at Gamla Tryckeriet, Stockholm, Sweden, October 16, 2010

(All photos also by “St” Patrik Gustavsson)

Ok, so the latest installment of Stockholm Rock Out was cancelled sans headliners W.A.S.P., but is that reason to screw up by not giving people entrance into the venue in time to check out Chris Laney if they wanted? Geez, the man has only released probably two of the strongest Hard Rock CD’s to come out of Sweden these past two years! Is that not enough reason to have him exposed to a presumably fitting market that is the W.A.S.P. fans of Stockholm? Fourth song in, and it’s quite frustrating having to hear “Get U Down”, perhaps the best song out of his solo repertoire so far, whilst still waiting outside in line. Really, Laney deserved much, much more.

LFor W.A.S.P. to dub this The Return Two Babylon Tour is indeed very telling; notice the wordplay of changing “to” to “two” – this is W.A.S.P. on Swedish soil for the third time since the release of Babylon about one year ago, including a visit to Sweden Rock Festival this past June.

Perhaps partly due to this heavy duty focus on Scandinavian soil, a W.A.S.P. show feels largely routine in this day and age. Blackie Lawless is a reliable performer, but a somewhat tired impression is given when introducing old staples like “I Wanna Be Somebody” and “Wild Child”. Whereas Lawless gives away where his heart truly lies these days as newer material such as “Heaven’s Hung In Black” and “The Idol” – the latter drawn out Lextensively live – is performed in a seemingly more passionate fashion. Babylon was represented with “Crazy”, “Babylon’s Burning”, and the great “Live To Die Another Day”.  Having culled only four tracks total off Babylon… and representation of its predecessor Dominator was still sparse.  After all, these two works are probably the overall best-received W.A.S.P. platters since Unholy Terror some nine years ago.

The semi-legendary mic stand is retired for now, but the projector is an effect that works unevenly based what’s shown on screen; seeing line-ups of days gone by whilst watching the current band incarnation is just weird, and works more so to point to the void that first Land foremost original guitarist Chris Holmes left behind, if anything, even if it’s meant as a tribute of sorts. When used effectively, obviously the projectors put forward an effective touch by providing images that go hand-in-hand effectively with the music.

As the last song out, “Blind In Texas” saw the band going out on a strong note, which is surprising seeing the somewhat jaded presentation of the other performed classics. Hey Blackie, how about bringing back something off of the angry KFD on your next trek?



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