Thursday, 26th September 2019
Review by Kira Levine
Photography by Michelle Murphy
Tonight saw the highly-anticipated arrival of the Memorial Tribute to Wayne Static (who passed away in 2014) in England’s capital, the tour also recognising Wisconsin Death Trip’s 20th anniversary.
There are four bands on the bill and we are in for an all-American concert.
First up are Dope. Frontman Edsel Dope booms, “What the fuck is going on London, England? Make some fucking noise, put your fucking hands in the air… let me hear you screeeeam!“ causing many to quickly oblige.
During ‘Blood Money,’ right before the first chorus, the frontman asks, “One thing you know, we’re all going to hell tonight, right?!” which receives a roar of approval in response. Not even a full song in yet, and the audience are clearly already very excited.
Edsel thanks the fans “for coming out early and seeing all the bands,” before mentioning that Static-X’s anniversary/tribute tour coincides with the anniversary of the release of Dope’s debut album Felons and Revolutionaries, two decades ago.
Introduced as Dope’s “stupidest song,” Dead Or Alive cover ’You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’ is the last instalment from the first supporting act. Despite being first up, Dope’s performance was definitely one of the most memorable of the night. A very exciting start to the show. It would have been interesting to hear ‘Debonair’ be played live, but it was not chosen for their twenty-five minute set.
Former Murderdolls front-man Joseph Poole, better known as Wednesday 13, takes the stage next with his eponymous band. Unluckily, they were the only band of the evening to experience technical difficulties. He used this opportunity to plug Necrophaze, their latest album with a guest appearance from Alice Cooper, which would be released at midnight.
Wednesday made many swift wardrobe changes throughout the set which saw him change between several masks, don from a hood, wear a top hat at one point, and then emerge with a glow-painted torso. He also appeared with props such as a hook and walking cane, which added another layer to the band’s performance.
The most attention-grabbing moments were in their tenth song, ‘I Love To Say Fuck’, which saw appearances from models Dani Divine, Shelly d’Inferno, and Alénee Aisha. The trio, dressed as cheerleaders, strut around the stage holding up signs with the F-bomb written on them as the band performed. Overall, Wednesday 13 were more shock than rock. Wednesday 13 were successful in their theatrics rather than the music itself, though thoroughly entertaining.
By the end of Wednesday 13’s slot, the ballroom became noticeably fuller. The crowd edged towards the bar at the rear of the venue, with some having to make their way upstairs to try and secure a decent viewing spot.
SOiL were by far the least gimmicky of the four acts this evening and gave the highest level of audience interaction. They played a song they collaborated with Wayne Static on, ‘Give It Up’, which served as a tribute while also demonstrating the band’s respect for their late friend.
During ‘Halo’, lead vocalist Ryan jumped off stage into the crowd, staying there for the duration of the song. He could be heard belting out the lyrics of the hit just as powerfully as the tracks he’d performed on stage earlier.
SOiL’s set was wrapped up in the shape of ‘Black Betty,’ originally by Led Belly, Ryan leaving us with the words “Always remember! The music starts with you… the music is you… you make this happen! Thank you!”
Last, but most certainly not least were the “behemoth” – as styled by Edsel Dope – Static-X. They put on a spectacular visual feast, but they also had an audio treat to back it up with. Masked vocalist Xer0’s voice is well suited to the tracks originally sung by Wayne. He effortlessly performed songs such as ‘Wisconsin Death Trip,’ ‘Black And White,’ and ‘I’m With Stupid’, which made him seem as if he had been playing in the band for years.
The onstage display featured tribute photos and messages to Wayne Static along with prompts for the audience. The band had even gone as far as to show different versions of the Static-X logo through their various album eras, with lyrics to some of the songs that were played live. Clearly a lot of thought had gone into the production for this tour.
During the intro for ‘Cold’, Xer0 quips, “Yo, security guard. Relax, motherfucker!” which gains a few laughs. After thanking everyone for being in attendance to the sold-out show, bassist Tony Campos addresses the audience: “So, let me introduce the band to you. On the drums, we have Wayne’s original partner in crime. Make some noise for Mr. Ken Jay! On the lead guitar, the Osaka assassin, make some noise for Mr. Koichi Fukuda! And on the vocals from parts unknown, great unknown, make some noise for Xer0!” There are unconfirmed rumours that the mystery front-man is Edsel from Dope.
Xer0 says before the encore: “Make some noise for Mr. Tony Campos the bass guitar for making all this shit happen around the world. London, I wanna say thank you for allowing me to be here tonight to sing to you. Wayne was my old friend. I’m here to help us all celebrate 20 years of a great album called Wisconsin fucking Death Trip. And to pay our respects and to celebrate the memory, the music of that band. Mr. Wayne Static! Get your hands in the air, everybody let me hear your voices!”
As the band get ready to play ‘Push It’, Tony makes sure to tell everyone that their hero would be proud of them supporting his work, which is followed up by his adoring fans chanting “Wayne! Wayne! Wayne!” repeatedly.
A once in a lifetime experience starring the original line-up of Static-X (plus Xer0), tour mates, and friends of the late Wayne Static, this was an unforgettable show that on the whole served well to honour the fallen frontman.
Wednesday 13: 19.20
- Bled for Days
- Wisconsin Death Trip
- Sweat Of The Bud
- Love Dump
- I Am
- The Trance Is The Motion
- Get To The Gone
- Black And White
- This Is Not
- Destroy All
- Start A War
- I’m With Stupid
- Push It