Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
The legendary industrial band Static-X was in Lincoln Sunday (4/9) and it was a sold out affair. All across the U.S. the band has been consistently selling out venues behind the strong package of Fear Factory, Dope, Twiztid, and newcomers Cultus Black. Another awesome show brought to us by Lincoln's top rock station 104.1 The Blaze!
With a diverse line-up of metal-core, horror rap, and two heavy industrial acts there was a lot to take in. Cultus Black started the show a little earlier than expected. The doors were at 5:30 and the show ended up starting at 6:00 instead of 6:30. While there was a good amount of people already in the door I'm sure there were a few who missed them. This was my second time seeing Cultus Black, the first being when they opened for the Dropout Kings at the Waiting Room in Omaha. With a bigger stage and a little beefier sound setup I think I enjoyed their set more this go around. Cultus Black made a lot of new fans by hanging out after their set. The lead singer proclaimed "Come to the merch booth and take a picture with us weirdos".
The Horror-rap duo Twiztid was up next. The last time I saw these guys was back in the Ranch Bowl days. Since then they've had a plethora of album releases and a deep catalog to pull from. If memory serves me correctly, when I saw them long ago they didn't have a full band, just backing tracks. It was more hip-hop than metal. This time around the set was more metal than hip-hop and the band fit right in with the crunchy guitars and hard hitting drums. The crowd ate it up with horns in the air and the occasional "whoop whoop!"
After Twiztid came the metal-core group Dope. Another throwback for me, as I saw Dope several times at the Ranch Bowl and the Royal Grove way back when. Dope is essentially the project of lead singer Edsel Dope. Similar to Nine Inch Nails, Edsel writes and produces all the music himself and has some guys that bring it to life on stage. Edsel mentioned that their band is independent and he does everything without the help of a label. "This keeps other people's hands out of my business and removes the barrier between me and you". If fans want to get a digital copy of Dope's new album they can go the band's website and he'll send it to them for free. Pretty cool proposition. For the next 30 minutes Dope hit us with the classics "Bang Bang (and you're dead)", "Die MF Die", "Debonaire", and of course their smash hit, a cover of the 80s band Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round". It was a fun throwback set.
Next were the industrial pioneers Fear Factory. Lead guitarist Dino Cazares is the lone founding member, but he's assembled a great group of players to keep the band going. Tony Campos (of Static X and Asesino) pulled double duty playing bass in both Fear Factory and Static-X. I never got big into Fear Factory but I recognized some of their bigger hits. When they played "Demanufacture" the place went off. From front to back fans were bouncing and shifting like waves. I caught this one kid going up for a crowd surf and it looked like a hoot!
After Fear Factory tore the house down with their heavy riffs and blast beats it was time for the Wisconsin Death-Trippers Static-X! Before the set I saw a kid with a sign asking the new mysterious lead singer Xero for a guitar pick. It had some pictures of Wayne and his birth/death. It was a cool tribute and a reminder of why this tour is doing so well. People loved Wayne and his music. Having a new singer wear a mask in the vein of Wayne's look instead of getting a "replacement singer" was an absolute genius move.
Static-X arrived to raucous applause and kicked things off with "Permanence" from the Machine album. This tour was a 20 year celebration of Machine and I was so hoping they'd come out to the cheesy Polka intro that's on the album. It's one of my favorite tracks because it fakes you out. I got the album on release day and popped the CD in the car only to hear some lame Polka? You're like "Where are the prog-heavy riffs?" and then Wayne hits you with a straight up tonsil-shredding scream on "Get To The Gone" and you're like, "Ok, all is right with the world".
Static-X hit the Bourbon with all the good stuff including "This Is Not", "Black And White", "Bled For Days", "Wisconsin Death Trip", "I'm With Stupid", and the song that put them on the map "Push It". Static-X and all of the bands on the bill did an awesome job honoring Wayne's legacy and helping us forget about daily life if only for a few hours.
A huge thanks to Static-X management and the Bourbon for setting up photo access. Mega shout out to 104.1 The Blaze for bringing another banger line-up of bands!
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Cultus Black & Twiztid