DIALOGUE: STRYPER IN DETROIT 30 YEARS OF TO HELL WITH THE DEVIL
JUNKHEAD AND AY-HOLE GET THEIR STRYPES
|I’m just sitting here contemplating.|
|I’m actually listening to Stryper now.
|I’m listening to Kenny Chesney.|
|I’m breaking up with you.
|You need to broaden your musical tastes.|
|Back in high school, I was super ironic, so the idea that Stryper was a Christian metal band was super funny to me, so I bought up all their albums on cassette because they were like a quarter.
|I remember all the old fogies in Church talking about Stryper. Their music videos would be on TV sometimes. On Turner Broadcast or whatever. I always thought that was weird, because it was over the air.|
|They were never on TV when I watched, but after listening to To Hell With the Devil thirty times in my car, I decided their goodie two-shoes image was way more appealing than inverted crosses and such.
Metal’s all about Satan and stuff, so someone singing about God is WAY more against the status quo than you’d think.
Just like I did back in my giggly 9th grade year, I underestimated Stryper’s power going into the show earlier this week at St. Andrew’s Hall.
|I had some Christian metal tapes when I was younger, like White Cross. I actually thought Stryper sounded too old fashioned when I was younger. I liked that screamo metal crap.
Now that I’m older I can appreciate how awesome older sounding stuff really is.
|That’s crazy, I didn’t know that.
|I will say that the 2015 Fallen album is very not old fashioned sounding, but they only played Yahweh at the concert.|
|’80s metal was my thing, so Stryper wasn’t bad, but they definitely had too many ballads compared to Iron Maiden and stuff.
|One ballad is enough.
It can get boring real fast.
|They played only two ballads I believe, and both were from To Hell With The Devil. They played the whole album to commemorate its thirtieth anniversary.
Which sucked for them because that meant they opened with the title track, which was like ultra-premature ejaculation.
|All these anniversary tours are making me feel old.
I anticipated the whole album, however.
|I mean, the album’s older than both of us I think.
|You keep thinking that, young punk.
“Calling on you” is my junk. I almost cried, but my ears were bleeding the whole time.
I didn’t look at the set list, so when they announced they were playing another set after the whole album, I was excited that they would play songs that were not cover songs.
|“Calling on You” has that cool Beatlesque pre-chorus. I was surprised that I remembered all the words to every song.
For a long time, To Hell With the Devil was the only thing I listened to on my tape deck, and it all came pouring back out my mouth as I sang to every song.
|According to Sweet, this tour was the first time that “All of Me” was ever performed. Originally I thought “Honestly” was better, but that’s probably because it’s just more popular. It also has catchy pop psychology in it. But “All of Me” is shoot from the hip emotion.|
|“All of Me” felt really cool. Like, it was honest and ballady?
“The Way” is one of my favorites though. It definitely increased my head-banging tenfold.
|I danced hard to “More Than A Man.” Most of the crowd was still coming out of their shells, too. Also, I want to be more than a man and that song is pretty rockin.|
|That song rules. The chorus is like five minutes long and everyone was all over it.
They took a break after that and there was this buzzing noise that was super loud.
|At this point my ears started hurting. I was glad there was a break, but then they blasted Battle Hymn of the Republic and myself, being tall, got the full dose. There was also this dude behind me that was doing one of those father whistles where he sticks two fingers in his mouth, turns at my ear and blows louder than the music.
I could hear it the entire show during the songs. I finally got behind him so he turns to the guy in front of me and just screams in his face. This guy was hyped out of his mind.
|Yeah I was okay. They played “Yahweh”, which got me psyched up so hard. I think it bothered everyone else.
My head was practically hitting the ground I was rockin’ so hard, but it felt like everyone else wasn’t really interested.
|It wasn’t thirty years old, like the rest of the set. I was waiting for them to play “Shout at the Devil,” since the opening act mentioned that they were going to play a Motley Crew song.|
Oh yeah, the opening act was local.
They played two songs I liked that Ay-Hole hated, then they played a bunch of songs I hated that Ay-Hole liked,
|Really? I thought they were from LA. They had an LA sound and looked like it.|
|I checked their Facebook and they’ve just been hyping this show for two months.
|The bass player had no presence on stage, unless you count his awfully mixed bass. When he switched to the bedazzled version the music became instantly listenable.
The guitar player’s main talent is noodling when not playing Rage Against the Machine.
|Singer looked and sounded like Jack Black doing a hair metal parody thing, but he was definitely entertaining.
After the show I bought their album on vinyl for ten bucks, and he seemed very disenchanted with life.
