It was a special night in Flint when Wednesday 13 came to The Machine Shop to perform songs from his time as part of Murderdolls.
When walking into the iconic Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan, it was easy to know the night would be special. The independently owned and operated venue is a favorite among both fans and artists. The Shop, as it is known locally, is internationally recognized as a great and welcoming venue.
The night started strong with the first band of the night, Black Satellite. The New York City-based four-piece band took the stage by storm. They came out hard and really got the early crowd excited for the evening. They had an eight-song set that impressed the audience. They ended their set with a quality cover of “Sonne” from Rammstein.
The second band of the night, Infected Rain, came bounding across the stage, making a great first impression. Their whole seven-song set was really strong. The four-person band from Moldova had the crowd moving around and moshing for the first time in the evening. When they played their most popular song, “Dying Light,” they had the crowd get down so the frontwoman, Lena Scissorhands, could see and interact with the whole crowd. She then had everyone jump up, and the energy never slowed for the rest of their set.
The third and final opener was Gemini Syndrome. They are a four-person band from Los Angeles, California, that formed in 2010. Their members are vocalist Aaron Nordstrom, guitarist Miguel “Meegs” Rascón, bassist Alessandro “AP” Paveri, and drummer Brian Steele Medina. They brought a slight change in tempo with their more alternative rock sounds. Then partway through their set, they played some new, unreleased music for the crowd, which was well-received.
The lights dimmed, and one at a time, the five members of Wednesday 13 took the stage. First with Mike Dupke on drums, followed by Jack Tankersley on rhythm guitar, Troy Doebbler on bass, Roman Surman on lead guitar, and lastly frontman, Wednesday 13. Thirteen years after the last album from the Murderdolls, Wednesday 13 took those songs on the road. The whole set was a tribute to Ben Graves and Joey Jordison; they were both former members of Murderdolls and passed away in 2018 and 2021, respectively.
To start the night, they came out with the first song, “Chapel of Blood,” from the last Murderdolls album, Women and Children Last. The album’s name is a parody of the Van Halen album, Women and Children First. Up next, they played “Death Valley Superstars,” also from this album. They then took the crowd back with the song about the year Wednesday 13 was born, “197666.”
They paused to reminisce about twenty-one years ago, when the first album, Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls, came out. Times were different then, people would go to the record store to buy new music and then run to the car, spend 20 minutes opening the CD, and put it in the CD player. Then “You put the CD in, you hit play, and you heard this” as they played the opening track from the album, “Slit My Wrist.”
Before Wednesday 13 was the singer for his own band or for the Murderdolls, he was the singer for Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 (FDQ). Several of the Murderdolls’ songs have roots in FDQ songs, including the next song, “Love at First Freight.” There were others sprinkled into the rest of the set, bringing back great memories for long-time fans. Next was “Teenage Zombie,” followed by another chance to talk to the audience and tell a story.
They went on to tell a story about how excited they were when the guest guitarist from the second album, Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, walked into the studio to record his parts. They mentioned the fond memory of watching him shred his guitar and wondering, “How much cooler could it get?” and then told a story about how he cut his finger on the guitar strong and started bleeding. It was easy to hear the excitement in Wednesday’s voice when he remembered thinking, “He’s bleeding on our album!” They mentioned that “he just so happened to be recording the guitar solo for” the song “Blood Stained Valentine.”
They continued the set with “Pieces of You,” before going on to tell the crowd that the next one was about “going to hell. On drugs” and played “Drug Me to Hell.” That was followed up with a drum solo from Mike, who is a Michigan native. They went straight into “People Hate Me” and continued with two additional FDQ songs, “Welcome to the Strange” and “Dawn of the Dead.” The whole crowd was then led into a chant for “Joey” in remembrance of Joey Jordison. Wednesday 13 mentioned that the video for “Nowhere” was the last one they ever shot, it showed them driving off a cliff, and his personal favorite. They followed that up with “Summertime Suicide” before saying goodnight to the crowd.
After an off-stage break, the band came back out to greet the crowd for a much-anticipated encore. The band said they almost left and went to Arby’s, the business in the adjacent parking lot to the venue, before getting the crowd to chant “Arby’s!” because “we’re silly like that.” It felt like a very fitting and special joke that was just for The Shop. They then went into the start of the Billy Idol cover of “White Wedding,” before continuing with the fan favorite that is played at most shows, “I Love to Say F*ck,” where he came out with his iconic middle finger umbrella used as a stage prop for the whole song.
To close out the night, they played “Dead in Hollywood” from the first Murderdolls album. It was the most-played song from the album and a classic fan favorite as well. They departed the stage, leaving fans excited for the next time they make a stop in Flint at the legendary Machine Shop.