Dead City Radio

Spookshow International – Rob Zombie

Release Year: 2015

Rating:  7.5/10

Last year, Rob Zombie released his first concert film. He follows that up this year with his second live album and it only took him eight years to do so. While it’s obviously filler to keep fans quiet until his next LP comes out hopefully later this year, it’s not a bad entry in his discography. The expansive setlist, high energy, and hyper performance put on by Zombie and his band are enough to convince you to see Zombie live for yourself.

Zombie and crew open with “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy” from his 2013 album and while it’s not the most exciting track to start the show, it sets the tone for the rest of the evening. He wastes no time getting straight to the fan favorites with “Superbeast” and “Living Dead Girl,” which is one of many highlights on the record. Other tracks include “Meet the Creeper,” “Never Gonna Stop,” “Pussy Liquor,” and “Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga.” Zombie powers through each song with high energy and lots of attitude. He sounds great and the way he hypes up the crowd comes across really well on the record.

There are 20 songs total and even though Zombie performs them flawlessly, it goes on a little longer than it should. After a while you kind of tune everything out, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you see it. It also doesn’t help that “Thunder Kiss ’65” is stretched out to nine minutes thanks to a lengthy guitar solo from John 5. We get it, you’re super talented. That doesn’t mean you should play guitar in the middle of the song for three minutes. By the time he finishes you forget what song you were listening to in the first place.

What’s interesting to note is how he includes at least one song from each of his albums except Educated Horses. He most likely wanted to give newer songs a chance to shine, plus he covered a lot of those tracks on his first live LP. He does spend a lot of time on his well known hits, like “Dragula,” “More Human Than Human,” and “Demon Speeding,” but he also includes the best songs from his later albums, such as “Jesus Frankenstein,” “Dead City Radio,” which sounds better than the original version, and “Sick Bubblegum.” While these tracks weren’t as huge a success for Zombie, he manages to breathe new life in them making them more exciting than before.

One of the best parts come when Zombie does a rendition of The Ramones’ classic “Blitzkrieg Bop.” He previously covered the song for his 2003 compilation Past, Present, & Future, but this version is more in tune with the original. It sounds more vibrant and energetic than before making it better than his previous attempt. He also performs “We’re An American Band,” a cover from his latest LP, but no matter how much energy and power he puts into it, it doesn’t make me like the song anymore. Along with covers are some small interludes, such as Ginger Fish’s drum solo. Usually, these solos aren’t as exciting or interesting when not in a live setting, but this solo is short enough to enjoy it without it growing dull. It also gives the listener a chance to hear Fish’s talented percussion.

Overall, the album gets 7.5/10. While it wouldn’t be in my all time favorite live albums list, it’s still pretty good. Zombie covers some of his biggest hits while running through the best songs from his later albums. Even though the record runs a little long, Zombie and crew sound awesome and on point throughout the entire thing. It’s still better to see the man in person for yourself, but this LP should hold you over until the next time he hits the road.