Day 35: Wednesday 6th August 2013 – Sturgis, SD
With Rob Zombie playing this evening, I was taking no chances, and as soon as I could, I had the Trooper parked on the front row. Kyle and Jakyl joined me.
I passed the early part of the day in the usual fashion, re-charging the camera and phone, uploading photos, etc. Around mid-afternoon, Rob Zombie and the rest of the band, came out to do a sound check, and we were treated to an impromptu, mini-concert.
Rob chatted to the small audience that had gathered throughout, and toward the end of the rehearsal set, he said that anyone that wanted to come up on stage should just come on up. A few girls were helped over the fence and up onto the stage. I looked around and Kyle was shoving his camera at me, and then he was up and over the fence. Hey, I thought, I don’t want to be left behind. I’m coming too. And then I was over the fence and shoving his camera back to him.
The Trooper was my first tattoo, but I liked the image from Hellbilly Deluxe so much that that was my second.
I thought it would pretty cool to get a photo of me and the tat, with Rob Zombie.
Security were not impressed with what RZ had instigated, and immediately started yelling at us to get back behind the fence. There was no chance of getting a photo up on stage, but I thought I’d take a punt and try to see if security would help the cause. I explained to one of the guys that I’d come all the way from Scotland to see RZ, and showed him my tattoo. I told him that it would really make my trip if I could get a photo with Rob, and I wandered whether him’d be good enough to ask. He told me I’d have to speak to the head security honcho.
Head honcho was pretty blunt – no photographs, no autographs, period. A little later I got to thinking, well of course not, I hadn’t paid over $200 for VIP access. Why would they help someone out for nothing, when they could make a hefty profit from it. As with everything at the Chip, it’s all about making money.
Kyle was going to hang around the bikes for the rest of the afternoon that remained, and Jakyl had already disappeared back to camp shortly after depositing his bike. I decided it was probably time to put my kilt on, so I could be back in good time for the shows. As I was struggling into my boots, Jakyl called over and asked if I wanted to eat some of the brats that he’d been cooking with Mike and Donna on their BBQ. It was only 5pm, so I gladly accepted the offer of eating with friends.
A little later, as Jakyl and I walked back to the amphitheatre, Jakyl received a text from Kyle.
“Where are you? You’ve missed it.”
We weren’t sure what we’d missed, but we were only 50 yards from the amphitheatre, so we picked up the pace a little, and when we got there, Kyle told us exactly what we had missed. About twenty minutes earlier, Rob Zombie had come out and had been walking around inside the amphitheatre, saying Hi to people, shaking their hands, signing autographs and doing photos. As far as I know, he is the only performer at the Chip that did this. All the others came and went, without really interacting with their audience.
If only I hadn’t stopped to eat those bratwursts, I’d have been there and I’d have had my photo. At least, Kyle got the photo he wanted.
We stayed around the bikes, drinking beers. We were all feeling a bit edgy. Machine Head, Mastodon and Rob Zombie were going to attract a very different crowd from Kid Rock and Toby Keith. A big proportion of each night’s audience, just bought tickets for the show and didn’t camp at the Chip, so the make of the audience changed night by night. We wondered if there might be a lot of South Dakota metal-heads in, and if so whether they’d be a mosh pit down the front. The last thing we needed was people moshing right by the bikes.
Some people might not need to worry about there machines being pushed over. This dude on the trike was going to have the best seat in the house as well.
When the first of the evening’s Miss Buffalo Chip rounds was on, I slipped off to stock up on beer to put in my saddle bag. When I got back Texas Phil, who had his bike parked to my right, asked if I’d mind doing a favour for a young guy who had travelled a hundred miles to see Machine Head. The young man wanted to stand between the bikes right at the front for Machine Head and said he’d go back for Mastodon and RZ. With his Machine Head cap, he seemed a real fan, so how could I deny him. And Machine Head put on a good performance for him.
Although Jakyl didn’t seem too impressed.
And Kyle seemed really chilled for Mastodon.
Machine Head and Mastodon were good, if you like that kind of music and I do, and by now I was buzzing for the Rob Zombie extravaganza to start. The dude on the trike seemed to be getting real popular by now. I guess people wanted to share the best seats.
Love or hate Rob Zombie’s music, his stage show is spectacular. The show he’d brought to Sturgis wasn’t as big or as impressive as the one I’d seen in Glasgow a year earlier, but in my opinion, it still kicked Kid Rock’s ass in terms of both music and showmanship. I admit I’m biased, but most of the other people I spoke to agreed.
I think it was the best show of the rally at the Chip by a long stretch, only ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd came close to the ball park. My only complaint was that Rob Zombie’s show was really short, at just an hour. Most of the other headline act had played for an hour and a half. I’m used to seeing headliners, such as Metallica and Iron Maiden play for 2 hours plus, so the length of Rob Zombie’s show was a little disappointing and missed out many a great show tune.
One thing I did notice at the RZ show, was a distinct lack of boobies on display from the girls that got up on shoulders.
My friend, Todor, has a theory about this. The worse the band, the more boobies. Steel Panther certainly has lots of boobies when Todor and I saw them, and kind of bares this theory out.
Some people weren’t so pleased with this state of affairs, and offered a plaintive call for more.
I don’t whether it was because the show had been short or whether the show had just got me hyper, but I wanted more, so Kyle, Jakyl and I moved onto the Bikini Beach bar and saw the “house” band, the Living Dead. Boy, did that girl show her bass some action.