ROB ZOMBIE’S STILL GOT IT!
Date: July 31, 2018
Venue: Jiffy Lube Live
Location: Bristow, Virginia, USA
Reviewer: Christopher Carroll
Photos: Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography
I walked into this show knowing, without a doubt, that while I would be shooting photos of the Rob Zombie concert, I would not be shooting the Marilyn Manson portion…. This was my choice. See, after hearing first account stories about how Marilyn Manson treated photographers that he approved to shoot his show, I refused to give him publicity in the form of a good photo (and my ego wouldn’t allow me to post a horrible one)! Of course, he is known for being controversial so it should be no surprise that he might do something silly or offensive in front of a photographer but he has been known to throw powder on photographers (with the intention of ruining their lens), water and even a microphone stand! All this to people he had invited to give him free publicity. He only allowed photographers to shoot one song and at this venue, I believe only three of us bothered to give him the satisfaction.
I’ve seen Marilyn Manson many times over the years and he’s always put on an exciting show. While he can’t sing, he makes up for it by pouring passion into his squeals, screams and gritty mumbles. In the past, when he was onstage, you could tell he was giving it his all, from the vocals down to the body movements. The sound seemed to fight its way out of his body…. but not anymore.
I was first disappointed for the photographers who decided to shoot the one song because he came onstage with his greased hair combed to the side like Beaver Cleaver and a very plain shirt and pants. While there were a couple of costume changes (that were basically putting a coat on), it seemed that he had lost his taste for fashion, creative dress and visual excitement. Even more disappointing was the fact that his performance had suffered the same fate. Moves that were once fueled by the energy of his music now seemed obviously deliberate. Gone was the man who threw himself into the show and often even onto the floor while squeezing the lyrics from his body like they were an exorcised demon. He was replaced with what seemed like his father singing Marilyn Manson songs at a karaoke bar. He was physically and vocally unenergetic. He just ‘called it in’. To be honest, I got bored — yes, at a Marilyn Manson concert! I was shocked myself.
Fortunately, when Rob Zombie hit the stage, the audience perked up. The show, as always, was very high energy. His live songs have a strong beat and everyone in the audience feels it. Rob feels it himself as he can’t seem to keep from moving while onstage. With heavy music like this, you may not expect dancing but Rob Zombie dances throughout the show. His dance moves are a mix somewhere between kung fu and square dancing! He has a great time onstage and he looks cool doing it.
Guitarist John 5 came out with his lit teeth. He has what seems like 100 guitars and every one of them becomes a part of the show, most notably, the telecaster covered with lights! He’s an impressive and highly underrated guitarist but he adds more to the songs than just riffs and chords. He adds sounds and screeches and things that wouldn’t normally come out of a guitar. His playing is a huge part of Rob Zombie. He blends many styles into his playing. While he was tapping, it wasn’t the same old Eddie Van Halen overdone tapping. He slipped in sweeping runs and some eight finger tapping! At one point, he started playing a tiny guitar and even threw some bluegrass in his solo. While this was going on, Rob jumped off the stage with his jumbo flash light and wandered into the crowd. He went all the way back to the lawn and made his way back by the time John 5 had finished his guitar solo.
After a short speech about how we don’t allow ourselves to really dive into the live shows like we used to before cell phones, Rob said that he noticed, while in the audience, that most of us were on our cell phones, posting to Instagram or recording the show from a mile away. He asked everyone to agree to put their phones away for three minutes! One song… and then we could go back to Twittering our hearts out! Of course, that’s when he broke into “Thunder Kiss 65” so many people whipped out their phones to record it.
Bassist Piggy D is someone I only truly learned to appreciate over the last couple of times I saw Rob Zombie play. If you stand on his side of the stage, you’ll see that he practically has his own show going on! He goes through several costume changes, mask changes, bass guitar changes. He even has a bass that appears to be fashioned from an aged wooden cross. He’s quite a showman and has a way of pulling the crowd on his side into the songs. Ginger Fish was constantly in motion behind the drum kit the entire night. The last time I saw Rob Zombie, Ginger was also the opening act as a DJ! He’s definitely an interesting and energetic character. He played with Marilyn Manson for 15 years before joining Rob Zombie’s band.
Rob announced tonight’s show as the John 5 Birthday Bash and said that Marilyn Manson promised free cupcakes for everybody. Manson walked on stage without a cupcake but had his butcher knife/microphone in hand as they tore into The Beatles‘ “Helter Skelter.” After that, everyone left the stage and the big screen showed the movie trailer for Rob Zombie’s upcoming movie 3 From Hell and it looked good!
Rob climbed a huge monster pedestal and ended the night with “Dragula.” Everyone left happy. Rob Zombie was voted best live show at least five years in a row and it’s easy to see why. Even without the costumes, the monsters, the big screen, the flashing screen risers they stand on, the costume change, lit up guitars and all the rest, this is a rock band that just kills it every night. They don’t just deliver the music to you, they pump life into it the entire time and it’s a noticeable difference from many bands. I’ve always told people that if you’ve never seen a Rob Zombie concert from up front, in the pit, you MUST! It’s a completely different experience than seeing it from your seat. They give off an incredible energy that makes you feel as though you are part of the show. Since the first time I saw White Zombie, I haven’t missed a Rob Zombie tour. I’ve seen him in clubs and in stadiums and he never disappoints.
Full show of Rob Zombie performing at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, USA on July 31, 2018:
“Rob Zombie” performs live in Bristow Virginia at The Jiffy Lube Live Pavilion on 7/31/18 during The Twins Of Evil:The Second Coming 2018 Tour with “Marilyn …