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Friday Night: Stryper at House of Blues

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Stryper House of Blues May 18, 2012

A dedicated legion of Stryper fans cheered on Friday night to bang their heads to the band's greatest hits along with a few excellent covers.

Stryper came out in full yellow-and-black attire while lead singer and guitarist Michael Sweet crooned a version of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Now, I must admit that I think it takes guts for any rock or pop band to even touch a hymn. Stryper has a lot of guts, which is what makes them one of the boldest Christian metal bands of all time.

The band's boldness about their faith seeped through their high-energy set with songs such as "Loud N' Clear," "The Rock That Makes Me Roll" and "More Than a Man."

The band talked a little about how they got a lot of flak for making their covers album, 2011's The Covering. The reason they made that record was they wanted to show the fans who influenced them musically, such diverse acts as Grand Funk Railroad, Van Halen and even Elton John.

If anything, Stryper is enthusiastic about their faith. They want people to know that the God that they serve is amazing. During "Makes Me Want to Sing," Sweet threw out some yellow-and-black "Stryper Bibles" into the crowd.

One of the best parts of their set was when they did covers of such bands as Judas Priest ("Breaking the Law") and their ever-endearing version of the Black Sabbath classic "Heaven and Hell."

It's refreshing to hear a cutting-edge Christian metal band actually cover some of their influences. Without those influences, Stryper would not exist.

The Crowd: Middle-aged men and their wives, along with a few families.

How the Crowd Was Dressed: Some had on Stryper shirts, while others wore shirts with such slogans as "The Lord's Gym" (which is a sordid spoof on the "Gold's Gym" T-shirts). Others had on some rather good-looking Stryper shirts.

Something Michael Said: "We are working on a new album called To Hell with Beelzebub. If they are starting a new trend of renaming classic Christian albums, then Amy Grant needs to record an album called "Lead Me Onward."

Personal Bias: As a Christian myself, I don't normally listen to much of the new Christian music, with a few exceptions. Stryper is the exception to that rule.

SET LIST

Battle Hymn of the Republic Sing Along Song Loud N' Clear The Rock That Makes Me Roll Reach Out Calling on You Free More Than a Man Breaking the Law (Judas Priest cover) Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath cover) Makes Me Want to Sing The Way

ENCORE

Abyss (To Hell with the Devil) To Hell with the Devil Soldiers Under Command


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