Thursday, December 5, 2013

Rob Zombie/ Scar the Martyr @ 9:30 Club, 11/27/2013

We went to see Rob Zombie on an off date, the last last day of his Night of the Living Dreads tour (w/ Korn and Scar the Martyr, thankfully Korn was NOT at this off date) ($45 + fees uggh).  This was ALSO a sold out show, 2nd in two days.  Thankfully, by the time we got there, we didn't have to wait very long to get in.  Shabba and Michelle were definitely there, as well as my brother from another mother, Enrique.


We got there about 7:50 or so, and the crowd was not as packed as I had thought it would be for a sold out show, for ZOMBIE.  The merch (as expected) was rather expensive, shirts were $35 (Zombie AND Scar the Martyr), Hoodie for STM was more expensive, I think there were some other Zombie merch, too. There was an exclusive DC shirt  which looked pretty lame, but to make up for it there was one that looked like Simon Bisley did it. So that was almost worth it, but not quite.

Joey Jordison's Scar the Martyr was one first, and they came out to... Star Wars fanfare?! So that ended and then they quickly took the stage early to their intro and kicked into "Dark Ages." Initially it sounded alright. But then something didn't seem to be translating live too well. They also had someone on the macbook who was faux headbanging and... tapping on the keyboard or something. I don't know.  The frontman sounded good for the most part, but was way too amped about getting people to get louder or go crazy or the like, like about 20 times during their set. There was also way more clapping initiated for an American band. That was kind of annoying. On their last song, his mic kind of went out. They did play a pretty long set, about 40 minutes, and some songs they didn't play on the tour.  The drummer was from Slipknot, and it was his sideproject- he threw a few drumsticks and was a bit too loud in the mix, along with the bass.  They played a set that IMO was a bit out of order, because most people were moving a little bit for the 'singles' "Blood Host" and "Soul Disintegration"... which were in the middle of the set, for who knows what reason. I don't know why they didn't end with their most popular song.  Something was not flowing very well with the set, and some songs dragged on a little bit, leading to a kind of... come on Zombie, get on stage. I don't know why, but "Blood Host" was played to a sped up tempo, which was causing the guitarists to struggle a bit on the backing vocals.  In sum, I was a bit disappointed by this performance, tho they were good (tho a bit boring and not great, a little green). The crowd seemed to be pretty dead except for the 2 aforementioned songs, but they were decently loud cheerwise. So that was a bit... odd. 


Rob Zombie's set was pretty bare, just the Universal Monsters backdrops and some pretty creepy gargoyle/vampire microphone stands.  John 5 came on stage to start with a LED guitar or something, and then they rolled into one of the few new songs Zombie played. Zombie stomped on stage, after Piggy D. and I guess the drummer was there too.  Zombie's stage show was very bare bones, only having costume changes, mic stand changes, and ... um ... Kix Style balloons. The intimate settings and songs certainly made up for a lack of show- one would say that Rob Zombie doesn't need a show to still be great (same with the original- Alice Cooper).  The crowd was way more receptive for Zombie, and some kind of muted pits broker out to go with the requisite fist pumping and even a little bit of jumping.  Rob pulled out some songs I'd not heard (or not heard in a while), like "Scum of The Earth" and "Never Gonna Stop." What was not great was that the uptempo "Scum of the Earth" was played SLOWER than it should be, which robbed it of the energy it should have had. If it had been regular speed I would have almost certainly tried for the pit. I enjoyed "...Stop" because it had been ages since I heard Edge's theme song, good memories.  They did play a similar set to Mayhem's set, but with some gems like the older songs and a cover of Diamond Head's "Am I Evil"- tho minus the guitar solo. I would have preferred to hear "Super Charger Heaven," especially for the same length set. OH WELL.  I think that they played more songs in the same 1hr and 10 minutes because of no extra monsters/fire/etc.

Performance wise- Zombie had his almost Vince Neilesque missing some words, but still putting in a lot of effort, with dancing... a LOT of dancing. Drummer- drummed, could have done without the solo zzz.  Bass was bass. John 5- still sounded good, but still overrated. I think  it was a bit disrespectful that Zombie chose the guitar solo time (again) to take to the 930 club crowd and bar, to stand up on the bar, to taunt the crowd and flash lights at them.  I don't think many eyes were on John, they were on the rock star in the crowd.

Rob Zombie could have dropped the unfortunate cover choice of "We're an American Band," (also covered by Poison and Jackyl, neither of which sounded better or worse than Zombie's cover) which is one of those songs that really doesn't need remaking.  The tattered Uncle Sam outfit and the balloons that bounced around were pretty fun, and the song admittedly sounded better in this venue than at Jiffy Lube Live. I dunno why he didn't just play any other Rob Zombie or White Zombie song instead. And then there was the absolutely horrible "Sick Bubble Gum." The crowd seemed to love chanting "Rock" and "Motherfucker" a ton, but it just seemed dumb to me.  I appreciated "Lords of Salem," it was nice and heavy. The "Am I Evil" cover was nice, but it seemed an odd choice- why do a song that most people know the cover of (Metallica's version). Like a cover twice removed.

My favourite part was probably the heavy metal cowboy hat and duster type coat that Rob wore near the end.  And of course that "Am I Evil" cover.  But in all, the energy from the crowd and the small space made for a fun time. I think the last time I saw him at 930 was better (especially with the screens and show etc.), but this bare bones show was pretty great. Also, Rob's trousers seemed like they were going to fall off when he took to the front row of the crowd and high fived people.

It was over kind of early and he really could have put on a longer set, especially for the price.  Overall, it was a very good show, but I suppose I was a little disappointed. I am not regretting going to the show, but damn, Rob, for this much, you should put on a full headline set at least.


Photos:
Scar the Martyr I
Scar the Martyr
Various ROb ZOmbie shots
Rob on the bar
Rob and John 5
ROB ZOMBIE or HEAVY METAL COWBOY?

setlists:

Scar the Martyr (8:08- 8:51)
  • Star Wars Fanfare
  • Intro
  • Dark Ages
  • My Retribution
  • Never Forgive, Never Forget
  • Prayer for Prey
  • Soul Disintegration
  • Blood Host
  • Last Night on Earth?
Rob Zombie (9:28- 10:38)
  • Intro
  • Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown
  • Superbeast
  • Scum of the Earth
  • Living Dead Girl
  • The Star-Spangled Banner
  • We're an American Band (Grand Funk Railroad cover)
  • Drum Solo
  • More Human Than Human (White Zombie cover)
  • Meet the Creeper
  • Sick Bubble-Gum
  • House of 1000 Corpses
  • Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy) 
  • Am I Evil (Diamond Head cover, partial)
  • Thunder Kiss '65 (White Zombie cover)
  • Guitar Solo
  • Lords of Salem
  •  
  • Dragula