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July 18, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Stryper with Autograph at Arcada Theatre on July 18, 2019

Stryper, w/:

  • Autograph

@Arcada Theatre
July 18
Show = 7:30 pm
Tickets’ starting price = $39


Formed in Orange County, California in 1983, the group was originally known as Roxx Regime, and consisted of singer/guitarist/main songwriter Michael Sweet, drummer Robert Sweet, lead guitarist Oz Fox, and bassist Timothy Gaines. It wasn’t until the group changed its name to Stryper (which stood for “Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement, and Righteousness”) that things really began taking off for the quartet. Specializing in the melodic Van Halen/Def Leppard style (with heart-wrenching power ballads tossed in), dressed in all black-and-yellow outfits, and spreading their religious message even further by tossing bibles out into the crowd at their shows, Stryper were signed by the Enigma label in 1984. The same year, the group’s debut recording, a six-track mini-album titled The Yellow & Black Attack, was issued.

The album created a buzz for the group among metalheads, which was only heightened with the release of the band’s first full-length album, 1985’s “Soldiers Under Command”. The first Stryper release to crack the Billboard charts, its success led to the re-release of “The Yellow & Black Attack” (which included an extra two tracks and new artwork) in 1986. Later the same year, Stryper issued their sophomore full-length, “To Hell with the Devil”, which many consider to be the group’s finest hour. Turning out to be the highest-charting album of their career (barely missing the Top 30), the platinum-certified album benefited by MTV’s repeated airings of the videos for “Calling on You” and the syrupy ballad “Honestly” (the latter peaked at number 23 on the U.S. singles charts). Despite possessing a different message than their peers, by this point Stryper fit in perfectly with the other popular pop/hair metal bands of the day (Bon Jovi, White Lion, Dokken, etc.).

In 1991,  Michael Sweet decided to leave the group for a solo career. Surprisingly, the remaining members of Stryper opted to carry on as a three-piece (with Fox handling lead vocal duties), and continued to tour for a spell. The Michael Sweet-less version didn’t last long however, as Stryper officially called it quits in 1992.

During the intervening years, a large core of devoted fans remained intact, resulting in all of Stryper’s albums being reissued by Hollywood Records. In 1999, Sin Dizzy played a show with Michael Sweet that ended in an off-the-cuff jam session of old Stryper tunes — resulting in reunion rumors. And with a heightened nostalgic interest regarding ‘80s-era metal bands during the early 21st century, Stryper agreed to sporadically reunite for a “Stryper Expo,” which has since turned into an annual event. Stryper’s second greatest-hits collection, “7: The Best of Stryper”, was issued in 2003, and included a pair of new tunes recorded especially for the collection, “Something” and “For You.” Fueled by a renewed interest in the Christian rock scene, the band returned to the studio for 2005’s “Reborn” and again in 2009 for “Murder by Pride”, the latter released in celebration of the band’s 25th anniversary. In 2011, Stryper released “The Covering”, featuring covers of songs by bands that inspired them, including a take on Black Sabbath’s 1980 hit “Heaven and Hell.” 2013’s “Second Coming” saw the band offering up a set of re-recorded versions of earlier material, along with two brand new songs, as well as the release of a new studio album, “No More Hell to Pay”, their first outing for Frontiers Records. In 2015, Stryper issued their eighth studio long-player, “Fallen”, again via “Frontiers”. In February 2018, the band issued the single “Take It to the Cross,” which featured a guest spot from Shadows Fall’s Matt Bachand. Two months later, full-length God Damn Evil was released, marking the debut of Perry Richardson, who replaced longtime bassist Timothy Gaines the year prior. (Source)


A talented, hook-driven hard rock outfit that hit it big in 1984 with the pop-metal party anthem “Turn Up the Radio,” Autograph’s winning blend of sophisticated and melodic AOR and pop-metal drew comparisons to artists like Van Halen, Fastway, and Slade. Formed in Los Angeles, California in 1983 by vocalist Steve Plunkett, guitarist Steve Lynch, bassist Randy Rand, keyboard player Steven Isham, and drummer Keni Richards, the band quickly landed a deal with RCA and released its debut LP, Sign in Please. Issued in 1984, the album included the singles “Send Her to Me” and “Turn Up the Radio,” the latter of which would go on to be considered an ’80s classic. Released in 1985, That’s the Stuff boasted a pair of high-octane singles in “Blondes in Black Cars” and the anthemic title track, and was followed by a string of opening slots for Mötley Crüe and Heart. Lackluster label support resulted in 1987’s otherwise strong Loud and Clear not performing as well as its predecessors, and the following year saw the band leave RCA and eventually cease operations in 1989. Autograph reunited, sans Plunkett, in 2014 for a series of festivals, and in 2015 they issued their first new single in decades, “You Are Us, We Are You.” A five-song EP, Louder, dropped the following year, and in 2017 Autograph inked a deal with David Ellefson of Megadeth’s EMP label and released their long-awaited fourth studio long-player, Get Off Your Ass. (Source)