W.A.S.P. (Live)

At The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., September 23, 2012

Marking an incredible three decades in the business W.A.S.P. embarked on their most ambitious world tour in years with the UK first in line for the 30 Years of Thunder Tour.

Although featuring only Blackie Lawless from the original band that gate-crashed onto the scene in 1982 the current line-up has been their most stable in the bands history with lead guitarist Doug Blair being alongside Lawless for over 20 years.


Lawless promised a special show to celebrate the entire career of W.A.S.P. splitting the event into three parts. The opening section covered the debut album up to The Headless Cross meaning a great chance to hear classic like “Wild Child”, “L.O.V.E Machine” and “The Torture Never Stops”. Playing all of the classics is always tricky to fit into a set so the odd medley here and there made sure as many as possible were crammed in so “Hellion”/”I Don’t Need No Doctor”/”Scream Until You Like It” made it into the set.

With a stage flanked by three huge video screens there was plenty of scope to be creative. Synchronising the vintage video footage with the onstage performance was a nice touch but coordinating Blackie Lawless with a video of Martin Luther King was striking as were the harrowing videos of worldwide conflicts that flashed across the screen during The “Headless Children”

Part two of the show comprised a cut down version of the concept album The Crimson Idol which again was brought to life with video footage telling the story of the abused child’s dream of becoming a Rock star and his ultimate demise in achieving that dream.


Following a rather amusing spoof TV advertisement for a Spinal Tap album collection the show was brought to a premature end with “Blind in Texas”. Unfortunately the ridiculously early Sunday curfew meant that a few of the numbers for the planned third set which was to include songs from the later albums had to be dropped.

Despite the abrupt end, a show lasting almost an hour and three quarters stuffed full of W.A.S.P. classics was certainly value for money and a great end to the weekend.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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