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WEDNESDAY 13 Does MURDERDOLLS, TERROR PARADE: The Triffid, Brisbane 02/02/24

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Review by Jimmy Glinster and Kris Peters

Photos by Sarah Gilpin

Jimmy: As usual, I walked in late for the first band, even though we’ve been here for hours. I guess that’s what happens when you run into so many cool peeps out at the bar.

Anyway, I walk in to catch Terror Parade in full swing. They are a spooky-looking bunch that fit in well with the whole horror theme for the night.

They throw out a heavy punk rock vibe, and I guess with all the leather, chains, fish net shirts, and heavy white foundation would make it horror punk! For some reason, though, at some points the vocal style of the frontwoman is giving me some weird Rush vibes.

The crowd seems very pleased, and I actually don’t mind it either, although not really my thing.

I’m sorry, but I don’t know any of the names of the songs, and I’m either not being told them or I’m just not taking enough notice. I did just notice a large skull/severed head being swung around the stage, and I’m hoping it’s fake.

The guitarist asks how all the freaks are doing tonight, and everyone – i.e. – all the freaks – respond with a big cheer. It’s strange to hear influences of prog in this style of music, but it definitely has some tasty, not-so-generic elements to it.

It’s the last song now, and I did get told the name of it, but I’m fucked if I could understand it. It may have been You? It’s a rocky little number, and like every good rocky little number, it comes with a short clap-along section in the middle. Massive fan of the clap-along here.

Oh, and we have a sing-along of “now the cities gonna burn to the ground”. That was a nice touch to end the set, but I actually hope it doesn’t burn to the ground because that’d be a bit rough.

It was a good appetiser to the main course, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

Now we wait half an hour or so for Wednesday 13 to take the stage, when I shall dutifully pass on reviewing duties to Krispy while I have a rare night off.

Krispy: My history with the Murderdolls goes back some way, possibly before they even wrote their first piece of music.

Former guitarist for the band, and, of course, original drummer for Slipknot Joey Jordison – was amongst my first ever interviews way back when I was young and exuberant. And to this day he is still one of the most intelligent, articulate and genuine musicians I have had the privilege of speaking with.

So when I read that he had started a band called Murderdolls with a punk-edged horror-loving vocalist by the name of Wednesday 13, I ordered the album from the trusty CD Den in Cairns and fell in love with the band, music and attitude the moment I first heard their debut album Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls.

So much so that I chose Die My Bride as my wedding song – but that’s another story in itself.

I have only seen Murderdolls once before at the Big Day Out in 2003 and they were the undoubted musical highlight of the whole event, which also included bands of the caliber of Foo Fighters, Jane’s Addiction, Millencolin and Deftones.

I must admit to feeling a little concerned that Murderdolls – or any band for that matter – could better that live experience, but after settling in to watch soundcheck earlier in the afternoon any fears flew straight into the musical abyss.

Despite an aborted first attempt at finding their way out of the band room (don’t ask, it could happen to anyone), Murderdolls hit the stage running, a sinister bottom-end rumble introducing Chapel Of Blood and we were away!

Vocalist Wednesday 13 roared to life, demanding his faithful ghouls to “raise your motherfucken hands” which they dutifully did, tightening the first strand in a sonic bond that stretched unabated from the center of the stage to the rear of the room for the next 90 minutes or so.

Such is Wednesday 13’s presence that when he called for fists in the air, he got fists in the air. When he instructed everyone to raise their middle finger in salute, they raised two.

After powering through 197666 Wednesday took pause, broaching the subject of his two former bandmates – Jordison and Ben Graves – both of whom have been tragically lost before their time.

While being promoted as a celebration and tribute to the lives and music of these two men, it wasn’t until those first heartfelt words of restrained sorrow that the magnitude – not just of tonight’s, but that of the whole tour – truly sunk in.

Chants of Joey, Joey filled the room in a dense blanket of respect before Wednesday 13 pressed on, gathering his composure to deliver a scornful version of Slit My Wrist which had the whole crowd screaming the chorus back and with him at the height of the song.

While Wednesday 13 is undoubtedly the main attraction in Murderdolls, the remainder of his traveling party must also be respected for their high quality of musicianship.

Murderdolls stalwarts Roman Surman and Jack Tankersley made their guitars sing at times, while bass player Troy Doebbler produced one of the finest and most threatening displays of live bass playing these seasoned ears have been pummelled by.

It was his massive bass bottom end that kickstarted Love At First Fright before She Was A Teenage Zombie and Grave Robbing USA sent the crowd into raptures singing wholeheartedly Wednesday 13’s words back at him with renewed intensity.

The three-part harmonies out front were far too precise and in sync for what is expected of a band such as Murderdolls, but provided layer upon layer of vocal unity that fleshed each song out and harnessed every drop of sweat-soaked adulation.

Wednesday 13 regaled the crowd on numerous occasions with tales about the band and touring stories, often finding his memories coming full circle to have something to do with his former guitarist. At one point, speaking of Joey, Wednesday said, “he took me around the world and introduced me to everyone. He changed my life.” You could hear a pin drop as the magnitude of Jordison’s loss resonated strongly.

But tonight wasn’t meant to be spent dwelling on those we have lost, but instead for celebrating and honouring those memories left behind. And musically there are plenty.

Bloodstained Valentine, Pieces Of You and Drag Me To Hell followed before the diminutive frontman ran from stage, leaving drummer Mike Dupke to fend for himself with hundreds of anxious faces staring in his direction.

Remember the drum solo? I almost didn’t before tonight, it has been that long since I have heard one.

But some things are worth waiting for, as Dupke set about violating his kit with a ferocious yet precise display of sticksmanship that was simply fucken awesome. Performed with samples and spoken word passages driving the timing and tempo along, this was a drum solo almost worthy of admission alone.

That fucker CAN play!

People Hate Me, Welcome To The Strange and Dawn Of The Dead appeased the crowd before another chant of Joey, Joey filled the room, inspiring Wednesday 13 to dedicate the next track Nowhere to his good mate.

Summertime Suicide followed before the band retreated to the band room to towel off, but there was no way they were leaving the venue without playing at least one more song.

So how about three? Nice number for an encore, the boys say.

After belting out White Wedding, Wednesday 13 slid to the side of the stage and reached out for his trusty umbrella, which could only mean one thing.

He loves to say fuck. But it wasn’t just him who idolized the naughty word. It turns out every man, woman and child in The Triffid also loves to say fuck, and for the next three minutes or so the room became a fuck fest of sorts as the word was thrown about recklessly and to great effect.

The familiar strains of Dead In Hollywood reverberated from the stage and after being drowned out by his faithful fans throughout the song, Wednesday 13 and co promptly left the room, leaving behind an exhausted – emotionally and physically – bunch of Murderdolls fans that had just had their asses whipped and then some.

And as for my initial fears about the band topping their Big Day Out performance?

Let’s just say that I wasted my time even entertaining the notion.

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