The queue around the corner of the Engine Rooms should have been a give-away, this was not going to be a show where anyone misses the support bands and turns up five minutes before the headliner. This entire tour and its incredible line-up has been highly anticipated since its initial announcement and By the time Dope’s first song is playing the venue is already packed and late comers have to settle for watching the opening act from the back. To many people’s surprise the set is very short, or at least seems short, with only six tracks played, and one of them a superb cover of Dead Or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Right Round’. Set time aside the crowd are bouncing along.
Next up and the highly anticipated Wednesday 13 who enthusiastically bring their fine-tuned freakery to Southampton. The only way this show could be more on fire would be to douse the entire band in petrol and throw a match. With the new album ‘Necrophaze’ having just been released it’s clearly a set to showcase the new music, without much of the gory old classics we would normally expect. It doesn’t matter that these songs are absent from the set list however as the costumes, and gyrating genius on stage bring it and the crowd absolutely love it. There seems to be a thing for cover versions as Wednesday 13 finish off the show with the Murderdolls classic ‘I Love To Say Fuck’ which raises the roof.
SOiL are next up and Ryan McCombs is on great form, with that smooth cool as fuck drawl he even has a gentle dig at Wednesday 13’s set list, “I don’t recognise one fucking track on this list.” Somehow the crowd is still going and the band are tight as hell and completely at ease with a best of style set list and it’s about to get even wilder as Ryan heads into the crowd for ‘Halo’. It’s a tight squeeze, with the crowd surging all around him, the only way to know he’s still there is the microphone in the air ready for the crowd to sing along. Can we say cover version? Yes we can, and SOiL are no exception to the rule with their infectious version of ‘Black Betty’.
Last up and it’s Static-X, and while it can’t be said for certain, could the rumours appear to be true? They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to disguise their guest singer, but it looks like Edsel Dope may be pulling double duties on the tour. That said, the mask and costume pull off the trick, it could truly be anyone under there. It’s a fantastically long set that keeps the crowd bouncing along from the crushing opener ‘Bled For Days’. It’s the crowd’s heartfelt response to ‘Cold’ that really sends chills up the spine though as the whole room sings along, while videos of Wayne Static play on the big screen. No cover version here though as the night finishes up with the classic ‘Push It’. For a Sunday night it’s been one to remember, with every band pulling out the stops and putting on a great show in memory of a great man. It’s been hot, sweaty, non-stop fun and nostalgia. A more than fitting tribute to one of rock’s lost heroes.