October 13, 2016 Wednesday 13 Terrifies Webster Hall, NYC 9-27-16 w/ One-Eyed Doll
Joseph Poole, better known as Wednesday 13, has been bringing his own special touch of mayhem, Metal, and Horror Punk to fans for over two decades now. Having a rich history in the genre, his morbid brand of tongue-in-cheek art dates back to his days with Maniac Spider Trash, Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13, and the widely popular Murderdolls. Launching a solo career back in 2005 with his debut album, Transylvania 90210: Songs of Death, Dying, and the Dead, it has been non-stop touring, recording of new albums, and so much more for the unique icon of heavy Horror Punk.
Dropping his sixth overall studio album, Monsters of the Universe: Come Out and Plague, back in 2015, Wednesday 13 is scheduled to return with another record come 2017. The album, to be titled Condolences, is slated for April, but until then, Wednesday 13 has risen from his crypt to hit the road for a US tour through Halloween for the And… Bloodshed For All Tour. Hitting a lot of cities they have not been to in awhile, on Tuesday, September 27th, they arrived at Webster Hall in New York City. Teaming up with Candy Brain, Echo Black, Open Your Eyes, and direct tour support One-Eyed Doll, the dynamic range of bands brought in a robust audience that was absolutely teeming with excitement.
A rather balmy September night, the show at The Studio at Webster Hall had a log-jam of traffic outside the doors. This was because, on the same night, the venue booked Heavy Metal legends to perform a rare club show. Needless to say, the confusion caused a bit of delay, but Wednesday 13’s fanbase battled through to see the show. Once finally inside, The Studio, in its comfortably intimate size, really established the dark, mysterious, and underground vibe that was so prevalent in the concert to come. Somewhere between the merchandisers selling t-shirts and splashes of mixed drinks hitting the floor, the venue was cast into darkness. Immediately, lights and Techno surrounded the room, introducing the underground band going by the name Candy Brain. Self-titled as “A bunch of weirdo’s and a killer robot making weird music,” Candy Brain is relatively new to the scene, hosting a litany of music from their 2015 debut album, The Inkwell, on Bandcamp. Also self-described Rock Horror/Industrial, New York city natives, Candy Brain jumped right into the fray, bringing the dreamy Horror sound right to the eager audience.
Intro piece “Ring of Ink Bot” filled the air with creepily, delightful sound aesthetic as the band walked on, introducing themselves. Right after Candy Brain played their first song of their set, “Masquerade,” eerie vocals and fantastical music was a haunting companion of Dance and Industrial. People danced side by side in the smoky room, swaying in tandem, adding to the ambiance. Taking a moment to thank the crowd, they then played vocally heavy and dark lullaby-like “Fire She Made” to the crowd. Further serenading them was fan-favorite “Carnage Society,” which was easily the strongest performance of the set. Next, “The Inkwell” was extremely dreamy and dissonant, enchanting the crowd before the band finished off an otherworldly set playing “The Asylum” as a farewell. A fabulously nightmarish set, Candy Brain was no doubt an interesting start for the night that left the audience hungry for more.
With another brief intermission, it seemed as if in no time Echo Black was set to take the stage. Also based out of New York, this foursome is led by Vocalist Danny Blu along with Drummer Billy Long, Guitarist/Vocalist Felix Skiver, and Bassist/Vocalist Rob Gnarly. Only formed one year ago, Echo Black has come a long way in a short time and have worked with the likes of Telle Smith of The Word Alive and Davey Suicide in that time. Quite a unique brand of Pop and Rock, they were yet another unique offering on the evening’s bill.
Coming out with a ton of energy, they erupted onto the platform performing original songs such as “Burn Another Day.” Highlighted by their mix of heavy and light instrumentation, Blu’s voice shined bright through each track offered, including “Perfect” and latest single “Chemicals.” A delightful mix of styling ranging from Pop, Industrial, Metal, and even some Classic Rock, Echo Black have a lot going for them. Not to mention the charisma of lead man Danny Blu, the future looks very bright for this young project. For those interested, on October 25th, Echo Black will be hosting the Danny Blu Halloween Birthday Bash at American Beauty in NYC, so get tickets now.
Moving the show right along, Open Your Eyes took to the stage and they were ever the friendly bunch sound checking themselves. Formed two years back in 2014 in Chicago, Illinois, Open Your Eyes has garnered a following of devoted fans, evidenced by the traffic to their merchandise table. Recently having released their debut album, entitled Truth or Consequences, on March, 25 2016 via KBB Records, Open Your Eyes have been touring across the country in the past months. Consisting of Lead Vocalist/Guitarist Justin King, Bassist/Vocalist Comron Fouladi, former Black Veil Brides Drummer Sandra Alva, and Guitarist/Vocalist Ryan Steinberg, the band provided a bit of diversity from the rest of the bands on the bill.
