“If Wayne was here tonight…”
These were some of the words spoken by bassist Tony Campos in a fitting dedication to Wayne and a show of gratitude to the packed crowd in Sauget, Illinois. Fans battled brutal obstacles of road construction and road closures to pack 1200 strong at Pop’s on Friday, December 6.
Before we get too deep into it, let’s get rid of the “white elephant in the middle of the room.” There has been a lot of controversy and discussion surrounding the identity of XerO-the current front-man of Static-X. We’re not going to get into that except to say that it’s taken away from the purpose of this tour which was to honor the life and legacy of Mr. Static and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Wisconsin Death Trip.
Raven Black opened the show followed by Wednesday 13. Raven Black Was worthwhile and had some catchy tracks and seemed like a pretty cool concept. Wednesday 13 has completely reinvented himself. He played tracks only off of his last 2-3 releases and performed mostly in black paint with tribal green stripes. He switched up a couple of different personas with what appeared to be the likes of a serial killer/stalker and a voodoo priest. Dope was a pretty pleasant surprise especially with the Dead or Alive cover, “You Spin Me Round” and honoring a good chunk of their legacy so far. Definitely a band to be checked out life if you have not done so yet. Mushroomhead…. not the same band I saw 20 years ago. Out of respect for them and their fans, I’ll just leave it at that.
Then… the reason we all came. Static X. The build-up was intense. The band started off of with a somber, slow intro in “December” that drummer Ken Jay popped into about 4 minutes during the build-up. Finally, the shit hit the fan and the rest of the band appeared, tearing into a blistering “Bled For Days.” Game on. Everything was killer… the lights, the sound, the energy. It can’t be overstated.. regardless if you are a long-time fan of Static-X or one simply curious about their presentation with XerO, you need to catch this show next time they come to town.
There indeed were a couple of highlights I’d like to point out. During “Cold, ” the band had photos and video clips of Wayne on the screen behind them. Paired with the music and predominantly blue lighting, the mood of that track was just amazing. But the whole point of the show and the tour was really felt during the break before the last track which of course was “Push It.” XerO humbly thanked the crowd for “allowing him to come and sing” and mentioned that his presence was simply to help “remember our dear friend and your hero, Mr. Wayne Static.” But as bassist Tony Campos said, “If Wayne was here tonight… he’d be so excited to see you all.”
There was no question about it. Wayne was there in spirit. And 1200 people got to say they didn’t miss the experience.
Bled for Days
Wisconsin Death Trip
Sweat of the Bud
The Trance Is the Motion
Get to the Gone
Black and White
This Is Not
Start a War
I’m With Stupid