Photos by Caris Morcombe
It was Tuesday Night, August 27th at the Rock Rover in Fremantle (The old South Freo Bulldogs Football Club) and it was a night to remember for many, many different reasons.
The metal contingent came out in droves for this epic evening, along with some goths and raver types, as it was an occasion to celebrate the late Wayne Static of Static-X who were there celebrating and performing their debut album Wisconsin Death Trip. What a lineup this was and for only $60 as well! It also featured the wild Wednesday 13 as support (Touring their new album, Necrophaze), as well as New Yorks own Industrial inspired metal act, Dope – who were in Australia for the first time since their formation 22 years ago.
It was strange early on, as I was en route to the venue when my friend Kevin told me the event page had stated 11 hours prior that Dope were starting the show off at 7:15pm. I was immediately enraged as it was 7:30 and I still had 30 minutes of driving and cursing on the road before we arrived. The event page had stated 8pm for months. We were off to a bad start, so it seemed.
We got there and there was a massive line. I finally got in and had figured Wednesday 13 would be on stage at any moment. But… it didn’t happen. Then my friend Brayden informed me he had been there since 6pm for the Meet and Greet and after that took place; nothing had happened. Eventually he told me Dope hadn’t even played yet! Relief washed over me in awesome wave.
Finally at 8:45pm Dope hit the stage with some velocity. Velocity indeed. They smashed out a 22 minute set, to the dismay of many, I think a lot of people expected them to play longer! They played all their bangers, 6-6-Sick, my personal favorite Debonair, Die Boom Bang Burn and their famous cover of You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). I was hoping for more but I guess that’s just the amount of time they were allotted, or there was a problem somewhere along the line behind the scenes. I guess I will never know. Nonetheless, what a great way to start the night. I was feeling the White Zombie influence right off the bat and it stayed there all night.
Wednesday 13 were showstopping, show-stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’ son of a guns if I’ve ever seen ’em. The performance, the pageantry, the story was being told on stage through movement and through costume changes as well as song. He’s got charisma oozing from him, you can see he is completely wrapped up in the character he portrays on that stage. The band were tight, the sound was an improvement from Dope’s set, and they played an array of old and new stuff. The new stuff from their 2019 album ‘Necrophaze’ had as much balls as all the old stuff. It seemed like a lot of people were here just to see Wednesday, as after the set ended, the venue was only ever so slightly – noticeably emptier. They certainly played like they were headlining. Top songs of the set include ‘Get Your Grave On’, the current single ‘Decompose’ and of course – ‘Bad Things’. This night was shaping up to be a big one!
Static-X hit the stage late in the evening and gave us Wisconsin Death Trip in full as promised, but not in the correct order which was preferred. I remarked to my mate Kev within the first 30 seconds that “It might as well be Wayne up there” Their fill in vocalist (who is stepping in for Wayne, known only as ‘Xer0’) was doing such a tremendous job, it felt as authentic as it ever could be – as close to the real thing as possible. Xer0’s Wayne Static inspired mask was an absolute ripper – it was really cool. It was interesting to me that it was mentioned during the show by Tony Campos that the last time the real Static-X performed together was in Perth in 2009. I was there. It kind of tripped me out that 10 years later I would learn that.
As the set drew on it got more and more crazy, the crowd were ferocious and it was fun all round as the fans certainly were set on celebrating Wayne and Static-X as much as they could. They ended the show with ‘Push It’, and it was a hell of a climax. Nothing but love for these boys and the fact they are doing this tribute to the legacy of a tremendous human being and songwriter. You could tell this meant something to Tony, Koichi, Ken and Xer0 – this was coming from the heart and this was being done for the right reason.
I loved this show, the sound wasn’t right at times, but the venue will grow and be better the more it is utilized. Lord knows we need more trustworthy venues that will bring bands out our way for us poor lowly Perthians. Props to Rock Rover and its staff for handling things the best they could, and again – nothing but admiration and appreciation for the performers of the night. Long live Wayne Static