Striper Concert at Battle Creek

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The yellow and black attack is back. The 1980s band, as famous for their faith as they are for their heavy metal anthems, will play a gig at the Music Factory in Battle Creek.

Ah, the 80s… If you remember the blindfold scene from the Greed Decade, you probably remember Stryper. This was the band that tried to rock as hard as Van Halen and Motley Crue, but didn’t do it for the girls and the drugs and the fame, but for the Lord. Somewhere in that part of your brain labeled “useless knowledge” might be stored the fact that Stryper’s name was based on a Bible verse (Isiah 53:5), but did you know the name had another meaning? Robert Sweet, drummer and brother of vocalist Robert Sweet, created a backronym for Stryper: “Salvation Through Redemption, Yielding Peace, Encouragement, and Righteousness”.

Stripper’s debut EP The yellow and black attack was released in 1984, and they toured extensively, opening for bands like Ratt and Bon Jovi. A memorable part of their live show was when the band threw Bibles into the audience. Their first album Soldiers under command went Gold in 1985, selling over half a million copies, followed by To hell with the devil next year. The power ballad “Honestly” got them into rotation on MTV.

I was as surprised as you to learn that Stryper has been busy lately releasing a new record – their 13th, in 2020 called Even the devil believes. They have a podcast (don’t everyone have a podcast now?) and have launched a kickstarter for a documentary film about the band’s history. My favorite piece of merch from the Stryper website is an 1/18th scale model of the yellow and black striped pickup truck – the “battle van”, which was featured on the cover of their debut album. Unfortunately, there is a production delay due to COVID.

Now, in 2022, we’re still talking about Stryper, because the band is still touring. Three of the four original members are in the lineup: vocalist/guitarist Robert Sweet, guitarist Oz Fox and drummer Robert Sweet. Bassist Tim Gaines was a part of the band several times and was replaced by Firehouse’s Perry Richardson. They’ll be bringing their biblical antics and heavy metal anthems to the Music Factory in Battle Creek for a concert in September.

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