A post-Valentine’s Day gathering bearing messages of positivity and inspiration was the center of attention Saturday night at the Gas Monkey Live in Dallas. Playing host was Stryper, the platinum selling, west coast Christian metal band. Support came from DFW based power metal acts Millennial Reign and Infidel Rising.
Even though this was Styper’s third DFW appearance in the last 18-month’s, that wasn’t a deterrent to the band’s faithful. The loyal soldiered the chilly weather on the northeastern perimeter of the venue. Once the band’s Meet and Greet Experience concluded, the lone door opened allowing entrance into a much warmer setting.
A healthy crowd was already in place by the time Infidel Rising took the stage. Cloaked in a lengthy Victorian era black coat, vocalist Travis Wills effortlessly made work of his duties.
The five-piece easily sailed through the short but worthy set which included the live debut of, “Night of Silence”, a new Infidel Rising original.
Main support Millennial Reign is no stranger to the Stryper stage. The four-piece has previously supported Stryper and others at prior Gas Monkey Live shows. As anticipated, the band delivered a tight, solid set of melody and metal. Vocalist Tiffany Galchutt wasted no time connecting with crowd as the band is a familiar face with the Stryper audience.
Millennial Reign’s set was their last Dallas Fort Worth show before schedule appearances at the Elements of Rock Fest in Switzerland and the Exodo Fest in Mexico.
Stryper painted denim vests, patch covered battle jackets, aging rockers and adolescent fans wearing hearing protection lined the metal barricade. All patiently awaited the first glimpse of Michael Sweet, Oz Fox, Perry Richardson and Robert Sweet.
With the opening chords to “Yahweh” and Michael Sweet’s opening vocals, Stryper set the tone as the band begin to marched through their 15-song set. Joy, enthusiasm and smiles could be seen beaming from those upfront and beyond. The Stryper devotees were all too familiar with the set. They knew all the words, choruses and had no hesitation to sing along through the night.
Fans were treated to “The Valley,” “Calling on You,” “Honestly” and classics such as “In God We Trust,” “Soldiers Under Command” and “To Hell With The Devil” that brought the night to an end.
Stryper wasn’t just on stage to play their music. They were on stage to engage and inspire the audience. Michael Sweet spoke with the audience on more than one occasion. Early on, Sweet mentioned how the Stryper bibles tossed out at shows have become somewhat of a collector’s item. He explained how a generous act of simply tossing a bible to an innocent afternoon crowd waiting for tickets in Puerto Rico turned into a melee. It was humorous story indeed for the Gas Monkey Crowd.
Even though Stryper concert veterans made up the majority of the audience, there was a healthy showing of Stryper rookies.
The mix and sound volume were ideal for the varying ages in the crowd. There were chugging riffs from Sweet and Fox, punchy bass lines from Richardson and Robert Sweet’s rock-solid drumming.
Notably, Michael Sweet’s voice remains unbelievable after all these years. It’s absurd how healthy and strong his voice remains to this day. It’s a definite advantage that sets him apart from others of the same era.
All of these items combined made for a pleasurable, enjoyable, metal concert experience and atmosphere topped with an incredible live sound.
A Stryper show is a wholesome event and yet it retains that metal edge without stepping over the line. For metal parental role models that want to baptize the younger generation into the world of metal, a Stryper show is the ideal first experience.