Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d say; When I was in high school my favourite class was Year 11 and 12 maths. Not because I liked the class or was any good at it, but because that was the class where my best friend Steve and I would sit up the back listening to music and reading music magazines. I can still remember the day that Steve came into class with a magazine that he’d picked up the day before and said “Dude, check it out. Joey from Slipknot has a new band called Murderdolls and they’re playing at the Big Day Out next year.” Now, we were poor teenagers, so we didn’t make it to that Big Day Out to see them, but as soon as it was released we rushed out and got a copy of ‘Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls’. As someone who was into punk rock and horror movies and had grown up on the music of Alice Cooper, Kiss, and Black Sabbath, this album pretty much had every element I was looking for. When I got my first car I’d play the album constantly, causing more than one of my friends at the time to ask if I was OK when they listened to the lyrics.
Fast forward a couple of years and I was in a music store looking at CD’s. I was specifically looking for a copy of Rob Zombie’s ‘Hellbilly Deluxe’ and somebody had put a copy of Wednesday 13’s ‘Transylvania 90210’ album in amongst the Rob Zombie albums. I immediately recognised the name as the Murderdolls singer and decided to buy that album instead, and holy shit was I glad I did. In the following years I bought everything that Wednesday released, caught him live whenever I could, and even attempted to start my own horror punk band (thankfully no recordings exist). So I was more than a little excited in 2010 when Murderdolls announced they were reforming and releasing their second album ‘Women and Children Last’, but once again the stars didn’t align and I missed out on seeing them when they came here to play the Soundwave Festival in 2011. The band would once again go their separate ways and in 2021 we tragically lost Joey Jordison. Those two albums have continued to be a mainstay on my regular listening list and I was sure I would never get the chance to see those songs played live, so needless to say, when Wednesday 13 announced that he would be coming to Australia and playing a Murderdolls set, there was no way I was missing it.
The opening band of the night was Brisbane’s own Terror Parade, a definite good choice to kick things off. If you’re a fan of bands like In This Moment, The 69 Eyes, and of course, Wednesday 13, than this is a band you should definitely check out. With an aesthetic that was somewhere between The Crow and Mad Max, Terror Parade were as much about the show as they were about the music. The highlight of their set was towards the end when they introduced their single Freak, which got a response that proves they have more than a small fan base here in Brisbane.
Before long the bars and smoking areas where completely empty as everyone piled inside The Triffid ready for the main attraction, Wednesday 13. The lights went down and the crowd lost their collective shit when The World According to Revenge played over the speakers, welcoming the band on stage. Before I talk too much about the music, I feel like Wednesday should get a huge shoutout for managing to play a whole set in full Murderdolls attire, including PVC jackets and fishnets in the Queensland heat. OK, back to the show. Kicking straight into Chapel of Blood from ‘Women and Children Last’ and following it up with ‘Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls’ classic 197666, the band had the whole crowd on their feet and not a single person was left standing still.
Anyone that has seen Wednesday 13 before would know that apart from being an awesome frontman he is also a great storyteller, so in between songs we were treated to stories about the albums, previous Australian tours, and of course paying tribute to Murderdolls who are no longer with us, Joey Jordison and Ben Graves. As the night moved on, teenage (and adult) me was so excited to hear songs like Love At First Fright, She Was A Teenage Zombie, and Die My Bride performed live. The band managed to pack a hell of a lot into a two-hour set, without ever slowing down or missing a beat.
Before anyone was ready for it, it was time for the gig to start wrapping up, but not before Wednesday got the crowd chanting one more time for Joey Jordison and dedicating the song Nowhere to his fallen friend, and then closing the night with Summertime Suicide. But, as everyone knows, the end of the set is never really the end of the set, and pretty soon the band was back to deliver their cover of Billy Idol’s White Wedding, followed closely by a song that almost feels like it was written with Australian audiences in mind, I Love to Say Fuck, before closing the show (for real this time) with the song that brought Murderdolls to our attention 21 years ago, Dead in Hollywood.
Everything about last night was awesome. The set was great, the band sounded amazing, the performance was energetic, and all I can really say is I will definitely be there again the next time Mr Motherfucker and his band make it six feet Down Under.
With thanks to Maric Media