WHAT’S UP NATION!?
After months if not a year’s worth of waiting. I got to experience it. I Finally got to experience the Static-X Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour and Memorial Tribute to Wayne Static.
I was a BIG fan of Static-X so when I found out this was happening I couldn’t wait to see it. I even looked up clips on youtube. So how did the tour pan out by the time it got to Fort Lauderdale? Let’s find out. Kicking things off we have the band Raven Black.
Now if I can sum up the band’s visuals in one sentence it would be this, “Raven Black is what would happen if you gave Harley Quinn a band”. And I mean that in a good way. Harley Quinn is a VERY popular character and watching their performance. It does give me this idea of an Insane Asylum. And visual Aid is so important these days. If you really want fans to stop texting during your show. Then give them a reason to look up. And that’s what these guys did.
Now as far as the band’s sound goes. Their guitars have this bright static sound to them with screaming and singing vocals over them. Which is a little unique. Cuz I would think most bands would have a deeper sound with this kind of set up. So think of them as a lighter version of Marylin Manson, Cradle of Filth, & Murder Dolls. And going back to the Harley Quinn & Insane Asylum comparisons. Look at some of these song titles. Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars, Voices, Carnival, Dollhouse, Blackening. These all give me give off that kind of motif motif. Some songs worked for me and some didn’t but, I can see how people would like this band. So overall I give this band’s performance a 9 out of 10.
Next up we got Wednesday13
Now just like with Raven Black. This guy succeeds in the theatrics department. Like with this picture he is wearing a mask backwards and his back is to the crowd. And the make up he is wearing was light activated. He even switched to various costumes throughout the show and I love the make up and costumes his musicians were wearing.
As for their music. I am familiar with the music he made with Joey Jordison in MurderDolls and this does have a similar style. Cheesy but fun lyrics, banshee sounding vocals, and music was a bit more serious from when he was in MurderDolls. The music is not my thing but, they certainly got their fans. And they certainly made me want to watch them. This performance gets an 8 out of 10.
Now we have DOPE
Now this is a band I am very familiar with. I had several of their albums as a kid. And I was looking forward to seeing them. So how did they do?…Well I was wondering why weren’t they all dressed up like all the other bands. Then I was told they wanted to bring more a human element to the show and looking back. That does make sense. I even did some research on shock rock and I saw this interview with Paul Landers of Rammstein who said you have to know when to use your theatrics. Otherwise it will become predictable. So Dope served as a good break from all the stimuli. Plus with all the singers being portrayed as characters. Edsel (the singer). Was able to bring more of a human element to the show. With being able to interact with the crowd on a more personal level. You could even say he served as the MC of the show.
Now as fas Sound goes…They had that nailed. Not only did it sound like the album but, still had spontaneity. I just wish they had a longer set list but, I really can’t complain about that. This was the amount of time they were contracted to do because the band DevilDriver was originally suppose to go on after them. But sadly the singer’s wife was diagnosed with cancer (and as a man of faith. My thoughts and prayers are with them) and they had to drop off the tour. If DD was still on the tour or if they were replaced by another band. Then there running time would feel more appropriate. One thing they did too squeeze in more songs they snippets of several songs for one performance which is very common. I just wish the song “I’m Back” wasn’t one of them. I love that song and I wanted to hear the whole thing. Luckily Acey Slade felt the same way. So I give this performance a 8 out of 10. Glad I saw it. I just wish it was more.
And now for our headliner. STATIC-X
First up the visuals and I am a little confused about their stage set up. Tony Campos said this tour would have LED Walls, Big Sound, and Lots of Production. So when the tour first started I looked up videos and saw this.
That was EPIC. I couldn’t wait for the tour to come down here to Florida. Then it reaches us and the stage set up is smaller. See video below.
I was wondering what happened. Then I found out there was a shipping mishap from Europe. The shipping company mishandled their gear and half of it was left in Germany and took weeks for the shipping company to locate….DEAR GOD!!! I can’t even begin to imagine how that must feel. I mean you lose an international package in the mail. You’re down like what, $50? This is an EXPENSIVE piece of stage a set up. But as the old saying goes The Show Must Go On and, they did the best they could with what they had. Luckily the rest of the gear arrived so they are now back to having the full production for the remainder of the tour. Now let’s talk about their mysterious frontman Xer0.
