Headliner: Static X
Supporting Acts: Soil, Wednesday 13, Dope
Venue: Northumbria University, Newcastle UK
Tuesday October 1st 2019
I was eagerly anticipating this gig even though it isn’t my usual genre. and arrived at the venue in Northumbria University just before the time stated on the tickets. Inside of the room was fairly large with a bar to the left, merch vendors on the right and the stage at the back.
As I entered the hall, I was surprised at how empty it was as there were maybe 60-70 people currently in attendance. I began chatting to another patron who advised that there had been a lack of communication between the organisers and venue, as a result, the artists thought the gig started at 6.30pm and not the stated start time of 6.30pm. I was utterly disappointed to learn that Dope had already done their set to an obviously small crowd.
Whilst nothing could be done about the incident, the people who were still arriving were obviously disappointed and a little annoyed, with murmurs of discomfort echoing throughout. As the stage crew got things sorted for Wednesday 13 for their set, I began to take in the atmosphere. People casually standing chatting and milling around the vendors, the faint smell of alcohol amongst a warm room filling up with body heat. Then, low and behold, the fire alarm sounds. Cue further disappointment.
Of course, the whole building needs evacuated. To give the staff their dues, they managed to get everyone outside quickly and safely, which was great. So there we are, waiting outside and the people who thought the gig started at its slated time had begun to arrive, this increasing the crowd numbers. We were outside for around 40 minutes, watching the staff run around checking that the building was safe. Once we were given the green light, everything was a go.
- WEDNESDAY 13
Back inside, Wednesday 13 were straight on. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was very impressed by the way they played and interacted on stage. The crowd were slow to engage, but once they hit their third or fourth song, things seemed to be warming up slightly. The venue was full but we weren’t packed like sardines, so there was plenty of room for jumping around and swishing hair. Joseph (vocals, guitar) for me, was excellent, Interacted with each band member, the crowd, took full advantage of the stage space while also giving Jack (guitar) , Roman (guitar)and Troy (base) room to do their thing also. The drummer, Kyle was on a raised platform at the rear so could do his thing with plenty of room to see. THey absolutely hammered out 'Keep Watching the Skies', 'Hail Ming' and 'Decompose' and they left the crowd wanting more but that could also have been due to the set being cut short by a couple of songs with the fire alarm pushing everything back.
- SOIL -
After a short interval, Soil came on and hit the stage. There seemed to be a small group of diehard fans at the front, but the rest of the room became more subdued as time went on. Still, Ryan (lead vocals) was trying to work the crowd as much as possible while he blasted out song after song with Tim (bass) and Adam (guitar) playing with nimble-fingered assuredness, leaving T.J. Taylor to play a tight set on the drums. They did have the odd heckle here and there from a still disgruntled crowd, but by the time they played 'Halo' as their last song, the crowd had warmed to them a lot more. They also used the stage space very well and you could tell they still enjoyed being up there, regardless of the crowd hassles.
- STATIC X -
As we waited for what seemed like forever for Static-X to take the stage, you could feel the excitement in the room bubbling to its tipping point; it was electric. The screens began to light up with their intro, sending the crowd into rapturous cheers and applause. Pictures of the band flooded across the screen, including a tribute to the late Wayne Static. Xer0, his substitute for these recent shows, was first on stage, seemingly appearing out of nowhere before being joined by fellow bandmates: Tony Campos (bass), Koichi Fukuda (guitar) and Ken Jay (drums) as they started off the set with 'Bled for Days'. They all played brilliantly, showing real heart and keeping constant interaction with each other and the crowd. Every from the "Wisconsin Death Trip" album being very well covered by Xer0; who has taken Wayne's original vocals and done them great justice, adding his own flavour on the way. They paid tribute to Wayne and made sure to get the crowd involved by screaming and getting their hands up for him. They also thanked the fans who had turned up and spoke a little about previous tours in the UK and their fond memories of those times. It was touching, unexpected, but it was warmly received by the crowd overall. It was truly a lovely touch from Static-X. They ended their set with 'Push It', my personal favourite from the album, and the crowd absolutely loved it. The band certainly put on a wonderful show and before leaving the stage, drummer Ken was throwing drumsticks out to the fans as a keepsake, as per live band tradition.
Having never seen any of these bands before due to them not really being a genre I would regularly listen to, seeing them live and watching the reactions of the crowd has given me a new found respect for them. I would definitely go and see any of them again if given a chance and would highly recommend others to do the same. For the long time fans of Static-X who are dead set against anyone else doing vocals, Xer0 (Who has been rumoured to be Edsel Dope) does a fantastic job. Excellent show and, for me, a fitting tribute to the late vocalist Wayne Static - RIP.