He didn’t have change.
|He was entertaining. He was screaming as hard as he could the whole show, so he was probably in pain afterwards.|
|No way bro, that guy could scream for ages.
|That records great, btw. I’m upset I didn’t get one.|
|Yeah, I thought you were going to. The first side’s pretty great, especially that grunge sounding song.
“Turbo Slut” rules.
We should review that bad boy next.
|Since they’re local, I can pick one up later.
Also, the drummer plays with a sawed in half curtain rod that he just drops onto the drums from above his head.
|Hopefully our ten readers are local. I hope that dude sells more copies.
One thing that was weird is how he kept throwing empty LP sleeves into the crowd.
Anyway, Stryper. They played “Yahweh” and then they played some okay songs like “In God We Trust” and a bunch of covers.
|“Heaven and Hell” was okay, but only because it’s a good song. I was kinda bored by the covers.|
|Yeah, I rocked out to “Heaven and Hell” because Dio’s my boy.
I actually felt kind of sad afterwards because I never got to see Dio live, and when I finished and I realized I was staring at Stryper, it made me feel empty.
Then they played a Motley Crue cover.
|I liked to hear their originals. I’m not a big cover fan, anyway. I’m not old enough.|
|It was weird when Stryper followed up the three covers with an original and THEN played another cover.
Michael Sweet made a joke that Van Halen was from Detroit and everyone in the crowd looked really confused the entire song.
|I didn’t get it.
I still don’t.
|Like any old person joke, it just wasn’t funny.
Although Sweet was killing it on the banter the rest of the show.
|I’m sure it was SoCal humor. It was just too complex for our dumb rust belt brains.|
|He told like eighty jokes and seventy-nine of them were funny.
|A favorite of all was when he ridiculed those who waited “30 years” to see them.|
|Funny stuff. They held off on playing the really, really awesome songs from my personal favorite, Soldiers Under Command until the end.
“Soldiers Under Command” followed by “Makes Me Wanna Sing” was a metal cream dream.
|That was probably the highlight of the night. Out with a total explosion!
Planned encores are dumb, though. I would have just played them back to back.
|Yeah, it was a long set in all honesty and the encore cheer was awful. The crowd needed a big finish though, and those two songs were it.
|It was a horrible cheer. Some people were saying “One more song” some were saying “Stryper” and others were speaking in tongues.|
|That’s what you get for having a crowd where most are over fifty.
That’s probably what made you feel old.
|I was really worn out after the show, too. It was very emotional. I kept thinking about how old they are and this could be my last chance to see them.
All of the 16 year olds that were drug along with their parents is what made me feel old.
They were super into it, however.
|No way. I was next to all of them and all they mustered was a polite head bob.
I wanted everyone climbing the walls and giving Stryper their muthafuckin’ just desserts.
I forgot, you were behind the kid who knew all the songs. There was an eighteen year old headbanger behind me who kept hitting me with his hair
|You know that the only people who would climb up on stage were our age. This wasn’t the Portland riots, it was an 80’s metal concert. The people in the front probably got lost to get up there. They would probably need an escalator to get up onto the stage.
I wonder what old band brings in the oldest mosh pit.
|I still don’t believe the Portland riots exist. That’s how uncultured I am.
I’m just a junkhead.
|I like thinking that a Glenn Miller cover band in Florida attracts a bunch of old dudes with walkers to punch each other in the everglades while old grandmas smoke joints and dye their hair.|
|The Everglades riots.
|Alligator fight dance
I’d give Stryper a 5/5. They played excellent. My ears are still ringing, however. I thought about giving it a 4/5 because of how much pain I was in.
|I couldn’t tell you were enjoying it.
|I’m serious. I’ve been reading about earplugs all day.|
|It wasn’t that loud for me. It probably was the most meaningful live show I’ve ever been to.
Like my life really came full circle from that cassette tape to St. Andrew’s Hall. A.
What about the opener?
Androids Anonymous? What the fuck is their name?
|Artificial Agent. 3/5 with ear protection. And only again if the bass player uses the bedazzled bass.|
|D+. Because they played five songs and I only liked the first two.
|Then we went home and smashed several helpings of salsa and listened to their smashing 2015 album.|
|I forgot about the salsa!
Ay-Hole brought over this salsa and I discovered that I had a jar of the exact same salsa in my fridge.
It was crazy.
|So we ate all of it.
Then Junkhead collapsed on the floor and couldn’t get up to flip the record.
|Yeah, I was pretty tuckered out.
Artificial Agent 3/5
Androids Anonymous D+