by Zane Ewton
People of all shapes and sizes crammed
into Mesa Amphitheatre to enjoy an evening of rock and roll madness with
metal's resident spooky man, Rob Zombie. Leave the kids at home as your
senses will be overloaded with sex and violence, and maybe a smattering
Bullet for My Valentine did not perform,
whether it had to do with the current tour drama or simply a lack of time
remains to be seen. Lacuna Coil took the stage and delivered a brisk set
of songs that all sounded the same. A few of the band's faithful made it
up to the front to support the Italian band, which made up in manners and
overall attitude what they lacked in comprehensible songs. I had heard
good things about Lacuna Coil but was disappointed to see just another
band desperately holding on to the remains of nu-metal.
Thanks to a ten o'clock curfew in Mesa,
Arizona the setup for Zombie's stage was quick and without time to spare
Zombie and his band exploded on to stage with "American Witch" from his
underrated new album.
Zombie's band was in top form, particularly
guitarist John 5 (new to the Zombie fold) who before the prerequisite "Thunderkiss
'65" teased the crowd with some "Sweet Dreams", "Highway to Hell" and "No
More Mr. Nice Guy."
Unfortunately, there seemed to be more
of a focus on breast, both on the video screen and in the crowd than there
was on the music. Rob took several opportunities to mention his love for
Phoenix and his previous stops here that ended in typical rock debauchery.
Zombie is great when he sticks to the kitsch and the metal but the gratuitous
sex steals focus from his trashy, fun songs and top notch band.
Speaking of the songs, Zombie's music has
aged well along with his voice and undeniable stage presence. All of Zombie's
best known tracks were brought out, taking evenly from White Zombie, Rob's
previous solo albums and this year's Educated Horses. Rob Zombie
is one of the last metal icons from the 90's to still be able to deliver
something exciting and keep his past fresh for his throng of fans.
This was the last stop on this leg of the
tour and the band seemed to meander through the performance more than usual.
Zombie took extra time to roll out the ten foot tall robot so iconic with
his first solo record, and he made unrequited mentions of a friend waiting
in the wings, the original horror music king Alice Cooper. More than anything,
Zombie heaped praise on the crowd and shared his love for the town. I bet
he says that to every city they play.
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