by: Samuli Keskitalo
W.A.S.P., the legenday hard rock band from Los Angeles, USA. On tour with a new album called Gotgatha and in Finland with four concerts. Heavy metal week is going on in Finland and nothing could be better… or could it? Yes, it could, let me say. The fact is W.A.S.P. released a new album, which was the first one in six years and that was the longest gap between W.A.S.P.-records. And the band launched a European tour and of course there were a few shows in Finland once again: W.A.S.P. has had concerts in Finland since 1985 and I think they will continue to do shows here until the band quits for good. Last show before this tour was in the summer in Lokalahti’s Karjarock Festival. Turku (Finnish town) is a second home to Doug Blair (because of the Turku Rock Academy School), so it’s not a big surprise that they have so many concerts here. But anyway, it’s very cool, that the band feels very comfortable here in Finland and in Seinäjoki many people came to see this band once again in the middle of the week. The crowd had fun, except I didn’t: maybe two words, which describes my feelings from the gig, would be ”boring” and ”routine”. Of course there were also good things from the evening, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough. Let’s see how I felt about this show.
The band started to play about 20 minutes late, but that wasn’t problem. I have read, that this band has been very late sometimes, but I’m not sure about that. But if you have been at a Guns ‘N’ Roses’s show that should not be a problem, hah. The gig started as usual with the same medley-themed three songs, which were On Your Knees, Inside The Electric Circus and The Real Me. It was a pleasure to take photos of the band and see how passionate Mike Duda (bass) and Doug Blair (guitar) are and that was a very important thing too, because Blackie at age 59 seems to be very lazy nowadays on stage. Of course he’s still a legendary frontman and that seems to be enough for many fans, but I can’t agree to that. I go to concerts very often and tickets nowadays are kinda very expensive, so I want to see the band on stage at 100%. If I want only to listen to music, then I prefer to stay at home and listen to music from CD’s. But at the concert it’s different. There must be also musicians, who gives 100% to you. And I have seen many musicians at age of 59, or higher, and they still can give that 100% to the crowd, so age is not always a good reason to not perform.
The setlist of the tour is based on hits and classics of course, but as I told you in the beginning there is a new album and theband also played a few songs from that one. They were Last Runaway, Miss You and tittle song Golgatha. I didn’t listen to Golgatha before I went to see W.A.S.P. so I didn’t have a clue what kind of material it would be. I’m not going to tell my feelings now about those three songs – maybe they were good, maybe not. I’m that kind of person, who always wants that the band plays lots of material from new albums, not just old classics. But this time I was sure I don’t have to hurry up with this new album and listen to it, because the setlist would be based pretty much on old stuff. Is there any other choice anyway…?
One of the little highlights of the evening was Arena Of Pleasure from The Crimson Idol album. But I don’t get it why they have to put so long The Titanic Overture intro tape before that song. Or well, I get it: Blackie has to take a little break during the show. Intros during the concerts are ok and cool sometimes, but now, if they last a few minutes. There were a intro tape in the beginning of the show, so another long intro in the middle of the setlist is not necessary. Anyway the song Arena Of Pleasure was a very welcomed one by me and Doug Blair: you rocked on this one!
W.A.S.P. had in this tour five gigs in Sweden and I checked out before that night, that there will be one of my big favorite songs from the band on the list, which was Chainsaw Charlie. That one was skipped in Seinäjoki and when the main setlist was ended there were just one encore with Wild Child and I Wanna Be Somebody. That was a big minus for me. Between Arena Of Pleasure and encore were few songs, which were a new song Miss You, Hellion / I Don’t Need No Doctor medley and Golgatha. Hellion and I Don’t Need No Doctor are classics, yes, very good idea, but… why medley? And before that medley there were also a little snippet from Thunderhead song. So it was actually medley, which contained Thunderhead intro, Hellion and I Don’t Need No Doctor. I like medleys sometimes, but I had a feeling, that the reason why Blackie don’t wanna play it all through is just routine and laziness.
So together there were 12 songs on the setlist. If you have to pay about 30 – 40 euros for the ticket to see a concert, where the band plays like that, would you be satisfied? Of course the evening could have been even more worse, than this. But I’m pretty sure, that if you see them on stage very first time, then you maybe would be satisfied. Or if that would be your first time ever in rock concert. But I’m not.
Complete setlist in Seinäjoki was: On Your Knees, Inside The Electric Circus, The Real Me, L.O.V.E. Machine, Last Runaway, Crazy, The Titanic Overture / Arena Of Pleasure, Miss You, Hellion, I Don’t Need No Doctor, Golgatha, Wild Child, I Wanna Be Somebody.