Static X Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour &
Memorial Tribute to Wayne Static
with DevilDriver – Dope – Wednesday 13 – Raven Black
The Observatory in Santa Ana, California was buzzing before the doors ever opened. A row of tour buses parked out back and fans out front waiting in line at least two hours before the doors were scheduled to open. Already knowing this was a Sold-Out Show, StaticX fans were still waiting in line at will call with the hopes they could score a ticket to see this killer show!
Starting the night off was a local band from So. Cal. called Raven Black, a female lead theater-core band from right here in So. Cal. The petite lead singer packs a hard punch vocally. The seemingly sweet, innocent doll-child, commands your attention and along with her bandmates they deliver a captivating set. Sharing the stage and assisting in the “frightening performance” is “The Doctor” on Lead Guitar, “The Demon – Muppet” on Drums and “Stitches” on bass.
Raven Black presents a dark carnival atmosphere performing songs such as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Scar and Doll House. This is a horror show that takes your breath away.
Next up was another theater-core band who calls Hollywood their hometown. Wednesday13 is fronted by the “Duke of Spook,” he and his band mates deliver a full package in terms of theatrical performance. Precise moves intertwining with each other and the Duke making several costume changes that go unnoticed. The music is eerily captivating, rhythmic beats along with the best horror screams in the business. The talented musicians drawing you into their fright-fest are Roman Surman and Jack Tankersly, a killer duo on guitars, Troy Doebbler pounding the bass and Kyle Castronovo hammering the drums. Look for their new album NECROPHAZE coming September 27th, 2019 on Nuclear Blast Records.
Next in line was definitely a crowd favorite, Dope, who blew the crowd away! This band performs with a high energy and is always fun to see. Having only a five-song set they came out and immediately turned it up way past 10, starting it off with a fan favorite Blood Money. Although they kept the lighting a bit dark and somber the mood was definitely upbeat for these guys, smiling and engaging the fans as they played. Front-man Edsel Dope is as smooth as they come, he delivers a strong vocal performance every time. It was good to see bassist Acey Slade back on stage keeping the energy high with his jumps. Heavy hitter Daniel Fox on Drums and guitarist Virus really set the stage for what would be a climatic but emotional finale of this night.
The last band to hit the stage before the main act was DevilDriver, who picked up the co-headlining duties for the last half of the tour while promoting their latest LP Outlaws til the End which was released in July of last year. DevilDriver delivered a heart pounding set to keep the crowd going. There were flames, smoke and more headbanging music than most can handle. Their twelve-song set, primarily included material from their older albums. Dez Fafara the singer and only remaining original member delivered the vocals with his rough roaring sound that the fans love and even brought his youngest son out to help with vocal duties for one song, you can tell the vocal talents didn’t fall far from the tree. Providing the hair/headbandingfest were Mike Spreitzer and Jeff Kendrick on dueling guitars, along with Diego Ibarra on bass and Austin D’Amond on drums. This band definitely brought the “badass” to the stage!
As the crowd braced itself for the night’s headliners, the pre-show buzz was all about the new singer for Static X, Xer0. The shoulders of this vocalist were sure to be carrying a heavy load. It will be only five years this November that the fans and the band lost their front man, Wayne Static and honoring his memory and his talents has to be done with care and it has to be done just right.
The blackness of the venue lit up with a neon sign center stage, it began pulsating slowly at first, gaining speed with every beat as it brought together the letters of the band name, STATIC X, all while a recorded version of the song December played.
The band took the stage and all eyes were on Xer0, covered head to toe in black to try and conceal his real identity. His face was covered with a custom-made “mask” and some elaborate makeup along with the signature hair style of Wayne Static, all to portray his likeness. It was pretty eerie at first to see this in the dim lighting.
The band immediately launched into their set opening with Bled for Days. The sold-out venue erupted, this was a long time coming for these dedicated Static X fans and they were more than ready to rock.
The set list for the show was a total of 17 songs, touching on five albums but the bulk of the set was dedicated to their debut studio album Wisconsin Death Trip which was released back in March of 1999.
The band mixed with each other on stage as if it were thirty years ago. Each band member made use of every inch of the stage. Original members, bassist Tony Campos and guitarist Koichi Fukuda were very engaging with the fans, throwing picks out and smiling as they looked over the crowd, while the drummer took his spot center stage and delivered a hard pounding set along with his bandmates. The band even paused for a moment so they could all take a shot to salute their gone, but not forgotten front-man, Wayne Static.
The band put on a show to remember—a perfect way to honor the singer, friend and rock n’ roll brother they lost five years ago. R.I.P. Wayne Static.
CLICK HERE to view more pics of STATIC X
CLICK HERE to view more pics of DEVILDRIVER
CLICK HERE to view more pics of DOPE
CLICK HERE to view more pics of RAVEN BLACK