Stryper Makes Rare Area Appearance At Unplugged Show

Concert Review
Saturday June 8, 2024
Town Ballroom
Buffalo, NY
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

Stryper made their way to Buffalo over the weekend for their first area appearance in some ten years. This time was quite different as the appropriately titled tour To Hell With The Amps landed them at the Town Ballroom. While the turnout wasn’t quite what the venue and promoters may have wanted, those in attendance will take a rare area appearance by the band any way they can get them. While the Town Ballroom hands down is the best of the 1000 seaters in town, this was not an ideal choice for this type of show (see below).

Taking nothing away from the band’s 80-minute performance, vocalist Michael Sweet put on a commendable performance considering he had gone under thyroid surgery six months prior. He was joined of course by his brother Robert Sweet on drums and bassist Perry Richardson (FireHouse,Craig Morgan, Trace Adkins). Guitarist Oz Fox had to miss this tour due to surgery of his own. Joining the band on keyboards was Will Doughty. Doughty is best known for being the touring keyboardist for Poison as well as a Nashville based session musician.

The band dug through a good portion of their discography focusing in on their platinum selling To Hell With The Devil. That album featured three tracks including their lone top-40 single “Honestly” which peaked at #23 on the Billboard charts back in the day. Other highlights were “Loud ‘N’ Clear”, “Calling On You” and show opener “All For Love”. A cover of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” which Sweet called the greatest song written about prayer, stirred up some discussion. Fans posted some video of the song and some left uncalled for unflattering comments. The band was not trying to do a copycat version since it was a cover. They tried to make it their own and gave it a facelift. Nevertheless the majority of the crowd were singing along having a blast.

Overall it was a unique show for the band being the first time they did a full scale unplugged tour. Sweet mentioned they will be back touring later in the fall with the full electric set which drew a healthy response. Hopefully they come back and play The Riviera which would be a better suited venue due to having seats. Many fans who go back to the band’s heyday aren’t getting any younger and it’s hard to stand for long periods of time for some. Next time these guys come through I would expect a very large turnout more on the scale of the crowd last time out at Braun’s in 2014.

Set List
All for One
You Know What to Do
Soldiers Under Command
No More Hell to Pay
Make You Mine
Loud ‘n’ Clear
Calling on You
Amazing Grace
Always There for You
This I Pray
Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi Cover)
To Hell With the Devil

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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