PHOTOS: Static-X kicks off ‘Machine’ anniversary tour at the Fillmore


Static-X performs at the Fillmore in San Francisco on Feb. 25, 2023. Nate McKinley/STAFF.

SAN FRANCISCO — Industrial metallers Static-X returned to the Bay Area Saturday on the opening night of their Rise of the Machines tour. The massive 45-stop tour had twice been postponed due to the pandemic. The L.A. rockers led a lineup that included bands Dope and Society 1.

An array of digital screens on stage flashed images, song lyrics and even, at times, displayed the face of late frontman Wayne Static (who died in 2014), singing along to the lyrics. Their current masked lead singer, known as “Xer0,” is Dope’s Edsel Dope. Hollywood master costume-maker Eddie Yang designed his scary new mask, which made its debuted on Saturday. It was as if Xer0 had transformed to a mechanical figure with electrical wires for hair and red laser beams shining out of his eyes.

The band members stood on several risers, from which they engaged with the audience. The performance started theatrically. A white-coated character with a huge gray circular head emblazoned with an X crossed the stage holding a huge spotlight. Soon after, bassist Tony Campos, guitarist Koichi Fukuda and drummer Ken Jay joined him. Finally, Xer0 joined the group, climbing stairs to a high position above the crowd, guitar in hand.


Static-X performs at the Fillmore in San Francisco on Feb. 25, 2023.

The band was celebrating the 20th anniversary of 2001 album Machine. The set included several tracks from Machine, including “Permanence,” “This Is Not,” “Structural Defect,” “Sweat of the Bud” and “Black and White.” Other highlights included songs from 1999’s Wisconsin Death Trip and 2020’s Project Regeneration Vol. 1 , including “Love Dump,” “Bled For Days,” “I’m With Stupid” and “Terminator Oscillator.”

The performance of “Cold” was especially notable. As fake snow blew in the air, images of Wayne Static singing the chorus in sync with the music flashed behind the band. Reverb effects helped to add a mechanical element to Xer0’s voice as he expertly handled the raspy growls. Tight and in sync, Campos and Fukuda took turns crisscrossing the stage and interacting with the crowd on both ends.

Static-X closed with “Push It” as massive balloons dropped and its gray-headed mascot rejoined the band, animatedly dancing on stage.

Nu-metallars Dope proceeded the headliners and started their set with “Blood Money.” The band had fun interacting with the crowd.


Dope performs at the Fillmore in San Francisco on Feb. 25, 2023.

“I know we are a little old, but let me see you thrash a little bit,” yelled Edsel Dope, whose name is Brian Ebejer, before launching into the next song, “Violence.”

He also had poked fun at the expense of originally scheduled openers Fear Factory, whose members missed the show because they were stuck on a snowed-in Grapevine on I-5. They were “not the brightest” for not checking their weather app and taking the wrong route to the Bay, he joked.

His voice was loud and clear, and he punctuated his mostly spoken lyrics with screams.

The band, which includes guitarists Virus (Andre Michel Karkos) and Acey Slade (Emil John Schmidt IV), and drummer Daniel Fox, focused primarily on older tracks rather than material from its forthcoming album, Blood Money Part Zer0Dope concluded with a cover of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).”

Industrial metallers Society 1 stepped in for Fear Factory, opening the show with a 15-minute set. Singer Matt Zane straddled a microphone stand outfitted with a curved phallus. He was joined by bandmates Jimmy Minj, Johnny Pilz and Zhenya Pro. In this short opening, Zane was not able to perform as usual: suspended in the air with steel hooks pierced through his back.

— Mel Bowman

Follow Mel Bowman at

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *