I've probably gone to more concerts in the past year than I did the previous 10! There is nothing better than live music and there is nothing better than seeing your favorites up close, acoustic and personal. Last night I had the pleasure of enjoying a full acoustic set featuring Stryper's Michael Sweet!
Playing at the Cannery Music Hall and kinda nearby (for me) Southbridge, MA, Michael took the stage and the best way to describe it... had fun! Performing Stryper classics like 'All For One', 'Calling on You', 'Honestly' and 'Always There For You' was to be expected, but Michael took the time to travel all over his non' Stryper history including opening the set with the recent Sweet & Lynch's 'Dying Rose' much to the delight of those in attendance.
If you didn't know Michael spent a few years in the band Boston and paid homage to that classic band performing a few of their best,'Amanda' and 'Peace of Mind'! As melodic and feel good as Michael's songs are, it was 'I'm Not Your Suicide' that just burned with emotion and pain...even stripped down.
On stage Michael is a pro; looks great, pulls it off guitar wise and of course still has the vocal chops to send chills up and down the spine. And for Michael... he seemed to be really enjoying himself... joking with the crowd, telling stories and even pointing out little snafus like non working guitar, forgotten lines and the bloody hand that left a blood stain across the bottom of his guitar. F-U-N! And he brought out a local Northampton musician to join him on stage for an amazing version of 'Love Hurts' by Nazareth.
Opening the show was Charlie Farren who was the frontman for the underrated Farrenheit as well as the Joe Perry Project. Charlie was not only amazing as well; great performer and masterful storyteller. He has had an amazing and very interesting life and ca't wait to rediscover his career! But the funniest moment for me is that Charlie (as well as Michael and Stryper) is mentioned in the book i'm currently writing, PASTOR CHOP! As I told Charlie later on, I didn't put two and two together until me mentioned on stage his musical past.
Once again...go out and see some live music and support Michael Sweet, Stryper and Charlie Farren when they come to down! Awesome time!
Photos by Bryan Grenier