Rob Zombie headlined a Shockwave sideshow at Melbourne’s Festival Hall on Thursday night, unleashing an hour and a half of metal goodness in the suitably bare bones venue.
With a fence between our seated area and the central floor, it felt like being in a boxing arena — funny that — and it was left to Zombie to deliver the knock out performance on a bill including Dommin, Monster Magnet and Murderdolls.
Extra lights and three screens — a big one at the back and two smaller ones for the sides, showing horror movie montages and raunchy anime — were rolled out, along with a small raised stage from which Zombie held court. It was an impressive rig — there was even a mirror ball, and inflatable beach balls! — that set the mood for a thumping sound and entertaining act involving several costume changes for the four-piece band. Joey Jordison provided some impressive drum solos, John 5’s guitar laid the soundtrack for a crowd walkthrough.
The set list — a song for every year since Zombie last toured, he promised, so that’d be about 16 — went way back to White Zombie and came up to the present. Highlights included More Human than Human, Living Dead Girl, Dragula spearheading the encore, and the Grindhouse faux trailer for Werewolf Women of the SS.
The crowd showed the range of Zombie’s influence: rockabillies, rock pigs, metalheads, goths, and a higher proportion of female fans than what might usually be expected at a metal gig: all bouncing shoulder to shoulder. Wicked fun, wickedly entertaining.