W.A.S.P. and Armored Saint brought their show to middle Ohio on the first day of December and Versailles will never be the same.
Celebrating forty years of musical mayhem, Los Angeles metal band W.A.S.P. is on a tear. Fronted by Blackie Lawless, W.A.S.P. has released some of my favorite metal albums over the years, including The Last Command (1985), The Headless Cross (1989), and The Crimson Idol (1992). In the ensuing decades, many more albums emerged – some that took big chances, as in K.F.D. (1997), and the two-part concept album, The Neon God (2004). Through it all, the musical mastery of the band never waned. This show is a big deal for fans especially because W.A.S.P. has not toured in the US for ten long years. It has been a grueling wait, but our patience was rewarded by an incredible spectacle on Thursday night.
The venue was BMI Event Center in Versailles, Ohio. By the way, in the Buckeye State they pronounce the ells in Versailles. The facility is an indoor speedway, but I know it best as a facility to host concerts. It is a unique place with a 1,500-seat capacity, including 300+ balcony seats. For this show, seats and tables were placed in the main floor area, with risers in the back offering good views of the stage from every angle.
The opening band was Armored Saint, another legendary LA metal band also celebrating their fortieth anniversary this year. These two are a great match for each other, and they came together synergistically for an exceptional show. Armored Saint’s most recent album is 2020’s Punching The Sky, an excellent record we reviewed positively here at FFMB.
Armored Saint played songs from across their many albums, starting with “Reign Of Fire” and ending with “March Of The Saint.” We did get to hear music from the latest, and they played “Symbol Of Salvation” from the album of the same name – one of their most recognized works. Cheers all around.
The headliner was next. Blackie Lawless and crew took the stage, which was itself adorned with carnival-style posters, some of which recalled songs from W.A.S.P. albums. They opened with a medley of hits, and, with few pauses, ran through most of the songs I had on my mind from “Inside The Electric Circus” to “Chainsaw Charly” to “Wild Child” and “Animal (Fuck Like A Beast).” While there was a notable focus on music from The Crimson Idol, which was fine by me, Lawless did not neglect other fan favorites. The band sounded excellent, and the energy was crackling from the stage and out into the crowd. It was a fantastic show.
W.A.S.P. and Armored Saint have a few more dates remaining (at this writing) on the US leg of the tour, so see them while you can. Beginning next Spring, W.A.S.P. will be in the UK to keep the music rolling when they kick off their European tour. Here’s hoping they never stop.
Photos by Wayne Edwards.
Armored Saint, https://armoredsaint.com/
BMI Event Center, https://www.bmieventcenter.com/
Armored Saint, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/12/06/photo-gallery-armored-saint-bmi-event-center-versailles-ohio-december-1-2022/
© Wayne Edwards