Photos/Review: Rob Zombie & Alice Cooper brought The Freaks on Parade to Jones Beach w/ Ministry & Filter – 9/9/2023

Posted by on September 18, 2023

Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero


For the second year, The Freaks on Parade Tour charges through the country, taking no prisoners. Promising a night of timeless shock and blazing talent for attending fans, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie lead the way as the metal madness marches throughout the U.S. 2023 marks the second year Rob Zombie has hosted the tour, with last year’s lineup also including Mudvayne, Static-X, and Powerman 5000. This year, along with the aforementioned Alice Cooper, Ministry, and Filter join Rob Zombie on stage. The tour was halfway complete when the two most prolific names in shock rock turned their attention to Long Island’s Jones Beach Theater. As perfect a combo as Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper are, it’s shocking that the tour marks the first time they have toured together in thirteen years.

Given the different eras in which Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie hit it big, the crowd was well-represented by several generations of metal fans. Of course, fans remembered when Cooper released “I’m Eighteen” back in 1970 on his way to superstardom while another generation that grew up in JNCO jeans and chain wallets in the 90s banged their heads to “Superbeast.” Perhaps even better, a whole new generation of young metal fans were also in attendance, proving the impact that the headliners of The Freaks on Parade tour have left on the metal landscape. 

The show kicked off with Cleveland, Ohio’s Filter. The brainchild of former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Richard Patrick, Filter was ready to start the night off right as fans filled the waterfront venue early. Joined by Jonathan Radtke (Guitar), Bobby Miller (Bass), and Elias Mallin (Drums), the band kicked off the show at 5:30 PM, ready to bust out some classics while also treating fans to some new tracks off their album, The Algorithm which had released just 15 days prior. Tracks from the new release dominated the first half of the set, kicking off with “The Drowning” and “For The Beaten” followed up with the “Obliteration.” For those who haven’t given the new album a go, it is certainly worth a listen. The band’s first release in seven years is an absolute love letter to rock fans. 

Of course, the band has released some absolute bangers during their thirty years together, and the second half of their set proved that point. Slowing things down at the halfway point, the band eased into “Take A Picture.” The classic track admittingly was a far departure from the previous three songs but had longtime fans singing along. Things heated back up for “Welcome to the Fold” before returning to their roots to close out with “Hey Man, Nice Shot” off their debut album, Short Bus. If The Algorithm is a sign of things to come, Filter is far from over. While fans may have had to wait seven years for the album’s release, the payoff is well worth it. 



Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero



After a short interlude, Ministry was next. The industrial metal act paved the way for bands like Marilyn Mason and Nine Inch Nails. Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, vocalist/guitarist Al Jourgensen marks the perfect halfway point between Alice Cooper’s rise to the top and Rob Zombie’s. Jourgensen has led Ministry through over 40 years of trials and tribulations while never losing sight of what the band stands for. Jourgensen hit the stage with fellow members John Bechdel (Keyboards), Monte Pittman (Guitar), Cesar Soto (Guitar), Paul D’Amour (Bass), and Roy Mayorga (Drums) as daylight slowly gave into the clutches of night. “Thieves” opened the floodgates, inviting fans back to the 1989 release of The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. “The Missing” and “Stigmata” kept the classics going before the band turned their attention to a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Supernaut.” “N.W.O.” and “Just One Fix” kept heads banging as the sun completely disappeared, bringing with it the humidity that had tortured fans during the day. Still, the band kept things heated. Much like Filter before them, Ministry had a new track to show off to the live crowd. The single, “Goddamn White Trash,” closed out Ministry’s set and is an amazing introduction to the band’s upcoming albumHOPIUMFORTHEMASSES, currently slated for 2024. As more info comes in about the band’s 16th album, the release continues to garner interest as it’s set to provide a much-needed proverbial middle finger to the state of the world around all of us.



Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero


As the stage crew set up for Cooper, the Jones Beach Theater packed out even further. At seventy-five years old, Alice Cooper continues to reign as the “Godfather of Shock Rock,” captivating audiences with his signature macabre theatrics and electrifying stage presence. Rising to rock royalty status on the backs of hits like “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper’s resume is unmatched in any genre. The unstoppable godfather of shock rock is second to none. Of course, Cooper didn’t arrive on Long Island alone. Glen Sobel took to the drum throng while Ryan Roxie (Guitar), Chuck Garric (Bass), fellow Hollywood Vampire bandmate Tommy Henriksen (Guitar), and a returning Nita Strauss (Guitar) took to the stage as the arena went black.

A banner designed as a newspaper front page with “Banned in New York” as its headline above Alice Cooper’s namesake and a photo of his glaring eyes and infamous eye makeup. As the bandmates warmed up the crowd, a spotlight flipped on, and a silhouette of Alice with a tophat could be seen through the newspaper article. He gracefully went through the banner and took the stage to a loud cheer. Guitar solos emitted over the speakers, and you could feel the energy radiating within the arena as Alice Cooper led the band into “Lock Me Up” while craftily swinging his sword. He removed his top hat and traded out his sword for a cane, conducting his band like a maniacal maestro for “No More Mr. Nice Guy.”

