Stryper Brings Their Yellow & Black Attack to Orlando
House of Blues Orlando Feb. 7th, 2020
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5). This passage from the King James Version of the bible is the inspiration behind the band’s name. Formed in Southern California in 1983, Stryper hit the scene when hair bands and stadium rock shows were at their apex of success. The combination of long flowing locks and yellow and black spandex might have led one to believe that this was just another metal band. That assumption would be wrong. Stryper had a passion, a mission and a message, all of which were rooted in their love of music and their Christian beliefs.
Brothers Michael and Robert Sweet were two of the group’s founding members. While Michael performed vocal and guitar duties, Robert handled the drum chores. Soon, they were joined by guitarist Oz Fox. Although the band has seen several lineup changes and solo projects over the years, the trio is together again. Stryper strengthened its ranks, in 2017, with the addition of powerhouse bassist and founding member of Firehouse, Perry Richardson.
The following the band has amassed over the years was evident as I followed the long and winding line of fans waiting to enter the House of Blues in Orlando. Unlike a lot of shows, the age range of concert-goers was diverse. I saw some fans who were in their sixties and some as young as ten years old. Tonight however, was not about age. It was all about a fun night of hard rocking metal music, Stryper style.
Michael Sweet’s dynamic vocals were on display throughout the night, no wear and tear whatsoever. Early songs in the set included The Valley and Sorry off of their 2018 album, God Damn Evil. The band took a pause in order to invite a young fan onstage so that she could give them a drawing she had made. The smile on her face was proof of how endearing Stryper is to their fans. Without skipping a beat, the band launched back into action, belting out fan favorites such as Calling on You, Honestly, and Always There for You. In a tip-of-the-hat to Firehouse, the band covered their hit, All She Wrote. The band saved their mega-hit, To Hell with the Devil, for the final encore of the night.
Throughout the evening it was hard to miss the bright yellow 7-7-7 logo hanging from Michael Sweet’s mic stand. The symbol is sort of an opposite to 6-6-6 which is described in The Book of Revelations as being the number of the beast. Stryper provided the fans with a trip down memory lane, back to a time when metal reigned supreme. During their nearly four decades, the band has never abandoned their faith in exchange for an easier road to success. While other acts were profiting from their hard partying, bad boy personas, Stryper has always stayed true to their beliefs.