Fans packed the Myth Live in Maplewood, Minnesota to relive the sonic explosion that Static-X released decades ago with ‘Wisconsin Death Trip.’ The evening was dubbed “Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour & Memorial to Wayne Static.’ The tour package featured Mushroomhead, Dope, Wednesday 13, and Raven Black with Static–X closing the night.
Raven Black brought their dark carnival ride to the stage first. Led by their flamboyant and entertaining lead singer, Raven, the band ripped though a set of tunes that touched into metal, rock, industrial, and metalcore. The stage-props along with the make-up created a visual backdrop that was hard to take your eyes off. The quick set gave the crowd a great showcase of material from their “Seven Sins” and “13” releases which included the opener “Spiders,” “Sticks N Stones,” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars.” The band is set to release a new record in 2020 and played a recently released single called “Risen From The Ashes.” If you are into theatrical bands they are a must see.
Picking right up where Raven Black left off, Wednesday 13 brought an even darker visual to the stage. They opened with the opening track from the new album ‘Necrophaze’ and then “ZODIAC” which also appears on the new record. He came out in a full mask that looked like it was some ancient tribal head that reflected off the black lights on the front of the stage. When he took off the head he had a black ski mask. He later simulated slitting the throat of the head with a knife. It was movie horror story brought to life with an eerie dark soundtrack that work in perfect unison to what was happening on stage. They closed with “Keep Watching The Skies” and you could tell the fans engulfed the atmosphere Wednesday 13 created.
Dope, led by vocalist Edsel Dope, hit with all the fury you have come to expect from a Dope show. Opening with “Blood Money” and then into “Bring It On’ had the crowd completely engaged to what was happening on stage. If there was ever a band that fit in perfectly on the bill it was Dope. Edsel talked about his connection to Static-X and the countless tours the two bands did together. He also thanked the crowd for their support for both Dope and Static-X and keeping Wayne Static’s memory alive. It was a heartfelt speech and you could feel how much the crowd appreciated his words. No show is complete without “Die MF Die” as fans were throwing fists in the air and singing along. Dope has not changed a thing and has stayed true to themselves and that exactly what fans want.
Mushroomhead are one of those bands I never want to miss when they are in town. I love the masks along with the drums with the water splashing up in the air. Opening with “43/Kill Tomorrow” had their legion of fans pushing towards the front of the stage. It seems Mushroomhead has never left the road since its formation in 1993 in Cleveland, Ohio. Although the band has had numerous member changes throughout its history, their presentation has remained consistent. When they hit the stage its all about the performance and delivering the material live that stays true to the legacy of the band. They played an eleven song set that included “Sun Dosen’t Rise” and concluded with “Born Of Desire” and I enjoyed the show just like the last Mushroomheadshow I saw and exactly how I will enjoy the next time they come through town.
The night was capped off with the celebration of Static-X and the man that created it, Wayne Static. The moment the lights dropped and the images on the screens lit up, the crowd was ready to inhale every word, song, and musical note they could. Stepping onto the stage were Tony Campos (bass), Ken Jay (drums), and Koichi Fukuda (guitar), three original members from the band that exploded onto the music scene decades ago. Walking to center stage to take the mic was the masked vocalist/guitarist known as XerO. Standing in the same space where Wayne Static would have stood, the band kicked into “Bled For Days” and proceeded to pound out almost twenty songs. The place was lit up the entire night as the music rushed over the crowd and blanketed the entire venue. Its sound was intense and the vibe felt cathartic, people needed to hear these songs again. It was a chance to relive the songs and their importance to them. It was clear they were not trying to establish a new identity and XerO had no interest in stepping out of the huge shadow that Wayne Static casts over this band and create a persona that would take the sound in a different direction. This was a celebration of Static-X and Wayne Static. This night was about what the band was built upon, stood for, and the legacy of the music that was created. The set was heavy on ‘Wisconsin Death Trip,’ ten songs in all, with ‘Machine’ getting four songs and only three songs total from the other releases. XerO stayed true to songs and let the power of the songs do the talking. I was skeptical when this tour was announced. I wasn’t sure how to feel about seeing Static-X without that familiar face and voice driving it. I found myself quickly getting sucked into it. I had forgotten about the intensity and urgency associated with their music and how infectious the grooves are. It was a big slap in the face to remind me to go back and pull those CD’s out, yes, I still do listen to Cd’s, and explore their catalog again. Based on that I think the night was a tremendous success and I would think any fans of the band, or people that never had the opportunity to hear the music live, should take in a show and experience the sound of Static-X.