Rise of the Machine Tour at HOB

Photos and words by Jose Serrato

A year after its originally listed dates, the covid postponed ‘Rise of the Machine Tour’ finally made its way into House of Blues Dallas on Friday night. The bill was loaded with some of the biggest metal bands that broke though the scene in the 90s. Leading the tour were the pioneers of evil disco, Static-X. It’s been nearly 9 years since the passing of founder and frontman Wayne Static, but his legacy continues as the band has kept him alive with new “secret” frontman XerO doing all he can to fill some big shoes. Since 2019, XerO has fronted the band sporting a mask resembling Wayne, even with his iconic tall hair. For this current tour, XerO collaborated with costume maker Eddie Yang who is known for his work on movies like Iron Man, Avatar, Robocop and many more. The new robot looking mask still has Static’s characteristics with spiked hair made out of wires. 

Along with original members Tony Campos, Kiochi Fukuda and Ken Jay, Static-X are taking over North America along with Fear Factory, Mushroomhead, Dope and Society1. Rise of the Machine Tour has been selling out venues across the country, including House of Blues here in Dallas. Fans were lined up early outside the HOB entrance waiting to take their spot on the floor, but not before they stopped by the merch table to snag their tour shirts. Whoever organized this show did not want fans to lose energy as they had quick 15 minute set changes to get the next band going before you could get another beer at the bar. I was definitely taken back to 1999 watching all of these bands take the stage. Some who I haven’t seen since pre social media. Fear Factory at the Bronco Bowl. If you know about that place, you are showing your age. Yes, I was there. I am showing my age, but these metal icons still had the energy they had over 20 years ago. 

Society1 quickly warmed up the crowd with a high energy performance that got the pit stirring. Dope gave us a nice rendition of ‘You Spin My Round’ and some insight on how social media sucks. Dope frontman Edsel Dope explained to the crowd how the algorithms keep fans from seeing their content because of their name. Valid point I suppose. We would see Edsel again later in the night. Wait, he’s not XerO. Or is he? Mushroomhead has to win the award for the wildest set. With vocalist xSTRIKEx spending the majority of the time crowd surfing and standing over the crowd. With so much energy, he even ran around the crowd after the band were done with their set. With brand new vocalist Milo Silvestro, Fear Factory showed us why they are legends in the metal scene. Guitarist Dino Cazares may be the only original member in the band, but we have grown to love still sounded amazing. The crowd showed their respect for all that Dino has done over the years by chanting his name as he introduced the other members. 

As the stage was being prepared for Static-X to take over, the energy of the crowd was at its peak. You could feel that something memorable was about to happen. As XerO climbed the steps to the top of his platform the crowd erupted. The quartet went into a blistering 19 song set that included fan favorites like ‘Bled For Days’ and ‘I’m With Stupid.’ A pleasant surprise was when they played the recent released cover of ‘Terrible Lie’ by Nine Inch Nails. Check your favorite streaming platform to give it a listen. The night could not have been complete without a tribute to the man that gave us these great songs, Mr. Wayne Static. 

On a personal note, I couldn’t get through the night without thinking of my friend Jackie Pritchett who we lost some years ago. She loved Static-X and I can’t listen to one of their songs without thinking of her. I hope you liked the show, Jax. We miss you!!

Photos below…