The Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois • October 24, 1998
True, as Zombie stated, he went as himself for Halloween this year, but it looks as though he stole Gene Simmons’ dragon boots to “Jump! Jump!” around in. The verdict is still out whether or not he stole the show. More often than not, if Zombie hadn’t been singing, he would’ve been overpowered by his cast of characters, as it were. Filming tonight’s show for an upcoming video, Zombie growled “Superbeast” and the White Zombie classic, “More Human Than Human,” as incidental music to the Living Dead, the Munsters, and the Mummy, who loomed in the background on two video screens, as well as the monsters (futurist skeletons, ghouls with oversized heads, Terminator-like creatures that played drums alongside [head?] basher John Tempesta) that took the stage, including the devil — who made his appearance at the show’s opener, “Superbeast,” before disappearing into the night — not to mention two deathly pale, dominatrix-influenced Elvira types working the graveyard shift as back-up singers.
And as if there wasn’t enough smoke on the stage, Zombie lent further support via fire extinguisher, giving a little scary spice to his “industrial haunted house from hell,” which was really more like a dungeon, complete with fiery oven underneath Tempesta’s drum kit (maybe where Zombie stores little children who don’t behave, like the photographer Zombie kicked for using a flash… ).
Sure, Zombie’s new album, Hellbilly Deluxe, may only fly over one time of the year, Halloween. But dance clubs are blasting “Meet the Creeper” and “Dragula” in heavy rotation (nothing new for White Zombie’s “Human”). And Zombie, as always, continues to milk the hell out of the scene himself. Thus, one might say Rob Zombie did himself a favor by dropping his former band White Zombie, as he really gets to weigh the money predominantly one way. In addition to the “X” carved into the middle of his forehead, Zombie wouldn’t do half bad lending his signature to a big fat royalty check for tonight’s sold-out show. Although (due to the Beelzebub’s show-stopping appearance), he’d literally have hell to pay.