W.A.S.P. at White Rock Theatre, Hastings 12/10/17

This review is also published on Get Ready To Rock here

Loud, brash, obnoxious, Blackie Lawless’s LA metal outfit W.A.S.P. burst on to the scene in the early 80s and were never far from controversy. Over time, however, the band evolved and their output started showing signs of growing maturity. To be honest it’s not going to be too difficult for your music to start getting more mature if your first record is called ‘Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)’ is it?

The W.AS.P. of the early 90s had moved on to recording a full-blown concept album. ‘The Crimson Idol’ tells the story of a boy Jonathan and explores themes of estrangement, drugs, fame, money and suicide. It has become something of a cult heavy metal album and, twenty-five years since it was originally released, Lawless and his band are touring it in full.

Apart from the ever-present Blackie Lawless, W.A.S.P. has undergone numerous line-up changes over the years and no-one else on stage tonight originally performed on ‘The Crimson Idol’ album. Nevertheless, the band are in fine form and there is some powerful playing from new drummer, Aquiles Priester, and from lead guitarist, Doug Blair. Lawless’s distinctive vocals are as strong and as recognisable as ever.

Songs like ‘The Invisible Boy’ , ‘Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue) and ‘I Am One’ are superb tracks and stand up well on stage. Unlike when some acts choose to revisit an album in full and take the opportunity to reminisce on the history behind every track, there is little in the way of on-stage chat tonight, but Lawless is a charismatic stage presence nonetheless. Visuals from the accompanying film for the album play on three large screens at the back of the stage, adding to the atmosphere. It’s a great album and a great performance tonight.

However, throughout the show part of me was excitedly anticipating the encore and, hopefully, a run-through of some of the great songs from the earlier, dumber, stupider, trashier era of W.A.S.P. It wasn’t a long encore – three songs – as the band didn’t get on stage until 9pm, having only just arrived in the UK following the Scandinavian leg of their tour. But we did get gloriously over the top versions of ‘L.O.V.E Machine’ and ‘Wild Child’ which made a fitting end to the proceedings. Was I disappointed that we didn’t have a bit more of this? A little – but that has only made me more determined to catch Blackie and the boys again when they are next over…


The Titanic Overture
The Invisible Boy
Arena of Pleasure
Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)
The Gypsy Meets the Boy
Doctor Rockter
I Am One
The Idol
Hold on to My Heart
The Great Misconceptions of Me
The Real Me
L.O.V.E. Machine
Wild Child




8 thoughts on “W.A.S.P. at White Rock Theatre, Hastings 12/10/17

    1. Tim – he says won’t sing the first single for that reason but does perform the other early stuff normally. However, this tour was specifically billed as the Crimson Idol Tour to perform the album in full, rather than a greatest hits tour. they have managed to squeeze in an extra song or two on most nights of the tour but with Hastings they started late so there was limited time.


  1. Your write up was not strictly correct. The 3 songs were not the encore they were part of the second set. Blackie decided he didn’t like the behaviour of the Hastings audience and walked off the stage. We didn’t realise this until he told the Nottingham audience about it the following night. I am a fan of some 32 years having seen WASP many many times and I feel insulted. I didn’t see any bad behaviour (apparently people were getting over a barrier?). People tend to drink a lot when they gave to wait around for 2 long hours for a band to arrive so perhaps this middle-aged audience were a bit fed up, especially as there was no apology. Blackie’s notorious for his arrogance but this the first time I have experienced it. Crimson Idol? More like Fallen Idol in my case – Goodbye Mr Lawless – never again


    1. Hi Wendy – it was certainly very rowdy near the front on the right-hand side. I was standing near the back so I didn’t get pushed and shoved. As for the encore, it was technically an encore as the band went off stage after the Crimson Idol set and came back on again to do three more songs. If you compare the set-list for Hastings to the set-list for other locations on the Scandinavian leg of the tour they were getting 4-5 songs after the Crimson Idol set whereas we got just three in Hastings. I certainly would like to see the band again.


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