Sunday, December 1, 2013

Concert Review - Rob Zombie, Scar the Martyr - 11/27/13 at 930 Club, Washington, DC

We were lucky enough to get a one-off show of just Rob Zombie and Scar the Martyr at 930 Club, right after they ended their tour with Korn. I mainly wanted to go to this show to see Scar the Martyr. They're surprisingly metal, considering they consist of the drummer from Slipknot, guitarists from Darkest Hour and (formerly) Strapping Young Lads, a guy from Nine Inch Nails on keyboards and an unknown singer. Now I don't hate Slipknot like some metalheads, but they're not metal, so I was pretty shocked to find that the drummer's side project is so guitar-heavy and headbangable. Add to that the fact that most new bands coming into the mainstream "metal" scene aren't nearly this metal, and so I was quite impressed with this band's sound. And then of course, I figured this was probably my one chance to see this group live, since most of the members are in other bands and so they might not tour again.

Since I'm a superstar at the library who always gets her work done quickly, I got to take the day off, which allowed me (and S) to get to the venue well in time to see Scar the Martyr's set. I was not a superstar at keeping up with my National Novel Writing Month word count goals, though (hey, 4,000 words a day when you have two jobs and a kid is hard!) so I had to spend the metro ride and all the down time between sets writing on my phone. Thank goodness I have a phone with email now!

Not too long after we got there, Scar the Martyr came out to a surprising amount of applause from the crowd (and it was already quite crowded, too). I guess they had more fans than one would expect for a new band, maybe because of their famous members. I would have been more excited if I hadn't been so worried about my word count, and if I had actually been able to hear them. All we could hear was bass, and it was way too loud, causing feedback. The resulting effect was something like the heavily distorted bass thunder of harsh industrial music - I don't know if that was intentional, to make them fit more with Zombie's industrial sound. It was rather disappointing, though - not to mention a little bland - not to be able to hear the guitars except for a short solo. The vocals were pretty clear, and reminded me at times of Marilyn Manson, HIM and Mr. Lordi, further emphasizing the goth/industrial vibe. Their single, "Blood Host," sounded decent, but the guitars were still too low. They played it faster than on the album, and the guitarists seemed to have trouble doing the back-up vocals at that pace. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed that during what may have been my only chance to see this group, I didn't really get to hear about half of the band.

Between sets, S may have had an exchange with Zombie's bassist Piggy D - a guy with uneven shoulder-length hair and a punkish outfit walked by, and S remarked that he looked like Nikki Sixx. The guy heard him and said no way, he was better looking. S agreed and they exchanged a few more words and took a photo. The guy had a badge, but at the time we couldn't figure out who he was - only later by looking at photos did S figure out he might have been Piggy D.

After a few hundred more words, Rob Zombie (and his band) emerged. I was not too excited about seeing them, and had even considered leaving early to write, since we just saw them at Mayhem Fest and I'm not really a huge Zombie fan. (They're good, but for whatever reason don't get me as pumped as KMFDM or VNV Nation, among other goth/industrial acts.) But just like at Mayhem Fest, the energetic music, costume changes and stage props kept me amused. In contrast to Scar the Martyr, their sound was perfect. There weren't as many (or as enormous) props as at Mayhem Fest (Rob Zombie remarked that they didn't even know how to play club shows anymore and would probably hurt themselves if they tried to do the things they usually do) but Zombie did have a couple different microphones and threw giant balloons into the crowd for one song. A pit broke out right in front of us for the first song (which was surprising since we were on the side and a little toward the back) then moved to the center of the floor. There was a little more moshing after that, and the crowd also jumped energetically on a few songs. Without his giant props to ride around on, Rob Zombie pulled out his dance moves instead; they weren't really impressive. Also, during the guitar solo, he came out into the crowd and stood on the bar shining a flashlight over the crowd, drawing the crowd's attention to him, which I thought was a kind of jerkish move, when the guitarist was supposed to be enjoying the crowd's attention during his solo. Overall, though, I enjoyed the set much more than I expected, and did not mind staying till the end.

Surprisingly, I felt pretty good about the night, in spite of the fact that Scar the Martyr, the band I had really wanted to see, was less than great, and my word count was also hopelessly lacking (I ended the night about 800 words short). What can I say, I guess Rob Zombie really does put on a stupendous show!

Next concert: Alestorm on Weds for my brother's birthday!

1 comment:

  1. I was chuckling at Rob ZOmbie's Tai Chi dance moves