THE CIRCUS, HELSINKI
American heavy metal band, W.A.S.P., has been annual visitors in Finland during the last decade and this year was no exception. Since there’s no new album to promote, this tour was built upon the bands 30’TH Anniversary. The ads said that this tour is going to be the biggest spectacle W.A.S.P. has ever created and the message was well received since all four shows in Finland were practically sold out a long time ago. About 1500 eager people arrived to The Circus and they were ready witness the spectacle.
It was about 10:30 PM when Blackie Lawless and his gang took the stage. The packed house went crazy as the band opened with “On Your Knees” followed by rarely played early gem “Torture Never Stops” and the Who cover “The Real Me”. A fan favorite “L.O.V.E. Machine” and “Wild Child” were sung very loud by the faithful before it was time to slow it down a bit. A pair of ballades “Sleeping in the Fire” and “Forever Free” sounded phenomenal but it would have been great to hear the entire songs instead of these edited versions. The band has been doing these stupid medleys forever and to be honest… doing those just do not serve anyone. The epic “Headless Children” and the bands biggest hit “I Wanna Be Somebody” closed the first part of the show with a storm before it was time for a little break.
The second part was advertised as “a 25 minute shortened version of THE CRIMSON IDOL complete with the movie accompaniment.” It started up with another medley (damn!!) which consisted parts of “The Invisible Boy”, “I Am the One” and “The Gypsy Meets The Boy” The acoustic “The Idol” sounded really good and even emotionally. The song was definitely the highlight of the whole show. “The Great Misconceptions of Me” then closed the second the part which definitely should have been longer… Anyway, this part of the show was really entertaining and the video screens got some justice properly.
The third part was originally advertised as “A third part consisted of material from the new studio album, older material and everything in between” but since there’s no new studio album in sight at the moment we had to be content the latter part only. Blackie’s moving microphone stand “Elvis” was now dragged on stage and the third part opened up surprisingly with Mike Dupke’s drum solo. The solo was as boring as usual but things got better when band next headed into “Chainsaw Charlie”. The song is always a killer in the live situation and it did not disappoint but I didn’t get why it was included on the “everything in between” section instead of the Crimson set? A beautifully bleak DOMINATOR track “Heaven’s Hung in Black” worked out fine and there was a lot to see on the screens during the song. Next Blackie told few stories about “Elvis”. How it was built by the Disney movie people etc. and how he was once almost crashed by “him”. He also did remember to mention that Finland was the country which gave WASP its first gold album (THE LAST COMMAND). That was a great bridge to jump on “Blind in Texas” which was the final track of the evening.
Well… There’s no denying that this was entertaining and professional show. The crowd was wild, Blackie was in good shape, the band was playing extremely tightly but since this was the 30’TH Anniversary tour, I was expecting a bit more. The tour was advertised as “The biggest spectacle W.A.S.P. have ever created” but it wasn’t, it really wasn’t even close. The stage was a stripped down set with no any classic WASP theatrics is sight. There was the “Elvis” microphone stand there but where’s all blood, pyrotechnics, bombs etc. elements which the band became known at the time? Also the set list… It’s almost beyond belief how difficult it seems to be for Blackie to make some real changes/additions there. On tour like this fans want to hear more obscure set with songs like: “Mean Man”, “Fistful of Diamonds” or even “Animal, F*ck Like a Beast” On the other hand, the band has released 14 studio albums in its 30 year career but only 5 of those are present on the set. In fact, “Heaven’s Hung in Black” was the only song included from the past twenty years which includes eight albums. That does tell something, right?
Although the majority of the crowd,especially the first-timers, were pleased about the show there’s definitely need for a little more effort if the band wants to continue playing sold out shows like this in Finland on the future, right?
On Your Knees
The Torture Never Stops
The Real Me
Sleeping (in the Fire) / Forever Free
The Headless Children
I Wanna Be Somebody
The Titanic Overture
The Crimson Idol Medley
(The Invisible Boy / I Am One / The Gypsy Meets The Boy)
The Great Misconceptions of Me
Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)
Heaven’s Hung in Black
Blind in Texas
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