The set up: Saturday night. Exodus the opening band. I missed them, but from all accounts, they played an impressive set. From the beer garden, I saw the backdrop screen being tested. When the band started, I gulped my drink and squeezed up to the third row. (One doesn’t realize how comfortable it is to relent holding yourself up when you’re sandwiched by a mass of bodies.)
The backdrop behind the band flanked the crowd with scenes from movies including Carrie, Pulp Fiction, Grindhouse: Werewolf Women of the S.S. Geometric patterns à la Spirograph entranced, vibrant lighting colors alternated, skeletons projected attitude. Even an amazon-sized alien with skeleton claws joined the band on stage.
Rob Zombie is a performer. The band has chemistry and their energy is boundless. This was the last date on current tour and they gave it as if the tour had just begun. It’s obvious they appreciate their fans.
Zombie sported a skeleton silk-screened kilt; his shirt reminiscent of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle belly shield.
Ex-Marilyn Manson drummer Ginger Fish was hidden behind the drum set. When he made his appearance, his resemblance to a more presentable version of the villain from Jeepers Creepers was uncanny.
A guy in a wheelchair was hoisted and surfed above the attendees. Women displayed their breasts while sitting on willing shoulders. Toilet paper rolls were tossed. Beach balls bounced into the crowd.
Bubbles filled the stage area and metallic confetti rained upon the excited fans, sticking to their sweaty skin and wet hair.
The last costume change had Rob Zombie appearing in long red suit coats as Nazi zombies.
They played White Zombie favorites including More Human Than Human and Thunder Kiss ‘65 as well as Rob Zombie favorites Living Dead Girl and Superbeast. The show culminated with a rendition of Dragula performed with Zombie at the top of an Alien-Tiki platform.
When the party ended, everyone was amped. The mood persists after more than an hour of cheering at one of the best performances you’ve seen. When Slayer began their set, the tone was radically different from the Rob Zombie experience. You felt it in your gut, but compared to Rob Zombie, Slayer’s shredding wasn’t enough to keep this attendee present. After a few songs, I still wasn’t ready to move on, so to keep the Rob Zombie experience alive, I left the auditorium.