Megadeth & Rob Zombie at the Delta Plex, Grand Rapids, 05.18.12

It was 80 degrees outside. Inside it was a sea of black. This was the night of one of the most anticipated metal tour stops of the summer. Saying this, I have to add, I was surprised by the empty seats. This was not the turn out I had expected.

The night started out with Lacuna Coil. Up until this point I knew next to nothing about this band and they did little to win me over. There was little energy from the stage and the fans, for the most part, were non-responsive. They had some catchy riffs and Cristina Scabbia has an amazing voice. However, I am not a fan of the two vocalist set up and I think this took away from my over-all enjoyment of the band.

Thrash Metal giants, Megadeth took to the stage next. Dave Mustaine led his troops on a relentless march through classics such as “In My Darkest Hour”, “Sweating Bullets”, “Symphony of Destruction” as well as newer selections, “Head Crusher” from 2009’s ENDGAME and “Public Enemy NO.1” from the bands latest release, THIRTEEN. One highlight was when Cristina Scabbia joined the band on stage during “A Tout le Monde” to lend a hand with vocals.
The Delta Plex erupted when the band launched into “Hanger 18” and then came that famous bass line, “Peace Sells”. Vic Rattlehead even made an on-stage appearance. Megadeth finished the night with “Holy Wars”, took their bow and made way for their co-headliner.

With a giant image of King Kong blocking the view of the stage came the excited realization of what was to come. Being a fan of shock rock, I was looking forward to seeing Rob Zombie. Lights went out and it was nothing but video of classic horror films, flames/fire, monster robots roaming the stage and of course the evil mastermind Rob Zombie.
Zombie continues to be at the top of his game and it was never more evident than what was witnessed on stage. The band got off to a slow start with “Jesus Frankenstein” but that quickly changed. With Zombie classics such as “Living Dead Girl”, “Scum of the Earth”, “Thunder Kiss ’65”, “More Human Than Human”, “Pussy Liquor” and newer material from Hellbilly Deluxe 2 including “Sick Bubble Gum” and “Mars Needs Women”. During all of this I realized something was missing. No GO-GO dancers. They were replaced by video clips of anime women.
Following Rob Zombies walk around the floor and into the seats to greet fans came one of the biggest highlights. The sneak peek of the trailer for Rob Zombies up-coming film LORDS OF SALEM. This was followed up with the encore “Dragula”.

Alice Cooper said it best when he stated that if he ever passes the mantle of Shock Rock to anyone it would be to Rob. That is a ringing endorsement and well deserved. This was a flawless performance, by both headliners.