that the last live album I reviewed was also recorded at the iconic
Whisky-A-Go-Go in Hollywood, U.S.A., a venue only slightly more North from
Orange, Stryper’s county of origin. Almost a home crowd, therefore.
One thing I
tried to envisage when listening to this album was how someone unfamiliar with
Stryper might react. Eventually I concluded that the album’s audio recording
(there’s also a DVD version, which I haven’t seen) is not going to gain many new
fans. Something for the loyal fan, therefore? Well, being in possession of all
Stryper’s albums, I might be able to spare a few words on that.....
first half of the album is decent but verging on boring. The songs’ live
renditions don’t offer any interesting alternative to their studio albums of
origin (‘Loud and Clear’ being one possible exception). Michael Sweet’s voice
seems to be in reasonably good form even if songs such as ‘Calling On You’,
‘More Than a Man’ and ‘To Hell with the Devil’ were written when he sang much
further at the upper range. I couldn’t help smiling at the introduction of
‘Always There For You’ when he tells the crowd “You’ve got better voices than we
have, that’s for sure.” Incidentally, there’s a excellent level of band/crowd
rapport throughout “Live At The Whisky”.
half-way through the album, Stryper play the title-track of the “No More Hell To
Pay” album, which was released mere days before this gig took place. And I have
to say that Stryper do an excellent job of it. Not only that, but from that
point onwards the album takes a turn for the better. When Stryper belt out
classics such as ‘To Hell With The Devil’ and ‘Soldiers Under Command’ I
remember why I’ve been following this band for so many years.
to their studio versions, some songs are given a slightly different edge. For
example ‘The Way’ sounds heavier and ‘Soldiers Under Command’ has an excellent
vocals only intro.
So “Live at
the Whisky” (audio CD) has its moments but to be honest I’m still inclined to
stick to my studio album collection.
See the album