Rob Zombie – O2 Kentish Town Forum, London 17/10/16

What seemed to be an endless line snaked the edges of O2 Forum in Kentish Town immediately raising questions as to how high expectations should be fixed for the night. On and off conversations erupted left and right regarding set list queries, outfit choices and even fetish examinations but no one dared fathom the thought that Rob Zombie could (or would) fail in his hard rocking attempts.

Drummer Ginger Fish opened with a DJ set, sporting a knock-off skull mask and draped cloth to imitate some shoddy ship front for his desk and Apple Mac. His time on stage (which was to be cut short) was awkward to say the least. He played a number of tracks that were unbecoming of such a setting. Past experiences and experiments have taught (or should have taught) that the occasional ill-fitted song selection such as The Cure’s Friday I’m In Love can usually electrify a metal venue in what is portrayed as mockery but usually signifies a great tune in the wrong territory.

Unfortunately, Mr Wilson had obviously not received the memo and continued with this line of ‘mockery’, playing unsuitable additions such as Rock The Boat and Muse’s Supermassive Black Hole before introducing his own brand of drunk dad dancing. Considered as classics in their own corner of music categorisation, it was inevitably the wrong audience to aim the opening show towards.

The leather-clad listeners were prepared to give the unexpected soundtrack a go, but undeniably became bored and uninterested before he took his premature leave. It was clear that these men and women were here for one purpose and that was to watch Rob Zombie stomp the stage in his radical attire.

The lights lowered and the voices rose to an untranslatable roar. John 5 stepped into view but it was his guitar that caught everyone’s firm attention. Renowned for his modified six strings, the body of said instrument was fitted with hundreds of bright halogen LED lights, illuminating exactly how special the evening was building up to be.

Out strode the man himself and judging by the immediate adoration he attained, there was to be no stopping this eccentric undead locomotive. The outfits and costumes that walked hand in hand with the headliners performance were always a large part of Zombie’s overall demeanour and, like always, did not disappoint.

An insurmountable number of spikes protruded from Rob’s jacket, with tassels that brushed the floor flying dramatically through the air, almost becoming entangled in his long dreadlocks. Bassist Piggy D mounted the stage blocks and glared at the spectators through his emerald green mask while simultaneously pumping bass notes out into the vast venue. The thrilling front man made heavy statements such as “shut your mouth and don’t be political”, but made a point of mentioning the lack of publicity and awareness amongst recent presidents of the true strife between civilisation and alien abduction.

Two inflatable extraterrestrials (allegedly molested by one overexcited patron) were cast into the throng and were shortly joined by massive multicoloured balloons while Never Gonna Stop and Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O. bellowed out from the speakers, causing riffs and waves of arms to erratically soar into the air. John 5 received five minutes to serenade his hosts with a palm muted, sweep picking solo revelation, leaving everyone to metaphorically scratch the floor in an attempt to retrieve the charred remains of their melted faces.

An unforeseen and brazen pairing of cover songs was also inescapably a highlight of the show. With The Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop and Alice Cooper’s School’s Out cranking up the adrenaline to its fiery peaks, the four musicians submitted to an encore that had Dragula burning through the witches and sending the events expectations into supernova.

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