Static-X, Pitchshifter, Ultraspank
May 21, Palace Theatre, Hollywood

No pictures of this show friends... it was a miracle I even got in, considering only the day before I found out that the label would leave me tickets at will-call for doing the Ultraspank feature for The Independent.

The Palace theatre is the nicest venue in LA and I was very happy that Ultraspank got to tear it up at a sold-out show in support of Static. The best part about shows like this is that it's so visceral. Even if you poo-poo 90's metal, you couldn't have helped being moved by this triumvirate of the heavy scene had you been there.

Spank won over a lot of fans this night. It was the first time I had seen them since acquiring their album Progress, which I had already played to ribbons. The new material sounded incredible live, such as the chunky and snappy "Crumble," as well as songs like "5" off their debut. It was obvious that non-stop touring had transformed Ultraspank into this unbelievably shreading professional band. I got this funny feeling that night watching Spank from the balcony of The Palace that it was probably the closest I'd ever get to the stage at one of their shows again...

Pitchshifter is one odd band. I first became familiar with them in the early 90's when they had more of Godflesh sound, and I really liked them then. Now an entirely different animal, their current sound is about twice as fast, with very sharp guitars, cool beats, and an almost old-school punk vocal, both in terms of subject matter and delivery. At a time when 5000 other bands combine electronic music and metal, Pitchshifter have found something unique.

To tell the truth, the only song I'd ever heard by Static-X was their big radio hit "Push It," and I thought it was a mediocre Rob Zombie song I just wasn't familiar with. Never judge a band by the single-- I knew this before, but it couldn't be more true than in this case. Yes Static is the child of White Zombie and Ministry (in fact they covered "Burning Inside" at the show, and the guest vocalist was the singer from Fear Factory), but they are so good at it what they do. Their live show is phenomenal and their sound totally infectious. I can't believe the building didn't collapse with people jumping in time.

One last really neat thing about this show was that during the ending number of Ultraspank's and Pitchshifter's sets, members from the other two bands came out on stage throwing balloons, streamers, detuning guitars, and forcing shots down unsuspecting throats. At the end of Static's set, a masked male dancer came out, stripped down to basically a loincloth, and got jiggy w/ Wayne Static. Looks like it was a fun tour.

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