Stryper’s 30th Anniversary Tour of To Hell With The Devil
Other bands on the tour:
Saturday, October 29th was an incredibly beautiful fall day here in Indiana. Sun shining and a mid-60’s temperature made standing in line outside of the Old National Centre pleasant. Even though it was well past the slotted time for the doors to open, staff came around telling everyone there was a problem with one of the bands that was causing the delay, everyone around us remained in good spirits and everywhere you looked you could see black and yellow, everyone eager to see Stryper on their tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of To Hell With The Devil.
A screen came to life above Robert Sweet’s drum set and we begin to hear narration from Michael Sweet. During this video we were treated to photo’s and early video of Stryper and learned about the formation of the band and also the making of To Hell With The Devil, which has been out for 30 years now. As the video wound down Tim, Michael, Robert and Oz came out wearing the signature black and yellow outfits and ripped into a roaring rendition of “To Hell With The Devil”.
Michael then took the time to let everyone know that in honor of the albums 30th anniversary, it would be played in it’s entirety in proper sequence. He did point out that if anyone didn’t like the harder material, or didn’t like the ballads, those would be the times for the restroom breaks. The guys in Stryper made these songs sound as new and fresh as they sounded back in 1986. Once finished they took a quick break and came back out to play some newer material as well as a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell”, a favorite of Oz.
During the set Michael did tease about throwing his signature jacket to the crowd and spent a lot of time talking to various audience members. I have said this before, and it still stands true, Michael Sweet has one of the best, if not the best, voices of my generation, and quite possibly any generation. While he had told me earlier that he didn’t have the range he used to, his voice has matured over the years and his tone is simply unmatched perfection. Occasionally Bibles were thrown out, a signature move by Stryper and these were scrambled after as much as a guitar pick from Eddie Van Halen would be.
I have to say that this was quite simply the best live show I have ever seen, and am kicking myself that it took me 30 years to see Stryper, but I guarantee I won’t miss another show when they come to town and neither should you!
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