Last Night: Rob Zombie at the Grove of Anaheim

Live at the Grove of Anaheim.
Live at the Grove of Anaheim.
Andrew Youssef

Last Night: Rob Zombie at the Grove of Anaheim (11/01/09)

Better Than: believing that Halloween is really over.

Everyday probably is Halloween according to Rob Zombie. If it wasn't for his ghoulish live show, the fact that he has rebooted the Halloween movie franchise should clear any doubts. Rob Zombie made a rare stop at the Grove of Anaheim to promote his upcoming new album Hellbilly Deluxe 2 which will be released on Roadrunner records.

Rob Zombie has long cited Kiss and Alice Cooper as some of his inspirational heroes and this was evident in the over top visual and aural assault on the senses. There was enough LCD screens on stage to rival the electronics section at Best Buy which ran various clips ranging from his movies, the Munsters, Anime and scandalous B movies from the '60s.


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Hop scotching from riser to riser in front the stage, Rob had his dreadlocks whipping around as the band tore into "Superbeast". I immediately noticed the razor sharp riffs of John 5 on his custom Fender guitar. The crowd was blood thirsty as they chanted "Zombie! Zombie!" after a demonic rendition of "Super Charger Heaven."

After resurrecting "Living Dead Girl", Rob kept pushing the pedal to the metal with a fast and furious version of "Demon Speeding". The wild metallic guitar shards of "More Human Than Human" were almost upstaged by the presence of a gigantic dancing robot on stage with electronically lit eyes.

The crowd participation moment of the evening came during the new track "Sick Bubblegum" to which Rob humorously taught the audience the expletive filled chorus. It showed Rob's foray into directing hasn't affected his ability to write new groovy metal songs. "Scum of The Earth" from the Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack had an assortment of images of Charles Manson haunting the audience which seemed fitting.

I try to forget the number of times someone from the audience requests "Freebird." John 5 was up to the task by switching his guitar tone from demonic to classic rock that garnered some laughs from the audience. The band went one step beyond by engaging in a short passage of Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever."

"Thunderkiss '65" was the highlight of the night due to its crushing one note riff and a beyond insane two handed tapping guitar solo of John 5 that evoked shades of Eddie Van Halen. I couldn't help thinking he was playing guitar possessed as numerous pentagrams flashed in the background. "Werewolf Women in the SS" and "Dragula" capped the horror filled evening that made me wish Halloween happened everyday.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias:I scored backstage passes from my college radio station to a White Zombie show and met Sean Yseult and Jay Yuenger but Rob never showed up.

Random Detail: Even though Rob contributed a song to Mission Impossible 2, he mentioned he still hasn't seen the movie.

By The Way: Hellbilly Deluxe 2 comes out in early 2010.


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