Rob Zombie brought a packed lineup of artists to the opening show of his Freaks On Parade 2022 tour in Saint Louis. Teaming up with the ever-elusive heavy metal legend Mudvayne, this show is guaranteed to be a high octane thrill of a time.
Starting the show was late 90s rock staple, Powerman5000. The band brought insane energy to the first set of the night, getting the crowd ready with headbangers like “When Worlds Collide”. It’s obvious that the 95-degree heat in Saint Louis is not slowing down the bands or the crowd, as the moshing began almost instantly.
Following PM5K was another metal powerhouse, Static X.
This band took the baton from Powerman5000 and turned the energy up to another level. They had the crowd screaming and shoving as they moshed their cares away. Next up was a much anticipated event — the return of Mudvayne to the touring circuit. The heavy metal band from Illinois broke a decade-long hiatus which started in 2010; playing only a handful of festival shows in 2021, tonight was their first stop in the Freaks On Parade Tour in which they are co-headlining with Rob Zombie. The band certainly returned with a bang. Exploding onto the stage (and soon after into the crowd), Mudvayne’s members all sport some degree of mask/face makeup and their vibe is gruesome, to say the least. Heavy guitars soften in comparison to the gritty bellows emitted by the band’s lead vocalist, Chad Gray. The throaty notes he holds throughout the entire show make you wonder how his vocal chords manage to function at all. The crowd is clearly aware that this is a bit of a historical moment for the band, as their energy seems to be boiling over with intensified moshing.
Last, but not least, second co-headliner Rob Zombie took the stage.
Starting the show from the top of a giant mechanical skull, the scale and intensity of the show’s production matched the heavy vibes of the music and insane energy of the crowd. All of this combined into what can only be described as a blend between horror and metal that few bands in the genre manage to achieve. Joining Zombie onstage was a legendary guitarist by the name of John 5, who was known for playing with David Lee Roth and Marilyn Manson prior to becoming the guitarist for Rob Zombie. John 5 and the rest of the band absolutely shredded on their respective instruments, leaving Zombie free to charge aggressively from one side of the stage to another, delivering his often menacingly dark lyrics.
If you’re a metal fan, the Freaks On Parade Tour is a can’t miss affair, especially considering that this is the first good chance to see Mudvayne in the last 10+ years. The tour continues through the summer and fall across most of the US, so any and all headbangers should be able to find a date that’s in their area. Just don’t forget your ear plugs… and maybe line up a neck brace for the aftermath…
Photography by Sean Rider