Static X / The Defiled
19 June 2009
Islington Academy, London

Following on from their April support slot with the Deathstars this was my second chance to catch The Defiled and having had chance to check out a few tracks on their myspace site in advance this was a much more rewarding performance.

The slight industrial edge to The Defiled’s modern metal sets them us a perfect opener for Static X and ensures a strong crowd response. This is despite the fact that for many here it would be their first encounter with the band. By second song Permanent Reminder, bassist Drex Exel was in the photo pit and later in the set actually started the mosh pit himself. This chaotic attitude runs through the whole of the band with The A.v.D. dragging his keyboards round the stage for most of the set. There was actually little else for him to do for the first half of the set as he informed the soundman in a strong European accent “There is nothing coming out!” Amusingly I was just jotting down sounds like Brüno when the same shout came from the crowd!

Despite the apparent chaos this was a very professional performance from The Defiled and with more support slots like this and an album due soon their profile is sure to rise.

The Defiled set list:
The Resurrectionists / Permanent Reminder / Agent 88 / End Of Innocence / Analysing / Red Tape

I’d mentioned in my report on Download that I thought the day time environment didn’t lend itself well to Static X and I was looking forward to seeing them with some sort of light show. As it turned out there was noting more than the house lights which put the onus back on the band to entertain.

Wayne Static may come across as something of a character with his unusual vertical hair but in the live environment he’s actually fairly subdued. There’s not a great deal of between song banter and Wayne tends to stand with his feet together bouncing on the spot chugging away with little fretwork required. It’s actually the least spotlighted members of the band Koichi Fukuda on guitar and Will Hunt on drums that exert the most effort in their playing. Hunt in particular, providing a really solid foundation which is required for the band’s regimented sound.

Like at Download, every so often it was time for shots and Static’s wife Tara Wray obliged by coming on to the stage in a revealing outfit to supply the drinks. Otherwise there wasn’t a great deal said and it feels like its a bit of a chore for Wayne at times heading down the setlist, despite him telling us he’s having a good time.

It also stands out that the material from the band’s first two albums stands head and shoulders above later output. The band was able to cherry pick “the best of the rest”, but it’s the tracks from Machine and Wisconsin Death Trip that get the best response. Finishing with three songs from those two albums ensured the gig went out on a high but it certainly won’t be one that lives long in the memory.

Static X set list:
Lunatic / Dirthouse / I’m With Stupid / Down / Stem / Black and White / Stingwray / Destroyer / Cold / Bled For Days / Behemoth / Z28 / Destroy All / Cannibal / Love Dump / This is Not / Push It

Static X
The Defiled