Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Rob Zombie @ Bataclan, Paris - June 19th, 2019

It's one of the hottest days of the year and the 1500 gore hounds amassed in the Bataclan have turned the tragic venue into a fiery furnace. The freaks are out tonight and they have braved the heavy weather to pay homage to the leader of their cult: Rob Zombie is bringing his demented carnival to Paris.

The Rob Zombie show is a psychotronic attack on the senses, an amalgamation of exploitation films, serial killer fascination, comic book imagery, drug culture, depravity and gore, delivered by a band of creepy degenerates led by a hillbilly hobo from the future. Of course, it's all tongue in cheek and the audience is in on the joke.

This is escapism at its purest: there is no pseudo-social commentary à la Marilyn Manson, there is no satanic posturing à la Slayer. The show is the message. The style is the substance. 90 minutes of punishing industrial beats, distorted riffs and aggressive vocals, clever video projections, an intense light show and a whole lot of fun. It's all designed to blow your mind and help you release as much energy as possible.

And on that front, it's hard to beat the ringleader: Zombie just never stops and it's hard to believe the man is in his mid fifties. The bulk of the set is comprised of songs from his solo catalogue, which is now large enough that he only needs to play two songs by White Zombie (More Human Than Human and Thunder Kiss '65) and a couple of covers (The Beatles' Helter Skelter, because of its association with the Manson murders, and the Ramones' Blitzkrieg Bop)...  

Songs like American Witch, Dragula, Lords of Salem, Mars Needs Women or the supremely funny Well, Everybody's Fucking in a U.F.O. are all brought to life by the various videos and animations on the screens and the interpretative performance of the master of ceremonies.

The band is made up of ex-Marilyn Manson musicians: Piggy D. on bass, Ginger Fish on drums and the extraordinary John 5 on guitar. There are lots of loops and samples too, and possibly quite a few vocal trickeries but most of the noise you hear is performed by the four individuals on stage.

The show is obviously inspired by Alice Cooper and KISS, but thankfully has its own personality. At a lean 90 minutes, it's perfectly paced, constantly frantic and leaves everyone wanting more. But how could he give them any more? At ten pm sharp the ritual ends and the ghouls, exhausted, drained and intoxicated, make their way to the exit to scurry back into the night.











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