Having been a fan of WASP since the band’s early days, I thought I may never get the chance to see Blackie and the boys play live. That was until they announced the ten-day UK tour that brought them to the Bristol Motion. The bloody road tour was the first time WASP had toured the UK for three years and it was in support of their long awaited new album Golgotha.
Support for the tour came in the form of The Treatment, one of Britain’s up and coming acts. They kicked things off to a packed venue and to rapturous applause. Their full on hard rock sound was the perfect start to the night and as they were the only support band they had plenty of time to impress the loyal WASP fans whose Blackie Lawless shirts filled the hall.
Dressed in denim and leather they conjured images from the early ‘80s metal bands. Their sound surprised me and had a somewhat AC/DC vibe to it. With a couple of recent lineup changes including a new vocalist (Mitchel Emmes) I was amazed at just how tight the band were.
They had only been rehearsing for a short time before the run of dates with WASP, but they looked like a well oiled machine. Perhaps it had something to do with this being the final date of the UK tour or a crowd that were loving what they were hearing, either way they were going down a storm. As they finished their set, people were left to chat to each other about what they had just experienced and from what I could hear, it seemed that the majority of people loved what they had heard. Even with that in mind it was clear that the majority of the assembled crowd were only interested in one thing and they were up next.
After a short break it was time for WASP to make their entrance and they did so as a montage of video and old WASP classics played in the background. Having seen the set list whilst waiting I noticed the band had thrown in three songs from the new album mixed with a good blend of their back catalogue. Blackie was in fine voice and after waiting for many years to see them I was not left disappointed. The songs came thick and fast with some video footage playing behind the band that featured old footage from past videos.
These screens were used to best effect when the band went off for a short break from time to time. When they did this we were left to be entertained with the band’s recordings and video mix. A good idea as far as I am concerned and made the waiting much more acceptable.
I was however a little disappointed with Blackies stage attire as I had expected to see him in his classic leather and sawblades outfit but he was dressed in one of his own tour shirts and some ‘80s-style spandex leggings. This was however my only disappointment as the band I had waited to see for so long put on an awesome display. Obviously the WASP lineup is like a revolving door as members come and go with the ever present Blackie the main focus.
He was sounding as good now as ever and let’s hope that it’s not so long before he brings his motley crew back to the UK. As for the venue it was my first visit to the Motion in Bristol and I was greeted with friendly staff and a very well run venue. There was even a toilet attendant offering to give you a spray of cologne as you washed your hands. Don’t let the razor wire around the outer perimeter put you off as this is one of many great venues in Bristol.