Static-X Cannibalizes Starland Ballroom
Band Photo: Otep (?)
Saturday, May 5, 2007, I saw Static-X for my third time at the Starland Ballroom of Sayreville, NJ. This time was different from all the others because this time, I got to meet Static-X. Well, ok, I’m exaggerating a bit; I got to interview Tony Campos from Static-X, the bass player for those who don’t know. The interview was an amazing opportunity for me and was a great way to start off an awesome show. After the interview, which took place at about 7:00pm, I headed into the venue just as the second opener was finishing. The band’s name was Divinity Destroyed.
I had seen Divinity Destroyed a couple years back when I saw the Misfits at the same venue. This performance was weaker and disappointing from the last I had seen them, I believe this was because their keyboardist had left the band and, making them sound empty and chaotic in the worst way possible. Though all was not lost, I caught Divinity Destroyed at the second to last song in their set and after them I was wonderfully surprised with the performance the third band of the night, 2Cents. 2Cents is perhaps one of the best new bands I've heard.
From start to finish 2Cents got everyone up and moving from a nice and big circle pit to the usual pit of kung fu kids and smelly ogre men shoving each other with camaraderie. 2Cents play the new kind of core music that’s reminiscent of Every Time I Die, the twist being that it’s enjoyable without the kung fu kid punching you in the face! Most of 2Cents’ music was fast and melodic with nice guitar riffs, the most memorable song being the anthemic anti-pop culture song, “Victim of Pop Culture” with the catchy chorus of “Pop music is the enemy/it’s the enemy of my mind” followed by the incredibly melodic and catchy music. Their pace only slowed to do a nice tribute song to Dimebag Darrell which led into their finale of them breaking out into an amazing cover Slayer’s “Reign in Blood”, perhaps the best I’ve ever seen, which in mid solo they led into Pantera’s “Walk”, then finishing out by coming back to “Reign in Blood.” During their entire finale, Tony of Static-X, and Evil J of Otep joined them on stage because it was their last day on the tour. Needless to say, they went out with style. If 2Cents is playing in your area, go see them. A good time is sure to be had. After 2Cents, Otep came on to push the show to even more greatness.
I’ve seen Otep twice prior to this show, the first being at another local venue when they opened for Coal Chamber on their last tour, if memory serves me right, and the second time being at the 2004 Ozzfest. Both times were impressive - the Ozzfest experience being the greater of the two - but this time proves that all bands get better over time. Otep played old songs such as “Blood Pigs,” “T.R.I.C,” and “Jonestown Tea” and newer songs such as “Warhead” off their second album, “Jihad” and the new single of their upcoming album, “Ascension,” “Ghost Flowers” along with a cover a Nirvana’s “Come as You Are”, (if I remember it right, I do know it was off of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album though) and they managed to rip the roof off the place. Other than the music, this Otep performance set all the others apart from the rest because Otep used more theatrics such as wrapping her head in a Muslim veil for one song and put a net around her head for another. Also, they were premiering their new guitarist on this tour who was very impressive and gave Otep their long needed guitar riffage that was somewhat weaker on their previous outings. Otep, as always, is yet another must see band and be sure to check out their new album, “Ascension.” After Otep, the long awaited Static-X hit the stage.
As mentioned before, I have seen Static-X three times before and each time I’ve seen them, they’ve only gotten better, this time was no different. Static-X performed songs from all of their albums and this time was particularly special for me because I finally saw the original Static-X line up and they seemed to have a new rush of life as well as some awesome guitar solos. Static-X opened with the first single off their new album which also happens to be the albums namesake, “Cannibal,” then went into “Destroyer,” “Skinnyman," followed by (in no order) “In a Bag,” “Cold,” “This is Not,” “Destroy All,” “Black and White,” “Push It” and many other Static-X songs that I thought I would never get to hear played by the original line up. During their performance the crowd was in stop movement, from jumping to moshing, and singing along, the only time the crowd stopped was when Static-X stopped to do shots in celebration of Cinco de Mayo only to resume their sonic assault on the crowd. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview Tony Campos and see such an amazing performance by one of my favorite bands that led me into metal. Static-X always puts on an amazing show and this was no exception.
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