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An evening with Michael Sweet
Summit City Lounge, Whitesburg KY
April 23, 2015

“You’d better get tickets now.  They’re selling out fast,” someone told me when I was trying to decide whether to go to see Michael Sweet in Whitesburg, Kentucky.  It sounded like someone was dying, and I was having to quickly drive a long distance before it was too late.  “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

When I, the virgin Stryper concert-goer, decided to go, I was told, “You’re in for a real treat.” I didn’t know how true that was until Michael Sweet, himself, just simply walked right onto the stage of the Summit City Lounge.  He had only his guitar.  He didn’t need any introduction or applause.

And he didn’t get into the music right away.  Instead, he spent about fifteen minutes talking, wanting to get to know everyone, like where everyone was from, who has (or hasn’t) seen Stryper before.  In this time, I learned some things about them:  Michael likes Starbucks, Robert still has a partiality towards yellow, and Oz likes to make (and eat) pancakes.

He almost didn’t want to play.  But he did, of course.  Everyone in the audience reminisced with him about each album, from any one or two songs on them, to the “eye” story (as told in his autobiography Honestly), to his sharing Boston songs he has had the privilege of covering for the original late lead vocalist, to doing an awesome acoustical cover of “Living on a Prayer”...Yes, everyone in the audience sang the chorus, word for word.

"...he spent about fifteen minutes talking, wanting to get to know everyone."

The best part of all was having a long time of taking requests, even if he sang just the chorus.  The requests comprised anything from Judas Priest to retro Stryper, like “First Love.”  That will certainly take some of you back.

I don’t know if I’ll ever go to another “intimate” concert again.  If I do, it will never hold a candle to this night with Michael.

Last but not least, I’m ready to go to a full Styper show-more than one!

Julia Pope, HMS

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