The second leg of the North American Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour is well underway and it is such an amazing concert fans of the industrial rock scene need to witness it. Static-X has been touring North America honoring the legacy of the late Wayne Static, and celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album Wisconsin Death Trip. The band has encountered mixed feelings from both fans and critics in their decision to have a zombie-esque Wayne Static masked frontman, who goes by the name Xer0. But let me tell you, that after witnessing the band’s set in New York City’s Sony Hall, you can leave all preconceived notions at the door. Static-X is a wild and crazy good time to be had.
The tour’s lineup was to feature Devildriver as a double headliner, but due to a family emergency the band had to dropout. For the night we had Raven Black (which I unfortunately missed), Wednesday 13, and Dope. In regards to Wednesday 13, not only is the music great, but frontman Mr. Motherfucker always ups the ante in the theatrics. Good old fashioned horror makeup tricks and effects along with provocative lyrics makes for a guaranteed awesome set. Guitarists Roman Surman and Jack Tankersley have a perfect balance of spooky and silliness while ripping through all the wicked riffs. Bassist Troy Doebbler and drummer Kyle Castronovo bring the heaviness up front and center and never break character. Wednesday 13 has quickly become one of my favorite acts to cover over the last few years.
Dope further intensified the party by bringing their energy and performing all the crowd favorites. Frontman Edsel Dope connects with the audience on a basic human level. Several times throughout the set Edsel finds the time to show gratitude to their loyal fanbase. Bassist Acey Slade is a powerhouse of energy constantly jumping around and putting on one hell of a show. Drummer Daniel Fox and guitarist Virus are powerful counterparts that complete the wicked ensemble that is Dope.
Throughout the night the excitement for Static-X was palpable as people did not know what to expect and how to digest the events that were about to unfold. The moment the lights dimmed and the projector lit up, time seemed to come to a halt. Members Tony Campos on bass, Koichi Fukuda on guitar, drummer Ken Jay, and vocalist Xer0 made their way onto the stage to ignite an impassioned and unforgettable performance. This tour was as cathartic for the band as it is for the fans. During the set, it was hard to take my eyes off the stage but in between glances I would catch the expressions of the people on the floor. It was difficult to process that indeed Wayne Static is gone but his legacy lives on in each of the fans that sings along to the lyrics of his songs. We might never get to find out who Xer0 is but he did an amazing job in honoring Wayne on that stage. As the tour comes to an end, if you have the opportunity to see them, go. Don’t hesitate, just go.