As I walked into the Chance, I was immediately hit with a revelation about the show I was about to see: the crowd was much smaller than I had anticipated. The Chance, which has a great balcony to watch a show from, had the balcony closed off, keeping everyone contained on the lower level. This actually gave me a lot of hope, as I had seen Overkill under the same circumstances, and the crowd was extraordinarily dedicated to the show.
So the first band I saw was Bury Your Dead. Let me be honest with you. There’s not a ton to be said for them. The gimmick of wearing all white (which I first saw Inflames do,) is a decent touch, but other than that, Bury Your Dead is a one trick pony. As far as one-trick ponies go, they’re moderately skilled and somewhat entertaining. Still, one trick only goes so far. They came, I saw, they ended their set. Not much to speak of outside of that.
So how can I sum up Static-X? The first word that comes to mind is “relentless.” The show never stops, and the drums just keep pounding and pounding. It’s been a long time since I had seen a crowd be so singularly seduced into coordinated mass head-banging, which is a particular feat. The mosh pit was vital and frenetic, at no point devolving into a punch-fest among drunken hacks. The energy was high, the crowd was focused, the metal was very, very, heavy.
The first number was all the hook that Static-X needed to capture attention, launching into “Lunatic,” and just going from there. This was, for all intents and purposes, exactly the way a show of this nature should be presented. There were some impressive lights, but mostly the stage was sparse and free of unnecessary scenery. No frills, no gimmicks, just straightforward drum-driven heavy metal.
The one piece of extra scenery that the “undisputed lords of evil disco” employ seemed to receive a great ovation from the crowd. This would be Wayne Static’s ex-pornstar wife Tera (don't worry, it's safe for work,) who stands in the back of the stage dancing during the entire set. I know Wayne’s been very vocal lately about Tera being an integral part of Static-X now, but I couldn’t help but notice that the other band members didn’t seem to pay her any amount of attention. Just as a thought, could Tera Wray Static end up being the Yoko Ono of Static-X? I don’t think those two names have ever been written together in a sentence before.
Anyway, one of the interesting parts of watcing Static-X is the odd dichotomy of their performance. The crowd is going ballistic listening to the unceasing hammering of songs like “Z28,” “Stingwray,” or “Love Dump,” but the band themselves couldn’t appear more relaxed. They just have a laid-back attitude about themselves that’s rarely seen in bands of the genre. It’s interesting to watch.
The set list was a who’s-who of Static-X singles and crowd favorites, from the iconic “Push It,” to “Cannibal” to “Bled For Days.” The hits just kept coming, the drums just kept pounding, the riffs just kept repeating. Even some of their slower, less driven songs like “Black and White,” or “Cold” were pumped full of vitality for the sake of the live show. The thundering metal was so infectious that even though they partially messed up the beginning of “Tera-fied,” the bass and drums were able to muscle the song through, and it ended up being one of the highlights of the show.
Lot of new stuff, lot of old stuff, all great stuff. Static-X captured my attention from “go,” and never let me down. None of the music is terribly complicated, nor does it push the boundaries of songwriting or technical complexity. In the end though, it is cathartic, energetic, primal, and most of all, infectious.