The tagline for the show was “VH1 Classic presents Rob Zombie”. VH1? Classic? How old is Rob Zombie? How old am I?!
This was my first time at the Nokia Theatre and I was really impressed. It’s a good medium-sized venue (holds about 2500 I think), with the front general admission standing and the back general admission seating. With cupholders! I would say the seats are a bit narrow so if you’re a bigger person you might not be comfortable in them. There’s plenty of bars, the bathrooms are huge and non-disgusting and the acoustics were very good. I would definitely see another show there.
The first opener was Bullet for My Valentine, from Wales. I had never heard them before but I liked them. They put a lot of energy into their short set even though the reaction they got from the crowd was mediocre. Both the instruments and the vocals were good. They had some nice “classic” metal touches like chorused guitars.
After that came Lacuna Coil, from Italy. It looked like they had a decent following in the crowd, but I thought they were awful. They seemed really phoney and staged. They did this “synchronized headbanging” thing where the entire band would stand at the front of the stage and bang their heads in perfect unison, and everything they did struck me that way. I felt like I could see the lead singer saying in his head “annnd fist in the air, and pound my chest, and christ pose, and bang.” Oh, and they covered “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode. I am not kidding. I don’t know what they were doing at this show. I feel like all the devil horns thrown their way were sadly misdirected.
Rob Zombie was up last. I have been waiting for him to tour solo again for years, since The Horrible Incident Wherein We Missed the Entire Show. His stage show was great, with tons of carnival-type props (fiberglass devil girls, clown heads, skulls that looked like they came from a cheap funhouse, a light-up 666) for background. While he played, a screen in the back flashed images of anime, porn, anime porn, Charles Manson, Russ Meyer movies, and so on. They played both stuff from the new album and some greatest hits.
The band was tight and entertaining. I think maybe Rob Zombie surrounds himself with doubles to prevent assassination attempts – his bassist and drummer were sporting very similar looks. The guitarist, J5, was really good and played a loooong solo during Thunderkiss 65 that quoted lots of famous solos including Eddie’s “Eruption” and Jimi’s “Star Spangled Banner” complete with teeth-picking. He teased the crowd with the opening riff to “Crazy Train” at one point but it didn’t materialize.
All in all (well except for Lacuna Coil) it was a great show. I heard all the songs I wanted to hear and I can finally cross “see a Rob Zombie show” off my list.