Chris Loomis

Static-X @ The Observatory – 07/25/2019

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Static-X has made a triumphant return in 2019 to honor the late Wayne Static as well as celebrate the 20th anniversary of their groundbreaking debut album Wisconsin Death Trip. The intent of this tour is to re-create the vibe and energy of those early days of Static-X with original members Tony Campos (bass), Ken Jay (drums) and Koichi Fukuda (guitars) with an un-named front man dubbed Xer0 wearing a mask with an uncanny resemblance to Wayne Static – looks, voice, mannerisms including his trademark quilled hair. Out on a six-week long tour across the USA that had most shows SOLD-OUT, Static-X recruited some old friends and fellow new-metal heavyweights Devildriver, Dope, Wednesday 13 and theatrical voodoo rockers Raven Black making for a killer lineup from start to finish.

This touring package made a stop at The Observatory in Santa Ana on Thursday night July 25 playing to a SOLD-OUT crowd that packed the venue early to catch all five bands. Raven Black kicked off the night at 6:30pm and played an entertaining and theatrical 30-minute show that certainly primed The Observatory for the next four metal veterans.

Wednesday 13 has been around for quite awhile but his live show is at its best in 2019. Hot off a tour with Cradle of Filth earlier this year, Wednesday 13 has upped his game with various masks, face paint, the use of black lights with glow in the dark makeup making each song a show of its own. The set started with the high energy “Hail Ming” with Mr. Motherfucker wearing a hooded robe and pirate hook for a hand swayed across the stage. He played a new song “Zodiac” off his upcoming September 2019 release Necrophaze and ended the set with “Keep Watching the Skies”. His time on stage was a total winner and there was still three bands to go and the night was still young.

Wednesday 13 Set List:

Hail Ming | Get Your Grave On | Zodiac | Serpent Society | What the Night Brings | Prey for Me | Keep Watching The Skies

Wednesday 13 Photo Gallery:

Dope is always a super fun and energetic show and the band delivered just that on this night although the band only played a short five-song set. Edsel Dope had the crowd in the palm of his hands as he blasted through the classics “Die Motherfucker Die” and “Burn”. Dope ended their set with the Dead or Alive cover of “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” and just like that their time onstage ended . . . Again a short set but not lacking in quality and energy.

Dope Set List:

Blood Money | 6-6-Sick | Die Motherfucker Die | Burn | You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)

Dope Photo Gallery:

Video screens were added to the side of the stage prior to Devildriver taking the stage. Sirius XM’s Metal Ambassador Jose Mangin introduced the band and they opened with the crushing track “Ruthless” and then into “Grinfucked”. WOW – all five members of the band were on fire from the first note to the last. Between the amazing video images, Dez’s incredible vocals (he sounded unbelievable on this night) and the musicianship of all players, Devildriver put on the most impressive show. With eight albums under their belt they have so much amazing material plus they played the epic cover of AWOLNATION’s “Sail” to boot.

Now at the end of the set things got totally insane . . . Dez has been mentioning for sometime that he was going to start playing select Coal Chamber songs with Devildriver, well he came through on his promise on this night as the craziest circle pit of the show erupted when the band played “Loco” then “Fiend” and those songs never sounded better – THANK YOU Dez!

During “Clouds over California” Dez brought out his son Simon and they traded off vocals – a chip off the ole block as he did great! The night ended with the killer song “End of the Line”. The fans now an exhausted sweaty mess somehow got their second wind when Static-X took over The Observatory.

Devildriver Set List:

Ruthless | Grinfucked | Cry for Me Sky (Eulogy of the Scorned) | 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

Devildriver Photo Gallery:

The lights dimmed as the Static-X logo as well as old photos of the band faded in and out on the large video screens with loud cheers every time Wayne was shown. When the band took the stage they got down to heavy business right away starting off the set with “Bled for Days” which immediately had the capacity crowd jumping and crowd surfing. It was an epic moment as the lights came on the front man Xer0 as all in attendance were eager to see and hear his delivery. Well from his first lyric through all 17 songs it was apparent he was the right man for the job as he sounded spot on and so similar to Wayne – it was eerily awesome! In addition, his hair, DEAN guitar, stage movements and crunchy riffs were so perfect that at no point during the show did you ever question or disagree with what you were seeing and hearing onstage.

Now the three other members, Tony Campos, Ken Jay and Koichi Fukuda were all smiles the entire night – there was no question these guys were having a blast. “Fix”, “Sweat of the Bud”, “Get to the Gone”, “Start a War” – all the songs you want to hear were there and with each song the crowd seemed to get crazier and crazier certainly keeping security busy all night.

Xer0 did address the crowd a couple times always mentioning his love for Wayne. The band even took a break mid set to do shots in honor of Wayne (Wayne would stop and do shots throughout every Static-X show). Images of Wayne and the band were displayed on the video screens throughout the night and that along with the crazy light show made for an impressive visual. Tony Campos spoke to the crowd at one point thanking them for coming out to honor Wayne and he also acknowledged his band mates.

“I’m with Stupid” was the second to last song then Campos stated we have one more for you and of course the night ended with the pummeling “Push It” giving fans one last opportunity to get crazy. The band absolutely accomplished their goal of re-creating the vibe of early Static-X as that is EXACTLY what it felt like – an old-school, rowdy, crazy Static-X show. At the end of the song Xer0 left the stage and Campos, Jay and Fukuda took center stage, bowed, hugged and thanked everyone – a truly emotional moment. And again it can’t be stressed enough how fantastic of a job Xer0 did with his tribute to Wayne Static . . . simply amazing! Rest in Peace Wayne Static – Evil Disco lives forever!

Static-X announced a second leg of this tour this fall in the USA and are hitting Australia in August. Their new album Project Regeneration which is new music with old tapes of Wayne’s vocals is due later this year. Nobody knows what the future holds after this year but it is clear that Static-X fans would welcome the current lineup to continue.

Static-X Set List:

Bled for Days | Wisconsin Death Trip | Fix | Sweat of the Bud | Love Dump | I Am | Otsegolation | The Trance Is the Motion | Get to the Gone | Black and White | This Is Not | Destroy All | Start a War | Behemoth | Cold | I’m With Stupid | Push It

Static-X Photo Gallery:

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