Photography by Bobby Talamine
Writing by Fiza Javid
It was All Hallow's Eve when Wolfbats roamed the costume laden crowd of the House of Vans Chicago Warehouse. Liquid Death was served to patrons, with the choice of free beer, a free mask, pin and earplugs, because nothing would be scarier than getting Covid AND going deaf of course.
Chicago graced us with perfect fall weather, which allowed the crowd to arrive decked out in their best costumes. I spotted Edward Scissorhands, a Piñata, a Construction Worker, and scariest of all, a man with the shirt that said "Adult" on it.
Beyond the spooky costumes was a set decked with the Wolfbat's themselves, which was created by Brooklyn Artist Dennis McNett, the creator of Wolfbat Studios, whose genuinely incredible display surrounding the venue, including the 'godzilla' sized puppets working through the crowd during performances.
Heavy Temple was the first to take the stage, and they truly set the tone for the night with their incredible set. The psychedelic doom trip loomed over the crowd and helped all the nervous patrons break the ice as they got acquainted with their surroundings.
The excitement truly built up in genuine Halloween spirit when Coven arrived, and even though the crowd was especially excited for the Melvins, my anticipation was for the High Priestess, Original Wicked Woman and true pioneer of metal AND the Devil Horns, Jinx Dawson, and she showed who the night truly belonged to. Coven is the real deal with Jinx being the only remaining original member, she was more than prepared to carry on the spirit of her work. Jinx truly created the standard with Coven's album "Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls in 1969, and while some of the newer members of the crowd might mistake her entrance as a Halloween spectacle, it is important to note that she is the real deal. My response to that? I arrived dressed as a the purple devil emoji 😈, ready to say 'Hail Satan'. What an honor to finally see Coven in the season of the witch.
Let me attempt to paint the full Magickal Musick experience, with the complimentary taste of Dennis McNett.
Right before she entered the stage, there were costume laden WolfBats spooking through the crowd. At first I thought this was intentional, and I didn't know whether to fixate on the crowd or the stage. That is when it began. The projection screen on the stage began playing a Satanic mass ritual, and Coven emerged with a coffin on stage.
The crowd might have expected her to emerge in rot and dirt, but after a Satanic ritual summoned her, Jinx carefully stepped forward wearing a badass studded mask, with matching gloves, ready to rock out.
Every song was a treat. From "Out of Luck" to "Black Sabbath," to "Black Swan" and "Blood on the Snow," Jinx's operatic style and natural charisma truly made the night. All the details presented by Jinx and Coven were intentional. From the lantern in her right hand, the crystal rob strobe ball, the skull when Coven began... I love the Melvins, but Coven should have headlined.
Still, Buzz stood on the side supporting this incredible band. After Coven completed their set, the crowd grooved through the Halloween tracks. Then the Melvins arrived, making grunge and sludge the 2021 sound for the Halloween season.
The Melvins is another band that also deserves more pioneering credit. There are plenty of people who equate the Melvin's to Nirvana (who adored the work of Jinx Dawson, might I add), but Nirvana is better off being equated to the Melvins.
Aside from a drummer, The inspiration they, along with Foo Fighters, took from the Melvins reigns true, and no one does it so originally as Buzz. With the Duff caps and the Buzz costumes in the crowd, we rocked out to "Honey Bucket" among other kickass songs, as McNett's giant puppets worked through a thrashing crowd.
It all truly went by so quickly. Thank you House of Vans for making this the most special spooky HalloWolfBat to date!
Until next time, keep on rocking and have a safe Halloween.
Fiza ---- JBTV Music Television