Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
On a warm and humid evening just South of Chicago, the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater was the place to be. The lines waiting to get through the gates were long and all the way back toward the parking lot. The parking lot was filled with folks sitting at their vehicles enjoying their favorite beverages and generally enjoying each other’s company. The music was bumping and the mood was fairly playful. Everyone was in a fantastic mood on a beautiful day.
The venue itself is a three-level facility with two levels that wrap around in three sections. There is a pit around down front and up top is a massive grass hill. Around the venue, massive screens are set up for the live video feeds. No way you could miss a moment of what was in store. On the main ground behind the stage were courtyards that hosted multiple merchandise stands that were filled to the brim with items from all four bands on the bill. The alcohol huts were slinging suds at a feverish pace. Patrons were decked out in all sorts of Rob Zombie gear. Old tour shirts to Halloween movie shirts. It was pretty clear he was the highlight for nearly everyone in attendance.
As the day turned to dusk, the bowl illuminated and the party began raging in the seats, the lights dimmed and the stage set up began to be rolled out. 4 large video-wrapped pillars stood with the band’s drum kit perched right in the middle of it. Behind them ran a massive video board. Up front along the front of the stage ran 3 metal walkways that also ran video synced to the others. The crowd went absolutely bonkers once “Zombie” was streamed letter by letter amongst every video board. The anxiousness elevated and once the lights kicked up the man himself, Rob Zombie stood above the stage on a platform that read Zombie. It was an impressive spectacle to have witnessed. The dirty grit in his voice resonated cleanly over the hyped-up audience. Off to his left, guitar guru John 5, the co-writer of many newer songs stood smiling and shaking his head from right to left. Across the stage stood a dressed to the nines Piggy D on bass. Behind everyone, Ginger Fish was on drums.
Armed with decadent costumes, the band itself was an extremely fine-tuned machine. The accomplished John 5 was on fire. The multitude of finger-picking and riffs being laid out were a sight to behold. His efforts displayed his skill set and he smiled through it all. Before the encore, John 5 delivered an incredible solo that even had a partial cover of Thunderstruck by AC/DC mixed in. Even Rob Zombie shared an approving look with him while sharing the front risers hyping up the already revved-up masses. Piggy D was perhaps the most dapperly dressed of the bunch. His Eddy Munster-styled outfit threw everyone off when he delivered and punished them with thundering bass riffs. Very often he carried a conversation with the crowd in front of him. He gave everything he had and provided the infectious grooves we all know and love. Ginger Fish was a killer on the skins. His kit was loud. His snare snaps were quick and clean. Throughout the duration of the show, his arms flailed everywhere. He smiled consistently and often engaged with Rob whenever he turned around. Perhaps no one on that stage had more fun than him.
As one knows, Rob Zombie is the man you go to watch. His presence on the stage is electric. His raspy vocals connect you to the overall feel of his music. Spooky, sexy, and heavy as can be. His legion of freaks came out in full force just for this. Zombie was in peak performance mode. Running and jumping along the front of the stage. Dancing in his signature bell-bottomed jeans and frayed jean jacket that is plastered with patches from the 80s. His interactions were the stuff of legends. Routinely pointing out fans up front losing their minds. The cast of characters that emerged from behind the stage play with the front man in an almost choreographed manner. Everything about this performance was an art school masterpiece. The classic robot and devil man characters from Zombies cartoons and videos made their appearances and moved across the stage freely.
This performance had a little bit of everything you would expect from one of the horror genre’s most famous directors, the elaborate costumes, lighting, theatrics even a Munsters trailer for an encore break. The stage decor was nothing but horror movie themed. Red, orange, and purple lighting shoot across the stage at all times. The setlist covered Rob Zombie’s entire discography dating back to his time with White Zombie. Mostly they featured tracks from the last few albums he released. Nonetheless, the hits from his first two albums Hellbilly Deluxe and The Sinister Urge were extremely prominent and popular. This assembly of metalheads raged to the classic sounds and visuals of one of today’s modern gods of metal. The conversations around were talking about how extraordinary this performance was. It was hard to argue with. Every little detail was planned and performed to perfection. If there is anything one could take away from the night it would be to never miss a Rob Zombie or Freak on Parade tour stop if it comes near.
INTRO - Expanding The Head of Zed
1. Triumph of King Freak
2. Super Beast
3. Meet The Creeper
4. Shake Your Ass, Smoke Your Grass
5. Living Dead Girl
6. More Human Than Human
7. Scum of The Earth
8. Dead City Radio & The New Gods of Supertown
9. Never Gonna Stop
10. Well, Everyones Fucking in a UFO
11. House of a 1000 Corpses
12. Guitar solo (Partially covering Thunderstruck by AC/DC)
13. Thunderkiss 65
14. Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones Cover)
15. Shadow of The Cemetery Man
ENCORE - The Munster Movie Trailer