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Westword Blogs reviews Rob Zombie: ‘one of the most visually and sonically emotionally engaging shows you’re likely to see all year’

Westword.com have reviewed the Twins of Evil tour date from 2nd October in Denver.  In a six page review replete with images and full write up for both Zombie and Marilyn Manson, as well as DJ Starscream, they have hailed the show as ‘one of the most visually and sonically emotionally engaging shows you’re likely to see all year’.  Included here is the review for the Rob Zombie portion of the show, but feel free to click back to Westword.com to read the full review including Marilyn Manson’s own set.  It’s a great write up in all.

Twins of Evil Tour: Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson at 1STBANK Center, 10/02/12 By Tom Murphy

Before Rob Zombie went on, a huge drape with the image of King Kong on the front blocked us from seeing the set change and yet provided a compelling image from the stage when nothing else was going on. Which was much appreciated. As the drape bearing King Kong’s image dropped, Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” issued forth from the speakers and a large figure like a techno-organic robot torso and head sat on stage, then caught fire.

Zombie took stage at a microphone stand made up of a skeletal figure with six arms. Himself, Zombie used an extension for his arms made up of skeletal figures as well. If Hell or Purgatory could be depicted in the most appealingly cartoonish way possible, Zombie and crew made it happen from the beginning to the end. Starting with “Jesus Frankenstein.”

For “Superbeast,” fires appeared at the top of risers and other equipment making it seem entirely possible it would get out of control. For “Meet the Creeper” a collage of images of the Manson family with the names displayed evolved in the projections behind the band. Making it look like a trailer, of sorts, for the controversial but excellent and vividly realized Jim Van Bebber film.

Throughout the show, Zombie pumped up the crowd and cajoled when it seemed people were acting like they were at home watching TV. But instead of just harping on that like a lot of performers seemed to, he just encouraged involvement and earned it with the sheer enthusiasm and energy he brought to this show. Maybe it was that Manson had had such a great set that he felt he needed to make his own just slightly more exciting, but one got the impression that Zombie just does this all the time regardless of with whom he’s touring.

He got guys to lift their girlfriends on their shoulders more than once and otherwise wound up the audience like few people probably can these days.The latter part about getting women on the shoulders of some guys was apparently prompted in part by a review Zombie had read about the Salt Lake City show in which the writer said something about the Twins of Evil tour not being shocking but that the show was amazing.

Zombie had a laugh about this because clearly it’s not a flaw in a show not being shocking. Shocking is primarily in the eye of the beholder and is no substitute for a solid show where you have fun. Zombie, to his credit, and Manson too, provided one of the most visually and sonically emotionally engaging shows you’re likely to see all year.

After more jokes with the audience, including telling someone that putting a guy on his shoulders didn’t count and that he knew that sometimes it’s hard to tell, the band kicked into one of its most popular songs, “Living Dead Girl.” For the whole show, an array of screens in the back displayed footage and images from various sources including classic monster movies and anime. For this song it was a kind of creative reconstruction of the footage from the original video. John 5’s guitar face winked on and off with a hazy, white light adding to a cartoonish sense of the eerie.

Everyone recognized “More Human Than Human” right away and many sang along all while footage from Godzilla movies and episodes of Ultraman ran in the background. Before “Sick Bubblegum,” Zombie told us more about the SLC review where it was supposedly claimed that Zombie never talks to the crowd and that he just yells obscenities. To which, Zombie replied to us, “Just because we yell shit, piss, cunt, motherfucker and asshole doesn’t mean we don’t love you. It’s just our way.” Of course the crowd had a good laugh at that. Following this, Zombie split us up into two teams with one side of the room chanting “Rock!” and the other “Motherfucker!”

Following “Scum of the Earth,” scenes from House of 1000 Corposes came up, and naturally it was “Pussy Liquor,” where Zombie engages in some humorous, what Robert Klein calls, single entendre. After this, someone informed Zombie that time was running short, so the band got to a larger-than-life version of “Thunderkiss ’65,” a song not short on that end of things.

In the middle, John 5 treated us to a bit of Randy Rhoads-esque guitar gymnastics. During that solo, Zombie dove into the crowd and came running through the front row and making contact with the audience. Then he got back on stage and the entire band went right back into the outro of “Thunderkiss” without missing a note.

Then Zombie asked us if we were still ready to rock, and of course he got a rousing affirmative response. So the band played an abbreviated but fantastically enthusiastic version of Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.” The band left the stage and a trailer for Lords of Salem came on. The outfit then came back out with Zombie standing atop what looked like a techno-organic, giant cat as designed by H.R. Geiger. As if a huge Devil, a Skynet style hunter killer robot, a bald, tall demon and other monsters weren’t enough throughout the show. But all of it just made for such a strong show. The final song? “Dragula.” Zombie may have pulled out a number of the classics, but he’s also smart enough to know that you kind of have to play these songs so no one leaves going, “Well, I wish he would have played…”

Fireworks, even more rapidly shifting images and Zombie gesturing, giving his all up to the performance ended the show with a bombastic display on which more, if not all, big rock shows should end. Zombie even got the crowd to chant “Zombie” one last time and then thanked us for the best night of the tour and then introduced the band. He seemed like he could have been slightly winded, but anyone not winded after a show like this is probably a robot.

Setlist: 

Rob Zombie 1STBANK Center – Broomfield, CO 10/2/12

  • Jesus Frankenstein
  • Superbeast
  • Scum of the Earth
  • Meet the Creeper
  • Living Dead Girl
  • More Human Than Human
  • Mars Needs Women
  • Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)
  • Pussy Liquor
  • Demonoid Phenomenon
  • Thunder Kiss ’65
  • Dragula
Images by Eric Gruneisen and remain the copyright of Westword.com/Backbeatblog.com
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