W.A.S.P. (Live)

at The O2 City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., March 22, 2023

W.A.S.P. (Live at The O2 City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., March 22, 2023)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It’s hard to believe that it’s been forty years since American Shock Rockers W.A.S.P. first shook the foundations of the musical establishment with their hugely controversial single “Animal” and their blood and thunder stage shows.

Much water has passed under the bridge since then with only lead singer/guitarist Blackie Lawless remaining from those early days but tonight was to be a celebration of four decades of Shock ‘n’ Roll.

To many, W.A.S.P. never topped their bombastic debut album and tonight they lit the powder keg with an explosive medley featuring “On Your Knees,” “The Flame,” “The Torture Never Stops” from that classic album before ending with the title track from Inside The Electric Circus.

With a circus theme providing the backdrop to the stage show, Lawless stood behind a huge skeleton biker contraption which concealed him for much of the time but this didn’t stop the likes of “L.O.V.E Machine” and “Wild Child” being Grade A bangers.

With guitarist Doug Blair pulling the poses and cranking the riffs and Mike Duda on bass provided a high energy, visual counterpoint to the flanks either side of Lawless.

With a mid-set mini–medley of Lawless’s coup de grace, The Crimson Idol, featuring “The Idol,” “The Great Misconceptions Of Me” and “Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The Rue Morgue)” losing a touch of momentum, it was left to the final third to slam back into gear with “Blind In Texas.”

Although Lawless vowed never to play “Animal” live again, he decided to bring it back for this special birthday celebration complete with some historical footage from those long gone times sounding suitably brutal in the process and the crowd responded accordingly.

The closing “The Real Me” and the anthemic “I Wanna Be Somebody” brought the show to an end in triumphant, fist pumping style with the crowd singing and partying like it’s 1984.


  • 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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