Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane QLD
August 22nd, 2019
Supports: Wednesday 13 and dope
The year is 2019 and here I am writing about how I just saw Static-X live in concert for the very first time after never EVER imagining I’d ever see the band again, following the passing of frontman Wayne Static back in 2014. Original members Tony Campos, Ken Jay and Kochi Fukuda have teamed up with Xer0 (their touring frontman) to deliver what they called an Anniversary/Memorial Tour for the fans, which, you have to remember, was funded by the fans who contributed to their reformation and forthcoming album Project Regeneration. But how did the show stack up? Well, you’ll have to read on.
First up on the hit list was dope, a band I have known about for years but never really got into as much as I probably should have (my brother froths them and he got me into Alpha Wolf so I kinda have to support him on that) and they were a great way to get the crowd pumped up for the events ahead. A lot of people may not know, their debut album Felons and Revolutionaries also turned 20 this year and they were keen as hell to celebrate on the back of Static-X‘s celebrations. Having only been in the country once before, they made up for lost time playing some standout tracks like show opener ‘Blood Money‘ and ‘Debonair‘ but it was the standout sing-a-longs of ‘Die MF Die‘ and their cover of Dead or Alive‘s ‘You Spin Me Round‘ that gathered the most involvement. Frontman Edsel Dope had the fans in the palm of his hands for the entire duration and scored praise from this writer for his efforts in the process.
Following this was goth rocker Wednesday 13, another band/musician I have heard about for years but never had the want/need to check out live until now. He hit the stage, covered in paint, looking evil as fuck and wasted no time getting into his set. This was the first time (since Taylor Swift) I have seen a performer go through several costume changes throughout their set, which I guess suited the songs he played, but for me, I didn’t get the gimmick. In saying that, his devil/goat head was pretty bloody good. There may be a reason for why I didn’t get into the set as much as I should have, but I feel that Wednesday’s performance just didn’t catch my attention as much as the bands on either side of him/them. Chances are if you froth that genre/style you would have loved it, but for me, it was ok, just not awe-inspiring.
As the night went on, the final act hit the stage amidst a roar from the sea of fans who had packed into Eatons Hill for a glimpse of the band we all never thought we’d be seeing live on our shores again. Static-X came out and took their positions before frontman/Wayne Static impersonator Xer0 took centre stage and the band immediately jumped into ‘Bled For Days‘. Tony Campos and Kochi Fukuda played as if no time has passed since the Wisconsin Death Trip album was released two decades ago (and they also looked like they hadn’t aged that much either to be honest with you). The show, surprisingly wasn’t the album played from front to back, but more so opening and closing with the band’s two most iconic songs with the rest of the album in the middle. The band were on point though, the sound that was coming out of those speakers was incredible and you felt every single note that was played. The fan lapped up every second of it, creating several circle/bash pits in the process and belting out the words to songs like ‘Sweat Of The Bud‘, ‘The Trance is the Motion‘, ‘Wisconsin Death Trip‘ and ‘I’m With Stupid‘. They even played a couple of non-WDT tracks like ‘Black and White‘, ‘Cold‘ and ‘Get to the Gone‘ from Machine and ‘Destroy All‘ from Shadow Zone (sadly ‘The Only‘ didn’t get a spin) but it was the band’s final song, ‘Push It‘ that really sent everyone mad. There were bodies slamming into each other, crowd surfers galore and plenty of people screaming along to every single word. You could tell the band appreciated the love from the fans and expressed their gratitude from everyone for doing their part to make this idea of theirs happen.
Last night Static-X took to the stage again in Australia for the first show of their Anniversary/Wayne Static Memorial Tour. Review & Gallery up soon but here’s a taste of what’s to come with ‘Bled For Days’
#WallOfSoundAU #WisconsinDeathTripTour Metropolis Touring
Posted by Wall Of Sound on Thursday, August 22, 2019
However, I went into this show so stoked on what they were doing and I enjoyed myself, it was fun, but there was just something about Xer0 I couldn’t shake. I mentioned earlier that he was a Wayne Static impersonator and that came down to the way he spoke to the audience too. Singing was fine as you kinda felt like it was almost Wayne Static right there in front of you (his spikey hair wig wasn’t as upright as you’d expect, minor detail though), but, he’d also say things like “we’re doing this for Wayne Static”, which, to me, took me out of the illusion of it almost being Wayne Static on stage (if that makes sense). Talking about Wayne in the third person, when you’re trying to recreate that iconic metal man’s stage presence threw me off and I couldn’t get into it as much as I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, Xer0 (who I believe was Edsel Dope) absolutely nailed the “character” and singing to a tee, there were just some moments I felt disillusioned by the whole experience.
In closing, tonight’s festivities were a great way for the band to pay homage to their earlier years and their friend and former bandmate Wayne Static. Was it a cash grab? Absolutely not. They planned and played like they have really put a lot of effort into their performance and you could tell it was genuine. Would I be open to seeing the band returning to play other albums for their anniversaries (something Tony Campos told us he’s not opposed to)? Probably not, if this was just a once-off thing with the OG members, playing their debut album it works fine. Anything else would seem to me like they’re trying to cash in on the idea, keep this tour going, play for as many fans as possible then let the band rest again…
Gig Review by Browny @brownypaul
Revisit Static-X bassist Tony Campos co-hosting Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall chatting all about their reunion and forthcoming album right here
Static-X – Australian Anniversary Tour
Aug 23rd. Melbourne – Croxton Bandroom – SOLD OUT Aug 24th. Sydney – Metro Theatre – SOLD OUT
Aug 26th. Adelaide – The Gov
Aug 27th. Perth – Rock Rover