WASP Electrift Fans At Hard Rock Hell
Night had descended on Hard Rock Hell but Stage 1 was only just warming up. Mayra Roxx and Rogue Male had already performed and now it was the turn of metal gods WASP. The stage was absolutely packed with more eager fans trying to muscle their way in.
The band had already cancelled an appearance in Cardiff so it was by no means guaranteed that this set would actually go ahead. The atmosphere was filled with anticipation. Then the moment we’d all been waiting for arrived: Blackie Lawless took to the stage with the current WASP line-up and the crowd erupted.
With only an hour to perform songs that would best reflect the band’s entire career (a career incidentally that spanned well over two decades), choosing the most appropriate songs would have been no mean feat. However the guys chose well, with ‘Love Machine’ and ‘Blind in Texas’ being particularly well received. The song of the set was definitely ‘I Wanna Be Somebody’, as Blackie invited the crowd to join in. The metal horns were raised high right across the adoring crowd and shouts of support filled their air in between tracks.
There have been rumours circulating that Blackie may have been miming but I didn’t see any evidence of that; WASP gave a solid performance that was everything I had hoped for and more. All of the band members looked incredible and are still pleasing to the eye in their skin-tight outfits. The WASP guys still have all the moves and plenty of attitude to back it up. In a word -electrifying.
Recently many narrow-minded critics have labelled WASP “past it” and “soft”, due to Blackie’s recent turn to religion. So the band’s shock rock tactics may be long gone - there was no raw meat thrown into the audience, for example, and, true to their word, ‘Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)’ has been removed from the set list - but the band had the audience eating out of their collective hand. You still get the feeling that if your parents had seen you there, they would have been far from approving and that feeling of rebellion is what makes acts like WASP so attractive to rebels old and young!
It was exciting to see that the crowd had a good mix of fans young and old. Many would not have previously seen WASP perform live and some may not have even been born when WASP were at their peak. Although many younger rock fans are ignorant enough to assume the more mature acts are boring, trying to keep up with a scene that’s passed them by, it was encouraging to see that this does not apply across the board. The future for classic metal looks bright.
All in all, a fantastic performance by a fantastic band - definitely the finest act of the festival.