The Islington Academy queue on Saturday night was dressed in spooky outfits, horror make-up, crazy wigs and fake blood as Wednesday 13 landed in the UK for a trio of shows this October in support of ‘Condolences’, following a North American tour. After Manchester and Glasgow, fans couldn’t wait for them to come and play in the capital which is becoming a Halloween tradition.
As the lights dimmed, and creaking floorboards sounded out the arrival of Wednesday 13, smoke filled the stage and figures arrived out from the darkness. The stage fog seems to always add extra anticipation in the audience and the flood of red and green lights build a sense of allure and mystery. During the opening pounding of ‘What The Night Brings’ the band gets on stage and starts playing for a few seconds before stopping and apologising to the fans. Unfortunately they had a false start due to some technical issues.
Nevertheless they started over with the same energy like nothing happened without losing their momentum. By now the crowd’s cheers are only just audible over the growl of guitars and thunderous drumming.
The former Murderdolls frontman, also famous for his playful, tongue-in-cheek work with Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, was definitely in great shape from start to finish.
‘Scream Baby Scream’ from 2008’s Skeletons was to follow as Wednesday loomed over the crowd, his hair flowing behind him. Its hypnotic machine gun rhythms and industrial vibe sounded really fresh in this live setting and set the bar high.’Keep Watching The Skies’ was next as the band made sure to touch on all previous records before returning to the new album with ‘Cadaverous’. Wednesday 13 had the people of the Islington Academy under their spell, and the audience didn’t seem to want it any other way. This band always succeeds to be original, intense and theatrical in all the right places.
Wednesday went Transylvania 90210 with classics such as ‘The Ghost of Vincent Price’ and ‘I Want You…Dead’, each played with true passion and an appetite to deliver an impressive stage show. To say that Wednesday 13 and his band of ghouls are showmen would be an understatement. Guitarist Roman Surman slayed his solos and thrilled the crowd with licks and riffs. Troy Droebbler (Bass) and Jack Tankersley (Guitar) each shredded the patrons to pieces with their guitars, and left them wanting more. Kyle Castronovo played his drum kit with ferocity, never losing track of time.
Wednesday 13 is a charismatic and enigmatic frontman with a decidedly original stage presence. The encore started with ‘Prey For Me’ and ‘Walk With A Zombie’ which set the crowd on fire. Everyone was singing along, doing the horns up and dancing, all at the same time. The whole show is pure Alice Cooper meets Kiss style showmanship with multiple costume changes to a heavy rock death/metal soundtrack. Wednesday uses all kind of props like masks, a bible and a middle finger umbrella during ‘I Love To Say Fuck’. Tonight’s gig finishes with a bang thanks to the magnificent and super energetic execution of ‘Bad Things’, which made the crowd go crazy one more time and saw the brittle walls of the Islington Academy edge on bursting.
A sincere farewell and one, “Thank you London, see you soon,” later, the set came to a close as the devil rode out into the night.
Tonight represented everything a metal fan could want: sick music, sick lyrics and a great spectacle.