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Combichrist: (Not) Everybody Still Hates You

(Not) Everybody Still Hates You

Though the big draw locally on this balmy Thursday night was Slayer on their farewell tour, I opted for Combichrist’s Everybody Still Hates You tour. I’ve listened to Combichrist for a few years and though they have played several shows nearby, until today, I was unable to attend. I was also looking forward to the full Wednesday 13 experience as I had previously only seen an acoustic set. So to venerable Ground Zero in Spartanburg, SC I headed.

Supporting the headliners on this tour are Death Valley High, Prison, and Night Club. All unknowns to me, but I always take that as an opportunity to be introduced to some new artists.

The fans were still trickling in as Death Valley High had the unenviable task of trying to inject some energy on what was proving to be a hot and humid day. I’d describe their sound as goth rock and their effort paid off as the energy level of the room was starting to increase as they closed out the set.

Death Valley High - 01

Death Valley High - 16

Death Valley High - 06

Death Valley High - 13

Next up was nu-metal band, Prison. Vocalist Johnny Crowder spoke frankly of his three failed suicide attempts, urging anyone who felt the need to speak with him afterwards. Difficult for me to be sure, based on one listen, but some of lyrics also seemed to touch on depression and mental illness. A very high energy performance.

Prison - 12
Prison - 14

Prison - 16

Next was synthpop duo Night Club. Sandwiched between more aggressive acts musically, they sounded mellow in comparison. Catchy stuff though. Singer Emily Kavanaugh prowled energetically around the stage as she sang and if I had any capability to dance I would have.

Night Club - 04
Night Club - 03

Night Club - 07

The horror rock of Wednesday 13 was up next and it was clear this was what a good portion of the audience was waiting for. I always appreciate a good showman, and Wednesday 13 delivers the goods. With props, multiple costume changes, and charisma to spare, evil has never seemed so much fun. One minor issue I had was overuse of the fog machine. While it fit the aesthetic, at times it was difficult to see exactly what was happening on stage. A minor complaint and overall it was a rollicking good time.

Wednesday 13 - 02
Wednesday 13 - 01

Wednesday 13 - 07

Wednesday 13 - 06

Wednesday 13 - 14

Finally, Combichrist took over. Aggrotech seems to be the popular term, but I’m an old rivethead so I’m sticking with industrial. Frontman Andy LePlegua is a powerful vocalist, but the rhythm section was the highlight for me. Some really crushing grooves laid down by percussionists Joe Letz and Nick Rossi. Letz, with his unique choice of attire, seemed to be having the time of his life. With Eric 13 on guitar and Elliot Berlin on keyboard, it was high octane performance that culminated with fans joining the group on stage.

Combichrist - 07

Combichrist - 11

Combichrist - 16

Combichrist - 18

Combichrist - 17

Combichrist - 15

One of the ways I gauge how much I enjoyed a show is by how tired I am at the end of it. After this one, I was exhausted. Over four hours of enjoyable music and theatrics. A very cathartic experience.

See full gallery of the night!

Remaining tour dates:

Combichrist - 19

Date Venue City
Jun 15 The Masquerade Atlanta, GA
Jun 16 Culture Room Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Jun 17 Brass Mug Tampa, FL
Jun 19 Sound Bar Orlando, FL
Jun 20 Mavericks at The Landing Jacksonville, FL
Jun 21 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
Jun 22 Elysium Austin, TX
Jun 23 White Oak Music Hall Houston, TX
Jun 24 Gas Monkey Live Dallas, TX
Jun 26 The Historic El Rey Theater Albuquerque, NM
Jun 27 Club Red Mesa, AZ
Jun 28 Beauty Bar Las Vegas, NV
Jun 29 Brick by Brick San Diego, CA
Jun 30 Regent Theater Los Angeles, CA

Once an aspiring male model, Kevin quickly realized he had a face that was better suited to being behind the camera. When he's not at a concert, he can often be found at sci-fi conventions or preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse.

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