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STRYPER Live In Houston, Texas With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 @ 5:28 PM


STRYPER Rocks The House On A Blistering Hot Night In Texas

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Celebrating 30 years as a band and in anticipation of their upcoming new release later this year, Christian rockers STRYPER jetted into Texas for a couple of one-off shows in Dallas on June 28th and Houston the following night, June 29th at Warehouse Live.

I had actually taken off to Galveston, Texas for the weekend to celebrate my daughter's birthday and had planned to make the trip back into Houston for the show, then drive back to the island afterwards. Since I don't pay for many concerts anymore I decided to partake in the Meet and Greet the band was offering that afternoon and so I had a few hours to kill before having to head into Houston. In just 2 hours time on the beach I managed to bake myself to a crisp, something that I would regret later on.

We were supposed to meet at the venue at 4:30, with the Meet and Greet to begin at 5 or so. As I left Galveston I noted the temperature in the vehicle said 92. As I travelled into Houston, the temp started to climb until I reached the venue and the temperature now read 108! As it turns out, it was hotter than Hell (no pun intended) on this day, with Houston officially reaching 107, a record high for the month of June, and just shy of the all time high temp of 109. Needless to say, we baked in the afternoon sun while waiting to be let into the venue.

At around 5:15 we were allowed in and, as part of the Meet and Greet package, the tour manager videoed us entering the venue with his phone and continued to video while we assembled inside and waited for the band to arrive. The band came in, greeted everyone and then stood with all of us (about 30) while the video was completed. The band then sat at some tables that were set up and proceeded to sign autographs for everyone. We were allowed 2 items to be signed and the little gift bag they gave us contained a tin of STRYPER mints, you know, for that holy fresh breath, a little devil shaped stress ball with 'To Hell With The Devil' emblazened on it and a glossy 8 X 10 promo photo of the band. I had already brought my KNAC.COM poster to be signed, along with a color flyer advertising the show, but since the glossy photo was included I chose to give my flyer to someone else that was there. The band was very cordial throughout and openly conversed with fans as they traversed the line.

Following the autograph session the guys lined up together and we were once again lined up to get a photo with the band. That was very cool and I ended up getting about 4 shots total of me with the band. When we finished there we headed over to the bar where the tour manager was busy uploading the video he took to a 2 GB flash drive that was built into a detachable STRYPER lanyard that held our VIP laminates. A nice momento of the evening!

After another brief delay the doors to the venue offically opened at 7 and those of us in the Meet and Greet were allowed in first. The opening band for both of these shows was SUPERNOVA REMNANT, another Christian hard rock act based out of Dallas and one that has opened for STRYPER on several other occasions when the band has played Texas shows. They are a great 3 piece act (sometimes 4) and performed a nice set to precede the Holy Rollers.

At approximately 9:20 STRYPER took the stage and actually broke from recent tradition of opening with "The Sing-Along Song" and instead opened their 75 minute set with "To Hell With The Devil", which was a sweet change of pace. The band then moved into their normal opening song, before reaching back to the band's first album, The Yellow And Black Attack for "Loud 'N' Clear".

About midway through their 16 song set the band debuted a brand new track from their forthcoming new album No More Hell To Pay, a track called "Marching Into Battle", which was very hard rocking song. The thing I thought odd about this is that there was no mention made either prior to or after the song was performed that noted that it was indeed a new song. Judging from the show of hands earlier in the set of who was seeing STRYPER for the first time, there were quite a few and if they didn't know any better they would have thought this was one of their oft-performed tunes. The tour manager Ian had told me at the Meet and Greet that Michael (Sweet, vocals) was going to mention something about the new album and anticipated release date, but no mention was made. Strange indeed.

The band looked fresh and in great shape, which certainly wasn't bad given the fact that they're all about 50+ by now, with vocalist/frontman Michael Sweet turning the big 5-0 just a few days after this performance. They were perfectly tight both musically and vocally and it never ceases to amaze me how good Michael sounds after all these years. He can still hit all the high notes which makes any STRYPER concert seem like the good ole heyday of the band. Guitarist Oz Fox was his shredding self, using a new guitar patterned after the one he used in the Against The Law era. He was exalting the guitar prior to the show, telling us how much he loved it and how great it sounded and played.

They rolled through the setlist playing most of the hits we have come to expect from a STRYPER show like "Calling On You", "Free", "Reach Out" and set closer "Soldiers Under Command". The band also played several tracks from their covers CD, The Covering, including "Shout It Out Loud", Heaven And Hell" and VAN HALEN's "On Fire". And who could forget the track "The Way" and the goosebump-inducing scream at the end that has got to be one of the best screams in hard rock and metal history, and he can STILL pull it off with ease! The one thing I am not quite sure of is the track "Honestly". It was on the setlist right before "Heaven And Hell", but I'll be damned (again, no pun) if I heard it played. I was taking a quick cigarette break at the time, but I could still hear the music and I swear I never heard it. Once I got back inside I asked my buddy if they played it and he said 'No', so who knows?

I have only missed one STRYPER show here in Houston over the past 10 years or so and they never disappoint! A straight ahead, high energy rock show every time!

Setlist:

  • "To Hell With The Devil"
  • "Sing-Along Song"
  • "Loud 'N' Clear"
  • "Reach Out"
  • "Calling On You"
  • "Free"
  • "More Than A Man"
  • "Marching Into Battle"
  • "The Rock That Makes Me Roll"
  • "Shout It Out Loud"
  • "All For One"
  • "Honestly" (?)
  • "Heaven And Hell"
  • "On Fire"
  • "The Way"
Encore
  • "Soldiers Under Command"
Check Out The Photo Gallery From The Show!

All Photos By Larry Petro

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