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    Static-X and Sevendust co-headling with support from Dope and Lines of Loyalty- The Norva, Norfolk, VA (USA) February 7, 2024

    Photos by Michael Spencer Photography Review by Mike Spencer

    It seems that tours in the US have taken on a new characteristic in that they run for a bit, then take a break and then pick back up.  This is what happened with this tour. This stop was part of round 2 of the Machine Killer tour, and it has been extended to a round 3. The crowd was there early for a sold-out show, and they were pumped for an unforgettable show.

    First up on the bill were Kenosha, Wisconsin (USA) based Lines of Loyalty.  When I first looked at the stage, I wondered where they were going to play.  The stage was packed with equipment and there was barely enough room for four bands equipment.  While the stage was shallow, the sound was deep.  This was my first time seeing LoL and their melodic metal sound was exciting and took me back to the days of three-piece bands because that’s what they are.  Comprised of Nubz Morrison on vocals and guitar, Redo Ianni on bass, and Brayden Pike on drums, they have a sound that will make you stop and listen.  They are currently out supporting their 2023 release Hurts to be Human. If you get the opportunity to catch them live, even if they are the support act, get there early and catch their set.  Tonight, their set consisted of the following:

    1. Hurts to be Human
    2. Blackout
    3. My Addiction
    4. With or Without You
    5. Winless War
    6. Because of You
    7. I’m Not the One

    LINES OF LOYALTY

    After a quick set change, it was time for Dope.  Dope formed in New York City in 1997 and has undergone numerous member changes with the constant being singer Edsel Dope.  It is nice to see that Acey Slade is back with the band on guitar as he was one of the original members, joining Daniel Fox on bass and Chris Warner on drums.  Edsel has had his hands in multiple projects over the years and I’ll let you look into that as that could be its own review on its own.  They opened their set with Blood Money and quickly showed that while they could have been the headliner, they were not there to take any prisoners. A quarter century of shows under their belts was evident in their ability to get the crowd going. They quickly followed with Bring it on and Bitch. They followed that onslaught with Debonaire and the classic medley of Die, Boom, Burn, Bang and F*ck.  They closed out their set with what Edsel referred to as the “stupidest f*cking song ever written,” a cover of Dead or Alives You Spin me Round (like a record), leaving the crowd winded, sweating and, well, ready for more. The setlist was:

    1. Blood Money
    2. Bring It On
    3. Bitch
    4. Debonaire
    5. Die, Boom, Bang, Burn, F*ck
    6. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)

    DOPE

     

    Next up on the bill was Atlanta, Georgia (USA) based Sevendust. Having formed in 1994, they have had a relatively stable lineup their entire career, regardless of the challenges in the music industry.  They’re just one of those bands that you really can’t find something negative to attribute to them.  They bring quality and, in your face, NuMetal, that is consistent, every show, every time.  They hit the stage to thunderous approval from the packed house.  This is 7D country, and the crowd knows what is coming.  They open with I Might Let the Devil Win and follow it with Truth Killer.  Lead singer Lajon Witherspoon is in his typical perfect form and quickly has the crowd right where he wants them.  He has that ability to make you feel like you are the only reason that he is there performing, just for you.  Next up was Alpha, and by this time you start to really notice the other members in the band.  Vince Hornsby is on the bass, Clint Lowry is on Lead Guitar and John Connolly is on rhythm guitar.  Oh, the drummer, Morgan Rose, is a spectacle in and of himself.  His hair is flying all over the place, he has his face painted and he is an absolute master showman and drummer. They lead into Til Death and continue along with the crowd singing along and at times letting the crowd be the vocalist for parts of the songs.  All in all, another stellar performance by one of the most consistent bands out there.  Their setlist was:

    1. I Might Let the Devil Win
    2. Truth Killer
    3. Alpha
    4. Till Death
    5. Pieces
    6. Hero
    7. Denial
    8. Black
    9. Strong Arm Broken
    10. Enemy
    11. Everything
    12. Splinter
    13. Bitch
    14. Face to Face

    SEVENDUST

    And then it was time to changeover for Static-X.  Static-X was formed in 1994 in Los Angeles, California by Wayne Static (vocals) and Ken Jay (drums) after the two moved to LA. They rounded out the band with Tony Campos on bass and Koichi Fukuda on guitar.  They went thru some lineup changes and breakups over the years and released 6 albums before the untimely death of Wayne in 2014.  The band had essentially broken up in 2009 and after Waynes’s death, the three remaining original members decided to reform and release an album of music that they had recorded with Wayne and invited some guest vocalists to contribute, one of them being longtime friend Edsel Dope. This is titled Project: Regeneration Vol. 1 and was released in 2020. And then they decided to tour.  But Wayne was gone.  Enter Xer0.  A masked singer, wearing a mask that looked very much like Wayne, and worn by someone they declined to identify. It was rumored to be Edsel, but he denied it.  Later, he did admit he was Xer0.  A Static X show is a spectacle in and of itself.  Quite often, you find a great live band musically, but lacking in stage show, or vice versa, a great show, but lacking in musical skills.  Let me assure you, Static X has both covered.  Durin the changeover, they build the anticipation with house music such as Neil Diamonds Sweet Caroline, which got the audience singing, followed by Walk by Pantera and then Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  And then the lights go down, the smoke machines fill the room, all you can see on the stage are two red, glowing eyes, and the lights come you, and…. Bubbles, lots of bubbles. And then you notice a robotic creature with a grin, that quickly turns into a snarl, and he is shooting bubbles everywhere. And the music starts.  What has been described as every form of metal to ever exist, my best description would be if Pantera and Ministry had a child, that child would be Static-X. They start off with Hollow and follow with Terminator Oscillator and run through a 16-song set that will leave you confused, conflicted and ultimately, content.  There is mayhem at every turn, and you can tell that they are very good at what they do.  This is a theatrical presentation that is set to a good soundtrack.  Some bands you go to listen to and others you go to experience. Static-X is the latter. They released Project: Regeneration Vol. 2 in January of this year.  Their set consisted of:

    1. Hollow
    2. Terminator Oscillator
    3. Love Dump
    4. Sweat of the Bud
    5. Wisconsin Death Trip
    6. Fix
    7. Bled for Days
    8. Black and White
    9. This Is Not
    10. Z0mbie
    11. Bien Venidos
    12. Get to the Gone
    13. I Am
    14. Destroy All
    15. The Trance Is the Motion
    16. Cold
    17. I’m With Stupid
    18. Push It

    STATIC X

     

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