After Nearly 40 Years, Rob Zombie Still Has It!


The weather was gorgeous on Saturday. The friends I was with were some of the best. The music was solid. The stage presence was electric. What I’m trying to say is Saturday night at the amphitheater at Mystic Lake Casino was absolutely perfect.

Filter got the night started off right. I mean, “the rock band, Filter”. I’m not sure why vocalist Richard Patrick insisted on continuously saying that phrase, “the rock band, Filter” throughout the night but I guess he isn’t wrong. Filter is one of those 90’s rock bands that you may not instantly recognize the name of but, as soon as “Take A Picture” comes on, I’m sure you’ll be singing along. That was kind of the vibe of their set on Saturday night. The band sounded solid and there was no lack of energy from the stage but it was clear that the audience was just waiting to hear that aforementioned hit and Filter’s other big song, “Hey Man Nice Shot”. Part of me felt bad for Filter as I feel like the people around me weren’t really paying attention until those two hits were played at the end of Filter’s ridiculously short set but, then again, they were opening up for a true legend and I think they knew what they were getting into. Regardless of if you truly paid attention to Filter on Saturday night or not, there’s no denying that this band sounded great and, for being a primarily 90’s band, that’s a feat.

I wish I had more to say about Filter as it was a solid opening set but, like the thousands of other people around me, I was waiting for the main attraction- Rob Zombie. The excitement in the air was palpable as the stage was changed over for the headliner. The merch line stretched across the parking lot as people rushed to get their goods before the set would actually start but then, the first drum hit, and people scattered rushing to the stage as if not to miss a single moment of this legend’s set.

How do I even start to go over everything Rob Zombie has done? From selling an estimated fifteen million albums worldwide to his work in the film industry as a director for movies such as House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects (among many others)– Rob Zombie is truly someone I idolize. He does it all and he does it all with an undeniable sense of passion and heart. That was put on the stage on Saturday night and Rob Zombie and his band ended up giving me a show that left me speechless.

Out of the fifteen songs that Rob Zombie played through, I honestly only recognized a handful. Although I adore everything that Zombie has done, he’s not one of those acts that I listen to on the daily but I should really change that. His sound is very dark but it has a groove and sense of catchiness to it. It’s perfect moshing music and comes with a sense of danger what with his use of horror in everything from his stage set-up to his lyrics. It’s heavy but not too heavy and the vocals beg to be screamed along to it. Think Alice Cooper meets Kiss but with a kiss of Slayer and Black Flag influence. Wait, what am I doing? Everyone knows Zombie’s music. I mean, come on. Try and sit there and tell me you haven’t sung along to “Living Dead Girl” or “Dragula” before!

Rob Zombie’s energy was on point. The way he leaped between the risers lining the front of the stage was definitely a sight to see and something hard to comprehend when you realize that this man is nearly 60 years but that wasn’t my favorite part of the set. My favorite part of the show was the moments spent with Rob Zombie bringing up Harry Styles. It was a bit weird at first– an almost menacing-looking character comparing himself to one of the pop’s world most popular acts but it showed this side of Rob Zombie that I don’t think people think about much. He explained that he doesn’t understand why Harry Styles is out here naming babies and nobody has asked Zombie to name a baby (although he did say that if it was a girl, it would be Lurch. A boy would be Pigpen). There were a couple of other mentions of Harry Styles and although it was funny to everyone in the audience, I feel like it showed that Rob Zombie, after doing this for literal decades, still pays attention to what’s going on around him and yet hasn’t changed his style, music, or attitude at all. He has been active in music since 1985 and he has seen many scenes and fads come and go but Rob Zombie has stayed stoic and strong in his style.

I was stoked to see Rob Zombie but I had seen him before a couple of times. I knew I was going to get a solid show. I don’t think I knew his performance was going to leave me as speechless as it did, but I knew it was going to be a spectacle. One of the friends I was with had never seen Rob Zombie before but kept on telling me how Rob Zombie was the first album she ever bought. This show meant the world to her and seeing her enjoy this show and singing along to song after song meant the world to me. I’ve talked about this before– going to a show with a best friend and watching them have the time of their life. It’s something that will never get old for me and always sparks the joy I find in concerts when, at times, I can be lagging in that market. Watching her damn near have a religious experience throughout the set was just the icing on the cake to a truly unforgettable evening.