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Rob Zombie, Lacuna Coil, Bullet For My Valentine - July 15th, 2006 - Columbus, OH @ Lifestyle Communities Pavilion

By: Paedric Davis

Fresh off releasing his first studio album in four years and less than a year after stealing the show at Ozzfest, Rob Zombie and co. returned to Columbus, Ohio, to share their unique brand of metal. This time he brought along U.K. band Bullet For My Valentine and Italian metal sensation Lacuna Coil. Not many tickets are worth $42, but with the product Zombie delivered, it was a bargain.

Bullet for My Valentine played their hybrid Iron Maiden/Pantera-ish songs; think Avenged Sevenfold with a Brih-ish accent. Lacuna Coil, Ozzfest alumni and familiar to American crowds, followed with a solid set comprising hits like “Swamped," current single “Our Truth," “Fragile” and signature song “Heaven’s A Lie.” A pleasant surprise was Lacuna Coil's take on Depeche Mode hit “Enjoy The Silence.” Both openers did well, but neither possesses Zombie's showmanship or presence.

Ten minutes before the headliner took the stage, one of heavy metal’s defining anthems started playing over the house P.A., “Walk” by Pantera. The sold-out crowd went crazy as almost 3,000 people started singing along and drinking in memory of fallen metal icon "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

Moments later the curtain was pulled aside and the shadowy figures Rob Zombie, long-time bassist Blasko, new drummer Tommy Clufetos (formerly of Ted Nugent and Alice Cooper) and new guitarist John 5 (formerly of Marilyn Manson) crept onstage and started new song “American Witch.” Blasko and John 5 wore leather trench coats, skeleton masks and cowboy hats. Zombie himself has shed his “rock monster” look for a classic rock feel. As always, the stage was adorned with realistic likenesses of naked women, skulls and a video screen playing bizarre videos done in the style of '70s B-movies.

“American Witch” was followed by “Demon Speeding,” and then Zombie broke to talk to the crowd for a minute, reminiscing of when he played Columbus with White Zombie years ago to empty bars. Then his group played songs from White Zombie’s classic "Astro Creep: 2000," highlighted by the signature “More Human Than Human,” where Zombie’s famous robot the Creeper moved about onstage.

Zombie played hit after hit until he claimed he ran out of songs. So, he let John 5 choose something. He played a classic rock riff and then the intro to “Sweet Dreams." After that the band broke into the monster hit “Thunder Kiss ’65.” Halfway through the song, the band left the stage as John 5 played a sick solo highlighted by the national anthem, which he played with his teeth, and then the opening riff to Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” The band returned, finished "Thunder Kiss" and called it a night.

The crowd did not leave, and were rewarded with “Superbeast” as an encore. After the crowd chanted “Drag-u-la” for a few minutes, footage from "The Munsters" where Herman Munster is racing his car, Dragula, appeared and the industrial beat of the song kicked in. The rumble of the bass and furious pounding of the drums began one of the most aggressive songs of the set, and when John 5 and Zombie returned the crowd exploded. The singer's voice was drowned out by the sold-out house, and his image was blurred by all the people flying toward the stage. Zombie was so distracted by the insanity that he forgot the last verse.

He apologized and decided to play a third encore, a song he said was the band’s favorite from of the new "Educated Horses" album, "The Lords of Salem.” It was vintage Zombie and a fitting end to an incredible show. [END]

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