Band: W.A.S.P. & The Treatment

Venue: 02 Academy, Newcastle

Date: 13 September 2015


After a six year hiatus on the new album front and a major operation after reconstructive surgery on his shoulder and a broken leg, Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P return to the UK stages to bring us their The Bloody Road to Golgotha tour.

This was the third date of the UK section of the world tour and saw a near capacity crowd gather for their own Black and White Idol, but first it was Cambridge’s The Treatment who get the night going.

With new frontman Mitchel Emms and guitarist Tao Grey, the band set about putting on one hell of opening barrage.

With Emms showing what a frontman is all about, it's hard to believe this is his first full support tour with the band, after his short spell with the band after replacing Matt Jones in May this year.  He fitted seamlessly into the frontman role like he'd been there from its inception.  

The band kicked into top gear from the off opening their impressive seven song set with the aptly entitled ‘Let It Begin’, with Emms leading the charge his energy oozed into the other band members as they rocked hard and fast. Then it was straight into ‘The Doctor’, during which Emms reminded me of H.E.A.T.’s Erik Grönwall with his enigmatic stage presence.

The high octane rock n' roll continued with a new song ‘Beautiful’, before the groove filled rocker ‘Bloodsucker’.

The band really put the pedal to the metal with the excellent ‘Emergency’, with its AC/DC styled tones, which went down really well with the Newcastle crowd.  The band then wrapped their impressive set in style with the massive ‘Shake The Mountain’.

This new version of the band has a big future ahead of them.  Emms is the perfect foil to take the band the next level and I for one can't wait for the new album with him at the helm.

Now on to the main event.  I was one of the privilege few who got to see W.A.S.P. when they first hit the UK shored back in September 21st 1984 on their Winged Assassins Tour, now celebrating 33 Years of Blood, Blackie returns to Newcastle to do what he does best, along with Mike Duda on bass, Doug Blair on lead guitar and returning to the drum stool Patrick Johansson.

As the house lights went down the surge toward the front of the stage began, as the medley of classics tracks acted as an intro, the band hit the stage headed to the Marshall stacks with backs to the crowd.  A cheer went out as the main man entered and took his place between Blair and Duda, then as the intro faded and it was heads down as they opened up with stalwart classic ‘On Your Knees’ and so it began. With Lawless’s vocals as strong as ever, the band put pedal to the metal and ripped through the opener like a shark through water.  Then it was straight into ‘Electric Circus’.  These two classic cuts were very much welcomed by the adoring Newcastle crowd.

The full expanse of the stage was filled with video screens for ‘The Real Me’ and ‘L.O.V.E. Machine’, as they displayed cuts from the classic videos of the band.

On mass the crowd paid homage to their Idol as Lawless stood front and centre stage, as he explained why it has been so long between 'Babylon' and the new album 'Golgotha', before the first of three songs from the new album and current single ‘The Last Runaway’.  A song that went down well with the masses.  This one really showed just what a great guitarist Blair is, as he just it ripped up the six-string like a man possessed, while Duda spun about the stage like the Tasmanian Devil on overdrive.  

It was time to roll back to that 2009 album 'Babylon' for ‘Crazy’, before Blair ripped through ‘Miss You’, another track taken from the new album, which was accompanied by a little history lesson on the video screens, informing us that this was one of the first songs written for their 'Crimson Idol' release, but that it never made the album and was subsequently revisited and revamped for 'Golgotha'. 

The classic medley of 'Hellion', 'I Don’t Need No Doctor’ and 'Arena of Pleasure’ led into the third and final track of the new album, and what a way to close the set with the title track ‘Golgotha’.  This song comes in a nearly 8 minutes long and like all the new stuff, went down an absolute storm.  The band left the stage to rapturous applause and cheers, the stamping of feet began and the chants of "WASP! WASP!" filled the air.  Then "BLACKIE! BLACKIE!" and it wasn’t long before the band were back on stage to round off the night with two classics ‘Wild Child’ and 'I Wanna Be Somebody’.

Blackie may now be a born again Christian and with the band's performance tonight, he proved tonight the devil doesn’t have all the best tunes. 

Review by: Barry McMinn




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