Venue: Mulcahy’s (Wantaugh, NY)
Label: Big3 Records
It’s not normal that I head out to see a band once again only a few days after catching them in my immediate vicinity but the chance came up for me to have a ticket for the bands performance that was happening on Long Island that night so I took my friend up on the offer of attending. We started the trek at Penn Station where I grabbed a giant hot pretzel and it was quickly onto the train and off to Wantaugh, NY to the club called Mulcahy’s. By my recollection I had only been here once before and that was for Michael Schenker Group but I did love the place. They have a spacious venue and a great PA system. There is also a little bit more roomy in terms of the stage so the bands can move around a little more. Once the trek out to the venue was completed, and to be honest it is a long ride from NYC, we arrived just in time for what we expected to be another early show. The NYC appearance was at 8:00 with no openers but tonight we would find two opening bands and one was getting ready to start. The band Garlic was interesting and they combined an almost Cheap Trick style with some Beatles harmonies. I found it fun to realize that bassist Randy Gregg who had just completed tours with Thin Lizzy and Angel was among the lineup. Stryper would come up shortly after this bands set and while the audience was nice to Garlic, you just knew who they were here for. There were Stryper jacket paintings and shirts everywhere. I even saw a few people who I had spoken to only days before in the Big Apple and this made sense since they said how Stryper was their favorite band of them all.
They hit the stage with excellence and I had to say that I immediately felt that the PA was much more used to being set up for Rock shows than I had found over at B.B.’s that night. The difference would be that Michael Sweet would not come up from behind the crowd as he did in NYC. Performing largely the same set as Saturday nights show the band was again kicking butt. This time Robert Sweet was destroying his drum set and knocking over his cymbals on a regular basis. His road tech was certainly kept busy that night. So much about the show I had just seen was the same so I admit that it made commentary on it rather difficult. The set ran a couple of numbers shorter than the Saturday show, and I learned that Michael was not feeling all that well and was nursing something unpleasant so the set had to be cut short by the few tunes. He didn’t seem sick from my vantage point but he must have been since it was not likely the singer just wanted to skip out on the packed club. He gave it his all which everyone seemed to appreciate all the more when they found out about it. The illness also prevented him from coming out to the Meet and Greet line and this was met with serious disappointment. The crowd was again a mixture of the faithful core fans and newbie’s. One fan who said he saw me in the photo pit later grabbed me in a bear hug saying “I know you heard the message Brother, I know you did”. That has never happened at a Metal show to me and either way it was a nice way to end a fun night to say the least. The band sounded great and perhaps were just a little bit more tighter for this show when it came to their new material.
Photography Notes: Tonight the setup would be different than at B.B. King’s as there was a cordoned off area between the stage and the audience to keep them from jumping on the stage. It wasn’t a metal gate or anything, but more along the lines of those bank line dividers and it was aimed at allowing security personnel a place to stand guard as well as a space for media folks to do their respective thing. This allowed me a little bit more flexibility in bringing the readers better pictures for the performance as opposed to being edged out by the fans that need to snap shots of the entire show.
1. For You
2. Open Your Eyes
3. Make You Mine
4. Loud N Clear
5. Loving You
6. Rock That Makes You Roll
7. Reach Out (Bibles)
8. Calling On You
13. All For One
14. More Than A Man – encore
15. To Hell With The Devil – encore
16. Soldiers Under Command – encore
Official Web site: www.stryper.com