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Concert recap: Shock rocker Rob Zombie at the Civic

Arguably, the birth of Shock Rock started with Screamin' Jay Hawkins. His performance of “I Put a Spell on You” often included emerging from a coffin and singing into a skull-shaped microphone as smoke bombs went off. A good list of shock rock acts can be found at the shock rock wikipedia site. Tuesday night’s sold-out show at the Civic showcased one of the true masters of the genre, former lead and creator of White Zombie, Rob Zombie.

As with many a shock rock show, the elements were in evidence even before the band took the stage. In this case, silent film cult classic horror monsters adorned massive black and white backdrops. The elevated drum set sat in the center of the chaos. Several demon-like microphone stands proved both practical and ornamental.

Rob Zombie hadn’t played a solo show in New Orleans since the Merry Mayhem tour at the New Orleans Arena in November 2001, and his last White Zombie show was at UNO Lakefront Arena in 1996. So needless to say, the crowd was beyond excited to see him again.

The evening's set list was a good mix of Rob solo material, White Zombie tracks and a few entertaining covers, most notably their cover of “Blitzkrieg Bop” by Ramones and a tongue-in-cheek version of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. The nice thing about having an established solo music career is the fact that the audience tends to react to all the material played equally. The exception was Rob’s and show ender, “Dragula” and White Zombie anthem “Thunder Kiss ’65.”

The evening was theatrical, to say the least, with several costume changes and Rob taking every opportunity to break the fourth wall and get into the audience. The sold-out Civic show offered the perfect venue and fit for Rob’s shock rock vision. You can see an extended gallery here: http://jalbum.net/a/1628617.

 

Steven Hatley is a New Orleans-based photographer. You can find more of his photography here.