Last week, Mushroomhead brought their unique live show through Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, NC. The American metal band formed in 1993 and released their eighth studio album in May, last year. Even with over 20 years of experience and their inclusion on the 2014 Rockstar Mayhem Fest, Mushroomhead is more typically found performing in smaller, intimate venues.
At the opening of Mushroomhead’s set, the crowd was fighting to get their hands on 3D glasses that were tossed out. Adding to the intrigue, a Spongebob Squarepants theme song blared through the speakers, causing a reaction of confusion, laughter and singing along all at once. The impressive eight member lineup slowly filled the stage, clad in suits and masks painted with UV reactive neon colors that glowed vibrantly on a stage lit up solely by blacklight. With triple vocalists constantly running from one side of the stage to the other and triple drummers who alternate between the full drum kit at the back of the stage and two custom water drums at the front of both sides of the stage, it’s a fun challenge to try to keep up with all the action going on. The custom water drums instantly set Mushroomhead apart, and they’re especially hard to keep your eyes off of, with water spraying feet into the air. No matter who you focus on, there’s something interesting happening.
After opening with “Qwerty,” only a handful of other songs off the recent “The Righteous & The Butterfly” album were played. The remainder of the set consisted of fan favorites from over the years, including: “Bwomp,” “Sun Doesn’t Rise, and “Solitaire/Unraveling.” Before closing, Mushroomhead also played a captivating metal twist on Pink Floyd original “Empty Spaces.”
Texan alternative metal band Like Monroe and English metal band The Family Ruin are on tour with Mushroomhead through January and opened as direct support. North Carolina local bands Cry Autumn and The Pretty-Ugly also played short sets as the crowd settled in. Each band aptly riled up the crowd with moshing and crowd surfing, but even for those who aren’t into the metal scene, Mushroomhead’s unforgettable stage presence alone is more than worth witnessing in person!