Rob Zombie Resurrects Detroit

Rob Zombie - Detroit's Fillmore - 11/27/09I’ve seen a fair amount of musical acts in my young life thus far, but before November 27, 2009, I had never experienced Rob Zombie live.  My exposure to his work consists of a greatest hits cd and constant playing of ‘More Human Than Human’ back in the day when that song came out (I still can’t get enough of it).  So what was I to expect?  I had the opportunity to meet the hard core rocker and director before the show.  What I found was a performer who is very gracious and courteous to his fans.  I’ve come across a few actors and professional athletes who wouldn’t give me the time of day.  Zombie was the complete opposite, answering questions, posing for photos and giving his thanks to those who came out for the concert. 

For those not up to speed on his directorial side of things, Rob Zombie is the mastermind behind such cinematic haunts as House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects in addition to the 2007 Halloween and it’s follow-up, H2.  Next on the horizon for Zombie’s director chair is a remake of The Blob.  I’ve always been intrigued by the potential the original film’s story had, but both that and its remake attempts thereafter always fell flat due to some contrived story flow or bad acting.  Enter Rob Zombie.  His dark, violent perspective is a shot in the arm to Hollywood and is just what a movie like The Blob needs to both modernize it and entertain us

I asked the film-making veteran how the movie is progressing to which he honestly said, “There is no progress…not when I’m on tour.”  Fair enough.  He went on to say that when he works on a film, it is so demanding that it takes up all of his time, so it’s near impossible to front a concert tour and man the helm of a film at the same time.  Fortunately, the tour will wind down the first week in December.  Hopefully he’ll switch job hats soon after and begin work on his next project. 

Rob Zombie & Gregg Senko @ The Fillmore Pre-Show Party

Rob Zombie & WSB’s Gregg Senko @ The Fillmore Pre-Show Party

As for the evening’s concert, the first thing I wanted to point out is how much bang you get for your buck.  For approximately $44 a ticket (and that includes the inconvenience fees), we got two opening acts as well as Rob Zombie and company.  The first act was a rockabilly group known as Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures (the Captain is one hell of a guitar player, I might add).  Complete with a steel pedal guitar and their own go-go dancer, these guys rocked it out to a very receptive audience and did not disappoint.  You might have seen and heard their work from this year’s Halloween sequel as well as Rob Zombie’s animated film, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto

The second group, The Nekromantix, were a three-piece rock group whose front man boasts a coffin-shaped bass.  Billed as a ‘psychobilly’ band, their website describes their music as “Elvis meets the Wolfman.”  While entertaining, they didn’t quite measure up to the delivery that Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures offered.  This became most evident in the audiences’ reluctance to share the energy that the Nekromantix lead singer provided.  Still, they put on a good performance and when all else failed, I just watched their talented and beautiful enchantress drummer whose name I couldn’t understand.  It sounded like ‘Yahtzee’ but I’m seriously doubting that’s what the Anaheim-derived talent went by.

So, after two bands and some dialogue with a few drunken fans trying to ruin my evening, the attentive lads of X-Men Security stepped in and corralled the nay-sayers to a different area.  No, I’m not making a comic book reference here.  That is really the security firm’s name and that is really what happened.  Hey, I paid my way and got there early enough.  I wasn’t giving up my front row spot for anyone. 

Rob Zombie - Detroit's Fillmore - 11/27/09

The time soon came when the lights dimmed, an ominous drumbeat began, and pure electricity traveled through the air.  The audience was about to reach a musical high as Rob Zombie approached the stage with undeniable confidence and a rock star swagger.  The building came alive with a thunderous roar of approval as Rob and his band opened with ‘What Lurks on Channel X.’  No longer was I looking at the same calm-demeanored guy I spoke with about The Blob a few hours earlier.  Now I witnessed the post-transformation of normalcy to performer as Zombie possessed the audience for that evening. 

Crowd favorites such as ‘Living Dead Girl,’ ‘More Human Than Human’ and ‘Thunder Kiss 65′ were digested by our ears, while new tunes such as ‘Sick Bubblegum’ also filled out the setlist.  The band finished up their electrifying work for a short break and came out for an expected encore playing ‘Werewolf Women of the SS’ and ‘Lords of Salem,’ much to everyone’s delight.  The band left yet again and returned for a second encore. 

Listen folks, like his music or not, you have to acknowledge the fact that when he gets called out for more, he’s doing one hell of a job out on that stage.  His vocals were strong and his energy was through the roof, as was his respect for the fans.  Combine those three attributes and the unexpected second encore might not be so unexpected after all.  What was that song in the final encore anyway?  Oh, just nothing more than my favorite Zombie tune of all time…’DRAGULA!’  Hey, nothing like rockin’ out to the comedic driving skills of Herman Munster. 

Another high point to Rob Zombie’s performance is the fact that he mixes up the songs from show to show.  This is an extremely rare occurrence in today’s touring world and in my opinion, speaks volumes for the creativity that’s crafted by the performer(s).  It’s good to know that fans can attend multiple shows on a tour and get a different experience each time.  I wish I could say the same for a certain classic rock band that I’ll keep unnamed, but after attending two shows from that group’s ’08-’09 tour, I was disappointed to find out first-hand that one show is just a carbon copy of another.  It is a relief to know that not everyone in the music industry has fallen into this easy-way-out methodology.  Hats off to the Zombie! 

Rob Zombie - Detroit's Fillmore - 11/27/09

Before I wrap this up, I can’t mention how great of a show it was without giving a nod to Rob’s band (Piggy D, Tommy C and John 5).  They all eat up their music with an insatiable hunger for the performance.  Their talent is uncompromising and their contribution to the show is on a level all its own.  The performance from the band as a whole was simply unforgettable.  If you get the slightest inkling of enjoyment from any bit of hard rock/heavy metal, go experience a Rob Zombie concert so you can blow the lid off your can of inhibitions.  Don’t just dabble in this genre…jump in head first!

As for Rob Zombie’s upcoming album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, fans can expect an early 2010 release date.  For more information on Rob Zombie or any of the concert’s other bands, please visit their websites:













4 Responses to “Rob Zombie Resurrects Detroit”

  1. Leonardo Mattar Monteiro

    ROB,you’re way too cool,man!Ya fan since WHITE ZOMBIE,then your solo career,then a great filmmaker,then a beautiful talented wife.You deserve all recognition.Cheers!

  2. Tom Morris

    I was at the meet and greet and the concert as well. This was my concert experience. The show exceeded all of my expectations!

    I too noticed how down to earth Rob Zombie was during the meet and greet. Then he pulled the ZOMBIE switch during his performance! Truly amazing! I don’t think anything will ever top that experience.

    Very good article!

  3. Downriver Dan

    I seen em a few years ago at the State Theater (Fillmore now…lol…fillmore…puuhleese) with lacuna coil.
    was a pretty cood concert,
    one of the best sounding backing tracks ive heard.
    ie,. it was not 100% live

  4. Elaine

    Rob Zombie rules!