It was the night he came home, and he brought ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and some kick ass rock n’ roll with him. That’s right, Wednesday 13 recently returned to his hometown of Charlotte, NC to take the stage at Tremont Music Hall. He filled the night with horror stories written in the form of punk rock and brought some great friends along with him. Opening the show was the horror psycho-rockabilly act Cold Blue Rebels, metal band Mortified Mortician, and Charlotte punk rockers The Fill Ins.
The first band up for the night was The Fill Ins, a local punk rock band in the Charlotte area. Getting their influence from 70’s and 80’s punk rock bands like the Ramones, they pounded the audience’s ears full of three-chord masterpieces only true rockers would appreciate. The three piece outfit sped through a set of two minute songs full of power and emotion, getting more and more cheers from the crowd as the show went on. This band loves what they do, and their live show proves that they are not concerned with fitting in with the new trends and styles of the music world. They ended the show with vocalist/bassist Alex Stiff breaking his lowest string on the last note, ripping it off and tossing it in the air, what better way could you end a punk rock show?
It looked like a scene straight out of a Rob Zombie movie when the next band, Mortified Mortician, took the stage. All the members dressed in black from head to toe, with their faces painted pale white and stained with blood. Vocalist Matt Jefferson reminded me of Marilyn Manson in the way he sang the lyrics and taunted the audience, and the band’s sound was very thrash-like. These guys understand the role of being entertainers, making sure the fans are getting their money’s worth by playing the role of four psychos ready to slaughter the audience at any point during the show. Song after song, the band brought every ounce of energy and mayhem they had to their performance, winning over the crowd at the same time. At the end of their chaotic set, Jefferson slammed his microphone on the ground and stormed off into the backstage area in true rock n’ roll fashion.
Imagine if Johnny Cash collaborated with the Misfits. Weird, right? Well, after seeing Cold Blue Rebels put on a show, I think I have a pretty good idea of what it would sound like. Classified as horror psycho-rockabilly, the zombie-faced rockers from LA won the crowd over immediately. The four piece dressed in leather, boots, and vests full of patches, matching the face paint to complete their living dead appearance. Keeping the punk rock spirit alive with fast paced riffing from the guitar and upbeat pop of the drums, they add that twangy sound that seemed to disappear with Elvis. Most of their lyrics are about zombies, sex, and graveyards – bringing the Halloween spirit everywhere they play year round. When’s the last time you saw a bassist in a rock n’ roll band play an upright bass? Yeah, I can’t think of any either, except for Cold Blue Rebels’ bassist Danny Dangerous. Danny drug the monstrous bass around the stage, slapping it every which way to keep the crowd’s chests pounding, and attracting cameras the entire set. The guys were very grateful of the audience that night, talking to fans in between songs and giving them plenty of laughs with their R-rated, undead humor.
“Charlotte North Carolina! You’re all going to die tonight!” Those were the first words out of Wednesday 13’s mouth when he finally got to the stage that night. With the fog machines hissing and spewing the creepy substance that constantly filled the stage, and back drops with images of a graveyard and zombies, Wednesday jumped, danced, and stomped around the stage all night. The fans made sure the hometown boy felt appreciated by shouting out song request and singing along to each and every tune he played, which included tracks from his entire catalogue.
Wednesday ripped through his set, fitting in every song he possibly could for the fans, and what a great set it was. During the song Rambo, Wednesday pulled out an assault rifle, raising it up in the air and pointing it at the other band members and fans (it was fake of course). Doing everything in his power to make the show as spooky and crazy as possible, he made faces you would only see in a mental hospital while banging his head to the music, and constantly using the riser at the front of the stage to get personal with his fans. When he first walked off the stage the crowd went crazy, yelling his name and more song request, trying their best to bring him back to the stage – and it worked. He came running back to the spotlight, screaming his lungs out and jumping up and down as a mosh started in the front of the audience. After playing a few more songs, he announced this was the end of his show and informed the hometown crowd that “as much as I love you all, I want bad things to happen to each and every one of you!” Kicking into his most popular track, Bad Things. He introduced the rest of his band and concluded with reaching out and shaking many hands that were reaching for him, giving one last treat to his fans.
I think I can speak for everyone at the show when I say it was nothing short of amazing. A night filled with zombies, ghosts, drugs, sex and rock n’ roll – what more could punk rockers ask for? With the headliner being a Charlotte native, it made the show that much more special for not only the fans, but Wednesday 13 and his band as well. Knowing he still has the support from the scene that kickstarted his career has got to mean a lot. Local punks The Fill Ins can only hope the scene continues to show them that same kind of support, and it shouldn’t be a problem if they continue to put on great shows like that. Mortified Mortician are sure to continue to build their fan base as they venture around the country, scaring audiences from all over senseless, and Cold Blue Rebels will forever be remembered by everyone at the show, not only for their amazing performance, but their thankfulness and love they gave to the fans.