There’s a saying that the freaks come out at night, and this past Friday, that saying came to life as Rob Zombie and Mudvayne took over FivePoint Amphitheatre.
As I entered the venue, I got the impression that Freaks on Parade was a good name for a tour, but also for the Zombie and Mudvayne fans. That thought paled in comparison to the reality of the pre-show rituals taking place in the parking lot! Another saying came to reality then: Freaks on a leash, let your freak flag fly! And did it!
The tour brought a perfect mix of rock, gore and metal to the OC. All we were missing was Prince and it would have been 1999 all over again. The lineup featured Powerman 5000, Static-X, Mudvayne, and of course, the Master of Mayhem, Rob Zombie.
Before the sun set, Michael Cummings (aka Spider One, and Rob Zombie’s younger brother) took the stage and immediately started with “Footsteps and Voices.” Before the crowd could get grounded, PM5K hit back with “Nobody’s Real.” It was still early and the crowd was still flowing in, but that didn’t stop the band from putting the pedal to the metal (no pun intended).
The band was simply electrifying from beginning to end. Spider welcomed the crowd to the tour and joked about how the bands on the tour had songs that were over 20 years old, but they would show the youngsters how their parents used to party. The band did not disappoint with a kick-ass cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” The crowd got louder when Spider led them into “Supernova Goes Pop,” and their monster hit, “When Worlds Collide.”
Surprisingly the intermission wasn’t as long as I thought it would be, but the crowd was growing to near capacity, and the freaks were definitely coming out. Up next were L.A.’s favorite rockers, Static-X. For many in the crowd, it would be the first time seeing the band on a stage like this since the 2014 passing of lead singer, Wayne Static. The band is now fronted by Xer0 and he did not disappoint.
Static-X hit the ground running and hard with “Renegration,” “Bled for Days,” and “Wisconsin Death Trip.” Their sound energetic, with a distinctive Godsmack vibe. From top to bottom, the band was animated, and couldn’t be happier to be on the tour. The crowd went nuts over “I’m With Stupid,” and the closer, “Push It.”
Again, it didn’t take long for the FivePoint staff and band roadies to clear the stage and got everyone ready for Mudvayne. Truth is there was a little mystery about Mudvayne. Sure, they have been out and about the past few years, but it’s been a minute since they were on an elevated stage like this one.
Immediately as the lights dimed, Chad Gray and the rest of Mudvayne took the stage ready to take no prisoners. Within the blink of an eye, the crowd was transported to an insane asylum with “Dig” and “Under My Skin.” Talk about Freaks on Parade! The costumes, if you can call them that, their persona and their wardrobes were volcanic in nature, and it was a dazzling display of sight and sound.
Respect is a word that comes to mind when talking about guitarist Greg Tribbitt. Not only did he rock a black and red face thingy with a top hat, and don’t forget the insanely cool goggles, he made it look and sound out of this world!
Gray, on the other hand was amped; with his in-your-face action-figure persona, he kept engaging with the crowd. He reminded everyone that no matter what life has thrown at them the past few years (reference to COVID and lockdowns); we can get through anything as long as we stick together.
The crowed lost it when he said that and then the guys went into “Internal Primates Forever,” and the closers “Golden Radio” and “Determined.”
Finally, the jealous sun gave way to the engaging moon to the sounds of 2Pac and “California Love!” The crowd was in full animation mode by now as the Freaks we have all grown to love were ready to take the stage. With an unreal stage setting and video screen and a giant devil on stage, John 5 and Piggy D5 came out to have the crowd lose their proverbial minds.
Then, the amphitheater went into freak mode as Rob Zombie came out to the roar of the crowd which was only dwarfed by a 747 and the “Triumph of King Freak.”
Before you knew it, mayhem ensued with “Superbeast,” “Meet the Creeper,” and “Shake Your Ass.” Zombie took control of the stage, and as if he were a member of The Temptations, he went into his patented dance moves as the devil came down to Irvine with “Living Dead Girl.” The crowd ate that up, it was nuts; like The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan’s show for the first time. Men, women, and children were screaming the words to this song all in unison.
Then, when you thought it couldn’t get any louder, somehow the crowd found it within themselves when the baseline started to “More Human Than Human.” In the end, the crowd got exactly what they came for; kick-ass music from the soundtrack of their lives. Everyone was in awe of the showmanship from the entire band with “Never Gonna Stop,” “House of 1,000 Corpses,” then that crazy guitar solo to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”
It got seriously insane when Zombie led them to “Thunder Kiss ’65,” their cover of the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” and Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band!” Of course, no night would be complete as the groovy ghoulies shouted for their favorite, “Dragula,” and Zombie was more than happy to oblige.
All in all, an unreal night of music from these Freaks who became one with their fans. What a fun night for music at FivePoint!