7 Weeks: Live In America, 2003
When Christian metallists Stryper packed it up in 1991, it appeared as though their audience had quickly vanished, as most rock fans shifted their attention to such other burgeoning styles as grunge and thrash. But during the group's absence over the ensuing decade, a large cult following developed, resulting in the chaps deciding to give it another shot by the early 21st century. In 2003 came their first extensive U.S. tour in ages, resulting in the arrival of their first-ever live set, 7 Weeks: Live in America 2003. Although Stryper's look may have changed (gone is all the hairspray, makeup, and hilarious yellow-and-black leather outfits), their anthems still retain their bombastic flair, especially evident in Michael Sweet's Dennis DeYoung-esque vocals. Most of the expected Stryper favorites are included here, including the rockers "Soldiers Under Command" and "Free," the power ballad "Honestly," and a track that falls somewhere in between, "Calling On You." A pretty darn solid set, although one fumble is spotted toward the end — a metalized version of "Winter Wonderland" (somewhere, David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel are green with envy).