Through rain, snow, sleet or shine, there are always good times to be had at The Croc in Allentown, PA. Plus, it is the closest venue to my house, being a mere half hour from getting in my car to being inside the club. So...Static X on a Saturday..yeah I'm there. I missed them when they played here a couple of months ago, cause I couldn't afford to take off work, but my son and my best friend and assistant photographer, Donna, went and had a blast! It was sold out then and would sell out again. A sold out Croc Rock is a big fun, sweatin', surfin' safari!!!! Static X holds a big place in Tgod's heart being one of the first bands I ever photographed, at a show that was the true birth of The Pit Photographer. It was in April of 1999 at the infamous Birch Hill Niteclub and a bunch of kids named Static X opened a show which included Spineshank, Hed(pe), and Fear Factory. A club that, jam packed, only held 900 people and had no air conditioning and was always a dripping sweat. Hell, Jersey surfing was born at The Birch Hill. A show I'll never forget. Then, some years later, a girlfriend of mine broke up with me on my birthday because I chose to spend it in NYC with Soulfly and Static X at The Roseland Ballroom. Actually, I went to her house first and tried to patch things up but...........The show was f**king sahhweett!!! So, teamed up with Opiate For The Masses and Ill Nino and on a non work nite...hell yeah!
Donna ordered up three tickets, which was good cause yeah...it sold out. Oh how I love walking in to a sold out Croc. It's small, it's loud and it's hot! Last time they wouldn't allow cameras or even camera phones, but I brought a Fuji disposable anyway and when the guy searched me and saw it, he said it was o.k. Saaaaahhhweeeet!!!
Opiate For The Masses opened and they were cool. Got the place jumpin'! Once, I saw them open for Ministry and there was a girl with huge boobs in the front and the singer for Opiate jumped down and buried his face in her cleavage. That was cool. That's probably why I like them, but they got the place going. The last time I saw Ill Nino, I was very disappointed. They gave a weak performance. Living in Jersey, I've seen Ill Nino many times and it was always a sick time!! A war on the floor. As a matter of fact, they too are one of the first bands I ever photographed. Shit yeah! March Metal Meltdown 1999. They had Jorge from Merauder on vocals and were only a four piece. It was right as they had to make a name change, because for some reason they couldn't use El Nino anymore(their original name)and were listed as Hell Nino, just for that nite. They didn't disappoint me tonight!!! They were awesome!! Really got the sweat pouring!! The last time they just did a weaker set with their mellower tunes , but tonight they were on with the brutal ones. "This Is War", "I Am Loco", "Te Amo..I Hate You", "Liar" and freakin' "God Save Us"! I was soaked by the time they finished. F**k Yeah!!! Now I was ready to Push It!!
It was kinda strange when the lights went out. Static X didn't come out, but "Rooster" by Alice in Chains started playing. Not from the dj booth, but from the bands pa. The whole crowd sang along. Weird. Played the entire song too. Finally, the circus music came on and they hit the stage with "I Want To F**king Break It". It was awesome. I was more than pleasantly surprised to see the original guitarist, Koichi Fukuda, back in the band. They seemed to have gotten lost for a bit in the whole Nu-Metal scene, and I hadn't had much interest, since the last time I saw them with Tripp Eisen, but I still liked their music and loved the new stuff, but I didn't know Koichi was back. Hell Yeah!! Koichi rules!! They did "Sweat Of The Bud" and then kicked into "Bled For Days" which was what they opened with on that magical night in 1999. The place was jumpin'!!!The surfin' safari was already started by Ill Nino and I'd seen my son crash over the barrier several times. Flyin' above the crowd!! I was jumping around snapping pics and havin' a blast tossing kids around. They did alot of new stuff. "Star A War", "The Enemy", "I'm The One". Freakin' "Dirthouse" really got the place jumpin' and stompin'!! Oh, and did I mention Saaaaaawettin'! Tough keeping my camera dry. They did all my old favorites. "Black And White", "I'm With Stupid", "Get To The Gone". Yeahh "Love Dump"!!! It was an awesome show. Awesome pit. Awesome surfin', although I was pinned up front in a good spot and did not go atop the crowd. Their encore, of course, was "Push It" which is my favorite song and was a great ending to a great show. I'm really glad to see them back to their basics and packin' in the crowds. Static X is alot of fun again...just like the first sweat at The Birch. Ahhhhh, so many more memories to be made yet.