Concert Review & Photos by Jeff Serpa

HOLLYWOOD, CA, November 16— Saturday night marked the return of southern California natives STRYPER to their old stomping grounds, the Sunset Strip. After 30 years of success, Stryper returned to the world-famous Whiskey a Go Go to celebrate the release of their newest album, No More Hell to Pay. In true Stryper fashion, they put on an amazing show. They powered through all their hits ranging from The Yellow and Black Attack years to the newest material from No More Hell to Pay. The powerful vocals of Michael Sweet and his blistering guitar riffs along with Oz Fox reminded the crowd of why Stryper has had such a long successful run in the music industry. Bass player Timothy Gaines and drummer Robert Sweet (“The Visual Time Keeper”) held a strong, powerful sounding rhythm section during every song, giving the crowd that genuine Stryper signature sound.

The set started off with “Marching into Battle” and then took us back to the 80s. “You Know What to Do,” “Loud ’N Clear,” “Reach Out,” “Free” and “More Than a Man” followed.  The title track from No More Hell to Pay marked the middle of the set, followed by “Jesus Is Just Alright,” “Rock That Makes Me Roll,” and an acoustic version of “Honestly.”  Michael Sweet talked to the crowd about  the band’s early influences and making it as a rock band back in the 80s. This set the stage for Stryper to continue their performance with a song by one of their favorite bands and influences: Van Halen.  “Ain’t Talking About Love” was followed by “Always There for You,” “All for One” and “The Way.” After playing for over an hour, the crowd could not get enough Stryper. The band left the stage for a brief few minutes, and was brought back for an encore of “To Hell With The Devil” and “Soldiers Under Command.”

In addition to marking 30 years of success in rock and roll, this show was filmed and recored for the band’s upcoming live DVD/CD.

Supporting Stryper was Los Angeles’ very own Resistance. Resistance hit the stage first to set the tone for the rest of the night..The crowd was taken through 30 minutes of pure metal goodness. Resistance opened with their new single “Vlad”and powered through their set, closing out with an Iron Maiden favorite, “Flight of Icarus.” Dueling guitar solos, powerful bass and drums and scorching vocals, Resistance truly brought it to the Whiskey. We did not resist.

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