Shock rockers W.A.S.P. prep for one-night engagement in Sacramento region on August 5

Photograph by Jay Gilbert

By Eddie Jorgensen

Once the bane of the Parents Music Resource Center’s existence in the late 1980s, singer Blackie Lawless – a.k.a. Steven Edward Duren – has carried on as countless organizations tried unsuccessfully to shut his band down. Now 40-plus years into his career as bandleader of W.A.S.P., the 66-year-old rocker continues to be as menacing as he was in the band’s heyday. On August 5, Sacramentans can get a taste of his force at The Hard Rock Live in Wheatland.

W.A.S.P. came out of the gates swinging in 1984 with a self-titled album that went on to Gold-selling status in the U.S. and Canada. Propelled by the catchy single, “I Wanna Be Somebody,” the track would eventually prove so popular that VH1 placed it on its Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of all time.

Although the band’s last album of original material, ‘Golgotha,’ was released eight years ago, it’s 2022 North American tour was a rousing success that saw multiple sell-out crowds.

With a set-list that spans across some of the band’s greatest recordings, including “The Crimson Idol,” “The Headless Children,’” “Inside the Electric Circus” and “The Last Command,” both hardcore fans and newbies alike are bound to cheer for Lawless’s song selection. The band’s current line-up also features bassist Mike Duda, lead guitarist Doug Blair and drummer Aquiles Priester.

The upcoming W.A.S.P. show at the Hard Rock features Southern California’s Armored Saint as its opener. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show kicks off promptly at 8 p.m. The is an all-ages event. Tickets start at $39.50, with the more expensive Gold Circle price reaching $199, all at The Hard Rock Live is located in Wheatland at 3317 Forty Mile Road.

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