Mr. Bella and Stryper brought their brand of metal to the confines of House of Blues Orlando on a rainy Thursday evening, September 13, 2018. MNPR Magazine was among the capacity crowd that filled the floor and balconies as our Florida correspondent MarkHoran.Pictures was documenting the evening. The evening exploded on stage as Erinmarie Christian and Mr. Bella opened the show with an effort that will soon yield headlining shows of their own. Mr. Bella has shared the stage with Hoobastank, Buckcherry, Bush, and Sevendust to name a few. They showed they were up to the task and put on a great set that the crowd roared with approval. I will be catching this band again soon I hope as they are just an hour away in Tampa, Florida.
Stryper, was formed in 1983 and went on to record and release five albums until 1992 when they disbanded. “To Hell with The Devil” released in 1986 went platinum and is their most successful release to date. Two other albums hit gold status during that time.
In 1999 most of the band reunited at a festival in Puerto Rico. The complete line-up again got together in 2000 and 2001 for “Stryper Expos”. In 2003 they release a copulation album which fueled a US tour and a live album. 2005 saw the lease of “Reborn” which was written with the band’s original themes of God and salvation. In the next thirteen years, six new albums were released; the Latest “God Damn Evil” in 2018.
Stryper has many critics, being a Christian metal band. To the critics, they don’t look like a Christian band, or they are not Christian enough. But, Stryper has stayed the course and has survived for 34 years doing what they do best; playing it fast, and playing it loud staying true to their religious beliefs.
From what I saw, this was a metal show with bright colors, loud music, and plenty of energy. Having a message you believe in is not a sin, and having a positive message is not a bad thing and should be celebrated. As expected, the set was a combination of new and old with six songs from “To Hell with The Devil” released in 1986. Back when MTV actually did music videos, Stryper benefited with great music videos to promote their music. Those videos still stand in my memory and over 30 years later, I was not disappointed when I finally saw them live. Stryper is still going strong, get out and support them.
Our prayers are with Oz Fox as he battles his current medical challenges. Oz, you looked and sounded great. Keep up the fight and tell Michael that 60 is not old. We wish you and your family peace and strength.
Michael Sweet Lead Vocals/Guitar
Robert Sweet Drums
Oz Fox Guitar
Perry Richardson Bass/Backing Vocals
1. Yahweh 2015
2. The Valley 2018
3. Calling on You 1986
4. Free 1986
5. More Than a Man 1986
6. All for One 1990
7. Revelation 2013
8. In God We Trust 1988
9. Sorry 2018
10. Surrender 1985
11. Soldiers Under Command 1985
12. Can't Live Without Your Love 2018
13. God Damn Evil 2018
14. Sing-Along Song 1986
15. Honestly 1986
16. The Way 1986