This guy knocked it out of the park. First of all, the costume. I LOVE IT. Their singer Wayne Static sadly died back in 2014 and this tour was to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their debut album. So it feels like the band did some kind of Frankenstein experiment to bring their singer back from the dead to do this. Just so that he can be part of the celebration. It first started with the mask. Which was just a plane white mask with some scaring on it. Then the dude spiked up his hair because that played a big part in the band’s image. Then the guy added sleeves with Skeleton arms. So now he looks like a caricature of their dead singer. Now keep in mind they got the blessing of Wayne’s family so this was in no way in bad taste. As for how he sounded. He was pretty spot on. He didn’t sound identical but, I don’t think anyone was expecting him to be. But he certainly came pretty close. So with his sound and look. It actually felt like Wayne was still here. And the ONLY time he ever broke character, was when he honored Wayne. They succeeded in capturing the vibe of the Static-X sound. Now let’s talk about the performance.
It was fantastic. Playing was very clean and everyone was on time. The only criticisms I have are, during the song Get to the Gone. Xer0 (or Tony) didn’t get back to the mic in time for one of those EPIC screams. And I would have liked to have had Cannibal and/or Destroyer on the setlist. Koichi is an AMAZING guitarist and it would of been cool to see him shred some more. But that’s really it. Another thing they did that I REALLY appreciate is that the 3 guitarists (Tony, Koichi, & Xer0). Didn’t wander aimlessly on stage. I hate it when bands do that cuz it looks so unorganized. But these guys didn’t do that. Whenever Tony and Koichi would switch sides. They would get to their mark, do what they had to, and get back. Even if they missed their mark. They wasted no time getting back. This was a great show and I give this performance an 9 out of 10.
And now for a BONUS REVIEW. Let’s take a look at the VIP Package.
First the merchandise. Now this package is $75 and I would say it’s fair. It would get you all of this. Plus the VIP Q&A and, as a little bonus. They would hold your merchandise until the end of the show. So you weren’t stuck carrying it around for hours on end. The only thing I would change is the poster. Not the image but that they were already signed. See the fun of getting an autograph is watching your idol sign it. But you can still get more things signed (like I had them sign my bag). So it’s not that big of a deal. Although one thing they did and you can see this in the picture. They put a copy of Wayne’s signature on the poster….That’s beyond a Nice Touch. That GENIUS! The band did everything they could to make sure Wayne’s presence was felt throughout this entire experience.
Now for the VIP Q&A.
I had the first question and the first thing I did was applaud Xer0 for his efforts. I even told the band that I don’t even wan’t to know who he is. Like before I told them I wanted to believe they did a Frankenstein experiment to bring Wayne back from the dead to do this. They all got a chuckle out of that and then I told them. They should make a comic book out of that and they all said that’s not a bad idea. I then told them that if they really want to screw with people. They should get a different singer to play Xer0 for every tour. And again, they got a chuckle out of that and said that could be their Spine Tap moment. I asked Koichi how has being a Dad effected his writing and I was expecting a heartfelt answer but, instead he laughs and says it can be difficult when he’s trying to write and his son is running around at night. Laughingly I go…oh yeeeaaah I forgot about that.
I also told Ken Jay how much I enjoy watching him play drums. He was making these wild swings with his sticks that helps a drummers to be seen. I then said it was like watching Shannon Larkin of Godsmack and he immediately threw his hands in the air, down his head, and said. Shannon is my favorite drummer of all time. The fact that you just compared me to him just made my night. I also asked Tony why did Wayne record in the nude? Turns out Wayne just did a lot of stuff in the nude…That’s just who he was lol. The Q&A was a blast and while they weren’t recording it. I hope they do some kind of video that answers the most Frequently Asked Questions they got from. This VIP experience gets a 9 out of 10. If you’re a Static-X fan. Go see the show and get this VIP Package. You won’t regret it.
I hope they continue tour after the new album release because it was so great to have these guys back. Be sure to go to Static-X.org for more details and until next time Nation. STAY LOUD!