When I saw White Zombie play the Aragon Ballroom back in the early ‘90s, I would have never guessed the man fronting the band would go on to become America’s undisputed horror icon but he has….
Rob Zombie is now a living legend, a man whose name is synonymous with the word horror. America has put him in charge of terror and I am convinced Zombie will deliver the goods. I toured the Great American Nightmare attraction last year but I was unable to attend the live show so when I heard Rob Zombie was coming back to Villa Park, I knew it was a must-attend event!
Rob played two nights this time, Friday October 2nd, then Insane Clown Posse and P.O.D. on Saturday October 3rd and Zombie again on October 4th. Roger and I attended the October 4th show and I will readily admit I had no fear of the metal gods ruining my plans because they know October is Rocktober, a power month, nothing could keep me from having a good time!
We reached the venue before show time and decided to check out the haunted house. Steve Kopelman is a quick study. The shocks, scares and disgusting smells are top rate. I must have jumped a hundred times and I knew what was coming! In my opinion, the haunted houses were better on Saturday than they were on Sunday. More customers were on hand Sunday and I felt like I was being ‘pushed through’ the attraction. The groups were larger and were sent into the attractions more frequently; this doubled everything up and took away a lot of the great character actor scares. Most people are used to lines, I’m sure nobody would have minded waiting a couple of extra minutes if it meant a better scare.
After touring the haunted house it was time to grab a beer and check out some music. The opening act Ginger Fish was a techno preparation for Zombie’s high velocity groove, the crowd was moving during this set as anticipation was building for the main event.
Zombie came on stage and drove into his set like a maniacal Superbeast! The crowd was entranced, caught in the thrall of the music as Zombie bounded across the stage like a creature out for blood! Zombie’s performance and banter had the crowd mesmerized, however, I couldn’t help but think this had the feel of a ‘typical Zombie concert’ and I felt it should have been more.
If Zombie’s intent was to use these shows to kick off a month-long celebration, it would have been more memorable if the focus of the entertainment was more directly tied into the product. With so many ‘Zombie themed’ character actors on hand and the genius of Steve Kopelman at his disposal, I have to admit I was expecting to be blown away. Nevertheless, this was a wicked show, everyone around me was moving and singing along, the night was a success.
As I drove home later I contemplated the genius of Rob Zombie. The Great American Nightmare is a melding of music and horror, all held under one roof, what a celebration! Although the live music is gone, we still have the carnival rides and other outdoor themed attractions to look forward to. Thank you Rob Zombie! I know I’ll be back! \m/