Beginning with “Broken Road,” the room became electrified with sound; from the high balanced vocals of the singer to the smooth and melancholy instrumentals of the band. As more people filtered into the crowd, the audience swelled and head-banged with the frontman as the band jammed through “Radio” and slower, heavier “Cast My Cares.” Taking a breather, they stated, “New York City, we are a band from Chicago, Illinois called Open Your Eyes! Let’s give it up for Candy Brain!” With cheers from every direction, the band graciously waited before continuing their set with “Heavy Things” and then ended off with cryptic “Stay Alive.” Thanking the audience and bidding goodnight, Open Your Eyes simply walked off stage and into the crowd, returning to their merchandise area to greet fans. Still relatively new, Open Your Eyes has a charisma that many other musicians take years to acquire, their humble confidence natural and refreshing.
With three different bands already having performed, the time came for the always quirky One-Eyed Doll. Hailing from Austin, Texas, the Goth Punk styled One-Eyed Doll is comprised of Vocalist/Guitarist Kimberly Freeman and Drummer Jason Sewell. Compared to the likes of Marilyn Manson and the Dresden Dolls, the Horror duo’s reputation precedes them, with many of their fans eagerly awaiting their set in the audience. With six full-length albums to their name, including 2015’s Witches, it was no surprise that when One-Eyed Doll took stage, the crowd went wild.
Introducing themselves with pounding drums and errant guitar chords, the duo took center stage with Freeman introducing the band in dulcet tones before completely changing it up with the deep, doomed “Ember.” Taking a few graceful sips of water and then spitting it onto the crowd, Freeman hiked her leg up on stage and began “Committed” as the crowd moshed and danced along wildly. Thanking everyone for coming out, One-Eyed Doll played “Be My Friend” in Halloween style – meaning their merchandise table girl got on stage and threw candy every time the crowd yelled “Trick or Treat!”
Always having a delightful sense of humor, “Thank you to our opener band Metallica! Give them a hand everyone!” jested Freeman, before donning a jester hat herself. Bowing to the crowd, Freeman introduced the troubles of dating a monster with upbeat “You’re a Vampire,” then wore a witch hat for the Salem inspired “Black in the Rye.” Quite interesting to watch, they finished off with “Monster” before Freeman jumped into the crowd yelling, “Thank you New York I love you!” while Sewell disappeared backstage and the reappeared to greet fans at the sales table. Very unique and completely their own, One-Eyed Doll brought the heat with their fun songs, unbelievable guitar shredding skill, and hard-hitting drum solos.
At this point, all the Metallica traffic outside the venue had subsided and Wednesday 13’s psycho circus had their own packed club of anxious fans. Being well-established, Wednesday 13 has released a plethora of material, as well as contributed to a large scale of other albums. Clearly drawing a very dedicated and niche following, as soon as Wednesday 13, along with Bassist Troy Doebbler, Drummer Kyle Castronovo, as well as Guitarists Jack Tankersley and Roman Surman were about to take the stage, the room was submerged in absolute darkness as the howls and applause became deafening.
Opening eerily with the instrumental of “The Fall of All,” green lights blared dramatically as the costumed piece appeared, hair blowing in the smoke and wind, gesturing to the crowd, who screamed and cheered. From there, Wednesday 13 played with little exchange in between “Keep Watching the Skies,” “Put your Death Mask On,” “I Want You…Dead,” “The Ghost of Vincent Prince,” and Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13’s “Scary Song.”
Only taking a quick breather, “New York City, are you fucking ready?” yelled Wednesday as he led the backing band into “Scream Baby Scream.” Amidst the blue lights drenching the players and the fans, the band took a minute break while pre-recorded “Bloodline 666” played through. Telling the crowd to raise their horns, they began “Serpent Society” all clad in their nightmare apparel, befitting the whispery, ominous tone of the song as it led into full screams. A never-ending barrage of sound, the band kept playing right through “Skeletons,” “Dixie Dead,” “Get Your Grave On,” ‘Curse of Me,” “Hail Ming,” and ending with popular “I Walked with a Zombie.”
An energetic set and theatrical performance, all the songs were ample, heavy works that made the crowd want more. Crying out for an encore, the intimate sized venue almost shook with the roars of approval as Wednesday 13 reappeared for the encore. Thanking the fans profusely, they played The Murderdolls’ “I Love to Say Fuck” before “Bad Things.” Taking a moment to soak in the applause, the band thanked New York City once again and departed for the final time.
Overall, Wednesday 13’s set was as much a concert as a theatrical performance. Each band that dressed the lineup was unique and eclectic with their own special charm, while all terrifying and fantastic. As Wednesday 13 continues the crusade and tour, there is only more fun and fright to look forward to.Photos by: Aintellin Photography