I don’t need much of a reason to go see Stryper. They are one of my favorite bands of all time, but when I read that the “History Tour” is featuring nothing but greatest hits and covers I’m all over it. Now mind you the last three albums ‘No More Hell To Pay,’ ‘Fallen’ and ‘God Damn Evil’ are phenomenal albums and hold up to and sometimes surpass anything they’ve ever done, but when it boils right down to it I am a child of the 80’s. So when you’re talking Stryper greatest hits ‘Soldiers Under Command,’ ‘To Hell With The Devil’ and ‘In God We Trust’ is where I go. Those three albums are where a lot of tonight’s set list came from, but I getting ahead of myself.
Let’s take a few minutes and talk about the second band on the bill tonight and opening the show; Lift The Medium, a rock n roll band based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. I wasn’t familiar with them before tonight but they had some fans in the crowd which made sense with Louisville and Cincinnati not too far apart geographically. But it’s easy to say that once they started playing they had a lot more fans in the building. Formed in 2013 they’ve released 2 albums of original work in the years since and that original work is what was mostly featured during their set. Songs like “Number 1,” “Don’t Need to Fall,” and “Flow On” it’s easy to see why Joey, Joe, Jake and the man on the most badass 8 string bass I’ve ever seen L.J. have earned the awards and reputation they have. The highlight of the set for me was their song “Mastermind” into a killer cover of Soundgarden classic “Spoonman.” Which they pulled off expertly! Give Lift The Medium a listen, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
This was the second time I’ve seen Stryper in this venue and Louisville loves Stryper! Both times the Mercury Ballroom has been filled with enthusiastic Stryper fans of all ages, I saw very young fans with their parents and many older let’s say mature fans like myself. The guys in Stryper never disappoint, Michael, Oz, Robert and Perry bring it every time I’ve seen them. This night was no different, even with Michael’s voice not at 100% he’s still better than a lot of vocalist out there today. That fact was evident on the opening song of tonight’s set “Soldiers Under Command” a song that a lot of Stryper purists consider to be the bands greatest song. I won’t debate that but will add to that discussion a few more songs that are on tonight’s set list “Yahweh”, “Free” and “To Hell With The Devil.” The greatest song discussion is for another article though, this one is about tonight’s show that in addition to those amazing songs already listed featured some killer covers! Covers from bands that were and are influences like Kiss “Shout It Out Loud”, Judas Priest “Heading Out To The Highway”, Van Halen “Panama” and since there is a former member of Firehouse in the band now, a spot on cover of “All She Wrote”! This is the History Tour so there had to be at least one song from way back and “Loving You” was that song, from 1984’s ‘The Yellow and Black Attack’.
This tour offers something for all Stryper fans new and old, music from the classic Stryper discography and a few tracks from the newer recent releases. What I personally liked the most about this tour other than getting to see the band one more time, was that Stryper advertised this as a greatest hits and cover tour and that’s what it was. No mention of new material in the ads or promos but the fans still came! They came to hear great rock n roll, they came to hear their favorite songs, they game to hear those songs played to perfection. Whoever said rock is dead forgot to tell the guys in Stryper or their fan base!
Get out from behind the computer, put your phone down and go see a show! Support these touring bands. Without that support shows like this wouldn’t happen.