W.a.s.p - live at motion, bristol uk // 22.09.15
With a fresh, and already accomplished frontman Mitchel Emms added to the line up, support band 'The Treatment' took to the stage with a heap of confidence and a bounce in their step... why wouldn't they?! With energy for days, real rock 'n' roll attitudes and old school hard rock visual appeal, ‘The Treatment’ got the audience fully engaged from the get-go, spurring everyone on, getting the whole crowd heavily involved in their set with their dynamic stage presence - fist pumping, mic swingin' sing-alongs. Departing song 'Shake The Mountain' left a striking lasting impression and surely sealed the deal for a lot of people completely new to the band. ‘The Treatment’ are five young guys who certainly know how to work a crowd, with more than a ton of passion for what they do. Clearly, there will be plenty of great opportunities on the horizon for this band.
Amongst a crowd that was dominated with W.A.S.P. merch, the tension built and those who stood front and centre got swamped by a mass of avid fans, all of whom were in very high spirits! As the lighting dimmed, and the sirens wailed, we were met with classic W.A.S.P. songs storming through the speakers, setting the scene in an idyllic way for Lawless and his force to take the stage. Crowd already riled up, Lawless strides on stage to face the drums, hand in air, ready to perform one of the more impressive shows of 2015. Set off with classic 'On Your Knees', this did the job to start an instant, epic sing-along and mass fist pump amongst the sea of die-hard fans.
The set was comprised of debut self-titled classics including the colossal 'L.O.V.E Machine', and 'Hellion', which went down a storm. The set then chipped away through to 'The Crimson Idol', to W.A.S.P.'s latest treasure, 'Golgotha', which the band seemed to be completely captivated by. In all fairness, the set was exactly what the crowd seemed to crave. A very well balanced contrast of albums and tracks, and not for a second did the passion and energy in the room drop to anything below 110%.
Lights out as the band leave stage for the first encore, but as the relentless crowd repeatedly chanted "Blackie Lawless", soon enough, W.A.S.P. re-emerge from side-stage to perform The Crimson Idol's 'Chainsaw Charlie' in all its glory, signalling the inevitable final stretch of the show. This particular performance sent shivers down my spine. As a clear crowd favourite, I'm sure we all felt this way as this song departed into a second encore, allowing Lawless to take the stage for a third time to tease us with the instantly recognisable 'Wild Child' intro riff. Crowd in uproar, ‘Wild Child’ and final song, 'I Wanna Be Somebody' were welcomed, the madness began and the fans kicked it up a notch to say a farewell to W.A.S.P. on the 2015 tour.
Through endless head banging and chanting, it seemed that the band enjoyed every second, as did the fans. This tour was the perfect opportunity for Blackie to reconcile and make amends following the harshly criticised 2012 tour, and he really did himself a lot of justice, both on stage and in person. A show that I'm glad to have witnessed. W.A.S.P. and the fans did themselves proud by making this show a true, gritty metal masterclass.
Reviewer: Christiane Robinson
Photographer: Darren Griffiths