Words: Alan Daly
Pics: © Olga Kuzmenko Photography
Despite enjoying the wacky works of Wednesday 13 since he teamed up with Joey Jordison to form Murderdolls in the early 00’s, I never managed to see him live in that time. It was disappointing to miss his second ever visit to Dublin in June 2017, so I was pleasantly surprised when a return visit was announced so soon. Sharing the bill with Combichrist, there was some initial confusion as to who was supporting who at these shows, but it turns out that the tour is a co-headliner and Wednesday 13 would be closing out the Irish and UK dates.
Combichrist had not been on my radar before this show was announced and I probably wouldn’t have made it to their show had it not been for W13, but being partial to some industrial metal bands, I was curious and optimistic about seeing them. When we arrive shortly before their stage time, the venue is already bustling with hundreds of people, some dancing to the questionable disco music playing over the house sound system. Within moments, however, the venue erupts into a frenzy as the five-piece American aggrotech act explode onto the stage with the opening track ‘Blut Royale’ from their 2005 album Everybody Hates You. Considering this tour has been promoted as the “Everybody Still Hates You Tour”, those reasonably expecting more from the sophomore album were about to be sadly disappointed. Not that any of the feverish fans in the front rows looked anything other than elated throughout the hour-long set. The atmosphere is more akin to a rave than your typical metal gig, and the hypnotic strobes and pulsating rhythms are hard to resist moving your body to. With two flamboyant drummers, the throbbing beats are dominant throughout the performance, complemented by catchy keyboards and guitar to a lesser extent. Tracks are picked from most of their back catalog with the lion’s share coming from What the Fuck is Wrong with You People, and the set is wrapped up with its anthemic sing-along title track. Stimulants certainly aren’t necessary to appreciate a Combichrist show, but I imagine that of any “metal” band, theirs would be the best to dabble in dance drugs at.
While the stage is readied for the frightfully fiendish finale, I’m somewhat surprised to see a significant thinning of the audience as some Combichrist fans are apparently so disinterested in seeing Wednesday 13 that they would rather leave early than give a chance to one of the acts they effectively paid for. The audience is still respectable for the show closer, however, and once the ax-wielding horror punk protagonist takes to the stage, they come back to life, just like the zombies W13 holds dear.
First up are two numbers from his most recent release Condolences: ‘What the Night Brings’ and ‘Blood Sick’. The crowd seems reasonably familiar with the new tracks, but it’s when ‘Scream Baby Scream’ from the decade-old Skeletons follows that things really start to get loud. The extra time afforded by the closing slot means that we are treated to some tracks not regular on recent setlists, including two extra tracks from the Frankenstein’s Drag Queen days; ‘197666’ and ‘Rambo’ (during which W13 takes aim at members of the audience with his laser-sight automatic gun). The classic tracks get a great reaction from the long-time fans, continuing with ‘From Here to the Hearse’ and ‘Prey for Me’. During the course of the performance, W13 changes costumes often, with ghoulish get-ups and horror movie inspirations adding the theatrical element one might expect from his show.
The pace slows slightly for the title track ‘Condolences’, before the uproarious finale of classic tracks and teasers including ‘I Want You Dead’ and ‘I Love to say Fuck’, prompting middle fingers from most of the audience. The set closes with a teaser of fan favourite ‘Bad Things’, which certainly would have gotten a good sing-along had it been played in full.
Not everyone has time for the musical style and lyrics of Wednesday 13, but just like Ronseal, it does what it says on the tin. Nobody should be surprised when they go to his show, and if you like his style, then you’ll enjoy him live. With both of tonight’s bands on the line-up for Bloodstock, we’ll get the chance to see them again in the festival arena setting in a few days, and we expect the crowd reactions to be bigger and better than tonight.
Throat Full of Glass
Fuck That Shit
Get Your Body Beat
Maggots at the Party
What the Fuck is Wrong with You?
Wednesday 13 Setlist:
What the Night Brings
Scream Baby Scream
From Here to the Hearse
Prey For Me
Put Your Death Mask On
Gimme gimme Bloodshed
I Want You Dead / I Walked With a Zombie
I Love to say Fuck / Bad Things