Live ReviewsMusic

Five Takeaways from Mudvayne and GWAR at PNC Music Pavilion

The frontman of Mudvayne in a horrific costume sings into a microphone onstage
Mudvayne performs at PNC Music Pavilion on July 23, 2023. (Photo by Jeff Hahne)

Last year (almost one year to the day), Mudvayne rolled into town with Rob Zombie as part of a co-headlining tour. This year, Mudvayne was the lone headliner on a bill that included Coal Chamber, Gwar, Nonpoint and Butcher Babies. While last year’s show had Charlotte’s PNC Music Pavilion packed, this year’s outing at the same venue was perhaps half-full.

Here are five takeaways from the concert.

1. Mudvayne was just there to rock it out
Just a few songs into their 75-minute set, Mudvayne singer Chad Gray told the crowd, “I have some things to say, but I’d rather just play fucking music.” Thus, the band launched into another song as Gray paced the stage and spent a good bit of time on top of amps at the front of the stage in order to get a bit closer to fans. While the setlist stayed at 12 songs like last year, it was surprising that fan favorites “Dig” and “Happy?” were left out.

Coal Chamber performs at PNC Music Pavilion
Coal Chamber performs at PNC Music Pavilion on July 23, 2023. (Photo by Jeff Hahne)

2. Hear no evil, see no evil
Surprisingly, Coal Chamber kicked things off with their biggest hit, “Loco.” From there, it was an array of songs that generally sounded the same. It made me wonder how they were booked second on the bill and many in the crowd looked bored at times. Toward the end of the set, singer Dez Fafara asked for crowd participation in singing, “The roof is on fire,” saying, “Sing this with me. I need to see your echo out there!” Um, that’s not how that works…

3. GWAR’s performance was a bit uneventful
Sure, art-rock band GWAR chopped the limbs off of Vladimir Putin and simulated oral sex with an alien platypus, but for the most part, GWAR’s performance was uneventful. That’s being said from the perspective of someone who knows that, more than 30 years ago, the band was arrested for doing similar things at Charlotte’s 4808 Club. Since then, the lineup has changed but the group’s brand of shock art hasn’t been altered much.

GWAR performs at PNC Music Pavilion on July 23, 2023. (Photo by Jeff Hahne)

4. Nonpoint’s energy remains consistent
After more than 25 years, it’s hard to believe that Nonpoint has never quite gotten itself out of the opener slot on many metal tours. They’ve got plenty of catchy tunes and the band’s energy is relentless as singer Elias Soriano screams and whips his dreadlocks around.

Butcher Babies performs at PNC Music Pavilion on July 23, 2023. (Photo by Jeff Hahne)

5. Butcher Babies should ditch the screaming
Another perennial tour opener, Butcher Babies’ music is centered around the screaming of co-vocalists Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd. They’ve had a couple of moderately successful/recognizable hits on metal radio but have failed to truly put their stamp on the metal scene. What’s interesting is that during two songs of their set, the frontwomen ditched the growls for melodic singing and a few of us in the press took notice — they can sing! Sure, they sing the type of music they like, but if they blended more melodic vocals with the deep cookie monster vocals, they might actually garner a bigger following.

Mudvayne setlist
Not Falling
Under My Skin
Internal Primates Forever
World So Cold
A New Game
Severed
Death Blooms
King of Pain
Dull Boy
Fish Out of Water
Prod
Nothing to Gein

Be sure to check out Queen City Nerve’s Soundwave, Charlotte’s most comprehensive live music listing, so you don’t miss out on any shows or concerts coming up. And hell, if you’re looking for something else to do, you can check out our events page as well, which runs the gamut of things to do in Charlotte. You don’t ever have to be bored again. You can check out more of Jeff’s pics and live reviews here.


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