W.A.S.P. are a band that, despite having a career that spans twenty eight years, still show no sign of slowing down, or for that matter changing. Blackie Lawless formed W.A.S.P. in the early eighties, and this heavy-metal four-piece have repeatedly proved that great music is timeless. Thus it was no surprise when W.A.S.P. played to a highly appreciative audience in a sold-out gig at Nottingham Rock City.

As expected, W.A.S.P. went down a storm, as Rock City is one of the premier nightclubs for live rock music, and Nottingham has been often regarded as the rock capital of the country. A lot of the reason for W.A.S.P.'s high turnout was their strong reputation for being consummate performers, with much of this from their use of stage theatrics.

Sadly, the theatrics were not present tonight. Perhaps it was because WA.S.P. wanted the focus to be on their music, rather than the props. Instead, WA.S.P. employed a projector screen to display music videos of their songs behind the band, but, however, I found this to be a distracting element as more often than not I was focusing on the videos, rather than Blackie Lawless and co. I suspect it would have been more effective if W.A.S.P. had used the screen to instead display the stage in order for the shorter members of the audience to be able to watch what was happening.

Nonetheless, W.A.S.P. are great performers, and always dress for the audience, this time with a decidedly post-apocalyptic look with gauntlets embedded with circular saw blades. W.A.S.P. also know how to play both the audience, as well as the stage – not once did they block each other or leave a part of the stage empty – and put on a show in the truest sense of the word.

With this tour promoting their latest album, 'Babylon', they naturally focussed on tracks from said album, which included 'Babylon is Burning' and 'Crazy'; as well as tracks from their previous 'Dominator' album such as the melodic 'Heaven's Hung in Black'. Yet as expected from a band that has such an expansive career, their set list included other tracks from their extensive library such as 'Chainsaw Charlie' and 'L.O.V.E. Machine', which many of the older fans there no doubt doubly appreciated.

W.A.S.P. were already great musicians in the eighties and age has only allowed them to improve with experience, without leaching any of the power from their music. Plus their strong cohesion has allowed them to respect each other’s skills and allow each member to have their share of the limelight with guitar and drum solos. At one point, half the band left the stage to allow the lead guitarist’s solo to truly be the focus.

Overall, this was a great performance by an incredibly experienced band that was impressive to watch on stage. Whilst I doubt that they were will ever gain the popularity of other similar bands, they are certainly able to match them in skill and showmanship.











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Commenting On: Rock City, Nottingham, 28/11/2009 - W.A.S.P.








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