This past Saturday, August 26, 2023, was typical for late August day in Central Florida, mid-nineties with always a chance of rain. Although the forecast showed no precipitation on the radar to interfere with the concert, the skies were cloudy and occasional sprinkles would fall. This night, “Freaks On Parade” was making its stop at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at The MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater. This was the first night of the tour that featured all four bands, Rob Zombie headlining the show. Alice Cooper who has long been a freak with his drama filled show, and warming up for these two icons, was Ministry and Filter.
The lots were full and people were making lines to the gates with growing anticipation of them opening at 5:00pm. Lines were also at the merchandise booth set up outside the front gates. 15,000 tickets were sold, and it was going to be a packed house. There was excitement in the heavy humid air.
Filter got the party rolling when they came out at 6:10pm for a 30-minute set of five songs, starting with “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do” from the movie Spawn soundtrack from 1997. Filter was formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1993 after lead vocalist Richard Patrick left Nine Inch Nails as their touring guitarist. This version of the band has only been together for a few years but has perious material from nine albums to perform. Just this week, the new line up of Filter released their first album in seven years,‘The Algorithm’. They played “Obliteration” from the album the second song of their show. Get ready for more to come from Filter.
They seemed to just be hitting their stride when the set came to an end. I look forward to seeing Filter again, maybe with a longer set to see a full performance.
Richard Patrick – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Programming, Keyboards
Bobby Miller – Bass , Keyboards, Programming, Guitar
Jonathan Radtke – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Elias Mallin – Drums
1.) (Can’t You) Trip Like I Do
3.) Take a Picture
4.) Welcome to the Fold
5.) Hey Man Nice Shot
Next on “The Parade,” was Ministry, an American industrial metal band founded in in 1981 by vocalist Al Jourgensen. The band has also had many lineups as Filter, and with Al Jourgensen being the constant member. Ministry has released 15 studio albums with their 16th, Hopiumforthemasses, due out in 2024.
Their set started at 6:55pm and was short, only 45 minutes long. Jourgensen, dressed in black with a sleeveless shirt, and vest that showed his tattoos on his arms, sporting stripped dreadlocks held back with a thick sweatband, commanded and stalked the stage. They started off their set with “Thieves” from their 1989 album, The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste.
After performing the first five songs from the 1980’s, they played two from the 1990’s, then back to the 1980’s with “Revenge” off the With Sympathy album. They finished their set with a new track, “Goddamn White Trash” from their upcoming album, Hopiumforthemasses.
Ministry always brings a good show and I was pleased that they left the chain-link fence off of this tour as it’s was easier to photograph them without it in the way.
Al Jourgensen – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Programming, Harmonica, Bandolin
John Bechdel – Keyboards
Monte Pittman – Guitar
Cesar Soto – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Roy Mayorga – Drums
Paul D’Amour – Bass
2.) The Missing
5.) Burning Inside
7.) Just One Fix
9.) Goddamn White Trash
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Alice Cooper, and his all-star band where what the fans in the amphitheater were waiting to see and they cheered and hollered from beginning to end of this hour and ten minutes set. Some of the theatrics were missing from Alice Cooper shows in the past, but the highlight is always Cheryl Cooper, Alice’s wife of 47 years decapitating Alice with the guillotine. It’s lifelike and so much fun.
Alice started out the show with his traditional top hat and cane, which quickly was replaced by a saber that he wields while he sings the library of five decades of top hits. He played them all, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “I’m Eighteen”, “Under My Wheels”, “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Feed My Frankenstein”, “Poison”, and ending the 16 song set with “Elected” and School’s Out” There was even time to showcase the glamourous guitar player Nita Strauss, with a long solo, which drove the crowd wild.
Alice Cooper is the ultimate showman and has always endured the passage of time as the one and only freak of all time.
Vincent Damon Furnier, may you live on forever and continue to bring joy entertaining thousands as Alice Cooper. I have seen this show many times and it never gets old. Thank you for mixing theater with rock and roll, you are an original and a must see while it lasts!
Alice Cooper Band:
Alice Cooper – Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Guitar, Percussion, Synthesizer
Ryan Roxie – Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Chuck Garric – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Tommy Henriksen – Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Glen Sobel – Drums, Percussion
Nita Strauss – lead and Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
1.) Lock Me Up
2.) No More Mr. Nice Guy
3.) I’m Eighteen
4.) Under My Wheels
5.) Billion Dollar Babies
6.) Hey Stoopid
7.) Lost in America
9.) Feed My Frankenstein
11.) Guitar Solo (Nita Strauss)
12.) Black Widow Jam
13.) Ballad of Dwight Fry
14.) I Love the Dead
16.) School’s Out (with snippet of ‘Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2’ by Pink Floyd)
Rob Zombie, the headliner of the “Freaks On Parade Tour” was a bit late for the 9:45pm start time by about 7 minutes. Finally the black curtain dropped, and the show started with Rob Zombie high above the stage on a platform jetting 15 feet high. Ginger Fish, the drummer was also elevated that high at the back of the stage. Every photographer in the pits nightmare as both weren’t really in view. Piggy and Mike Riggs flanked the Zombie platform, and the red lights soaked the stage as the band played “The Triumph of King Freak ” off the 2021 album The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy.
At the conclusion, Rob Zombie climbed down and took his place behind the microphone which was adorned with an illuminated nine-point star which was almost the same height concealing the singer from the photographers in the pit as he played hide and seek occasionally peeking out the sides. I was warned this was going to be a very difficult shoot. Finally on the third song, the props and platform were removed, and the drum kit lowered to stage level. One song left and it was on, as Rob Zombie traveled back and forth on stage as the photographers scrambled in the pit to follow him, stage left, then stage right, then back again. From his perspective above us, it must have been almost comical as the photographers tried to get that one great shot in the blue and red lighting.
The band played to 11:00pm, 15 songs total and the crowd was in pandemonium. I thought Alice Cooper jacked up the crowd, but this was another level. This was a bucket list show for me, it may have been one of the hardest concerts I have ever photographed, but I’d like another shot at it. John 5 was missed as he has left Rob Zombie joined Motley Crue, but I am sure Mike Riggs will be settling into the role he once held before real soon.
This tour is a spectacle and a lot of fun. get out and see “Freaks On Parade” at a city near you!
Rob Zombie Band:
Rob Zombie – Lead Vocals
Piggy D. – Bass, Backing Vocals
Ginger Fish – Drums
Mike Riggs – Guitars, Backing Vocals
1.) The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)
2.) Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown
3.) Feel So Numb
4.) Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O.
5.) What Lurks on Channel X?
7.) Demonoid Phenomenon
8.) The Lords of Salem
9.) House of 1000 Corpses
10.) Drum Solo
11.) Living Dead Girl
12.) More Human Than Human (White Zombie song)
13.) Thunder Kiss ’65 (White Zombie song)
14.) House of 1000 Corpses trailer
Follow Rob Zombie Online:
Follow Alice Cooper Online:
Follow Ministry Online:
Follow Filter Online:
Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.