Concert Review: Michael Sweet at the Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, MA
This was my first show in attendance at The Spire Center for The Performing Arts in beautiful downtown Plymouth, MA. The venue is surrounded by some very nice restaurants, small shops and I must say with all of the holiday lights gleaming I was in a very festive spirit. Why shouldn’t I be? It’s the Friday night before Christmas and I’m getting ready to witness a one-night only, special performance from one of my favorite vocalists of all time – Massachusetts’ own Michael Sweet.
It was being billed as a show featuring Stryper classics, songs from his solo career and popular Christmas carols. Since this was a rare one off gig, trying to guess a set list was fruitless, although it’s something of a game I will often play with myself pre-show. Instead I was just going to take my seat in what can only be described as like being in a church, the only thing missing was a kneeler.
Michael delivered a magical16 song set mixed with everything that was advertised and truly presented me with one of the best shows in all of 2014 and the best holiday themed concert this side of TSO. The format was simple. Michael was on acoustic guitar and lead vocals and was joined on stage with a little keyboards and some percussion.
Opening with the Stryper classic “Always There For You” the crowd seemed primed and pumped for whatever Michael decided to play. Other songs in the first part of the set included “Calling On You”, “Real” and “Honestly”. I was impressed with “One For All” the most because it’s from “Against The Law”, a personal favorite. Just for good measure he threw out the Boston classic “Piece of Mind” as a nod to his five year stint as a member of their touring band.
The Christmas classics included “The Little Drummer Boy”, “O Holy Night”, “Winter Wonderland”, “Silent Night”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and by far the best song of the night the Stryper classic “Reason For The Season” which I never thought I would ever hear performed live. Wow now that was a magic moment! All were performed with the usual Sweet touch of power vocals mixed with emotional urgency which really hits me at the core of my musical fandom. That pretty much sums up why Michael Sweet has been and continues to be one of my personal favorite performers of all time. Saving the date for next year Michael!