I made it to W.A.S.P – 30 Years Of Thunder at HMV Forum in London!
W.A.S.P played in London, the same day that I arrived last night, and I had no idea…! This is what happened:
During my lunch break, I logged into my Facebook account and accidentally saw it – “30 Years of Thunder” so I clicked on it and realized that it was in London, and uuuuh, I was on my way there for the 50 Years of Marshall-thing.
I went to Ticketmaster to check times, tickets, prices…. Only to find out that the whole thing was sold out. What?! I haven’t heard of a sold out show in ages! But I decided to go to the venue anyway, there’s always someone outside selling tickets, I might get lucky.
Then, while I was killing time at the airport later that evening, I got a message from Jon Oliva’s former drum tech, who had noticed my status update: “Say hello to Chris from me!”
That’s when it hit me, I probably knew someone on this W.A.S.P-tour. Chris, I never thought of that. Last time I saw him he was out with Doro, but yes he was with W.A.S.P a few years ago too, now that someone mentioned it.
I didn’t have his contact info, so I thought it didn’t matter, if I managed to get into the show, I’d go and say hello to him, always good to see a familiar face!
And then – while I was standing in line to board the plane, it dawned on me that my friend “Mommypig”, Oliva’s former tour manager, knew Chris. So I texted her to ask if she knew how I could get in touch with him, because the W.A.S.P show was sold out and I was on my way over to London.
She said she’d see what she could do and get back to me. I received her last text seconds before takeoff when we had to switch off “all electronic equipment”! :)
By the time I landed in London, two hours later, there was a text when I switched on my phone again: “Guest list is confirmed for you. Have fun!”
I could have hugged the WORLD at that point, was so relieved and so happy!
So now, the race was on to make it to the show on time. Thank god for GOOGLE! I had printed directions so I raced through the airport, one of those “excuse-me-excuse me-excuse meee!”-sort of zig-zag walks and got on the Stansted Express within minutes, a combination of luck and determination.
After a train ride and two subway changes, and a walk, I finally got to the venue. All sweaty after the run, I checked in at the guest list booth. The girl smiled and said “Hello Daniela, yes you’re on the list, welcome!”
I MADE IT!!
The Beatles-song “With a Little Help From My Friends” came to mind. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the lucky circumstances and good friends. The place was PACKED and I mean….PACCCKKKEDDD!!!
I couldn’t see shit, I didn’t know where I was going, I didn’t know where the stage was, all I could see was PEOPLE and beers everywhere. I finally located the stage. I’m not kidding when I say that there was no spot a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e in there that didn’t have someone standing there, forget the usual “I’ll just squeeze my way through”. No way you could squeeze in anywhere.
I wanted to say hi to Chris but he saw me and shook his head, to let me know he had no chance in hell to communicate, it was nuts over at the merch as well.
Well, I don’t know if some high rock’n’roll forces like me or what, but I had ended up behind a bunch of really tall guys and suddenly they all left to go get more beer – and I found myself standing right behind the wheelchair section with a perfect view!! :)) And nobody pushing me. I heard angel choirs at that point – “hallelujah!”
And so the show began. Oh my GOD. W.A.S.P has always been a brilliant live-band. I’ve seen them many many times through the years and they always deliver, you can be sure of that. I don’t even care if Blackie is “helping things along” nowadays with pre-recorded vocals here and there, as long as it’s nicely done, I don’t care.
It was like a machine gun just shooting out all the hits that we love, one after another, framed by this really cool stage set, three big screens showing the classic videos in the background while the band was performing the songs live.
I was happy to hear one of my favorites, the old ballad from the first album “Sleeping In The Fire”.But you got all the other stuff too, I Wanna Be Somebody, Forever Free, The Idol, Blind In Texas, The Torture Never Stops, Hellion – whe whole razzamanazz! :))
The crowd was in ecstasy, the guy next to me was crying! During the short break, before “part two” of the show continued, he told a girl standing next to him that he had had a tough childhood and when he was 15 he heard “The Idol” which changed his whole life and he kept telling her that he owes W.A.S.P so much for turning his life into something positive with their music. Wow, that was amazing. And then you have religious nuts telling people that heavy metal kills. I would say that in more cases it saves.
Anyway, the show was packed with explosive energy where all you remember is Blackie’s intense, piercing look and Duda’s bass-pirouettes – accompanied by Mike Dupke’s KILLER drums and the cool riffs from Doug and his blinking and spinning special guitars. But then they went onto the more dark and gloomy side of W.A.S.P where you had to watch and listen to political and religious messages and watch really depressing videos on the screens (from the crimson idol story). I don’t know, it totally killed the mood.
People even started leaving. I can see why Blackie doesn’t want to live in the past and I understand that he wants to show where he’s at now as a person and an artist, but on a Friday night in London, in a packed arena, it might not be the most perfect time or place for that. People wanted classic W.A.S.P, not be reminded of the shitty reality of things. Music to many people, including me, is escapism. You just want a bit of fun during the one or two hours that you spend in a sweaty crowd.
Anyway, after maybe 20 minutes of gloom (good music, intelligent thought behind it all, don’t get me wrong, it just simply didn’t fit into the party-setting) they finally turned the heat back on.
When W.A.S.P is good – they aren’t just good, they are… outstanding. Kicks everybody’s ass.
I’m so glad I heard about this gig in the last minute, I guess that piece of crap Facebook-thing can be good for something sometimes. :)
I waited till the place had cleared, to say hi to Chris. He was totally drained. “This is only the beginning, we don’t get off the road until December…!” I could tell that it was good business but also VERY demanding.
Was good to see him, I left HMV Forum to grab a cab back to my hotel at Wembley. Today it’s GUITAR HERO TIME!
It’s almost unreal, I can’t believe that I’ll get to see Yngwie AND Paul Gilbert, two of my absolute favorites, on the same stage, the same evening! A moment in music history, for sure!
Stick around for more!
(took a few simple phone pics last night but this piece of shit hotel Wi-Fi doesn’t allow any uploads so…. later!)