In 2014, Wayne Static went on a 15th anniversary tour for the 1999 classic, “Wisconsin Deathtrip” from Static-X. It was as a solo artist, but a Wayne Static solo show was 100% Static-X, just with 25% of the band.
In any case, band drama aside, it was an amazing show. Several months later, Wayne was set to go on tour with Powerman 5000 and American Head Charge. Just before the tour was to begin, Wayne passed away.
He died before the band was ever able to workout their issues and move foward again as a unit. At the time, it was known that Wayne had been working on a 2nd solo release. Late 2018, we all received the unexpected news that Static-X was working on a new album, featuring vocals from Wayne, and planning a 20th anniversary tour for “Wisconsin Deathtrip”.
#1 question: Who is filling in for Wayne on tour?
It still hasn’t been disclosed, but we’re all 99.9999999% sure it’s Edsel Dope.
Anyway. Obviously there’s been plenty of controversy regarding the ‘reunion’ and touring without Wayne. With the blessings of his family, the band did all of this. Take that as you will. I just knew there was NO WAY I was missing this show.
So the very last night of this leg of the tour happened to be here in Las Vegas, at the House of Blues. I interviewed Acey Slade of Dope before the show, and waited for our inclusion on the guest list to get in. We (Casey Jade and I) finally did. We missed the majority of Raven Black due to the wait. What I did catch of them, however, made me think they should play with One-Eyed Doll.
For the 2nd time this year, I happened to see Wednesday 13. And it was by far the best performance of his I’ve seen to date. Even with limited stage space, you still get the bells and whistles… Or should I say ghouls and goblins? They were great, and Wednesday was in top form. New album coming soon!
Dope is always a must see. By the way, whoever thought we’d see Wednesday and Edsel on tour together? *(Murderdolls and Dope shared many band members back in the day, and the 2 vocalists always shared a similar vocal style. Apparently there was beef back in the day.)* For many years now, Dope has always condensed their live set into shortening many of their songs and occasionally merging some of them. It’s unique. But sometimes you do wanna hear the whole thing. I also want to hear “Debonaire” live god damn it! Moving on. Solid performance as expected, and never disappointing (despite what I just said).
I’ve now seen Devildriver 8 or 9 times, stemming from their very 1st tour in 2003 to now. They’ve always been bad fucking ass, but there was something special in the air on this night. There was an energy unlike I’d ever seen before during their performance. The band was on fire and the crowd was destroying. The setlist was fucking awesome, and the 2 Coal Chamber songs, “Loco” and “Fiend”, while fun as all hell, really weren’t even that necessary. That’s just how good it all was. I also think it’s the 1st time I haven’t seen them play “Meet the Wretched”, which was more than ok with me. Between “Hold Back the Day”, “Clouds Over California”, “Grinfucked”, “Cry for me Sky”, “I Could Careless”, “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”, and “End of the Line”… I mean I was satisfied. If it wouldn’t have been stupidly packed, I likely would have tore it up in the pit myself.
And for the main event of the evening…
Throughout the show, there were graphics of Wayne, as well as shoutouts and shots in his honor. No tears fell, but my eyes watered more than once. Wayne was a major hero to me since I was 14 (2001). I met him once in 2007 and shook his hand, but not able to take a photo with him. So I took one of him after the fact. Among the many musicians who’ve died over the years, his was one of the very few that actually affected me. *(Sidenote, I never wrote an article like I wanted to when he passed, so I’m using this to somewhat do my own tribute to him.)*
There were some of Wayne’s backing tracks used, but it wasn’t overdone as some people may have stated since the tour began. Either that or they started using less when they realized ‘Xero’ was doing a good enough job? Who knows.
But what I can and will say about this tribute version of Static-X is that it was fantastic, fun, sad, a reminder, and hopeful. It was as good as anyone could ever want for the circumstances surrounding it. It looked, sounded, and felt like what once was. I saw Static as a band + Wayne solo 5 times total, so I can say that.
But as refreshing and exciting as it was to see the name and the guys and hearing these songs live, especially Tony Campos’ backup vocals, it’s missing the most important piece. That was a hard one to swallow.
I don’t know what the band plans on doing after this whole tour and the new album are done, but it would be cool to see them continue with a new name and make music in the same style. Keeping evil disco alive, you could say. If for whatever reason they decided to move forward as Static-X, I’m still going to see them and listen to their music. No doubt. It will just never be the same.
I’m VERY glad this tour happened. It was a very much needed experience. The whole concert. All of it. All of the bands. Seeing the House of Blues packed. Seeing friends and familiar faces. It was an incredible fucking night. If you saw this tour or were at this specific show, I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did.
Review by Marcus Miller, Photos by Casey Jade