The Duke of Spook returned to Chicago to bring his thrilling stage show to Reggie’s Rock Club as part of Wednesday 13’s Necorphaze tour. With a flair for mesmerizing visuals, spooky tricks, and plenty of costume changes, the band’s set proved to be a haunting good time.
Currently supporting The 69 Eyes, Wednesday 13’s set was short, but easily the most memorable of the night. Within the past year, they’ve amped up their stage show incorporating more theatrics and it pays off. Frontman Wednesday 13 is a larger than life showman. Looking like an alien creature from the bowels of hell, he stomped and twisted across the stage, threatening the crowd with his snarls and occasional weapons he brandished. His dominating presence, made even more menacing with his neon demon getup, was felt throughout the venue. He absolutely commanded the small stage with ease.
Even though it wasn’t a long set, the frontman found time to change costumes several times each outfit more ghoulish than the last. Whether dressed as a demon, strutting around in a top hat or gyrating around in a butcher’s apron, he always made the crowd go wild. His spooky tricks were even more impressive. Seeing him perform backwards as a two-headed creature and opening the set with self-decapitation, ala Alice Cooper was both hypnotic and creepy. His unnatural, jerky movements made him look inhuman at times adding another layer of creepy to the show. Watching him pull off these stage antics is part of what made Wednesday 13’s set such a good time.
The setlist focused heavily on the band’s last three albums and included choice cuts like “What the Night Brings,” “Decompose,” “Prey for Me,” “ZODIAC,” and “Serpent Society.” All the performances were good with the band and the man sounding on top of their game, but the songs that drove the crowd into a frenzy were the classics: “Scream Baby Scream” and “I Want You…Dead.” The setlist was solid and highlighted the best songs from the recent albums, but it was disappointing to not get more of their older material. Ending the set with “I Love to Say Fuck” is the perfect closer to get the crowd to go crazy one last time. Though “Keep Watching the Skies” is a great song, it doesn’t pack a hard enough punch to end a set.
Wednesday 13 puts on a show that needs to be seen. It’s the band’s most ambitious stage show yet. They excel at not only sounding great on stage, but they also excel at giving the crowd an unforgettable stage show you don’t see at your average rock concert. Though they only played for 30 minutes, there was no shortage of costume changes, scary props, and visual trickery. It may not be the biggest production, but Wednesday 13 is bringing back theatrics that has been missing from most rock shows. It reminds you of early Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper shows that did whatever they could to shock the audience. On top of that, they’re just a kick ass live band. 16 years into their career and Wednesday 13 still know how to thrill fans. You’re seriously missing out if you don’t see these guys live.