|Review: W.A.S.P. - The Sting|
Label: Snapper Music
Year released: 2001
Duration: 75 min.
Review online: October 12, 2002
Reviewed by: Pierre Bégin
W.A.S.P., my favourite metal band way back in 1984, released "The Sting", their first ever DVD. It was recorded live at the Key Club, a small venue in Los Angeles (USA) on April 22, 2000 during the Helldorado tour in front of hundreds of fans. W.A.S.P.'s line-up for the gig was of course both veterans Black Lawless (lead vocals / guitar) and Chris Holmes (lead guitar) along with Mike Duda (bass and back vocals) and Stet Howland (drums and back vocals).
The best thing about this DVD is the excellent track listing of the concert. For instance, there are no songs from the terrible K.F.D. (fortunately!). The gig starts up with a medley of "Helldorado", "Inside The Electric Circus" and "Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)".
Blackie Lawless announces that the gig is broadcast on the World Wide Web and the band begins with my favourite W.A.S.P. song ever, "Wild Child" from the album "The Last Command". Following up is "L.O.V.E. Machine", the highlight of the DVD. This song sounds awesome live.
The 70 minutes gig also contain their first single, "Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)", the excellent slow-paced "Sleeping (In The Fire)", the surprisingly good "Damnation Angels", which begins with a superb grow up guitar intro, the good rocker "Dirty Balls" also from the album "Helldorado", A cover of "The Real Me" (The Who) and finally their first classic, "I Wanna Be Somebody" from the W.A.S.P. album. The band comes back for one encore with another W.A.S.P. classic "Blind In Texas" including the famous "Hey dudes, let’s party!" by Chris Holmes at the end of the lead guitar break.
W.A.S.P. is not renowned for playing their songs note-for-note with tight precision in their live show and this gig is not an exception. The weakest link being Chris Holmes on guitars, especially his leads. He moves a lot on stage but his guitar work has been better in the past. I suppose that he has not practiced the older songs for many years. The worst tune is "Sleeping (In The Fire)" with the intro out of time and the extensive and boring ad lib guitar solo. Chris has been in a better shape in the past. Also, Blackie looks very sinister and lukewarm on stage. I think he should demonstrate more kindness at his audience. Nevertheless, the vocal parts by Blackie Lawless and back vocals are very good and the two new members Mike Duda on bass and Stet Howland on drums play and sing very well.
The image quality is admirable and the sound is somewhat good except for some lead guitars and back vocals where the sound was scarcely audible. In fact, I was quite surprised by the result because I thought this DVD was almost a bootleg, which happily is not the case! It is even mixed in 5.1 Dolby digital. One thing that I dislike is that there are a few overdubs in the vocals where we see Blackie not singing but we can hear him! Even if the gig was played in a small club, the stage performance includes many pyrotechnics, like sparks and explosions, flaming logo and Blackie drinking blood inside two skulls, like in the 80s!
The DVD also contains some DVD extras like an album discography (with sleeve cover and track listing), picture gallery (only some snapshots of the live performance), eight pages of liner notes by Dante Bonutto (Kerrang) and some Web links.
It was a real pleasure for me to finally see W.A.S.P. in concert. The band has many excellent songs, especially early in their career, and this DVD proves that. To resume, it’s a good DVD, with especially an excellent track listing, but I recommend it for the die-hard W.A.S.P. fans only.
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