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Static-X // Live @ House of Blues Houston // 3.12.23

Articles and Photos by: Ommar Ortuvia


Houston, TX — It was a windy night in Houston, and the House of Blues was packed to the brim for a sold-out show for the “Rise of the Machine” tour, consisting of supporting acts Society 1, Dope, Mushroomhead, Fear Factory, and the headliner, Static-X. Throughout this lineup there was never a moment of rest – from the mostly industrial metal bands belting out speed-riffed songs one after the other, or between bands, with them taking the stage within 15 minutes or less of one’s ending. But the 4-hour wait was worth it to see this new incarnation of Static-X and Xer0, their current frontman. In 2014 the band suffered the loss of their charismatic and prominent frontman & singer, Wayne Static, but have been able to continue touring and releasing albums with this mystery character, always paying respect to Wayne. Currently the band consists of the masked Xer0, and the original founding members Koichi Fukuda on guitar, Tony Campos on bass, and Ken Jay on drums.

The show started off with a recording of “Time Warp,” off the iconic The Rocky Horror Picture Show movie, to remind the audience that they would be transported back in time to when disco was alive. Why disco? Because according to the late Wayne Static, Static-X’s genre is “evil disco.” Once the song was over, a mech-robotic Tony Manero with a Static-X head walked on stage with a spotlight and shovel in hand, to remind the audience once more about the evil disco genre. The actual concert started with Xer0 climbing a metal staircase in the center of the stage, showing everyone the new guise: a fully-concealed robo-Wayne Static, complete with glowing red Terminator eyes to match the name of the tour. “Permanence” was the first song that the quartet performed, demonstrating the exciting drive that brought the band fame in 1999 with their debut album Wisconsin Death Trip. Throughout the 19-song setlist Ken Jay kept the beat hard and fast, with Campos and Fukuda exuding an energy that matched the tempo. Xer0, whose identity has been a source of speculation for years, also did not fall behind, despite wearing a mask and full body suit to hide any potential clues in regards to its identity.

Call it what you want – industrial, alt-metal, nu-metal, evil disco – but whatever Static-X played, it got the crowd moving and rocking throughout the night. They sealed the show with their mega-hit “Push it,” forcing everybody to fist pump and jump or headbang. Overall, Static-X put on an powerful and mind-blowing show, and despite the absence of Wayne, the remaining original members with Xer0 carried the same energy song after song. Most of the songs from the night were off Wisconsin Death Trip or Machine (their 2001 sophomore release), with a spattering of songs from their subsequent albums. Only one song was played from their latest album Project: Regeneration Vol. 1, released in 2020, which was also the first album recorded without Wayne Static. Later this year Project: Regeneration Vol. 2 will be released, which assures us that further tours will happen, and thus we can enjoy some more evil disco for the future. Groovy, man.