Static-X burns Saint Andrew’s Hall to the ground as they unleash their Rise of the Machine Tour on a molten Motor City.
A cold and blustery March night has descended upon the mighty mitten’s Big D. These fearsome howling winds and bone-chilling temperatures are no match for a Detroit-made metalhead burning with the anticipatory fires of a sold-out Static-X performance. Static-X fans are made of iron and stand hundreds deep wrapping around the bowels of the iconic Saint Andrews Hall this evening. Tonight‘s appearance commemorates the 20-year anniversary of the band’s second studio album titled Machine (a little delayed by Covid), and Detroit’s first dose of XerO’s new cybernetic-like look (a custom mask created by cinema artist, Eddie Yang known for his works on Iron Man, Avatar, Terminator and Robo-Cop). Team X has not come alone tonight… they have brought along an incredible supporting lineup: Mushroomhead, Dope, and Fear Factory
Let’s get to the gravy…
6:45 PM and the band Dope is first to assault St. Andy’s stage. They bang out a hard-hitting set of 30-plus minutes of rockers, including tracks “Blood Money,” “Bitch,” and everyone’s favorite campfire sing-along “Die Mother F**ker Die.” Frontman, Edsel Dope announces the band’s new album, Blood Money, is available for free download at their official website and he is excited to connect with the fans without the middleman of corporate record labels. The fans dug it and roared in support (#Edsel2024). Dope closes their set with a smokin’ hot cover of the Dead or Alive classic, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).”7:30 PM, a masked band of hellbound hoodlums takes the stage… Mushroomhead has arrived and you better watch out… these fellas know how to party and believe in a “hands-on” 3D concert experience, complete with crowd surfing band members that even do random gymnast handstands ON TOP of the crowd. MH fires out a blistering eight-song set including “Seen It All,” “Sun Doesn’t Rise,” and a horrifically classy spin on the Pink Floyd cover “Empty Spaces.” Mushroomhead closes their set with the blood-soaked, power smasher… “Born of Desire.” Spoiler alert: Mushroomhead rocks double kettle water drums manned by actual fire-breathing demons… watch yourself front row… you will get wet! 8:15 PM, Fear Factory has arrived and a smiling OG Dino Cazares is first on the stage and takes a second to fist-bump some photographers (NICE!). FF rips a killer set with the tunes “Shock,” “Powershifter,” and “Zero Signal.” The Factory brings out those crazy ol’ boys from Mushroomhead for a drooling duet of “Edgecrusher” and “What Will Become?” Annnd of course, the youngsters from MH have to leap into the audience and get some more crowd surfing in before they call it a night. Fear Factory closes their set with an XXL version of the smasher “Replica,” leaving us all with bleeding eardrums and headbanger’s whiplash. Annnnnnd…. the MAIN EVENT!
9:30 PM and stage techs have assembled quite an impressive scene of armageddon-like stature… complete with blaster cannons and death-star-like laser rigs (sure to make even Sarah Connor eager to quickly find a naked Arnie).
Time check… 9:45 PM and the Richard O’Brien classic “Time Warp” begins playing to an anxious audience. As the singalong comes to an end, the multi-panel jumbotron, suspended high above the stage, flickers to life, as tonight’s rise of the machine has begun. From stage left emerges a towering version of the Static-X, nameless mascot, dressed in his Danny Terrio Disco Fever suit and standing nearly 10 feet tall. Armed with a shovel and a high-powered spotlight, the X-headed behemoth begins to scan the crowd, burning out the retinas of the entire main floor. The screen now says “Machine Status Activated“ and flashes the static X logo as the lumbering giant makes an exit. A thundering terminator-style beat pounds out of the speaker system as we see smiling bass player, Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay, and guitarist Koichi Fukuda take their places, inciting a riotous roar from the sold-out crowd. The trio fire into “Permanence” as a glowing red-eyed specter emerges from the darkness of side stage. He levitates across the stage and takes to the mic to growl out the track’s vocal line.
The crowd is… X-Static… and fist pumps to the face-smashing rhythm. XerO shouts out “Detroit Michigan… How is everybody feeling tonight?” And the Static-Xicans respond with a barbaric booming of combustible happiness. The X hammers out “Structural Defect,” “This Is Not,” “Black and White,” and the grinder “Bled for Days.” XerO commands the crowd, “Let me see you f**king jump!” Ohhh and they oblige… the entire venue jumps along to the evil disco dance party led by the glowing red-eyed frontman. The tune comes to an end and XerO welcomes everyone to the 20th-anniversary of the album Machine. He goes on to say, “Now how ’bout we play some old-school Wisconsin Death Trip sh*t!” They follow this up with “Sweat of the Bud” and “Terminator Oscillator.”
Drummer Ken Jay and bassist Tony Campos are a hard-hitting power combo that keeps the low-end thundering throughout the night. The fire keeps burning with “Dirt House,” “Get to the Gone,” and “Cannibal.” During “Cannibal,” lead guitarist Fukuda spanks out a riff-tacular guitar solo that scorches the fretboard with his fingers of fire. X then unleashes the first single from the new unreleased Project Regeneration, Volume 2, a tasty cover of the Nine Inch Nails track, “Terrible Lie.”
The band closes the night out with a three-song encore starting with an emotional dedication to Wayne Static, “Cold.” You can hear random shouts of “We love you, Wayne” from the audience as the band sprays the deeply cerebral lyrics across the crowd. X follows this up with the classic “I’m With Stupid” and ends the show with fan favorite “Push It.”
A long night of head banging, fist-pumping, evil disco dancing, and partying like a rock star has come to an end… but man oh man, what a ride it was!
Static-X is a high-octane, in-your-face, adrenaline-charged thrill ride of sweaty balls to the wall that should be on every headbangers bucket list! You can catch them on the Rise of the Machine Tour underway now. These shows are selling out fast so get on over to the band’s official website and get your tickets… Yesterday!!! While there, be sure to pre-order a copy of Project Regeneration, Volume 2, with a street date of November 3, 2023.
This one’s for you Wayne… “All hail, the king of evil disco!”
Tip them if you got them… Cheers!