It was a dark and stormy night when Wednesday 13 brought his "Ghouls On Parade" tour into New York City for a visit, and if you knew what was bad for you there would be no avoiding this devilishly good time. The scene of the crime would be Greenpoint Brooklyn's Club Europa which as I approached I had realized was formerly the location of a Chinese restaurant that I used to go to with family in my younger years. As a club I admit that it is quite cool looking on the inside and has a decent bar downstairs to hang out in before you hit the venue itself which is on the second floor. The upstairs area offers a small but comfortable stage, several lounge areas and a decent dance floor where the crowd can convene to enjoy the bands. There is also a larger bar off to one side and there's plenty of room to move around over there as well should you decide on that part of the club. It certainly had a Gothic Shock Rock feel tonight and this made it all the better based on the participants in the evenings festivities. "Ghouls On Parade" would be a tour that featured not only Wednesday 13 and his fellow zombie rockers but also finds them supported by the bands Anti-Product and Creature Feature. Trashlight Vision was supposed to be on this as well but sadly would disband just before the tour was to set to begin. I made sure to get there early enough tonight since I had heard so much about the openers as well that I knew I needed to determine what was up for myself. Here is what the story is.
Anti-Product: Tonight would be my first time ever seeing the two opening acts and Anti-Product would come on first. The five member group is comprised of two girls and three guys and to define them as interesting would definitely be an understatement. From the moment they hit the stage the band was on fire and also very much in your face, and this was primarily based on lead singer Alex Product and how he was handling the show. The garishly made up front man was off the stage in front of the audience almost as much as he was on and he was running about like a madman gearing everyone up and even putting a little fright into some others. He was definitely on point as a shocker rocker and the interaction with the assembled crowd really worked on getting a response from them that proved quite favorable to the band. I didn't know many of their originals being this was my first time but I loved the rendition of the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" that they did. The two hot chicks of the band are Clare Pproduct and Milena Yum and they each play guitar. According to some photos I have seen Clare breathes fire but she would not do that tonight and Milena handles some keyboards when necessary. Drums are ably done by Johnny Chops, who was apparently also a member of TLV while on bass is Chris Catalyst. The crowd was very light during their performance and if a couple of dozen where in the club it was saying something but that surely didn't stop Product from asking the crowd if they minded if the band performed like they were in front of 20,000. There was also a large audience participation segment during their song "Bungee Jumping People Die". As a tune it was rather repetitive but it seems like this was done on purpose to allow Product to talk and get people to join him on the stage. He then directs them to sing from the audience and when he's finished with us informs them to leave before he calls the cops on them. They would also do a great version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show classic number "Time Warp". Riotous if you asked me and I really think their appeal is not only in music but also in their stage presence. I really look forward to seeing them again in the near future.
Creature Feature: The next surprise for me tonight would be the guys in Creature Feature. It's a duo on recording apparently with one member playing guitar and singing while the other plays keyboards, samples and does some backup vocals. Tonight they would have a drummer performing with them, and according to what I read after the show they are strongly influenced by classic monster movies and science fiction films and combine catch phrases and dialogue from some of them into their music. Their act was tight and they were quite together but it was not as much on the showmanship level as we found during Anti-Product. The guys are releasing an album in the coming months and that should be interesting. I was happy to catch them to say the least and think that they offer some interesting things to the music fan who find the creepy and the crawly to their liking.
