of what's to come in the future with their new song, "Marching Into Battle" off their upcoming new album, No More Hell To Pay. The song is a heavy, back-to-basics number that the crowd really seemed to enjoy.
Other highlights included, "Reach Out," "More Than A Man," "Loud N' Clear," "All For One," "The Way" and the closing number, "Soldiers Under Command." It was a great show by a band that proved not only that they can still go, but also that they have a lot more to give.