W.A.S.P./Armored Saint - Los Angeles, CA - 12/11/22
Heavy metal legends W.A.S.P. announced their first North American tour in over a decade. Support would come from fellow Los Angeles heavy metal leaders Armored Saint and, on select dates, Michael Schenker. This tour was a long time coming and the time has finally come for W.A.S.P. to perform to their legions of fans across the world. The final stop on the tour was The Wiltern in Los Angeles, California. To no one's surprise, the show sold out ahead of time. Much like a lot of shows on the tour. Even before doors opened, there was a huge line of heavy metal maniacs just waiting to get inside.
Up first was Armored Saint. Plenty of fans were in attendance as you could tell by them wearing their merch. You could say even some were there specifically for Armored Saint and not for W.A.S.P. which wouldn't be unusual. Armored Saint was still touring for their eighth album Punching the Sky which was released in 2020. The venue was already packed as the lights went out and the crowd cheered. The members of Armored Saint came out one by one and started their show with Reign of Fire. They were off to a great start as all the band members sounded perfect, even better than the albums. Some of the other songs performed on this night were Last Train Home, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants and Can U Deliver. Los Angeles was the perfect city to end the tour on as their loyal fans sang along to the music. Their set came to an end as they played March of the Saint followed by Mad House. Armored Saint got a huge standing ovation from the sold-out crowd, and you could tell they were happy to be home to their loyal fans and surely, they couldn't wait to play in Los Angeles again. Armored Saint left the stage and made way for the headlining band of the night.
For a lot of people in the audience, it was their first time seeing W.A.S.P. since this was their first North American tour in over ten years. You could feel the anticipation in the air as the time inched closer to start time. The lights went out once again and the fully packed venue cheered as loud as possible as the members of W.A.S.P. made their way to the stage. The last member to come out was the man himself, Blackie Lawless. For the first song, they played a medley of four songs. Those song snippets were On Your Knees/The Flame/The Torture Never Stops/Inside the Electric Circus. They had a strong presence live and fans were raising their horns, singing along and banging their heads to some classic heavy metal. Up next were the classics L.O.V.E. Machine and Wild Child. Hearing W.A.S.P. live is a must for heavy metal maniacs. A powerful performance and they still sound really good. Their show was coming close to an end, and they did so with Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue) and then finished up with one of their best songs, Blind in Texas. W.A.S.P. left the stage and all seemed quiet. After a few minutes, the screens in the back lit up showing news clips and a history of how a group of women tried to censor certain albums and bands due to their lyrical content. It turns out one of those bands they missed was W.A.S.P. and one of their best songs, Animal (Fuck Like a Beast). The members of W.A.S.P. came back out to play Animal much to the audience's surprise since Blackie originally said he'd never play that song again due to his religious beliefs. The song was sung just fine except for the chorus line "I fuck like a beast!" which Blackie let the audience sing for him. The next encore was their cover of The Real Me originally by The Who. To end the night, W.A.S.P. played which is no doubt their most famous song as well as one of the most well-known songs in metal, I Wanna Be Somebody. The show ended and the fans cheered as loud as they could once again as W.A.S.P. thanked the audience for coming out and then left the stage once more. Blackie made note near the end of the show that management didn't have any faith in W.A.S.P. selling tickets anymore which is why it took them more than ten years to tour again. Now with so many sold out shows on the tour, for sure W.A.S.P. will return to the USA once again.
Photos and review by Misael Ruiz