Brutal Planet Magazine traveled to the heart of Texas to cover three different legends in the Metal world. W.A.S.P., Michael Schenker, and Armored Saint conquered San Antonio on November 4, 2022 as they ripped through the Tech Port Center. Both W.A.S.P., and Armored Saint are both celebrating 40 years, while Michael Schenker has been rocking the world for over half a century.
The evening began with Armored Saint. As mentioned above their tour was commemorating blistering the ears of metalheads for four decades. The show fittingly opened with “Reign of Fire”. From the first line of the song, it was obvious that singer Jon Bush has taken amazing care of his voice. The powerful and intense singer moved around on stage throughout the whole show like he was 25 years old. Guitarists Jeff Duncan, and Phil Sandoval played flawlessly throughout the set. They played songs from their latest album Punching the Sky, and dove back to their first full length album March of the Saints from 1984. Along with the amazing twin axe attack, came the rhythm section second to none – Gonzo Sandoval pounded the drums while legendary bass player Joey Vera tore up the bass. Armored Saint sounded amazing live. After my first time seeing them I was left wanting to see them again.
Next in the lineup was a short run with MSG featuring legendary guitarist Michael Schenker. Michael is celebrating over 50 years of making music. From his short stint in the Scorpions to his run with UFO, Michael has always had some amazing front men, and this tour is no different. Ronnie Romero has a voice that is almost mesmerizing. He has sung for bands Rainbow, The Ferrymen, and Lords of Black. The set started with “Into the Arena”, an incredible instrumental from the MSG days. Up next was the UFO classic “Doctor, Doctor”. Another MSG was next, “Looking for Love”. Michael Schenker stuck to the left side of the stage for most of the night, while Ronnie Romero sang all over the stage with his charismatic voice. The MSG songs continued to roll with “Looking for Love”, and towards the end of the set with “Armed and Ready”. The set concluded with two amazing covers of UFO classics “Rock Bottom”, and “Only You Can Rock Me”. The set covered 50 years of Michael Schenker’s guitar shredding history, and introduced San Antonio to the voice of Ronnie Romero.
The headliner, W.A.S.P., is what San Antonio had been waiting for. The stage was decorated with canvas displaying an onstage circus, complete with a giant cymbal-clapping monkey to the ads showcasing all the freaks on parade. Then at center stage sat “Elvis.” This is what Blackie has named his mic stand – a giant spine leading up to a skull with crossbones and handles. The set began with a medley of “On Your Knees / The Flame / The Torture Never Stops / Inside the Electric Circus”. With little to no introduction the show continued with “L.O.V.E. Machine”. A short welcome by Blackie led to a pause in the action, but continued the torture with “The Great Misconceptions of Me”, followed by the fan favorite “Wild Child”. The dark lore behind “The Idol” brought the lights of the arena to a dim, and almost dark shadowless configuration.
Next, the crowd heard the haunting sound of a chainsaw, and immediately everyone knew what was next. It was Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue), which was followed by a staple that could not be skipped, especially in Texas. “Blind in Texas” garnered a huge roar from the crowd almost as if the state anthem was being played.
A short break began, and the encore would soon follow. Coming out of the darkness began clips from the 80’s, and the PMRC hearings featuring John Denver and Dee Snider. Shortly after the video montage ended the riffs of Animal (Fuck Like a Beast) began. Blackie belted out the verses to the song while the crowd sang the chorus. Next came the classic cover of the “The Real Me” originally sung by The Who. With a final drum roll, “I Wanna Be Somebody” began. The show then ended, and the house lights rose. The merchandise table had been pilfered to almost nothing. The crowd would leave talking about the legend, and the three bands that they had seen that night.
W.A.S.P. is continuing their 40 Years Live World Tour 2022 with Armored Saint through the end of the year. Check it out in a city near you!