The Mesa Theater opened in 1916 and originally entertained the masses with live productions, and that tradition continued Friday night as Wednesday 13 came to town as part of their Condolences tour. This may not be the tradition the founders intended, and they could have been rolling over in their graves as the band played, but it is October and that would definitely add to the aurora of the evening.
Opening the evening were locals The Company. They played a combination of original material as well as an amazing cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.”
Repulsur hit the stage and bringing an 80’s sleaze style of music led by amazing front woman Leringitis. Repulsur shocked and rocked through their set which largely consisted of songs from their latest album The After School Special. These guys really knew how to get the crowd into the show with lots of clapping and easy to follow choruses including “The Learning Curve.”
Eyes set to Kill followed with a more modern metal sound. They mixed female fronted vocals provided by Alexia Rodriguez and male fronted vocals by AJ Bartholomew, and they tore through their set flawlessly. Their song list included “Infected,” “Broken Flames,” and my favorite, “Little Liar.”
The night was still young and the crowd grew eager as we waited to hear Wednesday 13 would bring. After a short equipment check, the house music stopped and the lights went dim, the smoke machines began bellowing as fast as they could and encapsulated the stage in a dark red hue. A short intro began and out came Wednesday 13. Touring in support of their new album Condolences, they opened with a song from that album “What the Night Brings.” As the show continued they played other songs from Condolences including “Blood Sick,” “Condolences” and one of my favorites, “Cadaverous.” They also brought out some Wednesday 13 classics including “The Ghost of Vincent Price,” “Scream Baby Scream” and another favorite of mine, “Bad Things.” It would not have been a proper “Shock Rock” show without out costume changes and horror movie song intros, and Wednesday 13 brought both, keeping the crowd entertained throughout their set.
By the end of the night the crowd had seen where “Shock Rock” has evolved. It started with the Godfather of “Shock Rock“, Alice Cooper, who Wednesday 13 credits as an influence and has evolved into a darker and more sinister genre. That being said, the show still had a very vaudeville feel to it which was great. I like that Wednesday 13 has taken the genre back to being about the music. They let the music be the most shocking part of the whole show and took the audience on the ride of their lives. Because after all it is called “Shock Rock,” and you can’t just have one without the other.