Review: Rob Zombie Wakes The Dead At PNC Bank, NJ – May 11

When you see Rob Zombie live, it’s not just for the great music, it’s for the spectacle. He is one of the few artists that offers fans the most for their ticket by providing the necessary ingredients for a killer stage show: Large screens, carefully produced images, demonoid stage props, and FIRE!

PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey got that same package on May 11 once the giant King Kong banner dropped. This was the first night of the 2012 Rob Zombie-Megadeth North American Tour and a special night it proved to be.

For one, Zombie premiered the trailer to his forthcoming horror movie The Lords of Salem to the rabid fans in attendance. The place went absolutely ballistic for it.

Musically, Zombie’s band has been such a delight to see since guitarist John 5 joined. He is such a disciplined player oozing with so much talent. John 5 never overplays his ax. He takes simple Zombie material and phrases it to perfection.

Rob’s voice sounded fantastic as usual, especially for someone who hasn’t performed live much in a year. “Scream as I am Bruce Springsteen,” Zombie screamed to the Jersey crowd. He was met with a whole lot of “boos,” a New Jersey first I might add.

The Zombie masses were treated to a very special blistering performance of White Zombie “Black Sunshine,” a real rarity. “I hate that song,” commented Zombie immediately after. He’s a funny sarcastic dude, always with great stage banter.

Best songs of the night were the thunderous “Mars Needs Women” and “Thunderkiss 65” with extended John 5 solo as Zombie wandered the audience.

Ginger Fish’s snare drum carried too much of a pop in the opening “Jesus Frankenstein,” which the techs seemed to iron out by “Scum of the Earth” two songs later. However, the bass drum and toms continued to distort unbearably in tracks like “More Human Than Human.” They were too hot, too much click. “The drums sound like shit,” remarked a fan to my left.

Rob Zombie brought an excellent show to the Garden State. It’s a shame that the Zombie-Megadeth tour isn’t longer. Next stop is Scranton, PA tomorrow night. See it while you can.

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