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Rob Zombie/ Live Show Review
This week's update By: Dan     visit dwf music forum
Rob Zombie
Towards the end of the show, Rob brought out a guy with a camcorder and asked for people to kick some ass while the band played White Zombie’s classic “Thunderkiss 65.” Is it any surprise that half of the female audience was topless during this?.

ROB ZOMBIE/Live Show Review

Artists: ROB ZOMBIE w/ Sinisstar
Location: The NTELOS Harbor Center Pavilion in Portsmouth, VA

This was an amazing show to be able to attend and witness firsthand. I’d heard stories of how Rob Zombie’s live show was unbeatable, but I’d yet to see it for myself. Well, after tonight, let me tell you people… it’s totally unbeatable, on a normal day. This wasn’t a normal day, however. The history of this show is what makes it so incredible.

First of all, The Damned was originally on the bill, between Rob and Sinisstar. However, their blend of goth, punk, and fury just didn’t mix with Zombie and Sinisstar, so they dropped off the tour. Then, the tour was shifted from The NorVa in Norfolk (capacity: (1500) to the Harbor Center (capacity, 10,000) due to Rob’s want of everyone to see the show (the NorVa show sold out in a few weeks). That meant a bigger show and many more tickets. Knowing the history, it’s time for the show itself.

The opening band was called Sinisstar. I’d heard a song from them called “Psychosexy” from the Heavy Metal 2000 soundtrack and thought it was awesome, and from a sampler came another song called “White Noise.” But these songs are not a true representation of the band’s sound, it would seem. They opened with “Psychosexy,” a damn fine choice. It’s a different arrangement, but the version I have is two years old, so it makes sense. The singer thanked Rob Zombie and his crew while the band switched guitars (this happened a lot). Then, they played some HEAVY-ass songs that totally rocked the place into dust. Then they did “Freak of Nature” and “White Noise.” which made for a good combo. The singer did a short rant on how the people who manage the band had suggested that the next song not be played because it wasn’t commercial enough. But they did it anyways… a song called “The Haunted” that was very doom-metal sounding. Then they did one more song (the name of which either wasn’t said or I didn’t catch) that I really liked. I thought their set was very tight, well glued together, and totally showed the band off. If ever there has been a perfect way to open for someone, this band knew how to do it. Very good job and kick ass music from Sinisstar.

The setup time between Sinisstar and Rob Zombie was pretty immense, but that was to be expected. After all, Rob’s stage show is… large, to say the least. At least there was some good music in between the bands. FYE (a promotions company) had something going that was very outdated, but had music from Headstrong, OTEP, Speedealer, and the ever-hated but strangely captivating Andrew W.K. An odd blend, to say the least. Then there was some Ted Nugent, Anthrax, and others. While this was happening, I was conversing with some people in the pits… nice people, avid concertgoers.

Then… the lights go down… it was finally time for Rob Zombie himself. A curtain covered the stage, but it dropped to reveal an immense stage. On the very top of it was John Tempesta, drummer for Zombie. Below him on either side were video screens and what looked like very powerful flame-throwers. His drumset was placed on top of a giant demonic mouth.

Blasko and Riggs came out and the band started to play “Demon Speeding” and then Rob himself emerged from the mouth of the demon. It wasn’t deadly obvious… but it was somewhat noticeable that Rob was having a problem with something. They continued on to “Dead Girl Superstar” and it was again obvious that Rob was having a problem. After the song, he explained it. Seems that about a month ago, he broke a rib. “But thank God for duct tape, I taped myself back together and I’m here right now. I almost cancelled this morning because it hurt to get out of bed, but I already moved the show once and I am going to do everything in my power to make this show the best it can be, it’s just gonna be more painful for some than others. So if I can’t sing all the words, just fill them in for me, okay?” Someone responded, loudly, with “You know we will!” Indeed, he spoke the truth. They went into a lot of awesome Zombie tunes, both Rob and White Zombie.

Throughout, there were a lot of scary monsters and demons onstage, as well as dancers on the pyro platforms (when there wasn’t pyro, of course). Towards the end of the show, Rob brought out a guy with a camcorder and asked for people to kick some ass while the band played White Zombie’s classic “Thunderkiss 65.” Is it any surprise that half of the female audience was topless during this? I was glad to watch, gawk, and (after asking the two hot-ass girls’ permission) grab the cleavage while headbanging. Then the band left the stage. Of course, they hadn’t done “Dragula” so it was clear they were coming back. Come back they did. This time, there was a percussion set on the Tempesta’s right for the demonoids to play and keep the song going, as well as the band’s playing. It should be noted that Riggs was using a guitar that he fills with blood, then drinks some from the guitar when he’s not playing and spits it into the crowd. As I type this, my face is red with it… which is pretty cool, actually. After “Dragula” was done, they closed out with some song that I don’t know. But people were burned out from a long set and were ready to go home, so Rob’s set was exactly as long as it needed to be.

Overall, I’m happy to report that even with a broken rib and him being in pain for the whole show, Rob Zombie brings the rock with everything he’s got, and then some. His band is tight as hell, and they support Rob well live. Sinisstar is a great opener, and I can see a future for them if they can get the right people to support them. Rob Zombie is a damn fucking good start. But still, they couldn’t overshadow the giant of the music scene… Mr. Rob Zombie. Awesome show… not to be missed if you can see him. If you already missed him… sorry. Catch him next chance you get… it’s worth any ticket price.

-Dan “Damnitall” Madole

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