Return To Babylon European Tour 2010
WASP are still out supporting the 2009 album BABYLON and this was the second time I saw them on this tour for the album but the band have now toured Europe for the third time on this album. Maybe it’s more true to call the band Lawless & CO these days with thought of the amount of members that have come and gone through out the years the band have been active. Lawless attitude towards his fans are not good at all and it seems to be the worlds hardest task for Lawless to write an autograph or to take a picture with a fan. I really hope that he is aware of that it’s the fans that pays his bills.
The opening act to WASP was Chris Laney who recently released his second solo album called ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT and many maybe recognize Laney from his membership in Randy Piper’s Animal, Zan Clan etc and as a well-known producer to.
A short queue into the venue met me when I arrived to the club and I met up a few friends that waited outside the club. To my surprise the club filled with people really fast and the security had put up fences in front of the stage, maybe because Lawless doesn’t what the fans to be too close to him and his band members.
Laney entered the stage as scheduled which was at 20.00 and the band-members are:
Chris Laney – lead vocals, guitar
Mats Vassfjord (Scaar) – bass
Zack Booner – drums
John Berg – guitar
The show began instantly with the title song from the second album “Only Come Out At Night” and after the song was finished did Laney thank everyone for coming to see the band and that it was fun to be playing in Malmoe that is close to home for Laney who comes from a small town about 30 minutes outside Malmoe called Helsingborg. He said that he had promised his band that the crowd were gonna scream a lot and loud in Malmoe and that we had to do that so Laney wasn’t gonna look bad. “Last Man Standing” and “Rockstar” followed and I think that the material sounded a lot more heavier live than it does on album. It was clear that Laney is used to being on stage because he knew what he was gonna do in order to get the crowd going and he was a great frontman for sure.
“Get U Down” and “Love So Bad” continued and I have to say that the sound system was great and it was fun to see that a support act could have such a great sound. Normally the club doesn’t care much for the support band but Kulturbolaget does that. The lighting was poorer and both Berg and Vassfjord stood partially in darkness from time to time. After having some problems with his guitar Laney kicked off “I Dunno” and “I had Enuff” after which he said that it had been a pleasure to be playing in Malmoe and that the band were gonna come down to the merchandise stand after the gig to talk to fans etc. Laney then introduced the band and kicked off the final song that was “Situation” and after that went the band off stage and 40 minutes of great music was over. Laney was good as support act to WASP but it’s hard for me to think something about many of the songs because I haven’t heard Laney’s latest solo album I have only heard the first one.
Only Come Out At Night
Last Man Standing
Get U Down
Love So Bad
I Had Enuff
As soon as Laney had went off stage did the crew start to prepare the stage for WASP and it all went pretty fast. While the crew was busy working came more and more people into the club and it seemed like the club were nearly sold out. Behind the drums was a huge video screen but even though the crew worked really fast and that the line-check was done in a hurry did the band ignore the fans and let them wait about 45 minutes until WASP thought it was time to kick off the show.
The band entered stage to the sound of a really long intro and this time Lawless was accompanied by:
Mike Duda – bass, b-vox
Doug Blair – lead guitar
Mike Dupke – drums
“On Your Knees” started off the show and it was shortly followed by “The Real Me”. Lawless said “All I need is my love machine” and by that I think you all know what song that was next on the agenda – yes it was “L.O.V.E Machine”. Lawless was dressed in black pants, suede boots with fringes on and a football shirt. Lawless talked to the audience for the first time and said Malmoe how the hell are you? And the audience screamed back to him. Lawless said that the next song is from the new album BABYLON and this is “Crazy”. The screen behind Dupke showed old WASP videos while the show was running and it seemed like Lawless tried to sync his voice and lyrics to the videos behind him. Lawless said that this song is one more new song the album this is “Live To Die Another Day” unfortunately the new songs weren’t appreciated by the fans. But then again, don’t you go to a WASP show to hear the old classical songs? It really felt like the audience took a break and went to buy a beer while the newer songs were played and I don’t blame them and I can agree that the classical songs are strong cards still today. That was something that was pretty obvious when Lawless kicked off “Wild Child” and the crowd went crazy and the temperature rose again. Last time I was WASP I was suspicious when it came to Lawless voice. I thought his voice sounded a little too good to be true and it sounded like he hadn’t aged a bit. This time he sounded a lot more true, hoarse and screamish and I think that even though it’s hard to tell that a lot of his vocals was fake last time.
