When industrial metal staples Static-X brought its signature “evil disco” sound to the Knitting Factory for the first time since 2012 on Thursday night, the Spokane audience refused to miss a beat.
The band, celebrating the life of late frontman Wayne Static and 20th anniversary of platinum-selling debut album “Wisconsin Death Trip,” played every track from the seminal work for a show that ranged from groovy to gritty.
Standout tracks “I’m With Stupid” and “Otsegolation” marked strong points in the set, but it was the four-on-the-floor ferocity of closing number “Push It” that highlighted the night.
The original “Wisconsin Death Trip” lineup, featuring bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda, reunited to deliver the same intensity that Static-X has been producing since before the turn of the millennium.
XerO, the group’s newly recruited masked frontman, delivered a performance that included the mannerisms and vocal bite of Wayne Static without intruding on the departed frontman’s legacy.
The group’s tight live sound called back to its only live album, “Cannibal Killers Live,” which was recorded in Spokane in 2007 at the Big Easy, which would be renamed the Knitting Factory a year later.
Between Fukuda’s metronomic bunny-hopping, Campos’ bass-playing head bobs and XerO’s imitations of Static’s twitch, the dance-mosh hybrid found in the crowd fit right in with the night’s dissonant disco vibe.
After the final song, XerO dedicated the night as a time to celebrate “the life, the love, the memory, the legacy of our dear friend and your hero, Mr. Wayne Static,” which is exactly what Static-X did.
The snarling, industrial soundscapes of opening act Wednesday 13 served as a brooding and dark counterweight to Static-X’s comparatively lively pulse.
Beyond the songs, it was the theatrics of Wednesday 13 that distinguished the band more than anything else.
The band’s neon face paint, in addition to frontman Joseph Poole’s cast of costumes and props, produced an aesthetic as captivating and dark as its sound.
Los Angeles-based hard rockers Davey Suicide arrived as openers armed with material from its new album and old memories with Static-X.
The industrial unit paraded more-known songs like “No Angel” and “Too Many Freaks,” as well as the title track from the upcoming album “Rock Ain’t Dead,” which ignited the first awkward mosh pit stirrings of the night.
Late in the set, frontman and band namesake Davey Suicide reflected on the group’s first tour in 2012, where the band was enlisted as support for Static-X.
As the first band on the bill, industrial rockers Society 1 stepped to the stage with a reformed sound that was reminiscent of early Stone Temple Pilots.
The band, who was peers of Static-X on the ’90s Sunset Strip music scene, drew most of its set from the upcoming album that marks a departure from its industrial roots.
A fiery cover of the Doors’ “Wild Child” distinguished the unit from the rest of the opening acts as a welcome surprise.
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