Gruesome Twosome/Black Label Berserk

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Sunday, October 24, 2010

Note: This show had two stages as it was a combination of two tours. The main pavilion staged housed the Gruesome Twosome tour, comprised of Murderdolls, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie while a second stage was erected to house the Black Label Berserk tour featuring Black Label Society, Clutch, Children of Bodom and 2Cents.

 
Murderdolls:

Murderdolls started off the main pavilion stage to a pathetic turn out. Even though there was an hour between doors and the start of the show, the turn out was less than acceptable (for the show as a whole, not just Murderdolls). Still, Wednesday 13 led the crowd in chants and kept them entertained throughout their set. There was a lot of intensity from vocalist Wednesday 13, guitarist Roman Surman, bassist Jack Tankersley and drummer Racci Shay. However, guitarist Joey Jordison didn’t seem that into it, as he had very little emotion and energy. They played a lot of new songs including “My Dark Place Alone” and “Nowhere” while bringing back some fan-favorites from their debut album with “Slit My Wrists” and “Motherfucker, I Don’t Care”. Overall the set went well and was a good start to the day even though it wasn’t really a highlight.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 7
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9

Set list:

1.The World According to Revenge
2. Chapel of Blood
3. Slit My Wrist
4. Die My Bride
5. My Dark Place
6. Drug Me to Hell
7. Nowhere
8. Motherfucker, I Don’t Care
9. I Love to Say Fuck

Children of Bodom:

Children of Bodom was up next to destroy the side stage. While the crowd was still slowly funneling into the venue, Bodom managed to accumulate a fairly sizeable crowd (more than double the crowd Murderdolls had). Singer Alexi Laiho doesn’t speak a tremendous amount of English, but his vocabulary has vastly improved from the last time I saw them and his accent has subsided enough that it’s actually possible to understand what he’s saying live. Clearly more American bands need to take tips from Bodom, their live show is impeccable and their energy live is beyond contagious. They played a much more diverse set list than I was anticipating (mostly due to the fact that their Blooddrunk tour was over) and their performance was a major success from what the die-hard Bodom fans in the crowd said. They were easily one of the best bands at this show. I wish they’d gotten a longer set list, though.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 9.5
Overall Rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. Silent Night, Bodom Night
2. Hate Me!
3. Living Dead Beat
4. Angels Don’t Kill
5. Blooddrunk
6. In Your Face
7. Downfall
8. Hate Crew Deathroll

Clutch:

I was really surprised at how many people turned out to watch Clutch. They’re nowhere near as hard as most of the bands on the bill, but their turn out was massive and it wasn’t just people casually checking them out (since no bands overlapped) but die-hard fans screaming along to every word.

This was the second time I’ve seen them and though musically I’ve been very impressed with them their live show leaves a lot to be desired. They sound great live, but there is little to no energy from any of the bands members at any point during the set. Singer Neil Fallon was the only one who showed any emotion at any point during the set, and it was brief. Still, the set was entertaining from start to finish and they sounded great so I would still recommend them. They were a nice change of pace from the other bands that played.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 6
Overall Rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. Immortal
2. Child of the City
3. 50,000 Unstoppable Watts
4. I Have the Body of John Wilkes Booth
5. Big News
6. Burning Beard
7. The Incomparable Mr. Flannery
8. Cypress Grove
9. Electric Worry

Alice Cooper:

I think the only word that I can use to describe Alice Cooper is “wow”. His set up was so extravagant that it’s hard to imagine anyone not loving it. Opening with “School’s Out”, Cooper came out to a circus-themed stage set up, with tons of fans screaming their heads off. From the 4 songs we were allowed to shoot, Cooper changed outfits twice and towards the end of “Wicked Young Man” he was fitted by his stage hands with a straight jacket (pictured below) and was executed by a guillotine during “Ballad of Dwight Fry”.

For an artist who’s been going strong for forty years, Cooper still looks and performs fantastically, way better than I was expecting to be honest. I was very impressed with my first Cooper show. I can only imagine what he was like when he was younger. The crowd could be heard screaming along to every word, even over at the side stage, where Black Label Society was setting up.

I was so impressed by Cooper that I think he was honestly my favorite act of the night and I would definitely see him again if given the opportunity.

Vocals: 10
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Set list:

1. School’s Out
2. No More Mr. Nice Guy
3. I’m Eighteen
4. Wicked Young Man
5. Ballad Of Dwight Fry
6. Go To Hell
7. Cold Ethyl
8. Poison
9. From The Inside
10. Black Widow Jam
11. Vengeance Is Mine
12. Dirty Diamonds
13. Billion Dollar Babies
14. Killer
15. I Love The Dead
16. Feed My Frankenstein
17. Under My Wheels

Black Label Society:

Zakk Wylde is the face of Black Label Society, there’s no doubt about that. He is one of the most unique and talented guitarists in metal and brought his flare for dramatic solos with him. Halfway through his set he decided to do a 5+ minute guitar solo, much to the amusement of the crowd (though it did get old after a few minutes). Black Label Society is touring in support of their new album Order of the Black that came out over the summer. From it, they played a lot of new songs including “Crazy Horse”, “Overlord” and “Parade of the Dead”. They also brought in some classics including “Fire it Up”, “Suicide Messiah” and then closed with “Stillborn”.

At times Zakk was a bit hard to understand vocally. The vocals would cut out completely or at least fade significantly to the point you couldn’t even tell if he was singing at all, even when two feet away from him. Still, the set was great and the fans were packed in tight for it as the temperature dropped significantly.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 9.5
Overall Rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. The Beginning… At Last
2. Crazy Horse
3. What’s in You
4. Overlord
5. Parade of the Dead
6. Fire It Up
7. Guitar Solo
8. Godspeed Hell Bound
9. Suicide Messiah
10. Concrete Jungle
11. Stillborn

Rob Zombie:

While there was no doubt in my mind that Alice Cooper should’ve been the headliner of the Gruesome Twosome tour, Rob Zombie was and in his defense he did put on one hell of a show. I’d had the opportunity to see and shoot Zombie twice during this past summers Mayhem Festival, but this time was different. The stage set up wasn’t tweaked very much but I felt a lot more energy from him and his band.

Opening with a new song, “Jesus Frankenstein”, Zombie got the crowd warmed up early and kept them going throughout the entire fourteen song set list (three of which were encores). Drummer Joey Jordison also got a significant work out during the day after playing guitar for Murderdolls then drumming for Zombie.

Not to be outdone by Cooper, Zombie brought out a lot of tricks including naked women dancing around on stage, balls were dropped during “Sick Bubblegum” and candy was thrown out after “House of 1,000 Corpses”.

Zombie’s shows never really seem to be too different from tour to tour, but that’s not a bad thing. The production value of the tour is clear and people get what they paid for it and I highly recommend you see Rob Zombie if you’re ever given the chance.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Set list:

1. Jesus Frankenstein
2. Superbeast
3. Scum of the Earth
4. Living Dead Girl
5. More Human Than Human [White Zombie cover]
6. Sick Bubble-Gum
7. Demon Speeding
8. Mars Needs Women
9. Pussy Liquor
10. Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)
11. Thunder Kiss ’65 [White Zombie cover]

Encore 1:

12. Werewolf Women of the SS

Encore 2:

13. Dragula

Encore 3:

14. House of 1000 Corpses

Photos (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

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