Over 10,000 fervent metal enthusiasts gathered under the night sky to partake in an unforgettable spectacle headlined by none other than the hard rock and heavy metal legend, Rob Zombie. Alongside him, the stage was graced by the presence of the iconic Alice Cooper, the electrifying Ministry, and the raucous Filter. This past Sunday, West Palm Beach, Florida, became the epicenter of the Freaks On Parade tour, merging the realms of metal and masquerade in a perfectly orchestrated chaos.
Alice Cooper’s performance was nothing short of extraordinary. He effortlessly tamed a boa constrictor, outwitted a towering Frankenstein, and endured electric shocks with unyielding resolve. He escaped from a straitjacket only to face a guillotine, Cooper’s onstage antics reached their pinnacle when he was gleefully decapitated by Marie Antoideath, portrayed by his wife, Sheryl Cooper.
Boasting a rich legacy spanning more than half a century in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll stagecraft, Cooper dazzled the audience with a 70-minute tour de force. His show seamlessly wove together iconic classics like “I’m Eighteen” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” with lesser-known treasures from his middle years. Commencing with the electrifying “Lock Me Up” from his 1986 album “Raise Your Fist and Yell,” Cooper found his artistic zenith midway through the performance, delivering a string of early-’90s hits, including “Hey Stoopid,” “Lost in America,” and “Snakebite.”
Cooper’s band executed flawlessly, with guitarists Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henriksen, and the virtuoso Nita Strauss delivering a tidal wave of sound. Bassist Chuck Garric’s harmonious backing vocals completed this musical powerhouse.
Nita Strauss stood out prominently among the young guitar maestros of her era, enthralling the crowd with a mesmerizing solo act that showcased her prowess in tapping, sweep-picking, and whammy bar wizardry. Her limitless enthusiasm and undeniable skill elevated her to an essential role within Cooper’s ensemble, and the audience couldn’t contain their excitement, showering her with thunderous applause when she made her entrance during the grand finale, “School’s Out.”
Cooper’s set sparkled with satire and vaudeville, while Rob Zombie’s performance epitomized unbridled extravagance. It was a sensory overload of scorching flames, grotesque demon babies, and twisting devil statues. Zombie, adorned in fringe, gyrated across the stage, commanding an industrial metal tempest that would befit the darkest depths of hell.
His set, characterized by droning dirges and horror movie aesthetics, was a relentless onslaught of raunchiness and grotesquery. Tracks like “Superbeast” and “Living Dead Girl” struck the perfect balance, creating a dangerous and devilishly fun atmosphere.
During “Thunder Kiss ’65,” Zombie had the audience light up their phones, quipping, “it’s hot as hell out here!” Indeed, Zombie’s blazing pyrotechnics were merely a fraction of the sweltering 106-degree heat that earlier acts Filter and Ministry had to contend with. Yet, they rose to the occasion, each delivering formidable performances. Filter, led by Richard Patrick, roared through hits like “Take a Picture” and “Hey Man Nice Shot,” while Ministry’s Al Jourgensen whipped the crowd into a frenzy with incendiary tracks like “Stigmata” and the climactic “Revenge,” performed for the first time since 1984.
Both opening acts displayed headlining-worthy prowess, setting the stage for an incredible evening of music. The show, as a whole, was a sensory feast, a symphony of visuals and sounds that left an indelible mark. I wholeheartedly recommend catching this tour if it rolls into your town.
The Freaks on Parade Tour will continue to rampage across the United States for the next month, concluding on September 24th in Phoenix. For those yet to experience it, this tour promises an unparalleled fusion of music and mayhem that should not be missed.
Alice Cooper, 8/28/23, iThink Financial Amphitheater, West Palm Beach
1. “Lock Me Up”
2. “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
3. “I’m Eighteen”
4. “Under My Wheels”
5. “Billion Dollar Babies”
7. “Lost in America”
8. “Hey Stoopid”
10. “Feed My Frankenstein”
11. “Devil’s Food” / Nita Strauss guitar solo
12. “Black Widow” jam
13. “Ballad of Dwight Fry”
14. “Killer” (band only)
15. “I Love the Dead”
17. “School’s Out” (with “Another Brick in the Wall”)
Rob Zombie, 8/28/23, iThink Financial Amphitheater, West Palm Beach
1. “The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)”
2. “Feel So Numb”
3. “Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O.”
4. “What Lurks on Channel X?”
6. “Demonoid Phenomenon”
7. Drum solo
8. “The Lords of Salem”
9. “House of 1000 Corpses”
10. “More Human Than Human”
11. “Living Dead Girl”
12. “Thunder Kiss ’65”
FREAKS ON PARADE TOUR DATES:
Tue Aug 29 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music
Park at Walnut Creek
Wed Aug 30 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United
Home Loans Amphitheater
Fri Sep 01 – Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino
Sat Sep 02 – Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena
Tue Sep 05 – Clarkston, MI – Pine Knob Music Theatre
Wed Sep 06 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
Fri Sep 08 – Scranton, PA – The Pavilion at Montage
Sat Sep 09 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones
Sun Sep 10 – Hartford, CT – The XFINITY Theatre Tue Sep 12 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
Sat Sep 16 – Englewood, CO – Fiddler’s Green
Tue Sep 19 – Ridgefield, WA – RV Inn Style Resorts
Wed Sep 20 – Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre
Fri Sep 22 – Concord, CA – Concord Pavilion
Sat Sep 23 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
Sun Sep 24 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort