April 10, 2023, a year ago

Photos: Thomas Mazerolles | Words: Albert Lamoureux

gallery heavy metal static-x dope mushroomhead fear factory

After being postponed for over a year and having a venue change, Static-X was finally in Montreal along with Fear Factory, Mushroomhead, Dope and Cultus Black on March 23 If you are a fan of nu-metal, the MTelus was the place to be.

To the surprise of many Cultus Black was the first band on stage and they started playing in front of a pretty packed MTelus. They did not have a bass player, but that only gave them more room to play with during their set. Drummer and guitar player had a ski mask and the signer had makeup. Their old school nu-metal music was getting the crowd wired up but you could clearly see that the fans were not there to see them. Nonetheless their high-paced performance granted them a handful of new fans as some were headbanging to the rhythm of their songs during their short set.

Dope was up next and the younger fans were really excited to finally see them. Edsel Dope kicked things in high gear with the song “Blood Money”. He was in constant interaction with the crowd, and his flip flops did not stop him from being very dynamic on stage. The crowd also loved songs like “Bitch” and riff intense “Debonaire”. Fans pushed themselves furiously during the industrial “I'm Back” before losing their mind during “Burn”. Dope ended their set with their usual closer for many years and fans had a blast with their rendition of “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”. The band really had fun on stage and it was great to see the band in a bigger venue compared to their last time in Montreal.

The theatrical side of things went up a few notches when Mushroomhead got on stage with all seven band members. They had percussionists on each side of the stage hammering on drums that had water on their drumheads and that alone was a great visual. These masked men were grasping for every inch they could on stage but there simply was not enough room for everyone, so the signer spent as much time as possible in the security pit or crowd surfing. These Slipknot lookalikes had tons of energy, and the fans were hyped to see them for the first in over fifteen years. Their high paced set included a mix of Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces” and Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” before ending their set with “Born Of Desire”.

It was now time to get down to serious business as Fear Factory started their set with the song “Shock”. New signer Milo Silvestro did a good job on vocals but like his predecessor, he also had issues with clean vocals. The machinegun type drums are powerful, precise and very loud but it is more the abuse of strobe lights that some fans had issues with. A few members of Mushroomhead came back on stage during the song “Edgecrusher” and as before, the main signer found an inventing way to exit the stage by surfing the crowd. “Powershifter” is always a fan favourite and its sheer power is simply devastating. It was weird to see Dino Cazares and company play the song “Archetype” from the Burton C. Bell era of the band, but that being said, the fans had a blast hearing this rare song in concert. The band ended their set with three songs from the Demanufacture album, the self-titled, “Zero Signal” and “Replica”. Fear Factory was firing on all cylinders, and Milo is definitely a great addition to the band. We can only wait to see the band headlining their own tour later this year.

It took a while to setup all the different LCD panels but they finally got it right and their famous X mascot made its way to the stage with his shovel as the music started playing. The musicians followed shortly after and kicked things off with “Performance”. The new signer Xer0 (reportedly Edsel Dope) is a very intimidating figure with his Wayne Static mechanical mask and his red illuminated eyes. The Rise Of The Machine tour is based on the celebration of their Machine album, so it is only normal that they play many songs from it. The music is loud but very crisp and the lighting is fabulous. The band also went deep into the Wisconsin Death Trip album by playing seven songs from it. Bassist Tony Campos and guitar player Koichi Fukuda are very energetic on stage and are both in constant motion. Fans were singing along loudly during songs like “Black And White”, “Terminator Oscillator”, “Destroy All” and “Get To The Gone”. 

“Cold” was dedicated to Wayne Static near the end of the set as the giant screen showed many images of Wayne throughout his career. Their set ended with the classic “I'm With Stupid” and “Push It” and fans were going ballistic as huge balloons were bouncing all over the place, giving it a huge party vibe.

There were a lot of bands tonight, but Static-X was the only name the fans had in mind when they were heading out of the venue.

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