By Rene Botello
Two decades have passed since Static-X released their classic album Wisconsin Death Trip. Wayne Static left his mark on the music world and in people’s lives that continues to echo years after his untimely passing. On Sunday night at The Aztec Theater a sold out crowd came to celebrate his life and music. Also on this tour is the hard hitting DevilDriver, Dope, Wednesday 13, and Raven Black.
Walking up to The Aztec Theater, fans were lined hours before door time, spending the time by reminiscing of times they saw Static-X live or admitting this was their first time. Once inside, fans quickly lined up at the merchandise table ready to spend hard earned money on memorabilia to display their love for the bands playing tonight. I would have done the same, except my closet won’t hold anymore shirts unless I start taking up space in the rest of the house.
First on the bill were Raven Black, who’s theatrical makeup and stage props reminded me of a dark and twisted circus whose sole purpose is feeding souls to the dark underworld. Their music brings haunting mid paced lullabies mixed with evil forged heaviness, giving the band an easy time collecting fans for their macabre masquerade.
If Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson decided to collaborate I think Wednesday 13 would be the result. Their lights and costume change of frontman Mr Wednesday 13 between songs gave photographers much to work with and fans to shout in acceptance and excitement. Even tho their set was short, they left a memorable image engraved in many minds.
Next was the band Dope, whose sounds and history is twenty years deep, fitting like a glove with the rest of the bands this night. Their energy and rhythm oozed out into the crowd, whose only appropriate response was singing, shouting, jumping and moshing like their was no end in sight.
When co-headliner DevilDriver hit the stage, they grabs fans by the throat, stomped on their chest and didn’t let up their assault the whole set. Each member was a charge of electricity that made contact with everyone in earshot and seared their music into body and minds. This was my second time seeing DevilDriver and I had an idea of the chaos they can create, but even so, I still wasn’t properly prepared. Dez and the band did not let up one second for anyone to get a breather or rest until their set was done. By then, everyone was exhausted, water and beer drinks had to be had.
Finally, with the lights dim, images of the late Wayne Static flickered on the display monitors and December playing in the background. Fans yelled in a frenzy in anticipation of what was to come. Once Bled For Days began, feelings of nostalgia flooded the mind and new memories ensued. By the music being played and the fans reaction, you wouldn’t think these songs were twenty years old. They have held up extremely well and even rival some of the music being put out today. Watching Tony Campos, Koichi Fukuda, and Ken Jay run through classic songs like Push It, I’m With Stupid, and Start A War was pretty surreal. Xer0 did an outstanding job of paying homage to Wayne, never taking the spotlight of why everyone was there- to pay tribute.
Looking into the crowds, faces of euphoria, elation and some drunkenness were had all throughout the venue. Singing in unison, free hugs, head banging and moshing filled the floor, which was jam packed.
One this is for sure, watching Static-X is a celebration of life and an experience no fan should miss out on. Be sure to catch them on their current tour!
Wednesday 13 Setlist: Hail Ming, Get Your Grave On, Zodiac, Serpent Society, What The Night Brings, Prey For Me, Keep Watching The Skies
Dope Setlist: Blood Money, Bring It On, Debonaire, Die Motherfucker Die, I’m Back, Addiction, You Spin Me Round (Like a Record- Dead or Alive Cover)
DevilDriver Setlist: Ruthless, Grinfucked, Cry For Me Sky, Hold Back The Day, I Could Care Less, Not All Who Wander Are Lost, My Night Sky, Sail (Awolnation cover), Before The Hangman’s Noose, Loco (Coal Chamber cover), Fiend (Coal Chamber cover), Clouds Over California, End of The Line
Static-X Setlist: December (audio only), Bled For Days, Wisconsin Death Trip, Fix, Sweat of The Bud, Love Dump, I Am, Otsegolation, The Trance is The Motion, Bein Venidos (audio only), Get to The Gone, Black and White, This Is Not, Destroy All, Start A War, Behemoth, Cold, I’m With Stupid, Push It
Photographs of Static-X by Rene Botello
Photographs of Devil Driver by Rene Botello
Photographs of Dope, Wednesday 13, & Raven Black by Rene Botello