Fireworks

W.A.S.P. / The Treatment Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 17, 2015    
 
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W.A.S.P. / The Treatment - Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton (UK) - 21st September 2015

I arrived in the Wulfrun just as support act The Treatment took to the stage. I admit to not being overly familiar with the British act, but I thoroughly enjoyed their thirty minute set as they stuck to a formula of no-frills, occasionally AC/DC-inspired Riff Rock that warmed the crowd up perfectly. I was also suitably impressed with their relatively new singer's powerful set of pipes and stage presence, while he reminded me (both vocally and looks-wise) of a blend of Eclipse's Eric Mårtensson and H.e.a.t's Erik Gronwall. I can't say I caught any of the song-titles, but they're a band I need to look into more, methinks.

W.A.S.P. nowadays are far from the theatrical Shock Rockers that you would have found in the eighties – you won't see any blood being drunk from a skull, meat being thrown into the crowd, or exploding cod-pieces... these days, with the only visual aspect being provided by the promo videos accompanying the songs on the big screens, the show is now all about the music – but the only downside is there was not quite as much of that music as I'd hoped there would be...

The band took to the logo-adorned stage as a montage of classic W.A.S.P. hits played through the P.A. then launched into 'On Your Knees' which halfway through segued into 'Inside The Electric Circus' which subsequently chopped to 'The Real Me' – as the first two songs aren't performed in their entirety the show is barely ten minutes old as main-man Blackie Lawless came to the front to address the crowd before the start of the fourth song 'L.O.V.E. Machine'. Admittedly Lawless' voice isn't what it used to be and he appeared to struggle a little with the screaming style of the older songs, he definitely sounded more comfortable with the newer material, though he was more than ably assisted in that department by guitarist Doug Blair and Mike Duda – they also provided the majority of the stage movement as Lawless seemed to still be hampered a little by the broken leg he suffered two years previously.

It was because of the aforementioned new material that has mostly tempted me to attend tonight – although 'Golgotha' was still a couple of weeks away from being released, three of its finest songs were aired tonight, the first being the insanely melodic 'Last Runaway', before they dipped back to the 'Babylon' album for 'Crazy'. Then it was the new ballad 'Miss You' that proceeded another couple of oldies that were merged together, namely 'Hellion' and 'I Don't Need No Doctor', before the main set was brought to a close by the stunning 'Golgotha'; the poignant lyrics enhanced by some occasionally harrowing images on the big screen..

With two of the new album's ballads being included, there was no room for 'Sleeping (In The Fire)' or my favourite 'Forever Free' – even 'Blind In Texas' was absent from the set! However, the first encore of the epic 'Chainsaw Charlie' was the first time the crowd really seemed to erupt tonight. A lengthy pause followed the song, before W.A.S.P. returned for the rousing, if somewhat premature, finish of 'Wild Child' and 'I Wanna Be Somebody'.

Ant Heeks

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