At Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway, April 25, 2007

With a very cool new album just released, Blackie Lawless &. Co. had chosen Oslo for the last gig on what actually was a real Norwegian tour; the band played Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Trondheim, and Haugesund, as well as the tiny town of Volda before this performance. Norwegian Thrash outfit Susperia had been chosen as support act for the tour, and the band, having put out several solid albums, performed very well. Athera has grown into a very good frontman, and with Tjodalv behind the drums, there’s never any worries that you’re not in for a good groove. The band’s latest, Cut From Stone, is not their strongest album to date, but the songs still came out well in a live setting, and the band did a great job warming up the crowd.

The compulsory medley with “On Your Knees,” “Into The Electric Circus,” and “Hate To Love Me” opened W.A.S.P.’s performance, and just like last time and the time before that, the time before that, the time bef… (get it?), it seemed like Mr. Lawless was wasting time on ”Hate …” instead of performing full versions of ”On …” and ”Into …” -– two far better songs. The crowd, the quite big crowd actually, seemed happy, though. Blackie obviously noticed this as well as he kept his mood up for the entire night, sporting true enthusiasm during amazing versions of “Love Machine,” “Wild Child,” and the downright fantastic “Take Me Up” from the band’s latest album Domination.

WASP live

The band was also far luckier with the sound than what’s usually the rule around these latitudes, and it’s always a pleasure being able to actually hear what’s Mike Duda’s doing on his bass -– this guy’s a truly unique and very gifted bass player who’s gotten far too little credit for his efforts. Doug Blair, who’s replaced the great Darrell Roberts in the W.A.S.P. line-up, is also a fairly decent guitarist, but the 15-minute lead break during “The Idol” was still far (FAR!!) too much, and although the rest of the songs came out great –- Blackie’s vocals sounded, for example, surprisingly fresh -– drummer extraordinaire Mike Dupke had to perform at his very best to make this at least slightly entertaining. Dupke kinda reminds of Scott Rockenfield at his very best, playing simple enough to suit the band’s music, yet flashy enough to make things interesting, and is definitely a drummer to watch.

“The Real Me” is another song the band insists on playing that they shouldn’t, but the encores with “Heaven’s Hung In Black” and “Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)” more than made up for it, and when the band returned -– after a lengthy break that is -– for a second encore with a spirited version of “Blind In Texas,” the crowd exploded into a more than decent frenzy (if frenzies should be graded at all), expressing gratitude for what clearly was W.A.S.P.’s best gig in Oslo in years.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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