At The Northumbria Institute, Newcastle, U.K., October 1, 2019

STATIC-X (Live at The Northumbria Institute, Newcastle, U.K., October 1, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Not even the fire alarm going off between support acts Dope and Wednesday 13’s set could stop the onslaught of Nu Metal mayhem grabbing Newcastle by the throat on a cold October evening.

While the super early start meant that many missed most of Dope’s set the slight delay in Wednesday 13 hitting the stage meant that most late arrivals caught the majority of their startling Gothic Punk set that featured Astro Psycho and Get Your Grave On. The atmospheric lighting and luminous paint, making for one visual feast.

It was tough for SOiL to match that with their more streetwise attire but there was much love for them in the hall and when lead singer Ryan McCombs headed out into the crowd for Halo, they went nuts which just goes to prove that not every band needs a striking image to make an impact.

Losing a lead singer can, in many cases spell the end for a band. Over the years bands have coped with such trauma in different ways. AC/DC took Geordie legend, Brian Johnson on as a direct replacement for Bon Scott and went onto huge success with their Back In Black opus. The passing of Ronnie James Dio was not the end of the road for his band as they adopted cutting edge technology to bring him out on tour as a hologram to appear alongside a live band of former Dio musicians to a mixed response. Elvis, Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison have similarly appeared in front of crowds in hologram form keeping their music alive with Whitney Houston soon to follow.

The death of Wayne Static 6 years ago seemed like the end of Industrial Nu Metal band Static-X, yet last year the original members, guitarist Koichi Fukuda, bassist Tony Campos and drummer Ken Jay revived the band and recorded as soon to be released album using previously unreleased songs with Static’s vocals as well as guest vocalists to complete the album including David Draiman from Disturbed and Ministry’s Al Jourgensen helping out.

Making a new record is one thing, how to bring this to the stage is something altogether trickier. Rather than bring in a straight forward replacement, Static-X have brought in an unknown named simply as Xer0, who bizarrely wears a mask in the image of Wayne Static.

It all seems rather sinister but when the tour is a tribute to the music of Wayne Static as well as marking the 20th anniversary of their debut release, Wisconsin Death Trip and all with the blessing of the family, then things start falling into place.

Judging from the frenzied reaction of the Newcastle crowd, seeing Static-X making their first ever appearance in the region was one they simply could not miss.

The first half of the show was devoted to the bulk of Wisconsin Road Trip including opener Bled For Days and the relentless Industrial pounding of Otsegolation mixed alongside the more sinister Korn-like tones of Love Dump where Xer0 took on a more melodic vocal approach which contrasted sharply with the barked, distorted Rap like delivery elsewhere.

The rapid strobe lighting and jarring video backdrops along with Xero’s startling look created something more akin to a slasher movie but was utterly captivating against the hypnotic Industrial beat and savage guitar riffs of their music.

The second part of the show mainly showcased subsequent albums with Get To The Gone and Destroy All bringing huge cheers from the crowd before returning to Wisconsin Death Trip with I’m With Stupid and Push It to bring the show full circle ensuring the dual celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary and the tribute to Wayne Static was a resounding success.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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