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STATIC X “Rise Of The Machine Tour” Concert Review By Tanis Enos – Featuring FEAR FACTORY, MUSHROOMHEAD, DOPE And SOCIETY 1 At The Underground, Charlotte North Carolina

Posted in concert reviews, concerts, Heavy Metal, industrial metal, industrial metal bands, metal bands, metal music, Music, music news, news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2023 by Metal Odyssey

The Rise of the Machine Tour drew in a sold out crowd on March 16, at The Underground in Charlotte North Carolina. The show consisted of headliner Static X and supporting acts Society 1, Dope, Mushroomhead, and Fear Factory. Fans were lining up outside as early as 10am to secure a spot as close to the action as possible.

With an explosion of sound, Society 1 opened the show, immediately getting the crowd riled up and ready for the rest of the night. Lead singer Matt Zane, also known as Lord Zane, brings a creative mix of both clean low vocals and different levels of aggressive growls and screams. His performance style is extremely active and he is always looking to shock the crowd. Zane is backed by an equally intense band consisting of Erik Kluiber on guitar, Jimmy Minj on bass and Dagon TheDestroyer on drums. Loud, proud and in your face is the best way to describe all of Society 1.

In an almost seamless transition, Dope took the stage next. Lead singer Edsel Dope came out vocals blazing holding nothing back the entire show. The uncaged punk rage known as Acey Slade made an explosive impact but not on his normal low end, instead Slade wielded the axe all night. The foundation was set by the sturdy rhythm section made up of Daniel Fox on bass and Chris Warner on drums. All together the band produced a sound performance that any existing Dope fan would love and any new fan would remember for a long time.

Mushroomhead came out with a literal bang. Instantly fans in the front row were hit with water bouncing of the huge barrel-like drums on both sides. Water wasn’t the only thing flying off the stage. Singer Scott Beck jumped into the arms of rowdy fans and crowd surfed as chaos continued on stage. Mushroomhead excelled the most at adding the heaviest Nu Metal sound to an overall Industrial tour.

Fear Factory was next and by then the crowd was out of their minds. Still continuing the Industrial metal theme, Fear Factory added a touch of thrash metal at the hands of guitarist Dino Cazares, that set them apart from the rest of the bands. Tony Campos played double duty owning the bass for Fear Factory and later coming back with the same intensity and drive on the bass for Static X. Milo Silvestro commanded the stage with authority on vocals. Mike Heller kept the beat up on drums.

Finally it was time for Static X. Before the band even took the stage, fans were screaming at a level that could easily be compared to that of teenage girls at a boy band concert. After a thrilling rendition of Sweet Caroline sang at full volume by the crowd the lights went dark and one single light could be seen coming from the stage. The light was held by a strange creature, which Campos, later referred to as the Xbox Logo and others call Shovel Man, who can also be found in the music videos for both “Push It” and “I’m With Stupid”. Campos returned to the stage next followed by drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda.

Lights flashed to the thunderous sound of their music as lead singer Xer0 joined them on stage. Xer0 debuted a new look at the beginning of the tour that combined his primary look with that of a robot. The iconic tall spiky hair that original lead singer Wayne Static was known for is honored in a wiry cyborg like do. As anyone would be, some fans were skeptical about a new lead singer and how it would affect the Static X sound. However, as the show progressed it was clear that not only did Xer0 have the look but he brought the grit and sound that Static fans love. At this time, the band has no plans to reveal the identity of the new lead singer and as fans fell under Xer0’s robotic trance, it was apparent that it did not matter to them who was under the mask. Unfortunately, due to the size restrictions of the venue the band was unable to put on the full production they had planned for the tour.

Nonetheless, the fans soaked up every single bit of their performance singing just as loud as Xer0. Static X still had a few tricks up their sleeve for this small venue. During “Cold” the lights turned to shades of blue as a blizzard of snow covered the band, adding to the already deep and powerful vibe of the song. The energy shifted immediately as “I’m With Stupid” began to play. Everybody’s favorite Shovel Man returned to the stage and along with him came monstrous sized balloons. Overall, Static X did an incredible job stimulating the crowd both visually and audibly and left the crowd wanting more.

– Tanis Enos

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