Half live music extravaganza, half heart-pounding slasher. Does it get any better than that?
All photos by Jason Walton
If there was ever a band that embodied the darkness and debauchery of Halloween, it’s Ice Nine Kills. Those already enraptured by their blood-stained artistry will be more than aware of the lengths that they will go to blur the lines between fantasy and reality – just look at the on-going story found within the folds of the cinematic music videos that have made up their ‘The Silver Scream’ campaign – but with their recent livestream experience, which premiered this past weekend, there continues to be no limit to what they will attempt and what they will ultimately achieve.
Now, if it wasn’t for the current state of the world, the band would have been surely be celebrating Pumpkin Season in a much more elaborate way, but alas a livestream, hosted by none other than Bill Moseley, famous for his performances as Chop Top Sawyer in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Otis B. Driftwood in Rob Zombie’s Firefly Trilogy, will have to do. But there’s so much more here than meets the eye.
First off we must talk about the performance which was filmed at the band’s biggest ever headline show at the Worcester Palladium last year, the venue of not just their first ever show but also the place where frontman Spencer Charnas formed the band in the year 2000. A special occasion such as that deserves a special show, and that’s what the 2500 attendees got. With a setlist that delves into the dark corners of both ‘The Silver Scream’ and ‘15’s ‘Every Trick In The Book’, with a quick diversion to fan favourite ‘The Fastest Way To A Girl’s Heart Is Through Her Ribcage’ and a cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, there’s a whole lot of characters and whole lot of stories to tell here, but INK dive into each without coming up for air. From the three different incarnations of Michael Myers that appear on stage at the beginning of ‘Stabbing In the Dark’ to the genuinely terrifying cat and mouse chase between Ghostface and Drew Barrymore throughout the run time of ‘Your Number’s Up’, the pageantry injected into this metalcore masterclass is second to none and leaves you with no choice but to watch as the terror unfolds in front of you. Plus if you thought that the band were heavy on record, in the live arena they are a completely different beast with each pummelling breakdown hitting like Jason Voorhees' fist against your temple on a Manhatten rooftop.
The performance is also interlaced with direct cam reactions from fans who have been watching, provided via the band’s Psychos Only app, and who are just as dolled up in their bedrooms as the band are on stage. It’s a poignant reminder of how INK have connected with their audience on a level that’s much deeper than just guts and riffs. It’s a community where everybody feels comfortable to express themselves in whatever way they wish and share that with likeminded people and watching them sing along and slash at their screens is nothing less than joyful.
Though it’s the additional, and perfectly timed, Zoom call style interactions between the band and Bill that steal the show here. We get updates on what each member has been up to in these last few months, the news that the band are in the middle of working on a new album as they are all in LA at the moment and a wonderful story about how Bill managed to initially get the part of Chop Top, which was actually his first ever major film role. Additionally we also have a sinister backstory that plays out before our eyes involving an overzealous fan of the band and his subsequent stalking of Spencer. Though we are led to believe that authorities are investigating the unknown creeper who has taken the band’s homages to horror a little bit too much to heart, everything still feels very much on edge. Then as the connection of each member starts to fizz and crackle it’s very clear that nothing is as it seems and the squeamish among us will be hiding behind their pillows in no time.
As the stream comes to a gooey end, the credits roll to the sound of Spencer brilliantly covering Elvis Presley’s classic track ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ and you're left with more questions than answers, there's a split second a where you're able to breathe and process what you have just witnessed. To dedicate yourself completely to your art, journey far beyond the pale and create something that will not only stick with you just after it has occurred but for years to come is something that you don’t see that often, but that’s what makes INK such a special band. There are no half measures and no stone left unturned when it comes to delivering something truly incredible, both on and off stage, and the attention to detail found within this malevolent extravaganza is just one example of this. To be entertained yet still want to check under your bed for any unknown horrors afterwards? That’s something very special indeed.
Whatever the band end up doing next is sure to be an absolute spectacle, but until then we have this guttural, gruesome and gloriously affecting affair to quench our thirst.
Fancy watching 'The Silver Stream' for yourself? It will be up for another week, then it will be gone forever. Don't miss out and get stuck in HERE