Now I am not a Rob Zombie fan, not because I have anything against his music or that I don’t like the music he makes, I just don’t know it. But having heard a number of great interviews with the man, listened to some of his records in advance of this show and having been told by various fans of his that he is one of the best live performers around I was pretty excited about this show.
The crowds gathered outside well in advance of the doors opening and the way people literally ran in the door to get to the very front of the stage was also a good indication that this was going to be a good gig. There’s something about the sight of a large, bearded, heavily tattooed man running with excitement, the way high school students do in 80’s movies on the last day of school, that tells you that you are in for a good night.
I could write about the songs but the truth is I didn’t know enough of them to rate them or talk about them individually. What I can tell you is that from the very first note I was hooked. All the talk, all the reports, everything was/is true. Rob Zombie is the best frontman I have ever seen. The songs rocked. The crowd loved them, they sung every word back at him and shouted in all the right places when he wanted them to.
He strutted around the elevated platform at the front of the stage, asking if the audience wanted to party, they roared back that they did and proved it by singing, dancing and moshing throughout.
At times it was pure theatre, scratch that, at times it was pure pantomime and I mean that in the best possible way. The make up, the LED guitar, the LED mouthguard the guitarist wore before throwing it into the crowd, then there were the inflatable extraterrestrial sex dolls.. yeah that all happened and it was glorious.
There was a slight hiccup about half way through when guitarist John 5’s amp died, but it wasn’t enough to dampen the mood. People would have happily waited but as Rob said, in a situation like that there’s only one thing you can do. “Drum solo”.
5 minutes later and they were back in business and the band picked up where they left off, delivering groovy, heavy rock tracks designed to make the place go nuts. Large balloons were launched in to the crowd and bobbed about the moshing masses
There was a new LED guitar, a bass that looked like a cross and brilliant covers of the Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop and Alice Cooper’s School’s Out and four encores but most of all there was fun. Rob Zombie had the crowd in the palm of his hand from start to finish. He is a master showman with music that is much much more accessible than people probably think. Seriously. Go see him next time he’s in town. I started this review by saying I wasn’t a fan, by the end of the show, I can firmly say that I am converted. What a gig.