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Alice Cooper & Rob Zombie // Live @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater // 8.30.23

Article and photos by: Wendy Podmenik Woodell

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA– Approximately every 3-4 years, Rob Zombie and his motley crew roll into Virginia Beach, bringing along an impressive line up . This year’s was extra special; three fantastic bands, one of which was the co-headlining shock rocker Alice Cooper. The musical theme running throughout was a major nod to the industrial/alt rock and nu-metal movement, the tour named Freaks on Parade.

The venue’s gate opening was delayed twice due to the threat of bad weather as remnants of Hurricane Idalia blew by Hampton Roads. In spite of the late opening, the show started on time with first act Filter. Frontman Richard Patrick (once a guitarist for Nine Inch Nails) ran through an abbreviated set list of 6 songs, two of which were big hits for the late 90’s, “Take a Picture” and the last song of the set, “Hey Man Nice Shot”. Latest album The Algorithm had just been released 5 days earlier; the first three songs were featured on this tour. Must listen: “Obliteration”.

Industrial powerhouse Ministry raged into their set, grinding into a powerful song list that had the crowd on the verge of moshing in the pit. From the opening “Thieves” to several selections from the classic album The Land of Rape and Honey, founder Al Jourgensen has now brought accomplished guitar slayer Monte Pittman into the fold. Controversial new single “Goddamn White Trash” was accompanied by a video that pulled no punches with commentary on the extremist right leaning political scene that has engulfed the U.S. last handful of years.

Al Jourgensen has gone on record as saying that 2024’s Hopium for the Masses will probably be Ministry’s next-to-last album, hoping to end his career with a re-imagining and re-release of Ministry’s debut album, With Sympathy. This might be one of Ministry’s last tours, the time to see them is now.

On to Alice Cooper, revered rocker with a devoted fan base: easy enough to tell who in the audience was there for Alice, costumes everywhere. He led the crew with a loaded set with no less than 15 songs, a whole journey through the decades. Alice Cooper has been prolific- between band and solo work, he has released 29 albums since 1969. Still touring hard at the age of 75, he shows no sign of slowing down. Surrounded by the likes of guitar greats such as Nita Strauss and Ryan Roxie, Cooper’s natural talent for showmanship was aided by multiple large video screens and his infamous props. His theatrical set started with him wearing a top hat and walking through a customized curtain stylized as a front page of a newspaper, with a headline blazing that he was “Banned! In Virginia… For Deeds Against Humanity”. But for all that he pushes the limits of horror rock with onstage beheadings and other references to fright and gore, he is well beloved by many.

Rob Zombie closes out the evening, a musician who not only was inspired by Cooper, but had also collaborated with him in a Grammy nominated project. Zombie with his infamous light show, this time with pyro/flame effects, again surrounded with mind numbing flashing video screens and his own cast of dark critters in gruesome makeup. Bassist Piggy D as the clown you never want to see in any circus, the unsettling Ginger Fish working his drum kit and Mike Riggs swinging his long dreadlocks as he shreds on guitar. Zombie’s blend of industrial metal with funk makes for music you can either bang your head to or dance- his show was augmented with demons parading around onstage, an evil robot, and video clips to Zombie’s self directed horror movie. He covered nearly every hit from the 90’s till now. Promising a new album in 2024, we can only hope Zombie delivers on the groove we love.

Set list:

The Triumph of King Freak

Dead City Radio

Feel So Numb

Well Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O.

What Lurks on Channel X?


Demonoid Phenomenon

The Lords of Salem

House of 1000 Corpses

Living Dead Girl

More Human Than Human

Thunder Kiss ’65


Wendy Podmenik Woodell
Since entering the world of photography in 2013, WENDY PODMENIK has focused her interest on live music. Her ultimate goal is to successfully present the live music genre as an art form which preserves the expression, emotion, and energy of specific moments in time. ////// GLENN WOODELL spends his musical time working both on and around the stage. He's spent decades behind the lens as a visual artist, and for his career, studied human vision as a scientific researcher. His time on the stage these days is either spent holding on to a bass guitar or a camera.