Show in Review: Static X – Remembering Wayne Static
The line was fairly long when I got to House of Blues Las Vegas. I had a random conversation about upcoming shows with the guy in front of me before they waived the line through towards security .
Once in the actual venue, I made my way to the bar in the balcony area where Jorge helped me out with an adios mf’er before scurrying back to the area where my seat was socializing with people I know along the way to include the metal mama herself and her steadfast concert buddy Chris.
As I was sitting in my seat waiting for my roommates to show up (timing is not their strong suite, it’s cool though) some guy named John (like the toilet, as he was adamant to point out) was yelling at a couple in the same row as me they had met in line before we all came in. This was followed by random sing-a-longs to music that was played over the PA system while the crowd below continued to shuffle in.
John proceeded to call his friend Dave, who was clearly the embarrassed friend that had less to drink, an asshole among other things. A crowd of gents that came later on in the show would make the catch phrase of “Fuck You John!” up by the end of the show based off my sarcastic interactions with this finely inebriated gent. It made sitting in seats less of a depressing let down and more of an amusing experience.
Raven Black hailing from Los Angeles took the stage first. Muppet (drums) appeared throwing drumsticks into the crowd, before the rest of the band joined him. A tiny half human half doll walked on stage, taking her place on the centered platform while sporting a spider web umbrella and creepy yet playful face make up added to the doll like appeal.
Raven’s voice is powerful and precise cutting through the crowd with the force of her deep rolling growls and high cleans that give you the intended Harley Quinn level crazy vibe. Coupled with Muppet’s growls their voices complimented each-other. This is of course all done while waiving around stage props such as a chain mace while leaning into the crowd with the mic. Playing with everything from an over-sized teddy bear to a hula-hoop on stage on top of the lighting and smoke machines it was a great yet not overly complex production.
Their set list showcased majority of their 2018 EP release “13” and 2016 release “Seven Sins “ as well as ending with their single “Carnival” released this year. I thoroughly enjoyed their performance of Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars and Sticks N Stones . The whole performance gave me the sense of Alice tripping on acid and falling down the rabbit hole into an unknown and sometimes worrisome world where nursery rhymes have resumed their darker meanings.
This band was pretty damn impressive and definitely brings a voice to those who enjoy that Gothic Carnivalesk style without the overkill of creepy clowns. They are a definitely on my recommendation list to see live. It is more than understandable for them to be placed on the same bill as Wednesday 13. That is a pairing made in heaven for this niche in theatrics.
Wednesday 13 was up next donning various colors of glow in the dark body paint. Vixen sporting a cloak and mask to cover his face while they dove into their contribution to the festivities. Their costumes have been different each time I have seen them play live. After the first song the cloak and mask were stripped off to show a shirtless torso and face painted to look like an abomination of sorts. When they played Serpent Society a different cloak and mask with a pitchfork and horns appeared. Followed by a top hat coated with slime adorning 2 faced monster during What the Night Brings. I can’t say the performance was good or bad but I have a feeling they were holding back a bit for the sake of the main focal point of the tour.
Normally Dope slams through your body with their music but it wasn’t quite hitting my ears the same way it normally does. If you don’t know who Dope is think Korn mixed with Marilyn Manson with an industrial vibe. If we are being honest here, which I always am, having seen them play at the Dive Bar previously I was a little disappointed with the lack of “Umph” this time around.
Don’t get me wrong these guys can hype a crowd and had a pretty good pit going but the drums were the only thing doing it for me until “Die MF Die” and of course their cover of Dead Or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) “.
Before Devildriver came on they played Suicide Silence ‘s No Pity for a Coward (one of my favorite songs by them) along with a myriad of other metal music on the PA system.
And then ….Devildriver took the stage….Mmmmmmm yeahhhhh brother!!!!! Their shit is legit. Too legit to quit. Dez brings that vocal tenacity that every successful frontnman should have while being backed by a band that is hard hitting as fuckkkkk. Combine their musical talent with the way they work the crowd .
They weren’t able to put on quite as grand of a show during Ozzfest via the Forum in CA on New Years Eve. That last show was pretty dope but I’d have to say this was a far superior experience. Every single note from every instrument pierced through my chest like daggers of sweet symphonic release . On the dual screen on stage were visuals of witchcraft serving the demon lords and western themes that caught your eye and gave their performance that extra edge.
Their set consisted of one or two songs from each album with a majority coming from The Fury of Our Makers Hand circa 2005 with Before The Hangman’s Noose, Grinfucked and more. As well as, songs from their self titled album DevilDriver circa 2003 with Cry for Me Sky (Eulogy of the Scorned) and I Could Care Less. They played their AWOL Nation cover Sail in addition to some other covers from Dez’s other project Coal Chamber such as Loco and Fiend.
Then the much awaited performance from Static X . The entire 20th anniversary Wisconsin Death Trip Tour has been dedicated to the memory of the lead singer Wayne Static who passed away tragically before his time. It was truly one of the biggest tragedies to hit the metal and music scene.
The public reaction regarding this tour has been interesting to watch from both sides. That being said I did not have the privilege to see them live when Wayne was still on this plain. I have only been able to watch live videos found on YouTube. There are some people that say that this is a money ploy and there is no Static-X without Wayne. And there are others
Whether or not any side is right or wrong is not for me to decide and is not needed to write this article. Over all it was a fantastic performance, the vocalist whoever he might be captured the essence of Wayne without taking away from or diluting his memory. At the very beginning, right after their drummer took the stage an image of Wayne appeared on one of the screens with all other stage lights out. There was more than one moment for the crowd to take to remember Mr. Static.
They opened up with Bled for Days via their 1999 album Wisconsin Death Trip playing it in its entirety ending their performance with Push It , while also throwing in additional numbers from Machine (2001) such as Cold (known for its feature in one of the greatest , in my opinion, sound tracks of all time for Queen of the Damned ) Black and White and More.
The amount of fans singing along to all the words of every song was magical. The sound of the cheers made you feel like you were in a larger venue like the joint or the SAP Center. It consumed the space like a swarm of locusts or in Vegas’case grasshoppers. But instead of being pestering it was welcoming and inclusive.