You've gotta hand it to Wayne Static and Co.
Friday night's gig at Backstage Live, headlined by the former frontman for Static-X, was a classic case of better late than never. It was so late, Saturday morning arrived by the time Static hit the stage.
But it also turned into a classic case of "the show must go on."
Delighting the roughly 200 fans in attendance on a 28-degree night in downtown San Antonio, Static performed all 17 songs scheduled on his setlist (see slideshow above) despite having his 90-minute set cut to 70 minutes due to the late start preceded by a 12-hour drive from Albuquerque, N.M., through adverse weather. It was a trek in the name of Rock N' Roll made to ensure that Static and chief support act The Defiled performed the fourth of nine shows in as many nights -- and first in Texas over that span.
With the gig pushed back approximately two hours, first band Souless Affection received the shortest end of the stick. According to some in attendance from the beginning, the openers were limited to one song -- with vocals lacking on the sound system for half of it. San Antonio's The Akuzma, then Mad Life, followed before The Defiled finally went on at 12:06 a.m.
Happy to be playing San Antonio for the first time in support of Daggers, the industrial metal band from London brought energy and intensity to the stage. Their defiance turned up a notch when keyboardist The AvD dedicated the third song to someone he befriended who then "stole everything I had. I hope you and your mother die a horrible death." If he was feeling a bit foul at that point, The AvD was surely none too thrilled after the tune upon discovering the band had only one more song remaining. The Defiled's set had been cut to 20 minutes, but to their credit, not only did they refuse to take out their displeasure on the crowd, they poured the extra energy into the song and got the Backstage Live fans to bounce and jump along.
Although Static took the stage 20 minutes later than planned at 12:50 a.m., he mixed occasional tunes from his 2011 solo album Pighammer with a slew of Static-X songs by which he has made his calling.
With his wife bringing him shots, Static thanked the crowd at one point by holding up two glasses: "The Crown Royal goes out to those who like to drink whiskey," he said before gulping it down. "The vodka goes out to you mf'ers who like to smoke weed."
Some may have found it distracting to see Tera Wray, the petite blonde with light blue streaks, dancing on stage and even grabbing the mic for a tune to do backup vocals that proved to be indiscernible over the P.A. Others undoubtedly approved of the former porn star's presence, with members of both genders screaming "I love you Tera" just prior to the band's entrance.
Static performed Static-X favorites such as This Is Not, Push It, I'm With Stupid, Black and White, Cold and Destroyer. But the biggest mosh pit formed during the title track to Cannibal. Static punctuated the evening/morning at 2 a.m. with Get To The Gone. Given that the finale marked the fourth track played off of 2001's solid Machine, it made up for the absence of personal favorite Permanence from that album.
Afterward, Static tweeted his appreciation for the Alamo City: "Well we overcame weather, a long drive and a rush setup. But the evil disco prevailed! Thank you San Antonio!"
Traversing half a day from one state to another and playing a gig that evening isn't exactly unheard of in the metal community, to be sure. Most would say: ho-hum, it's a way of life. But that shouldn't make it any less appreciative on the fans' part when bands do everything they can to stick to their word and play, mindful that they don't want to disappoint "the kids" who paid their hard-earned money.
Static and the opening acts not only played that philosophy to a tee, they had every excuse to be tired and go through the motions. But they refused to succumb to those thoughts. More bands could learn a thing or two from such professionalism. And though small in numbers, those in attendance benefited the most.
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