This year’s 13th Roar on the Shore has raised over $840,000 for various charity organizations over that time. The recipient for 2019 was the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Erie County’s (NAMI) Homefront program. This is the first year the rally has moved from its comforts of downtown Erie, PA to the outskirts of Erie. The Lake Erie Speedway had the honors of hosting this year hosting this wonderful event.
Wrapping up this year’s festival for live entertainment was the band Stryper. Stryper hails from southern California and has been in the game for more than 36 years. This is the first time I have seen the band live in well over 7 years. The band currently is on tour doing a greatest hits set mixing in various covers. This was my first time seeing their “new” bassist Perry Richardson (formerly of Firehouse). So, I was curious to see how the dynamic would play out. The rest of the band still consist of original members Oz Fox on lead guitar and Michael and Robert Sweet on rhythm guitar and drums restively.
The band took to the stage at 9pm and seemed in great spirits. They went right into the appropriate “Soldiers Under Command’ to wet the die hard Stryper fans appetite. It was a loose set as previously mentioned as the band the decided to douse the fans with a barrage of covers. Some were previously covered on their 2011 covers album called “The Covering” and some weren’t. It was a funny moment when Fox went over to Michael Sweet and gave him some white powder (baby powder) so his hands would stay loose on neck due to the humidity. They were joking about the need to use white powder during gigs. Michael Sweet talked about how the 80’s was a wonderful time with the big hair, big clothes and big attitude. I was very impressed by Oz Fox’s work on Crazy Train. He handled the challenging riffs of Randy Rhoads and really brought his game all night. His counterpart Michael Sweet isn’t no slouch either. Both of their playing were the highlights of the set for me. This was no more evident than on “Yahweh” as they shredded the song and really showed their capabilities as great players!
I was impressed by the steady play of Richardson along with his rhythm counterpart Robert Sweet as they both really kept a solid groove the whole night to let both Fox and Robert Sweet shine out front. One of the most underrated bands coming out of the 80’s showed the light but hearty crowd that they were a worthy choice to close out the 2019 Roar on the Shore concert series.
Soldiers Under Command
Shout It Out Loud (KISS cover)
Calling on You
Heading Out to the Highway (Judas Priest cover)
Panama (Van Halen cover)
Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath cover)
More Than a Man
Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
All She Wrote (Firehouse cover)
Always There for You
Sing Along Song
To Hell With the Devil
We would like to thank both Ellie Cullen from Roar on the Shore and Ellena Sweet from Stryper’s Management team for the credentials to review the show.