The sound was a bit too high, even Chris Laney had better sounding sound-system, and it was bad mixed and since a few years back now have Sweden got curfews regarding how high you’re aloud to play and I guess that WASP almost crossed the lines of what the laws say.
“Hellion” followed and it was mixed together with “I Don’t Need No Doctor” and “Scream Until You Like It”. The audience applauded politely when “Babylon’s Burning” were announced and many of the fans sang a long with Lawless through out the song. Lawless appeared to be a bit sleepy and I can say that he didn’t do his absolute best on stage this night and the same went for his fellow band mates. Partially it felt like they thought that this was just another day at work and that’s just a lousy attitude towards the fans that had paid a lot of money to see their idol. After all is it the fans that pays his bills.
The intro to “The Idol” was aired and played on the video screen and while the intro ran did Lawless go off stage for a short break. Maybe it was a bad move to play “The Idol” because it’s a really long song and with thought of the band had limited time to play for. When the song had ended was it time for Dupke and and Blair to do their solos which took a while to do. Lawless said that one song remained before it was time for the band to say good bye and guess what song that was? Well it was “I Wanna Be Somebody” and as expected did the fans go crazy. Lawless stopped the music and let everyone sing a long with him in the chorus and it sounded like everyone in the venue aired their vocal cords. Lawless and Duda went off stage playing the song and Dupke and Blair remained on stage finishing off the song and when they were done was the show over and those two also went off stage.
When I watched at my clock I saw that the band had only been on stage for 60 minutes and I really hoped that they at least were gonna do a few encores and I wasn’t the only one who thought so because every one in the club shouted for encores. It took almost 10 minutes and then started the screen to show pictures on ancient America and how it was born and soon we could hear the intro to “Heaven’s Hung In Black” surrounding the walls in the club. Something that struck me when I looked at the band during the encores was that Lawless hardly did play on his guitar instead he let Blair do most of the playing and Lawless focused on singing instead. Lawless thanked for letting the band playing at the club and fired off the long awaited “Blind In Texas” and then was the show over and all together had the band been on stage for 75 minutes.
I saw the set list and noticed that the band had deleted three songs that was originally on the list and as soon as the band had left the stage started the crew to clear the stage. I have a lot of questions when it comes to the Lawless show like why do he insists to play the same old song over and over again. Yes it’s fun to hear a few classics but this set list was pretty much the same as the one I heard last time I saw them. The really short playing time is another huge question mark. I think that if you’re a headliner act you ought to do at least 90 minutes on stage and not the lousy 75 that WASP did. The most positive thing with the show was that it was clear that the band still can play and that they delivered a few songs that really stood out.
However did the remaining feeling of this night was a big what!? It felt like Lawless played on routine and not on feeling and passion. When the show was over did he stand in the door and wrote autographs to the poor fans that was forced to form a line to the door. His manager also didn’t aloud anyone to take pictures with Lawless and that the fans only were permitted to have one autograph written by Lawless. If you only wanted to thank Lawless for a great show and didn’t want to have anything sign you were forced to immediately back away from Lawless. Childish behaviour and I don’t think that kind of behaviour is proper for a man that of some fans are considered as an icon. This was not one of the most memorable nights I have experienced.
On Your Knees
The Real Me
Live To Die Another Day
Hellion/I Don’t Need No Doctor/Scream Until You Like It
I Wanna Be Somebody
Heaven’s Hung In Black
Blind In Texas
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