As the tour buses rolled into the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the fans prepared themselves for what was sure to be a hell of an evening and they were not disappointed, as Pop Evil, Rob Zombie and Disturbed hopped onto the stage on May 17th. Pop Evil being the opening band, they did have a shorter set. They do have quite a following in the local area and the crowd was amped up from the beginning and loudly sang along with their favorites, such as 100 in a 55, while vocalist Leigh Kakaty climbed out onto the hands of the crowd.
While a large chunk of the audience headed out for a smoke, the Rob Zombie crew prepared the stage and once the set began, it became clear how much work that included. Multiple LCD screens on the front of the stage, large screen behind, giant boombox, and of course those magnificent skeleton mic stands. And who knew that Zombie was such a fabulous dancer? He busted his moves out while the band played Tone Loc’s Wild Thing, and the dance fever continued for the rest of the evening. There was a little something old (Living Dead Girl, More Human Than Human, Thunder Kiss ‘65), a little something new (Get High, Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O, in which a larger metal looking alien joined the band on stage). Rob connected with the fans multiple times- once climbing out into the crowd in front of the stage, and later walking around the perimeter of the entire arena, shining a light during John 5’s guitar solo (which ended with John 5 plucking out the Star Spangled Banner with his teeth). And he also encouraged the entire crowd to put away their phones for at least 3 minutes and just enjoy the show. The encore included Dragula and then the fellas exited stage right… or maybe left.
However, there was more rock to be had as co-headliners Disturbed had their turn on stage. While their stage set-up was far less complex than Zombie’s, they definitely made up for that fact with their light show and excessive pyro. Perhaps that pyro is what caused a “fire emergency” announcement to start blasting through the arena, which also caused all the lights to go on right before The Sound of Silence. Though the announcement encouraged everyone to leave the building, no one did, but vocalist David Draiman did let the crowd know that he was going to wait until the lights went back down before singing. Because who wants to hear “Hello darkness, my old friend” with all the lights on? Of course the crowd rocked to favorites such as The Vengeful One, Stupify, Inside the Fire, and The Light, followed by a medley of cover tunes before reaching the encore and Down With The Sickness.
Once again, a good time was had by all, as Cedar Rapids continues to make known that is not a town to skip over on any upcoming rock tour.
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