Stryper lead singer Michael Sweet made a rare appearance in the area playing an acoustic only show and I was lucky enough to catch it, especially after going to see Iron Maiden the night before. Sweet made the show well worth it though. Only playing an hour and ten minutes, he managed to play selections from Stryper, his solo discs, and his album with George Lynch of Dokken fame.
“You Know What To Do,” from 1984’s The Yellow and Black Attack led off the evening. I had not heard that song in at least twenty years so it was very cool to hear it played acoustically. “Reach Out,” from 1985’s Soldiers Under Command was next and it was a blast from the past night. Now some songs he used some loops in the background for tempo, but mainly it was just him and his guitars, which was perfect, as a show like this I would have never expected to happen. My favorite song of the evening might have been “I’m Not Your Suicide” from his solo album of the same name from 2014.
An unique voice since he started Stryper back in the day, Sweet told stories of the songs in between them to small yet entertained crowd. “Dying Rose,” off the 2015 release Only To Rise, from his collaboration with George Lynch was a surprise to hear as they have not performed any of these songs live and might never since they are both in two different bands. “I Believe In You,” from 1988’s “In God We Trust” ended the evening for Sweet and after a brief break, Sweet came back out to sign autographs and meet the fans which was very cool to do, as many artists don’t do this anymore, so kudos to you Michael Sweet. He did announce to the fans before he left that Stryper will tour extensively next year and that will be a real treat to see them again.
Photo credit: Robert Nozeika