It must have been about a month ago that I was perusing the upcoming show list for The Chance Theater. It had been awhile since I took a look and there were a number of new shows on the schedule. One of them stood out from the rest, Static-X. Yes, the world's leading provider of evil disco was coming back to Pough-town.
They had spent an evening here just over two years ago with OTEP in tow. As soon as I saw the listing I knew I wanted to go, then something else caught my eye. One of the opening acts was called Seventh Void and right next to that it said "Members of Type O Negative". Those words pricked up my ears. Instead of knowing I wanted to go, I knew I had to go.
I arrived at the club right around 7:30. I walked up the door, produced my license and was properly wrist-banded to allow for some party-time drinking before I headed inside. It was apparent that I missed an act, I believe it was Dirge. This is regrettable, but with the way door open times shift and get confused with show start times, it happens from time to time. That said, I was all set for some live music.
The first band I saw was called Judgment Day, I believe. The few times they said there name I found it hard to hear. So, I apologize if I got the name wrong and I suspect I have, I cannot find any reference to a band called Judgment Day. In any case, the band was solid and the small, but growing, crowd was definitely getting behind them.
They are a metalcore band, but not one that was terribly original. No, they do not stand out from a crowd, but that is also a good thing. They are solid and brought a lot of energy to the stage. If I had to describe them, I would say they are like Killswitch Engage if Corey Taylor was their singer and they collectively had less talent. They may be derivative, but they are worth taking a peek. Their debut album is set to be released come September.
In short order the equipment on stage was swapped out for the first band that I was really interested in seeing. It was going on 8:30 and Seventh Void took the stage. I was excited to see these guys, probably more than any other band this evening. It's funny, as hyped as I was, the crowd took awhile to warm up to them. It is hard for anyone to start up a new band, regardless of your pedigree (half of the band is from Type O Negative), especially with what seems to be little label support and a brand new album.
Fortunately, after a couple of songs the crowd began to get into it. I must admit that the first song or two had me a little worried, not so much for the crowd participation so much as the band's sound. It sounded awfully weak and I could not make out much of front man Kenny Hickey's vocals, and the band had an overall lack of punch. What the problem was, I am not sure but I am reasonably sure there was some problem with the monitors, when the sound came up it brought a punch to the stage that had a ripple effect through he audience. I love it.
The band did not have a lot of space to move around on the stage, but it mattered not. Seventh Void is not about the stage antics, they are about delivering a slab of heavy rock, and that is what they did. They tore through such tracks as "Closing In," "Heaven is Gone," and "The End of All Time" before closing with "Broken Sky."
Kenny's voice sounded a little rough, but still strong. His guitars were solid and well complimented by Matt Brown's work, together they create a nice thick wall of guitar fuzz. Behind them, Johnny Kelly leads the rhythm section with his big drum sound. The back end is thickened by Hank Hell's bass playing. All things considered, they may not be the most original act, but they are rock solid and playing music worth listening too.
Next up was hardcore act Bury Your Dead, offering a decidedly different sound from the heavy hard rock of Seventh Void. I first saw these guys about two and a half years ago, they were opening for Hatebreed and Killswitch Engage, and it was one hell of a show. The time in between has seen the band release a new album with a new singer and replace one of their guitarists, so this is a different look than what I knew.
They came out, opened with "Harvester of Straw" from the Beauty and the Breakdown album and never looked back. They played with as much intensity as the small amount of stage they had would allow. It was great watching them play. It was a different experience than last time, they are a bit more melodic with their new stuff and singer Myke Terry sings a little more than Mat Buso did before him.
Bury Your Dead has a new album arriving on My 26 and they played a couple of tracks from that album, including "Inhuman" and "Hurting Not Helping." The new cuts sounded good, and no one can fault their energy! This is definitely a band to keep an eye on.
Static-X was the last band to take the stage and were they ever welcomed by the eager crowd. There is nothing like a little evil disco to finish the night strong. No sooner did they start ripping it on stage did the crowd go berserk. It also only took a couple of songs for me to realize that I need to add more Static-X to my collection, the same thing I said when I saw them two years ago, something I have made a reality picking up Cult of Static. Prior to this I had not picked up an album since the 2001 Machine. In any case, the albums are good, they are just as good live.
Wayne Static walked to the center of the stage, signature hair standing straight up, big smile on his face, crowd roaring, and it was off. There was no way they were going to disappoint, and they didn't. Now, Static-X may not be absolute instrumental wizards, their music may never be considered truly classic, but I can honestly say that I cannot think of another band that they sound like. They have a unique sound that is very easy to get behind.
They played a mix of tunes spanning their ten years in the public eye, covering six albums. Of course, there were only a few songs that I knew, including the pair played for the encore, but the rest were easy to get into. Their performance is tight, precise, and filled with groove. I think it is impossible to not let these tunes in your head, they are insidious in their ability to get your body moving.
Every once in awhile the band would stop to toast the crowd and do a shot, delivered by the lovely Miss Static, who spent the show standing towards the rear of the stage dancing to every song and distracting every male in the place. Nice addition to the stage show, if I do say so myself.
In any case, this was a great show with strong performances all around. There is nothing like a night of live music, especially when they bands are good!
Static-X Set List, I found this on the web and it appears to at least close to what I saw:
- I'm With Stupid
- Black & White
- Bled for Days
- Love Dump
- Sweat of the Bud
- This is Not
- Push It
As an added bonus, I snapped a few shots with my phone, many were not all that good, but here are a few worth checking out:
Bury Your Dead: