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The Merry Mayhem Tour Featuring Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie
Allsate Arena
Rosemont, IL
Dec. 6, 2001
Rob Zombie
Zombie smells the fear.

Review and Photos by Rob Grabowski

Spreading his own macabre brand of Christmas cheer, Rob Zombie, who was co-headlining along with Ozzy Osbourne on The Merry Mayhem Tour, unloaded his bagful of twisted goodies on his loyal followers at the Allstate Arena last Thursday evening. The carols sung by this devilish choir, however, were not the usual holiday chestnuts such as "Jingle Bells" or "Here Comes Santa Claus," but rather menacing industrial metal grooves that would've seemed more at home at a strip club, late night rave or soundtrack to a snuff film, than the sterile chili-dog-and-warm-Bud environs of the Allstate.
Rob Zombie Zombie, who is currently promoting his latest creation "The Sinister Urge," emerged onto the elaborate stage, which resembled a haunted house with ghouls and goblins, along with an enormous demonic face center stage. And just to make sure he didn't miss a trick, he threw in a bevy of dancing girls for good measure. Zombie and his musical henchmen wasted little time setting the tone for the evening as they blasted into "Superbeast," followed by "Super Charger Heaven" and "Demon Speeding." His sinister demeanor and wild stage excesses, which included laser lights, a giant robot and huge video screens with enough gore to make splatter director Hershall Gordon Lewis wince in disgust, cast Zombie as the new dark prince of metal. The road to rock's Hades may have been paved by the likes of Ozzy and Alice, but Zombie proved that in this shock-rock genre, his over-the-top theatrics and hardgore metal had him seated alone in Old Scratch's burning throne.
When he broke into "More Human Than Human," his most popular hit from his former band White Zombie, the capacity crowd's arms were raised in fist-clenching unison, as if they were the vengeful lynch mob that had just tracked down Frankenstein's monster. "Demonoid Phenomenon," with it's heavy techno vibe and "House of 1,000 Corpses," which featured a barrage of the most gruesome clips from the movie of the same name -which Zombie made but couldn't get released due to the intense gore factor, both sounded like perfect anthems for Halloween.
They finished off with "Feel So Numb," "Thunder Kiss" and crowd favorite "Dragula," which ripped the crowd into a chanting, fist-pumping frenzy as the video screens showed Zombie's more comical side with clips of Herman Munster from the hit '60s show "The Munsters."
While you probably wouldn't want to have Rob Zombie squeezing down your chimney to deliver presents this holiday, he made his gore hungry fans' season a wee bit brighter by giving them their Christmas gift a little early. Or was it their Halloween treat a little late?

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