Rob Zombie at RIFF Fest 2021 in Clarkston, MI

Rob Zombie rides his mighty steed of blazing hellfire and brimstone right through the DTE Energy Music Theatre, burning the city of Clarkston to the ground.

The smoldering embers of this once historic concert venue, the great Pine Knob (aka DTE Music Center) glow red with the screaming souls of metal head heathens who have arrived to worship before the shrine of the zombie god… Rob Zombie. Day one of RIFF Fest 2021 is here and headlining our first night of non-stop carnage is the mighty Rob Zombie, along with his horde of musical protégés guitarist John 5, bassist Piggy-D, and master of the skins, Ginger Fish.
Saturday night, 9:30p.m. the arena seating area is full to capacity as is the same with the legendary “Pine Knob” lawn/hill. Both sides jump to life as massive wall-sized jumbotrons begin to illuminate the dark stage, indicating that Rob Zombie must be creeping nearby. Guitarist John 5 emerges from stage right, armed with a telecaster. A bass-wielding, helmet-wearing Piggy-D, slides across the stage to take his position in the shadows of the left. The crowd roars as Rob Zombie first appears, with his hands held high, and wearing his signature, demon-skull cowboy hat. Rob jumps onto a stage riser with the spryness of a 20-year-old athlete and the band has launched into the opening tune, “The Triumph of King Freak.” Rob begins to deliver a unique jig of kung-fu kicks, knee drops, and stripper moves that might make “Cinnamon” blush.
The night is underway as the band proceeds to nail down “Super Beast,” and into “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Super Town.” RZ is all over the stage, running across the riser platforms greeting fans on the right side, on the left side, and centerstage with a vigorous headbanging of his dreadlocks like hairdo. “Well, Everybody’s F**king in a U.F.O.,” is next followed by the crowd favorite, the White Zombie song, “More Human Than a Human.” Piggy-D’s pounding baselines and drummer Ginger Fish’s thunderous kick drum can be felt right down to your very soul.
John 5 leads the band into “Living Dead Girl,” “Demonoid Phenomenon,” followed by “House of 1000 Corpses.” The new track “The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man,” from Rob‘s latest album The Lunar Injection of the Kool-Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (released March 16, 2021) is received well by the crowd. The band fires into the dark and campy track, “In the Age the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High,” followed by “Scum of the Earth,” and another new track, “Shadow of the Cemetery Man.” Fans are treated with a surprise ode to the Ramones, with a zombie-like rendition of the classic “Blitzkrieg Bop,” that has everyone in attendance chanting out “Hey ho… let’s go!” The band tastefully transitions into the White Zombie megahit, “Thunder Kiss 65.” Guitarist John five delivers yet another blazing guitar solo, full of tasty, fretboard magic and tricky riffs that only a true guitar virtuoso could pull off.
The night comes to a close with Rob Zombie leading the crowd of metalhead heathens to a fist smashing cover of The Beatles classic “Helter-Skelter,“ or does it? The band ruse is cut short and Rob and his horde return to the stage to give the fans one more song, the powerful “Dragula.” As the last note rips across the speakers our crowd of thousands and in attendance began to chant “Zombie… Zombie… Zombie…” RZ turns to face the crowd as John 5 holds a telecaster high, and the squad shoots hands in the air, and with one final roar, the lights dim and Riff Fest 2021 day 1 is now over.
Rob Zombie comes as an energetic and explosive concert experience that is a must see for the music loving metal head. Catch him on tour now… coming soon to a house of horrors near you. Be sure to check RZ’s official website for appearance details, dates and artist updates.
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About Jay Dunbar 54 Articles
Jay Dunbar is a professional photographer that enjoys wearing a multitude of hats. He is active in the commercial and stock photography arenas and currently owns and operates a Detroit based investigations firm and photography agency. Despite his many endeavors, Jay can frequently be found in attendance at your favorite concert venues, capturing breathtaking images of live performances of many genres of music. A skilled author and photographer, he could be described as a " Serial Music Journalist." Carrying the photo bug for nearly thirty years, Jay enjoys all styles of photography, testing new gear, and helping aspiring photographers, artists and models to develop their skills and learn their craft.