Living Dead Legend Rob Zombie @ Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
By FW staff
I love music.
I love those who make music.
Most of all, I love those who love the music they make.
Allow me to elaborate.
In today’s age of synth-pop, synth-rock, synth-metal, synth-fucking-everything, those who make music, a breed formerly known as “musicians,” have been replaced by laptops, software and, in some cases, smartphones.
Fuck, anyone with mixing software and auto-tune can be a one-hit wonder these days.
The dilution and commercialism of the music industry has ultimately eliminated one priceless element from the world of rock, pop…whatever genre you fancy.
Longevity based on decades of substantial, multi-faceted, genuine contributions to the music industry is a thing of the past, to the point where I question which “acts” the illustrious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be inducting in the next 15-20 years. Skrillex? fun? L.M.F.A.O?
Musical legends are going the way of the dinosaurs ~ although at least the dinosaurs went out in a more dignified fashion, succumbing to planetary changes rather than being replaced by lesser talented, flash-in-the-pan “artists.” And if you want to argue that NKOTB are still around and thus can’t be considered just a flash in the pan, well, I suggest you count your blessings that we won’t be having that argument in person.
My point, fellow music lovers, lovers of those who love the music they make, and fellow musicians, as in those of us who sit behind a full-size drum kit, pick up an actual bass, and record vocals that aren’t modified through auto-tune, is this: if and when you get the chance to see the endangered creature known as the legend perform, take it. And if you get the chance to witness a legend at the top of his game, don’t just take it…grab it and suck every bit of marrow you can out of the experience…That’s exactly what I did at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, RI on Thursday May 8th, where Rob “Motherfucking” Zombie proudly defined, as he has for years, what a true legend is.
I have seen Mr. Zombie perform many times; his stage sets are spectacles on the grandest of scales, sometimes overshadowing the musical performances themselves, so I was intrigued to see what the night had in store given that Lupo’s is about ¼ the size of the venues he usually plays.
As the curtains rose and the members of Rob Zombie’s band ~ John 5 (guitars), Piggy D (bass) and Ginger Fish (drums) ~ took their places, “The Star-Spangled Banner” signaled the arrival of the leader of the living dead. Zombie exploded onto the stage to the band’s opening number, a blistering cover of the Grand Funk Railroad hit “We’re an American Band.”
The stage, visually much more subdued than the usual Zombie extravaganza yet still impressive, featured banners displaying various iconic horror figures including King Kong and Mr. Hyde ~ and could barely contain the energy and power exuded by Zombie and his bandmates…but what stage really can?
I was witnessing an icon, a master, a likely never-to-be equaled musician and performer in his prime, in a no pyro, no LED curtains, no giant stage props setting that just stepped back and let Rob Zombie do what he was born to do.
Rock the motherfucking house to the ground.
Playing hits from his White Zombie days up through lesser known tracks off his latest, and in my opinion, best, solo album to date, Venomous Rat Regenerator Vendor, Zombie, along with his band and the crowd, made sure that the night’s momentum did not let up for a single second.
When it all came to an end, I left Lupo’s in awe, with a smile that was admittedly tinged with a bit of smug satisfaction. While I may not have much hope for the future of the music industry, and certainly not for those who are unable (and have no interest in learning how) to discern between digitized sounds and legitimate music, I will always be able to look back on this night and revel in the fact that I witnessed a true artist who loves music and, more importantly, loves to make the music he loves.