Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Sun 19 Aug.
For the first time in twenty-nine years, Southern Californian Christian metal group Stryper rocked the halls of Adelaide’s Governor Hindmarsh Hotel as part of the 2018 God Damn Evil Australian Tour. Having lost guitarist Oz Fox to an unfortunate decline in health, the band, left as a trio of Michael Sweet, Robert Sweet and Perry Richardson, soldiered on dutiful of their commitment to their Aussie fans and eager to soak up some Australian culture.
The show commenced with a choir sample playing the intro to Yahweh from their 2015 Fallen album. The Clint Lowery-influenced riff then powered through the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier stack and roared through the venue at stupefying volume. Michael’s powering metal vocal screamed in ‘80s splendour sporting wide vibrato and theatrical phonation. The rhythm section was thunderous and solid; reverb resonating from Robert’s snare in true ‘80s rock fashion and Richardson had hair… among other things – his vocals blended nicely with Michael’s and his rock chops were on fire; definitely a suitable fit for the band.
As mentioned in a recent interview with The Clothesline, Stryper promised an assortment of songs from various eras – and they delivered, with such tunes as: The Valley, Sorry and the title track from their new album God Damn Evil, All For One and Lady from Against The Law , Loving You from the 1984 The Yellow And Black Attack album, All For One and Revelation from No More Hell To Pay , Calling On You and Free from To Hell With The Devil , the title tracks to 1985’s Soldiers Under Command and 1988’s In God We Trust. Of course, the gargantuan decibel onslaught prompted fans to scream out for an encore, to which Stryper responded with a medley of Abyss and To Hell With The Devil,
It is most certainly commendable of the band to continue on with the tour despite losing a member. There was considerably more responsibility on Michael’s shoulders performing as a three-piece, nevertheless it was, in my opinion, one of best metal shows to grace The Gov stage. The band has definitely earned their strypes!
Image courtesy of Bián Hickman