The show, equal parts theatrical and rock perfection, continued through several set pieces and kicked into high gear when Cooper came to the stage with a live boa constrictor across his shoulders for “Snake Bite.” Exchanging real-life monsters for ones of fiction, “Feed My Frankenstein” followed. Throughout the show, the band was in pure simpatico, and they delivered another round of guitar solo mastery while a giant Frankenstein’s monster puppet stomped around the stage. “Poison” had fans joining in before a snippet of “The Black Widow” segment of Alice Cooper: Nightmare played over the massive screens that adorned the stage. 

Nita Strauss rejoined the stage first. In the spotlight alone, Strauss delighted the fans solo. Strauss’ return to Alice Cooper can’t be understated. A headliner in her own right, Strauss has continued to earn her reputation, becoming an inspiration to aspiring female musicians worldwide. Soon, the rest joined the stage, with Alice Cooper trapped within the confines of a straightjacket. The constraints did little to stop Cooper’s energy now could the electric shocks he was prodded with as he ruled the stage through “Black Widow Jam.” “Ballad of Dwight Fry” and

  “Killer” before breaking himself free, extracting some revenge on his captors in the process. Of course, he wasn’t out of the woods yet as he was joined on stage by his wife dressed as Marie Antoinette. From straightjacket to the guillotine, Alice met his maker as she led him into a guillotine that had been brought onto the stage. She then lifted his dead high into the air in triumph. Alice would return to the stage, no worse for wear, as the group prepared their finale with “Elected.” “School’s Out” provided a bit of an ironic ending, given schools had just recently started for the year. Still, that didn’t stop the crowd singing along loudly. Alice Cooper’s live performance is unmatched. Throughout the set, he wove his dark tales with a dramatic finesse that only comes from years of mastery. Before leaving the stage, Alice spoke to the crowd, “Happy Halloween, and may all your nightmares be horrendous!” a perfect mantra for the Long Island fans. 


Alice Cooper

Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero


Another banner raised to the stage, this one unmarked and slightly transparent as the stage crew set up for the headlining act. Rob Zombie, no stranger to the world of theatrical rock, brought his brand of darkness to the stage. This Tour celebrated Zombie’s 25 years since the groundbreaking debut album, Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International. The stage was set with breathtaking pyrotechnics, with colossal puppets and large L.E.D. screens showcasing his captivating films and music videos throughout the performance. While Rob Zombie had been back to the New York area since, this show marked his first time at Jones Beach since 2018, which had to be canceled due to severe weather after only the opening act had played. That said, fans were extra pumped to see Zombie finally grace the venue’s stage.

The main event got underway with Rob Zombie perched high on a platform with drummer Ginger Fish while Piggy D. (Bass) and Mike Riggs (Guitar) set the scene from below. The platform slowly made its way down as the band blasted through. Rob Zombie had made his way down to the stage’s level by the time “Deep City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” was underway, while smoke shot high into the sky. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and “Feel So Numb” added some scorching flames to the already heated set. The pyrotechnics were nothing short of awe-inspiring, setting the stage ablaze with a fiery intensity that matched the raw power of the music. In addition to his iconic repertoire, Rob Zombie delighted the crowd by treating them to an array of songs from his acclaimed films, also celebrating anniversaries including House of 1000 Lords of Salem (10 years) and House of 1000 Corpses (20 years). Several tracks introduced oversized monsters to the stage, similar to Alice Cooper’s Frankenstein the set before.

Between tracks, Rob Zombie would casually talk with fans, joking with them on several occasions, giving fans a chance to gasp for air between the heavy tracks. Zombie commanded fans to scream. Then, only the ladies were asked to scream before kicking into “Living Dead Girl.” Later, Zombie took a break to request fans to put down their phones for one song. He told fans that only the upper balcony could use their phone, while the front was banned for the next three minutes. “Upstairs, have fun on your phones, play some Candy Crush, and what have you. Down here, we mean business.” He quipped. Humorously, he then waited for the pit to turn their phones off, and one by one, fans gave in to his request, their phone displays extinguished as the pit turned into a void of darkness. The band then brought fans back to the singer’s roots with covers of White Zombie’s “More Human Than Human” and “Thunder Kiss ’65” to close out the main set. A towering robot dashed around the stage as Godzilla and other Japanese cinema movies played on the screens in the background. An encore to send the fans home happy came in the form of “Dragula” before the band called it a night.

Rob Zombie’s high-energy performance and visually striking stage design complemented Cooper’s set perfectly, creating an immersive experience for fans. The Freaks on Parade 2023 Tour was a spectacular collision of legendary rock icons, proving that age is no match for the true Rock ‘N Roll spirit. The Tour showcased the enduring power of rock music, proving that age is merely a number when it comes to genuine passion and talent. It was a night that will be etched into the memories of fans, both new and old, for years to come.


Rob Zombie

Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero


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