Gig Review: Wednesday 13 with Department of Gloom – Sydney 3rd February 2024

The Metro Theatre - Sydney, NSW

Wednesday 13

Its been several years since I’ve had cause to go to the Metro on George St (which is a shame because it’s a great venue), but it seems that there’s been a positive change in booking recently, so I’m looking forward to a few return visits in the near future.

The first thing I noticed was that it seemed smaller than I remember, this was likely because the room was already three-quarters full by the time I arrived! All the better for the Department of Gloom, who saunter onstage & then launch into their brand of revved up Power-pop. They’re an interesting-looking crew, one guitarist appears to have a skunk living on his head, the other hair looks like he’d gotten carried away while experimenting with a lady shaver ™, and the bass player… well apparently they’ve found Amelia Earhart… she was on the front of that truck in Mad Max: Fury Road, and now fronts a Gothcore band in Sydney… who woulda guessed?!?!

All that aside though, when it comes down to the songs, and these buggers definitely grabbed the Metro’s attention & did not let go!

‘I Dare You’ was a standout for me, but the set was peppered with enough hooks to keep the W13 crowd well & truly in the boat until the main event arrived.

Definitely keep an eye out for the next Departmental outing!

It’s difficult to believe that 21 years have passed since the release of Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls, (to quote Wednesday 13, that’s probably because I’m gettin’ old!) So to celebrate & commemorate founding member Joey Jordison, Wednesday & his merry men are touring a full Murderdolls set! As the man himself pointed out from the stage, many of the people in attendance weren’t even born when the 1st album came out, so this was definitely a night not to be missed for the fans!

The intro “World according to Revenge” slithers out of the PA before the band roars into ‘Chapel of Blood’ . It’s a no-hatted Wednesday this tour, he looks a lot more ‘Alice Cooper’s evil step-son’ this time out.

Before 197666, Wednesday regales the audience with the story of his situation when he got the Murderdolls call 21 years ago… working for K-Mart, and listening to CDs in his car using one of those cheap cassette interfaces in his Car Stereo (The people not born yet had NO idea what he was talking about, but I DEFINITELY did).

Mr. 13 is surely one of the more engaging front-men I’ve seen in a long time… from stories of hell-tours with Iron Maiden to Mick Mars bleeding all over their recording session… “Slap those hands like they owe you money” and the even best front-man eventually rips off Dee Snider once in a while “You got hands… use ’em!”.

Additionally, the band is certainly not made up of “Nameless Ghouls” ™, guitarists Roman Surman & Jack Tankersley, have plenty of charisma to back up the main man. They also have a classic contrast thing going Tankersley has the dirty Les Paul thing going on, while Roman brings the guitar acrobatics. And the drummer even managed to keep people entertained during the Drum Solo.

… From the surprisingly compelling Drum Solo, through to the finish, it’s ALL hits:

People Hate Me, Welcome to the Strange, Dawn of the Dead, Nowhere & finally Summertime Suicide. I had forgotten just how much the Murderdolls owed to ‘80 Glam Metal’ (something The artist formerly known as Joseph Michael Poole fully Acknowledges), but these songs brought it right home!

This Of course leaves plenty of room for Wednesday to bring out his Encore Hat & his Encore Jacket…

Things come to a climax with the cover of White Wedding, followed by the best Umbrella advert since Rhianna… ‘I love to say Fuck’ and finally ‘Dead in Hollywood’ to close.

This was certainly one of those sets that if you weren’t there, you’ll be saying you were anyway… but you most definitely missed out!

It’ll certainly be interesting to see what W13 brings to these shores next time he tours to raise the bar from this…

Photos by Adam Sivewright  |  Review by Biggs

Wednesday 13:

Department of Gloom: