Rob Zombie was back in Fresno for the first time in 14 years. He made his last appearance here with his band White Zombie, but on Friday, May 27th, he appeared solo at Fresno’s iconic Crest theatre.
As I stood in line among the pierced, tattooed, and Mohawk wearing Zombie fans, I felt like a square. I’m neither metal, nor hardcore, and I definitely don’t look threatening. Fortunately, no one gave me any trouble because I was with my cousin who just so happens to look like a crazy dude that will cut you if you greet him the wrong way. Needless to say, I felt pretty safe.
After we were patted down for firearms and sharp objects, we entered the theatre to find the opening band already playing. They looked like a typical metal band drinking beers in between each song. Screaming out songs must be very tiring, and I guess beer soothes the throat very well. I felt like I was in someone’s garage listening to a high school band as they jammed to the backdrop of a bunch of black tarps. I may have actually travelled back to the seventies, but I made it back in time to see Rob take the stage, so no worries.
The feeling right before Rob took the stage can only be described as—creepy. The roadies took down the tarps as Johnny Cash songs piped through what sounded like an old overhead intercom you’d listen to school announcements from. Behind the tarps were giant, black and white posters of the classic Universal monsters: Frankenstein, the Mummy, and the Wolf Man. For some reason, Johnny Cash mixed with pictures of monsters makes for an overall feeling of impending doom. As it turns out, it’s just what Rob Zombie’s uses to get in the zone.
Rob finally took the stage and the fans went wild. I even found myself screaming as Rob sauntered onto the stage in a dusty looking Jake Sparrow getup. He started with one of his newer songs, but played a lot of the popular White Zombie tracks too. When he pumped up the crowd, he spoke to them like he was their long lost friend, even attempting to crowd surf several times. Not being a die-hard metal fan myself, it was still exciting to watch Rob Zombie perform. He really knows how to put on a good show. The only disappointing part of the concert was that it only lasted an hour. Other than that, I was glad I got to experience a concert in the historical Crest theatre.
Oh, and just a little piece of advice. If you ever find yourself at a metal concert, and a mosh pit starts up directly in front of you, just do what I did: shove the girl who started it really hard and run to the outside of the crowd. Works every time.