It’s Friday night at the cemetery and all the ghouls and goblins, spooks and creeps are out in full force, why? Mr Motherfucker himself, Wednesday 13 and his gang of ghouls descend on Sydney’s Manning Bar to haunt once again! Australia has a long standing love affair with Wednesday, spoiling us with reoccurring tours every couple of years, a congregation return each and every time. We last saw Wednesday on his Undead Unplugged tour, with guitarist Roman Surman. This time around we get to see them with complete band in support of the most recent album, Condolences.
‘Well it’s Friday and everything is great!’ Locals Carmeria kick off the evening to warm up the crowd on this dreary, cold night. Almost as if Wednesday could’ve conjured up with weather himself. Next up Noveaux storm through the venue to kick off the heavies! Special mention goes out to their bass player never once standing dormant, stomping and headbanging like his body was made from rubber! Very enchanting to watch! They exhibited so much pride to be on stage, this was a band that seemed very thankful to be performing tonight.
Along on the sleigh ride from hell is Davey Suicide. Going into tonight’s show I knew nothing of Davey Suicide apart from his track “Too Many Freaks” with Twiztid. Consistent themes of horror evident in lyrics and audio clips kept new and current fans smiling during their time on stage. The crowds energy built steadily throughout their set, ready to welcome the headliner now that necks were warmed for headbanging.
After three support acts, we were ready for the main attraction. Welcome to creature feature number 13!
All five band members clad in black with faces painted launch straight into the first single off their latest album What The Night Brings and the crowd did not seem prepared for the sheer force the band served up. The united front pummel through hits from his previous albums before disappearing off the stage for what we all will understand will be the first of many. Waltzing back to the podium in the centre, armed with a shovel, we are treated to Cadaverous.
Newly sober Wednesday isn’t the most talkative tonight, although you never feel a disconnect. He’s there to perform for us, and his vocals are better than ever! Whether he is storming the stage in a mask or not, he maintains eye contact with members of the audience, pointing out die hards giving them their moment with the horror punk star. What will be the first mask of the night appears from the shadows for Serpent Society, the slower paced track from 2015’s Monster of the Universe creates an atmosphere only found at a Wednesday show. You feel as though you fall into his command as the music builds around you.
The props shown tonight would make Alice Cooper proud! As Wednesday returns to the stage in a black cloak the eerie intro of The Ghost of Vincent Price trickles through the speakers, igniting the crowd. How is Wednesday singing without the mouth moving? He sounds great, but where is the microphone? How is his head moving like that? The chorus comes around, and so does Wednesday! He’s got a mask on the back of his head creating an amazing visual experience. I turn to my friends and fellow punters all with huge grins and laughter, in awe of this fantastic artist who never fails to put on a fantastic show!
Hit after hit rumbles across the venue from his incredible back catalogue, even slowed down to see another daunting mask. This time white with a grimacing nose, partnered with a white blazer and Holy Bible in hand for title track Condolences. The new tracks tonight could have been released a decade ago with the way those in attendance knew every word, with almost choreographed movements. Yet another wardrobe change is upon us! This time for Dixie Dead along with overalls, splattered with blood, resembling Leatherface. The set is rounded out by even more high energy party songs, but with the lights going down, the crowd know he can’t leave us without playing a couple of seminal tracks (we hope!).
We can’t end tonight’s show without one final outfit change. Advancing to the centre of the stage, adorned with top hat, pitch fork and skeleton long sleeve we join together as a spookshow of Sydney in a sing along to Calling All Corpses, the kind of song that if you don’t know it, you’ll be singing every word by the second verse. Concluding the set with a middle finger umbrella and wanting Bad Things to happen to us all, everyone knows Wednesday and troupe have nothing but love as we do for them!
Another electric performance by the leader of horror punk, and I sure hope I speak for many others when I say I will be right back in front of him next time they return. Although he’s been gifting us with music for over 20 years, he shows no signs of slowing down!
Review Contributed by Megan Milner