Wednesday 13: I was really excited by the time that Wednesday 13 was ready to hit the stage for a number of reasons and the first two would be based on my thoroughly enjoying his appearance as opener for Alice Cooper last year and as direct support for The 69 Eyes just a few short months ago. It was going to be great to see him doing a headlining set as one can never expect what surprises that he is planning on pulling out of his well stocked bag of tricks. I was also happy to find the musician alive and well as just a few weeks before this show he had been involved in a bad car accident that left him with a messed up shoulder and a whole lot of hurt everywhere else. Despite this almost run in with fate he would still trek to NYC and perform for us, and it just goes to show that it's going to take a lot more than a car wreck to stop this grooving ghoul. As result of performing with an injury, Wednesday would not play guitar tonight and instead just sing. While his shoulder healed he would have Staci Grim filling in on the guitar for his parts and that was a perfect fit to say the least. The change in the normal plan had an upside that I don't think anyone expected because with him not holding the guitar all night he would make every tune all the more visual. Having seen him twice before this show I had to say that I didn't remember him bringing out anything on stage with him on those occasions. Tonight he would have a little bit of everything in store for us and it truly made this one exceptional performance in my humble opinion. Since the club is really intimate around the stage itself – those who gathered close enough found Mr. 13 right in their faces and looking right into those dark maniacal eyes. The headlining set also offered Wednesday the chance to present us with a longer set and one that would include material from both the Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 and The Murderdolls along with his own past two solo recordings. The diehard fans know that some of the Murderdolls stuff was originally FDQ's tracks such as "Die My Bride" (which tonight would be a song that Wednesday sang to a bizarre Exorcist type of doll). The show was one that I wished his team was taping for later use since I felt the band was really on fire and with all the cool enhancements to the gig it made it all the more fun. Some of the other highlights were his holding a jack o'lantern during "Haddonfield" where he would toss candies at the audience. I tried to catch one a piece but instead was beaned on the head by it and it got caught by someone behind me. For "American Werewolves In London" the surprise stage visitor would be a werewolf dressed as Uncle Same and waiving the US flag. "Happily Ever Cadaver" had an intro tape saying "this man is a transvestite" and when Wednesday began, he had a shovel with bug eyes on it as he sang the tale about the grave robbing cross-dresser. He would also pluck the shovels eyes out and blow them into the crowd. Needless to say, everyone loved this show and there was so much more to come.
The rhythm section was the same as I had remembered from the last times with Racci Shay on drums and Nate Manor on bass, but since guitarist Eric Griffin had chosen to move on a few months ago his spot would be filled by J-Sin Trioxin. Everyone is made up in some sort of makeup and outfit to work along with the themes in the music but despite what they all sport during the shows its really hard to top Wednesday 13's own outfit. Leather and patches related to horror movies and not to mention his tattoos that fall along the same lines. He also would wear many different hats tonight and not in the business sense of doing more jobs than one is supposed to, but actually change hats a lot to reflect the song he would do. He reminded all the kids that they can play with guns during a sing along with the band rendition of "Rambo" and that Camp Crystal Lake is a nice place to let loose and die at during "Till Death Do Us Party". A zombie made an appearance during "I Walked With A Zombie", and even though he sings about it, he reminds the audience that he really doesn't want "Bad Things" to happen to anyone. The crowd was light tonight and there was no hiding it, but Wednesday let us know that he was well aware of this as well as he said that he wanted all twelve of us to sing along with him for the song. Of course there was far more than twelve audience members here tonight and I think the place had just about seventy five people when it came down to it. Yet that's still a dismal number and I bet those who didn't show up are the same people who always complain about never seeing any good shows coming around. Guess what people, when a band that you like comes through you have to get your body in the room as sometimes they don't come back soon or even worse aren't able to return at all. If Wednesday 13 was able to perform as injured as he was, then there was no way that I was going to miss out on the fun. More of you should have done the same. The set list from top to bottom was chock full of great tunes and I was glad that he managed to play everything that I wanted to hear from both "Fang Bang" and "Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls" – as I glanced around the crowd it seemed as though everyone was on the same page as me. He would do a rocking "Home Sweet Homicide" with some cool stage props that included a Dracula Mask and a very Cat In The Hat style top hat of his own and end the whole show with his seeming signature closer "F**k". During that one he uses an umbrella that has it written all over it and it helps generate the crowd responses very well.
Wednesday 13 plans on releasing the follow up to "Fang Bang" in early 2008, its title is "Skeletons" and it should bring us a lot more of the Horror Punk that we have come to love from the guy. He is also working on a DVD release entitled "Weirdo A Go-Go" and knowing him that should be nothing less than interesting. This was an awesome show and I think a lot of people missed out on a really good time tonight by passing it up. My hope is that he returns soon enough so that they can all rectify the error of their ways. Put your horns up like you just don't give a f**k fellow fiends, Wednesday 13 will make bad things happen if you don't.
1. House By The Cemetery
3. Rot For Me
4. Die My Bride
5. Scary Song
6. American Werewolves In London
7. Love At First Fright
8. Happily Ever Cadaver
9. Haunt Me
10. Till Death Do Us Party
11. I Want You Dead
13. Ghost Of Vincent Price
14. Faith In The Devil
15. I Walked With A Zombie
16. Home Sweet Homicide
17. Bad Things
Official Web site: www.wednesday13.com
Official Web site: www.antiproduct.com
Official Web site: www.creaturefeaturemusic.com