On September 24, 2023, I blocked off my schedule at my day job and headed out the door of the studio. The destination, The Toyota Pavilion at Concord in Concord California. The show de jour was The Freaks on Parade tour with Filter, Ministry, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie. The show was set to start at 6:00pm and the weather was a perfect 70 degrees F which was great as the Pavilion is mostly outdoors.
Filter was up first. The last time I saw them was at Sick New World this past May and they were good. This night they were even better this time around. The sound and stage presence really set the pace for what was to come. Their short six song set started with three songs off their recently released album The Algorithm. These three songs all sound great and were well recieved by the crowd. They finished up with their hit “Hey Man, Nice Shot”.
Filter members are:
Richard Patrick – lead vocals, guitars, bass, programming, keyboards
Jonathan Radtke – Guitars, backing vocals
Bobby Miller – Bass, backing vocals
Elias Mallin – Drums
1). The Drowning
2). For the Beaten
4). Take A Picture
5). Welcome to the Fold
6). Hey Man, Nice Shot
When Ministry hit the stage, The crowd went crazy, as they were definitely fan favorites. Opening with “Thieves”, their set was filled with Ministry’s classic songs from their back catalog. This was welcomed with exuberance and excitement. Al Jougensen, now sans facial jewelry, owned the stage and sounded fantastic. The entire set, the pit never stopped which set the pace for the rest of the night. The only new song this set was the last one, “Goddamn White Trash”, coming off their upcoming album Hopiumforthemasses. This set was the Ministry at their best.
Ministry members are:
Al Jougensen – Lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming, harmonica, bandolin, production
John Bechdel – Keyboards
Monte Pittman – Guitars, backing vocals
Cesar Soto – Guitars, backing vocals
Roy Mayorga – Drums
Paul D’Amour – Bass
2). The Missing
5). Supernaut (Black Sabbath cover)
6). Burning Inside
8). Just One Fix
9). Goddamn White Trash
Alice Cooper came out on stage by slicing through an extra large newspaper article with a sword. Alice stepped through the slice, and the crowd exploded in cheers. Breaking into “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, he stuck the sword into the stage and swapped it out for a cane. This band works like a well oiled machine and despite Alice’s age, he kept up with people half his age and looked good doing it. During “Feed My Frankenstein” the band was joined on stage by a giant Frankenstein Cooper that chased the band around. Throughout the show, guitarists Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henricksen kept the rhythm going while Nita Strauss shredded her way through the set like no other.
This was a full on headlining set with 17 songs in total. We got to Alice’s snake for the song “Snakebite” and a blistering guitar solo by Nita opening “Black Widow Jam”. “Black Widow Jam” finished up with Alice getting beheaded on stage by a Marie Antionette style character, played by Sheryl Goddard, Alice’s wife. “Elected”, is a fantastic look the dream of Alice running for President. Hey, I’d probably vote for him! The set finished up with “School’s Out”. As they were playing it, they jumped into Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” for a bit then back in to finish up “School’s Out”.
Alice Cooper members are:
Alice Cooper – Lead vocals, harmonica, guitars, percussion, synthesizer
Ryan Roxie – Guitars, backing vocals
Chuck Garric – Bass, backing vocals
Tommy Henricksen – Guitars, backing vocals
Glen Sobel – Drums, percussion
Nita Strauss – Guitars, backing vocals
Sheryl Goddard – Stage Dancer (Alice’s Wife)
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). “The Black Widow” segment from Alice Cooper: The Nightmare
12). Black Widow Jam
13). Ballad of Dwight Fry
15). I Love the Dead
17). Schools’s Out
To say everyone was anticipating Rob Zombie would be an understatement. The band hit the stage first behind a sheer red curtain. After a minute or so, the curtain came down and Rob was about 20 feet in the air on a platform reading Zombie. For the second song, he was down in front of the platform but behind a lit 10 point star. In between the 2nd and 3rd song they rolled to platform and the star off the stage and Rob worked the entire stage from that point on. The drummer, Ginger Fish (which unfortunately I didn’t get photos of), was on a lift pedestal and several times he was over 20 feet over the stage. That, combined with pyro, lighting and the video screens made for a visually and physically impressive show. As the evening pressed on the temperature was falling and the pyro warmed up the venue and made it very comfortable.
Throughout the set there were several larger than life Devil characters and at the start of “Lords of Salem” a snow-like substance started to fall from the roof of the pavilion. This snow lasted for two songs and was a great visual effect. “Living Dead Girl” was of course a fan favorite and they slayed it. So Good! When the first of the two White Zombie songs hit (“More Human Than Human”), the capacity crowd was on their feet and everyone sang along. This part of the set ended with “Thunder Kiss ’65” and Rob had the audience singing the chorus holding the mic out to the crowd. Just be fore the last song, “Dragula”, they played the trailer for the theatrical re-release of House of 1000 Corpses to be back in theaters October 8th and 11th 2023.
Rob Zombie members are:
Rob Zombie – Lead vocals
Piggy D. – Bass, backing vocals
Ginger Fish – Drums
Mike Riggs – Guitars, backing vocals
1). The Triumph of a 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). 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” re-release trailer
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Photographer of about 10 years, I have been shooting concerts for about 8 of those years. I started to get serious about concert photography about 6 or 7 years ago and now try to shoot as many as I can. I shoot mostly rock but, have done some country and big band stuff. I love music and since I am nowhere close to being a musician, this is a way I can be a small part of what, in the words of Henry Rollins, “gets me through the highs, the lows and everything in between”.