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Stryper: The Cabooze, MPLS, MN, USA
2nd November 2016

jeff kunze
Jeff Kunze


Stryper are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their landmark release, 'To Hell With The Devil', by playing the album in its entirety on this tour. The trademark yellow and black costumes have been resurrected for the thirty-six city US run. The band is still composed of original members Michael Sweet (vocals and guitar), Robert Sweet (drums), Tim Gaines (bass) and Oz Fox (guitar).

'To Hell With The Devil' was the third studio album and it catapulted the band into heavy rotation on MTV with videos for 'Free', 'Honestly', and 'Calling On You'. Stryper was the first band to ever have two songs in MTV's Top 10 simultaneously and the Grammy-nominated album was the first Christian Metal album to achieve platinum status.


The evening started with a retrospective video of the band's history. It offered some interesting insight on the building blocks that created this musical powerhouse and when the haunting 'Abyss (To Hell With The Devil)' spilled over, the crowd's anticipation for what was coming next was felt throughout the venue.

The sonic thunder of 'To Hell With The Devil' opened the show with fans singing every verse and screaming the chorus. Stryper were in complete command of the stage from the opening note and continued to play the iconic album in sequence until the rocking closer, 'More Than A Man'. Some of these songs haven't been played in thirty years and Michael joked that 'Holding On' is never played because Robert thinks it's too poppy.


After a short break Stryper returned and played another set of material that mixed old and new songs, along with a couple of covers. The highlight of the set was 'Yahweh', taken off the amazing 'Fallen' album. The heaviness of the music and raw emotion feed off each other for an epic journey and hearing it live takes it to another level.

The title track, 'In God We Trust', sounded huge, along with 'Revelation' off 'No More Hell To Pay', 'Caught In the Middle' from 'Against The Law' and two awesome covers, 'Heaven And Hell' and 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love' sounded fantastic. 'Soldiers Under Command' was represented with 'Surrender', 'Makes Me Wanna Sing', and that trademark title track that is nothing short of a riff monster.


The 30th Anniversary Tour was spectacular. Stryper were firing on all cylinders and brought an energetic enthusiasm that was infectious. The instrumentation was spot on and vocally, Michael Sweet nailed his parts like he did when they made 'To Hell With The Devil'. Anybody that loves hard rock done right should get out and see this tour.

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Set 1:
Abyss (To Hell With The Devil)
To Hell With The Devil
Calling On You
The Way
Sing Along Song
Holding On
Rockin The World
All Of Me
More Than A Man

Set 2:
In God We Trust
Heaven And Hell (Black Sabbath cover)
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love (Van Halen cover)
Caught In The Middle
Soldiers Under Command
Makes Me Wanna Sing


Remaining Tour Dates:
November 8th: St. Louis, MO – The Ready Room
November 9th: Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
November 11th: Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection
November 12th: Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater
November 13th: Columbus, OH – Alrosa Villa
November 16th: Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
November 17th: Northampton, PA – Gin Mill and Grill
November 19th: Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony
November 20th: New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
November 21st: Raleigh, NC – City Limits Saloon




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