After re-establishing themselves into the revived world of nu and alternative metal with the Rise of the Machine Tour earlier this year, Static-X have hit the road once again to bring more of their evil disco back to the masses. And this time they’ve brought some old friends: The mighty Sevendust. A co-headlining show from these two is not something to be missed.
Industrial metalheads Dope are also on the bill, making the current Machine Killer Tour a reunion in more ways than one. All three bands not only came into prominence around the turn of the century but toured extensively with each other as well, becoming close friends in the process.
As for the thousands of fans that have been showing up across the country for the tour, it’s likely a reunion for many friends in the audience as well. That was certainly the case at a recent stop on Friday the 13th in Greensboro, North Carolina, where Dope frontman Edsel Dope repeatedly called out how many older folks were packed into Piedmont Hall that evening. After Lines of Loyalty from Kenosha warmed everyone up, Dope arrived and hit the nuclear button.
“Let me see your old asses get the fuck up!” he laughed as the band launched into a heavy set of their old school viral hits like ‘Debonaire’, ‘Die MF Die’, their cover of ‘You Spin Me Round’, and a medley of others. Longtime drummer and bassist Daniel Fox and Acey Slade brought the heat and sure enough, the supposedly elderly crowd burst into a mosh pit and started throwing their hands in the air on command. The first crowd surfers of the night even popped up.
Of course, it was all in good humor. Edsel mentioned how for most of the people in the crowd who knew who they were, they likely discovered them along the lines of 15 or 20 years or so ago. “Which probably means I’m older than you, which makes me the real old motherfucker.” he said as he poked fun at himself and the crowd cheered.
“It’s been such a long time since these three bands got to tour together. 20 plus years. This tour is for the OGs, I promise.” Edsel said as Dope continued to bring up the energy. Regular guitarist Virus was not able to play that night, so Tommy Shaffner (formerly of Mushroomhead) arrived at the last minute to save the day. He fit right in, jumping around the stage and looking menacing with vicious riffs and a vampiric set of face makeup.
While Edsel had taken note of the older audience, Sevendust acknowledged the strong mix of younger fans that were throwing down in the pits, crowd surfing, or headbanging on the front row. Frontman Lajon Witherspoon appeared to get genuinely emotional several times as he admired the multi-generational chaos and camaraderie his Atlanta-based band was inspiring.
“To have been doing this for 20 plus years and still see young kids here at the shows having a good time…it really means more than I can say.” he said as he thanked the rowdy North Carolina audience. Longtime bandmates Vince Hornsby, John Connolly, Morgan Rose, and Clint Lowery nodded and cheered in agreement. Witherspoon also thanked his teenage friends from Dope and Static-X. “This ain’t nothing but a family reunion, y’all!” Witherspoon shouted with triumph.
The band unleashed a heavy onslaught of tracks that spanned their whole career, everything from ‘Denial’ to ‘Trust’ to ‘Hero’ to ‘Enemy’ and of course, a solid chunk of tracks from their newest album, Truth Killer as well. Their impressive production of massive LED screens, explosive lights, and finely honed, hard-hitting metal helped turn the center of Piedmont Hall into a massive circle pit, where way too much fun was being had.
Things got wild as Sevendust’s set reached its final few songs. One guy had a mouth guard. Smart. Another man, who was one of the biggest dudes I’ve ever seen in my life, was bouncing around the pit and appeared to be having the time of his life. He was impossible to miss and unintentionally became a sort of mascot for the place; even Witherspoon noticed him and gave him a shout out.
Static-X arrived with a showcase that was perfect for the holiday season, both Friday the 13th and Halloween. Huge creations like skeletal demons, giant zombies, and weird robots danced about the stage as bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay, and guitarist Koichi Fukuda brought the house down with their electrifying unique metal sound.
The always awe-inspiring creation of Xer0, who looks like a cyborg ghoul with glowing red eyes, and a mechanical wire-like mohawk, led the group with an awesome display of shrieking screams and appropriately harsh vocals. He’s a sight to behold, and smoke, snow, strobes and more were also thrown at the Greensboro audience, who ate up every bit of the lengthy set.
Things got rowdier than ever before as Static-X tore through favorites like ‘Bled For Days’, ‘I’m With Stupid’, ‘Sweat of the Bud’, ‘Black and White’, and plenty of others. I remember thinking ‘Get to the Gone’ was the heaviest song in the world when I listened to it back in the day, and I was very happy to see this crowd treat it as such when it got played. ‘Cold’ was dedicated in respectable fashion to founding member and longtime frontman, the late Wayne Static.
“Yeah, I’m gonna feel that in the fucking morning. But morning’s a long time away!” Tony Campos yelled into the mic to loud cheers during a pause in the show. Both the band and the crowd had been giving it their all for pretty much the entire night.
Before the show came to an end, Xer0 addressed the energetic and passionate Greensboro crowd. “Wayne was an old friend. These are my old friends. You are our old friends! Thank you for coming here tonight to celebrate with us, thank you."
The Machine Killer Tour with Static-X, Sevendust, Dope and Lines of Loyalty continues through October and returns for a second leg in February 2024. Check out the tour dates and photo gallery from the Greensboro, NC show below.
Oct 19: Gary, IN - Hard Rock Live - Tickets
Oct 20: Clive, IA - Horizon - Tickets
Oct 22: Chesterfield, MO - The Factory - Tickets
Oct 23: Kansas City, MO - Midland Theatre - Tickets
Oct 24: Tulsa, OK - Tusla Theater - Tickets
Oct 26: Denver, CO - The Fillmore - Tickets
Oct 27: Albuquerque, NM - Revel - Tickets
Oct 28: El Paso, TX - Speaking Rock (21+) - FREE SHOW
Oct 30: Phoenix, AZ - Marquee Theater - Tickets
Oct 31: Anaheim, CA - House Of Blues - Tickets
Nov 1: Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern - Tickets
Feb 1: Myrtle Beach, SC - House Of Blues - Tickets
Feb 2: Orlando, FL - Orlando Amphitheater Pavilion - Tickets
Feb 3: Ft Lauderdale, FL - Revolution - Tickets
Feb 4: Tampa. FL - Hard Rock Event Center - Tickets
Feb 6: Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore - Tickets
Feb 7: Norfolk, VA - The NorVa - Tickets
Feb 9: Atlantic City, NJ - Tropicana - Tickets
Feb 10: Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom - Tickets
Feb 12: Stroudsburg, PA - Sherman Theater - Tickets
Feb 13: New Haven, CT - College Street Music Hall - Tickets
Feb 14: Huntington, NY - The Paramount - Tickets
Feb 16: Worcester, MA - The Palladium - Tickets
Feb 17: Buffalo, NY - Buffalo Riverworks - Tickets
Feb 18: Toronto, ON - Pickering Resort Casino - Tickets
Feb 19: Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE - Tickets
Feb 21: Columbus, OH - Kemba Live - Tickets
Feb 22: Cleveland, OH - Agora Theater - Tickets
Feb 23: Grand Rapids, MI - 20 Monroe Live - Tickets
Feb 24: Chicago, IL - Radius - Tickets
Feb 26: Madison, WI - The Sylvee - Tickets
Feb 27: Newport, KY - MegaCorp Pavillion - Tickets