Review by Chad Thomas Carsten Photos by Liam Himel
The “Rise of the Machine” tour is an industrial metal dream come true for any hardcore Static-X fan. After over a year and multiple reschedulings, longtime fans were beyond thrilled that Static-X had finally hit the highway to hell to begin another “rock ‘n’ roll” journey in honor from their classic 2001 LP “Machine”! We know it’s been one hell of a rollercoaster of emotions waiting for that moment to arrive! As soon as the fans heard about the tour announcement, they all undoubtedly knew they had to be there no matter what! The chance to see their lifelong favorite band was too good to pass up.
As for Static-X, their new stage show was unlike anything audience members had ever seen before; everything felt larger than life for Static-X this time around. From the jaw-dropping “Terminator” influenced costume worn by frontman XerO, to their stunning visuals on gigantic psychedelic screens, allied to their unflinching captivating stage presence, they put on a performance that will never be forgotten. With every note Static-X played, it was like we were all connected in one big Static-X “Evil Disco” musical galaxy – the audience was all experiencing a truly groundbreaking “stress releasing” heavy metal concert together. All in the Plaza location in downtown Orlando, Florida!
*Editor’s Note: Mushroomhead unfortunately had to cancel the Orlando, Florida date due to vehicle issues*
Society 1 (Los Angeles, CA) was the first to take the stage at the “Sold Out” “Rise of the Machine” concert. Most seemed to have never heard of them before, but their sound was crazy fresh! The band’s raw energy quickly filled the Plaza and they quickly caught my attention. currently led by Herculean vocalist Matt Lord Z. His powerful voice and dynamic stage presence radiated throughout the room as he sang about his hellish experiences in life. As each song ended, you could feel through the crowd that people were falling more and more in love with this enigmatic frontman who seemed to have it all on stage, despite the hard rock chaos. Her charismatic attitude on stage taught fans about perseverance and commitment, values that will always stay with everyone long after the concert night is over.
As modern hard rock legends Dope (New York City) took to the stage, you could feel a new wave of explosive musical energy erupt within the Plaza among the crowd. The fans were all ready to let loose. as if they’ve been looking forward to this moment for decades. Everyone was screaming and clapping when they immediately recognized the opening notes of the single “I’m Back” from Dope’s fan favorite 2005 album “American Apathy”!
As soon as Dope started creating his signature sound, circular pits started to form and people started jeering like it had become the last days of their own lives. It was an extraordinary experience to be part of such an enthusiastic and passionate audience for the characteristic sound of an artist. The environment of the concert seemed to have completely changed from when the attendees first arrived at the venue; with Dope’s arrival, it vibrated with metallic energy and chaos. You could easily tell from scanning the crowd that everyone’s eyes were on Dope, as they were all musically captivated by the way Dope presented himself on stage with pure rocker professionalism!
Fans undoubtedly deeply enjoyed every second of their impressive showmanship. Towards the end of Dope’s set. Frontman Edsel Dope explained his distaste for social media censorship and the fact that he doesn’t need record companies. He let everyone in attendance know that if they signed up for Dope’s official mailing list at https://dopetheband.com, all fans would receive Dope’s brand new album “Blood Money Part Zer0” at hundred percent free! In addition to being informed of the bands’ tour schedules and any new music news from Dope. Dope then finished their set with their explosive cover of Die or Alive’s “You make me spin (Like a Record),” with the crowd cheering as loud as they could!
In the year 1989, Fear Factory (Los Angeles, CA) originally formed as the powerhouse industrial metal band Ulceration. Since their inception, they have released ten studio albums and have even been nominated several times for the Grammy Awards. It was no surprise that when Fear Factory began their crushing industrial assault live, as the penultimate act of the night, the crowd went super wild! Most of those present had grown up alongside Fear Factory’s fine musical evolution from a relatively unknown heavy metal band to one of the giants of industrial metal.
Fear Factory’s smashing setlist included songs from all eras of their career, with most of the songs taken from their first three albums – ‘Soul Of A New Machine’, ‘Demanufacture’ and ‘Obsolete’ – which did a ton older fans and an abundance of new, especially happy fans. As each song ended and everyone sang every word, it was easy to see that music can bring people together, regardless of age or background. The new leader of Fear Factory, Milo Silvestro, imposed himself on stage. As his amazing showmanship proved, he was destined to rock the microphone from birth, due to his extraordinary vocal range.
Industrial metal superstars Static-X (Los Angeles, CA) have chillingly, scientifically returned to Orlando, Florida for another sold-out ‘Rise of the Machine’ tour! After being postponed twice due to the pandemic, fans frothed in mad, heart-pounding excitement to finally experience the band live after a year-and-a-half hiatus.
The platinum-status band took over The Plaza for a memorable and glorious night in which many fans unleashed decades of accumulated stress thanks to the intensity of Static-X! Fans roared in approval as Static-X played fan favorites such as “Push It”, “Cannibal” and “I’m With Stupid” and more. Plus a new fan-favorite track from “Project Regeneration” Vol 1. titled “Terminator Oscillator”. Frontman Xer0 expressed his gratitude for the crowd’s support in selling out another show, remarking that it was great to be back on stage in front of a sea of devoted fans.
Hollywood costume genius Eddie Yang is the person responsible for creating the new Static-X robotic mask that looked so cool in person! It was as if Xer0 had transformed into a sci-fi character from the brilliant mind of James Cameron, ready to slay the enemy. With electric wires for hair and beams of red laser light for eyes, it was as if Xer0 had been personally selected to lead Chouriki’s evil Machine Empire Baranoia. Sentai Ohranger, to conquer the whole universe! During the track “Love Dump”, Xer0 noticed an enraged concertgoer starting fights and had security kick the mustachioed troublemaker out before anyone could be seriously injured. Luckily, the show went on without delay, as Static-X kept pulling faces!
A major highlight of the Orlando, Florida set became Static-X performing their hit from the “Queen of the Damned” soundtrack “Cold.” Because during “Cold,” confetti snow poured down on the audience, as they all smiled from ear to ear. The audience sang a long piece of “Cold” so loudly that the neighboring town could very well hear them! As a commemorative reel dedicated to Wayne Static played on stage screens with fans cheering even louder! Above all, Static-X successfully hosted an epic night of “Evil Disco” that will forever go down in the heavy metal history books as one of the best tribute tours to ever hit the United States, thanks to Ken Jay, Tony Campos Koichi Fukudaand XerO’s constant dedication to headbanging!
RIP Wayne Richard Wells