By Lisa Lewis
The rock and roll scene was alive and well this past Friday evening as
Stryper made a tour stop in Spindale, NC at The Foundation Performing
Arts Center. The band is out in support of their latest album “God Damn
Evil” which may just be the best record Stryper has ever done.

After a short but rock solid set from local favorites Beyond the Fade,
Stryper took the stage to an audience of enthusiastic fans. The crowd
was a sea of Stryper shirts that came ready to rock and Stryper put on a
show that they would never forget. The first to come out was drummer
Robert Sweet. Standing on his massive drum kit, he saluted the fans
with his sticks held high. New bassist Perry Richardson grabbed his
spot stage right and guitarist Oz Fox was situated stage left. Vocalist
and guitarist Michael Sweet was the last one out as he led the band
through an explosive set. Kicking things off with “Yahweh,” Sweet was
nonstop all night. It was great to see the band performing with such a
high level of energy which the audience fed off and returned the favor.
Sweet and Fox were stellar all night trading off riffs and playing off
each other’s energy. Newcomer Richardson seemed to fit right in to his
new surroundings and has already established a great rapport with his
bandmates and fans alike. The setlist featured four songs from the new
album including the title track, the unforgettable “God Damn Evil” as
well as all the Stryper hits that fans have come to expect from their
live show. Michael’s vocals are still top notch whether belting out
rocking anthems or hitting all the “Sweet” notes that would have been
to high to reach for many other singers. His brother Robert was still
a force to be reckoned with as well as he provided a thundering back
bone for what would be an electrifying night of rock and roll. After
punching through the stadium rocker “Loud ‘N’ Clear,” Stryper slowed the
pace for a bit as Sweet put his guitar aside for the MTV era classic
ballad “Honestly.” The band ended the show in epic metal style with an
encore performance of “To Hell With The Devil” which included Oz licking
his way up and down his fretboard and the requisite throwing of Bibles
to the audience.

Stryper came to rock Spindale and that’s exactly what they did, leaving
fans eagerly anticipating the next show. This is a tour you won’t want
to miss so be sure and check them out when the “God Damn Evil” tour hits
up a city near you.