|It just seems as though Rob Zombie never puts on a bad show. For years, even since the days of White Zombie, Rob Zombie has been a master of the horror-pop culture while mixing it with wonderful stripper-rock style music. Each album put out by this musician-gone-moviemaker just seems to have that deep, rhythmic beat that should be played every other song while girls remove articles of clothing for dollar bills. However, his newest release, Educated Horses, seems to take his music in a new direction. Even with the first single "Foxy, Foxy" there is a threat of pop music tracking over his recognizable demon voice. But his live show remains the same, raw, energetic and entertaining.
As Educated Horses seems to be a departure from his past efforts, his stage show was as well. With no major props on stage, no dancing girls on platforms and no pyro, Zombie came to Lifestyles Community Pavilion with a show that was closer to his Ozzfest Second Stage headliner gig than his previous headlining tour. But the missing ingredients in the stage show allowed the crowd to focus in more on the music and talent of Zombie and his band. New guitarist John 5, formerly of Marilyn Manson and even k.d. lang fame, adds an interesting element to the show because he brings his own stage presence. Where Riggs and Blasko always seemed happy just backing Zombie up, John 5 uses his robotic moves and glaring eyes to command attention to his playing, and that made for an interesting dichotomy to Zombie's rapid movement and signature dance moves.
Starting the set off in Day-Glo skeleton masks and riff-raff attire, Zombie and his band set the mood off and for the rest of the somewhat short 75-minute set, the band blazed away through a catalogue of favorites.
Once "Living Dead Girl" was started as the second song, the crowd was able to let loose the energy garnered during Bullet For My Valentine and Lacuna Coil. Although Bullet was kicked off the tour this night, the controversy around the band and Zombie didn't show on stage. Maybe it is because Zombie always displays angst and intensity during his set, and those two qualities definitely work their way into the fans throughout the night as well. Bodies slam and the near sold-out crowd screams lyrics and what Zombie brings to the stage is evenly matched by those paying to see his show.
Questions arose around if Zombie would still perform up to his normal standard as his directing career has taken off with both House of 1000 Corpses and the sequel Devil's Rejects and the different approach of Educated Horses, but like his movies, Zombie has challenged his fans to follow him in a different direction, and the result was definite success.
His set was consistent with his what most fans would want, and that was a few songs off the new release, but for the most part it was a greatest hits played loud and rude, much like his Ozzfest set last year. Zombie, as usual, knew what his fans wanted and delivered with resounding success. Although Educated Horses may be a departure for both Zombie and his fans, his show was right on cue and gave the devotees what they wanted, 75 minutes of stripper rock and metal dance music.