Trick or treat? With a trick in the form of the endlessly entertaining Evil Scarecrow and a treat in the shape of the gothic icon Wednesday 13 performing their debut ‘Transylvania 90210’ in its entirety, Halloween at the sold-out Garage will never be the same again.
Evil Scarecrow never fail to deliver, that much is certain. Appropriately dressed for the occasion, their “spooky set” is heralded by an immediate sense of community among the crowd. The band’s indomitable connection with their fans is evident from the onset; it’s not long before drummer Ringmaster Monty Blitzfist weaves his way through the crowd to scale the venue walls and drum away before declaring himself knackered. Those that have experienced their vivacious set before quietly educate their peers in the ways of ‘Robototron’, ‘Hell Dog’ and the effortlessly contagious ‘Crabulon’ – a packed venue scuttling left and right in perfect synchronicity with their clawed hands in the air is a sight to behold, and it’s testament to this band’s criminally underrated reputation. Initiating a conga throughout the venue, bassist Kraven becomes an instant hit, before an energetic rendition of ‘War and Seek’ is graced by the hurling of party poppers into the crowd and a giant version held on stage, which appropriately fails to work on command. Witnessing Evil Scarecrow live is a jaw-dropping musical education worth its weight in crustaceans. (5/5)
Wednesday 13 emerges through a thick fog to grace the stage to rapturous applause – this crowd has waited a decade to hear ‘Transylvania 90210’ front to back, and the tension in the Garage is certainly palpable. Opening with the shout-along title track, the atmosphere instantly bursts into flame, proving as gargantuan as on track. Belting set regular ‘House by the Cemetery’ with enthusiasm alongside never before performed ‘Elect Death for President’, frontman and mastermind of the band’s timeless debut Wednesday 13 commands the stage as masterfully as ever. Given ‘Transylania 90210’ was performed mostly by Wednesday himself, this showcase of the band’s current lineup’s talents in handling his works of art is a tentative experiment, but one that pays off phenomenally as a result.
‘Buried By Christmas’ chants fill the room as the crowd loudly appreciates hearing the not-so-festive tune for the first time, swiftly followed by the sassy ‘Look What the Bats Dragged In’ projected with the might of guitarist Roman Surman at the forefront. To think this album was worked mostly by the frontman himself is a feat in itself, but a huge credit goes to his present band for their ability to perform all his songs with the same efficiency and atmosphere as on record. Note perfect, ‘American Werewolves in London’ incites energetic chants to round off the album’s play through, before they play out to a selection of highlights including fan favourite ‘I Walked with a Zombie’ and a phenomenal encore of ‘Home Sweet Homicide’. A sold out venue pours out on the streets of Highbury, energised by the nostalgia and catharsis of finally hearing favourite tracks performed as defiantly as expected. (5/5)
Of all the days to witness such a gruesomely gothic and pleasantly petrifying pair, the present congregation will struggle to top this captivating lineup for celebrating All Hallow’s Eve in dark style. (5/5)
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)