Metal master of horror Rob Zombie brought his brand of spooky camp to the stage of the Fillmore New Orleans Wednesday night.
Rob Zombie shows have become the stuff of legends. If you’ve ever met someone who has attended a Zombie show, the sentiment seems to always be “you’ve just got to see it for yourself.” Always known for his love of horror and retro sci-fi, Zombie has made a career of shocking and amazing his fans on the screen and on the stage. And his New Orleans show just solidified his position as the reigning master of industrial metal.
The show began with opening act September Mourning. They were a perfect choice to open for Zombie. Started originally as a dark culture project, their stage show was theatrical and spooky. Lead singer Emily Lazar looked like a comic book heroine come to life. She elegantly skulked around the stage and even jumped into the audience during one song. Even with their melodramatic and almost operatic presence, the most surprising moment was their rendition of the Ben E. King classic “Stand by Me”.It took about thirty minutes for set change, which isn’t surprising considering how massive Rob Zombie shows are known to be. The lights finally dimmed and the crowd began to cheer as guitarist John 5, bassist Piggy D and drummer Ginger Fish took their positions on stage. John 5, known himself for his theatrical stage persona, did not disappoint. His mouth glowing, he looked over to Piggy D, wearing a mask that made him look like he just came from this year’s Purge. As they began the opening to 2013’s “Dead City Radio,” Rob Zombie appeared behind a mic stand shaped like a demonic ship’s figurehead. The stage came alive with lasers and a giant video wall that played a variety of snippets from classic sci-fi movies, original shorts, and Japanese anime.
Zombie would address the crowd between songs, joking and telling stories. Holding up two inflatable aliens, he warned of the real threat to America – alien abduction. He threw the aliens into the crowd as the band launched into “Well, Everybody’s F*cking in a UFO” and a giant big-headed alien lumbered across the stage. The band was also joined onstage by a giant version of the gorilla alien from the 50s sci-fi cult classic Robot Alien during their performance of “Meet the Creeper.” Even during songs that didn’t feature outlandish stage effects, Zombie, John 5 and Piggy D entertained the crowd, with Zombie even dancing what can only be described as a hoe down. The set ended with the crowd-pleasing hit “Thunder Kiss 65” from 1992’s La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1, followed by covers of the Ramones’ punk standard “Blitzkrieg Bop” and Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.”
But Zombie and company weren’t done yet. Coming back onstage, they began their encore with the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter,” a song Zombie performed with Marilyn Manson during last year’s Twins of Evil: The Second Coming Tour, even releasing their version of the song. Zombie’s gravel truck vocals gave the already foreboding song an even more ominous tone.
As Ginger Fish beat out a static rhythm accompanied by John 5, Zombie led the crowd in chanting “Hey! Hey! Hey!” while footage of Herman Munster driving a race car played on the video wall behind them, the crowd began to shout and cheer as they recognized the opening chords of the final song of the evening, “Dragula,” proving that even though the song came out in 1998, it has definitely withstood the test of time.Next up for Rob Zombie is a summer tour with Marilyn Manson. The Hell Never Dies Tour is set to kick off July 9th in Baltimore, MD. If you happen to be near any of the stops on this tour, go check them out. You will not be disappointed.