River Riot! (Freaks on Parade)
August 6th, 2022
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Buckle up and strap in for another journey into the mouth of madness that is a concert review from Adam. Omaha/Council Bluffs love it when Rob Zombie rolls through town. We love it even more when he brings friends.
The 2022 incarnation of River Riot, featuring the Freaks on Parade tour, wasn’t just a concert though, it was a history lesson. This year would mark the 10th River Riot, our local festival sponsored by KIWR 89.7 The River, since its inaugural festival in 2006. Festival attendees endured 102 degree heat for the opportunity to catch one of the most hotly anticipated tours since Rage Against the Machine reunited.
Today was also Rob Zombie’s 10th time playing the Omaha Metro area since 1992, four times with White Zombie, and six as a solo act. Council Bluffs also hosted Zombie’s 2014 sold-out performance during the Spookshow International Tour which lead to the release of the live album by the same name.
River Riot wouldn’t solely be about Rob Zombie though. Every KIWR festival is known for hosting some of our region’s most talented acts, and the extreme August weather was no deterrent for our hometown heroes The Tale Untold or Through Fire.
The Tale Untold would had the distinction of being the only band today with a female vocalist. Pulling inspiration from metal, death-core, and rock genres, The Tale Untold wasted no time kicking the crowd into high gear. The band incorporates everything they’ve grown to love about music and crafted an emotive experience for a few thousand diehard rock and metal fans who braved the heat to show up early.
Through Fire have become a staple of our local festivals, and for good reason. Through Fire’s performances are some of the most finely tuned that I’ve witnessed. While the band has toured nationally, their true place in the rock pantheon is performing during a massive festival setting. The band definitely knows how to whip their fans into a frenzy.
The nostalgia was in full swing the moment Powerman 5000 took the stage. Their energy transferred easily onto the crowd and continued through Static-X’s set. While Static-X focused on their seminal debut album, PM5K reminded us that they’ve never truly left by playing a selection of cuts from throughout their history. Its been years since either band has played the Omaha metro area, far too long, but not a single moment on stage was wasted. Not even the near 100 degree heat would stop the swirling masses from enjoying the day.
A festival like this was exactly what we all needed to not only forget about all of the troubles we may have from life but to remind us how important music is in our lives. As brutal as the performances from PM5K and Static-X were, it was Mudvayne that cranked up the energy to a near breaking point.
Since the announcement of Mudvayne’s return, the band has been marked as the “IT” band to see live in concert. Whether or not we all knew it, we were witnessing history. Maybe its because each member of Mudvayne never truly stopped performing, but the band dominated the stage like their rule over the Metal Kingdom never went on hiatus. I was jealous of every fan at the festival whom was witnessing these bands for the first time. Each performance had to have left an incredible impression on fans old and new alike.
By the time Rob Zombie took the stage the crowd in the amphitheater had swelled to a breaking point. If you’ve never experienced Rob Zombie live, its hard to describe what you’ve missed. The visuals of Zombie’s stage show are just as important as the band’s live performance. Zombie’s live shows are also high energy. The only member of the band who remains in one place during a set is drummer Ginger Fish and even he’s continuously thrashing around his drum-kit.
While the band slammed into the crowd for over an hour and a half, Zombie’s elaborate stage set-up played various videos from each track, either the official music video or clips of Zombie’s cartoons and animations. It really enhanced the experience of the music and brought the show to a new level. It’s great to know that each time I’ve seen the band their stage shows get more and more impressive.