Stryper - Live In America, 2003
Fifty Three Five Records
63 minutes
MegilothReview by:  Megiloth

Stryper - 7 Weeks: Live In America 2003

1)  Sing Along Song
2)  Makes Me Wanna Sing
3)  Calling On You
4)  Free
5)  More Than A Man
6)  Caught In The Middle
7)  Reach Out
8)  Loud 'N Clear
9)  The Way
10)  Soldiers Under Command
11)  To Hell With The Devil
12)  Honestly
13)  Winter Wonderland
14)  Closing Prayer

After seeing this show last year, and hearing a live CD was in the making, I was a quite the happy metalhead.  I mean this was the big Stryper Reunion tour, and what better way to commemorate the occasion than make a live recording of the event for the fans.  For whatever reason, some people don’t like live albums.  Therefore, if you fall into that category, then you may want to avoid this one.  Wouldn’t want to offend your delicate perfect digital recording sensibilities with an audience or occasional feedback glitches.

This CD is a fairly accurate representation of the show I saw last year.  I only noticed a few differences between the live show and the CD.  First, no “Battle Hymn of the Republic” intro, and most noticeably missing from the CD were their two new songs, “For You” and “Something”.  If you want to hear those, go pick up their Seven - Best Of  CD.  Other than that, this CD is practically flawless.  All the instruments come through, Michael’s voice is pitch perfect for the most part, and the audience is loud Tim, Michael, Robert, and Ozand clear (no pun intended).  Oh yeah, another minor change I guess I didn't catch last year, but just now noticed was in “Caught In The Middle”.  The original line “…you don’t know what the hell you’re feeling” was just so controversial back when Against The Law came out.  On this CD, “hell” is changed to “heck”.  Wouldn't want to offend the Christians that never liked your music to begin with.

An important part of the show is getting crowd participation, and Stryper has no problem drawing this out.  Much singing ensues on the openers, “Sing Along Song” and “Makes Me Wanna Sing”, and even in the case of the bridge of “More Than A Man”, the crowd even hits the high note in, “…no matter what some people SAAAAAAAAAYY”.  It’s like someone kicked ‘em in their collective nuts.

Culled from material mainly from Soldiers Under Command and To Hell With The Devil, Stryper shows they haven’t lost it.  One song from The Yellow and Black Attack, one song from Against The Law, and nothing from In God We Trust.  Of course, as with every other hair band of the 80’s they had to do their power ballad.  “Honestly” is the song that put the band on the map and made them a mainstay on MTV, so for a reunion show, it’s only fitting they perform it.  To round out the show, they play the fun little song, “Winter Wonderland” from an obscure 1985 single of theirs, followed by prayer for the audience.

The heavenly metal bumblebees still have the sting, and are still Rockin' for the Rock.  Robert Sweet’s pounding drums, Tim Gaines’ thumping bass, and the guitar dueling of Oz Fox and Michael Sweet will get you air-guitaring like a fool in no time.  If you were ever a Stryper fan, then this is a vital asset to your collection.  With the exception of their Live In Japan video (I own the LaserDisc…I’m so cool), this is their first professional live release in almost 20 years.

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MP3 Sound Clips (MP3 Disclaimer)

Stryper homepage


Reach Out
Winter Wonderland

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