It has been ten years since Motionless In White charged onto the music scene with the release of their debut album Creatures. The band initially planned to commemorate this special milestone with a hometown show in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, a global pandemic has turned everyone’s lives upside down, resulting in the standstill of all concerts and live events. Artists have been brainstorming different creative approaches to connect with their audiences, now resorting to live streams as a way to bond with fans from the safety of their homes.
In early October, Motionless in White announced a “deadstream” event where they would broadcast Creatures, performed live in its entirety for the first time ever. Fans could buy their tickets in advance and were offered exclusive Creatures merchandise bundles, including day-of-show offers for limited signed posters and set lists, and the opportunity to snag the LP on vinyl with completely reimagined cover art (artist credits: Dan Mumford).
The day of the highly-anticipated deadstream had finally arrived. As time drew closer to the start of the concert, fans received codes via email and a direct link to gain access to the broadcast on the band’s site. Upon admission, fans were greeted by the new Creatures artwork; the imagery displayed across the screen, accompanied by a timer that began to count down. It was almost time.
00:03, 00:02, 00:01, 0:00 and — the screen went black.
Distortion resounded from the speakers, and then the discernible voice of Motionless In White frontman Chris “Motionless” Cerulli could be heard. The audio loop, recognized from the music video for title track “Creatures,” began playing as Chris recited spoken word:
“Can we live without death?
Can we love without hate?
Can we want without need?
(I’ve fallen once again.)”
Slowly, lights began to flicker and the audience could soon make out its source. The illuminated lights were coming from a group of jack-o-lanterns on display across the stage, accompanied by strings of purple LEDs. As the recitation continued, a creepy melody ensued, merging with the vocalist.
Intensity gradually built as Chris repeated his final statement three times:
“Do we want this or do we need this?!”
His scream echoed, fading out at the end. The stage lights suddenly flooded the stage in a bright, yellow aura, showing off the beguiling ringleader as he happily greeted the audience, “What’s up everybody? Ten years of Creatures. Let’s f*cking do this!”
The lights flashed, quickly changing colors – hazes of purple, white, and blue – as Chris screamed the opening line: “I FALL!”
Adorned in their signature gothic style; all-black attire, pale white makeup, and eyeliner — Motionless In White stormed through their setlist.
Invoking intense nostalgia, the band performed Creatures staples, “Immaculate Misconception,” and “Cobwebs” – as well as tracks that have never been played live before, like “.Com Pt. II.” The compositions are brought to life once again, striking differently, as they featured stronger, mature vocals and refined production.
Several of the songs are horror-inspired.
Jack the Ripper’s twisted perspective is explored within “London in Terror.” “Abigail” modernly spins the tale of The Crucible and the Salem witch trials. “We Only Come Out At Night” references the 1987 cult classic movie The Lost Boys. “Undead Ahead” is based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman. The tragic story of Edward Scissorhands is epitomized in “Scissorhands (The Last Snow).”
Between songs, Chris took some time to reflect on the Creatures era, dedicate songs and memories to both current and past MIW members, and express his sincere gratitude for all of the endless support over the years.
Lead guitarist Ryan Sitkowski and drummer Vinny Mauro guided the ensemble, flowing as a collective through each song with vigorous energy and efficiency. The stream exhibited stellar audio and video quality. Heavy bass, guitar tones, and drums were evenly leveled in the sound mix. There were multiple camera angles positioned across the platform – including a unique angle above the drum kit – this element conveying a strong intimacy; a more personal feel as if the band was performing a private show only for you.
One particular highlight was the fan-favorite “City Lights.” Bathed in deep blue lights, Chris delivered an emotionally-charged performance — so hauntingly beautiful and melancholic.
“Paralyzed by my envy of the night. I am lost without you here. And outside it looks like rain…”
Bassist Justin Morrow sang in perfect harmony with the frontman as they went back and forth, never missing a single note.
“For the last time, I bleed myself dry tonight. / And nothing I could ever write would help you understand this life. / There’s so much beauty when your eyes lay lost in all the city lights. / The wax will drip as so as blood. / Romance is dead and all is lust. / You are the water in my lungs. / We’ve lost it.”
The soft ballad elements then take an abrupt turn as Chris screamed, “We are all alone! … We’ve lost it all!”
Motionless In White had some tricks up their sleeves, however, throwing a couple of extra songs into the set and further setting the tone for Halloween. As soon as “Undead Ahead” concluded, the lights went out and the eerie intro to “Undead Ahead 2” began playing – the sequel to the Sleepy Hollow inspired track – from their latest album Disguise. The audio of horse hooves stomping on the ground finished its playback and the lights flashed crimson red as MIW commenced into song, complemented by green lasers interspersed across the stage.
The chemistry is electrifying as every band member plays their heart out, in perfect sync. They charged through brutal breakdowns, headbanging in unison, yet were ever drifting into an ambient atmosphere, completely lost in the music. It’s evident how happy they were to be back together — after nine months of no shows due to the pandemic — back on stage, doing what they love.
Chris finally introduced the last song of the night, a new throwback inspired single the band just recently dropped entitled “Creatures X: To The Grave.” The song possesses a sound that’s strongly reminiscent of Creatures.He earnestly bellowed the lyrics with a strong sense of urgency, “This is my life’s work. / Forever grateful that you made your hearts our home… / There’s always a struggle you don’t see, / Living in fear I proved myself to me. / Forever stepping through the door to the unknown. / Ten years. Ten more.”
This time, rhythm guitarist, Ricky Olson, had his chance to shine in the chorus, delivering driving vocals, “I was waiting for my chance to find the life I was chasing, my god, what have I become?”
Everything was a frenzied whirlwind as the event spurred to an end.
Chris fiercely roared the final line, “I’ll take this to my grave with no stain washed away. Become! I’ll take this to my grave!”
My final verdict is that Motionless In White delivered a compelling, spooky evening completely out of this world. — 10/10.
Motionless In White conjured up some serious magic with this deadstream event, hitting all the high notes in their performance; leaving fans in a hypnotic trance, wishing that the night would never end…
They Motionless In White put their heart and soul into every aspect of their work, and this virtual event was no exception. It truly encapsulated what makes a MIW show such a memorable occurrence: the band’s bold stage presence, gothic theatricality, and intense production, these attributes blaze through from the very moment they step onto stage. However, it’s the most prominent quality of all — the dedicated relationship that they share with their fans — which emits the brightest flame. The cathartic experience wholly resonated, an enthralling gem showcasing the power of music and instilling vivid hope for our industry.
We are living in very strange, challenging, and unprecedented times right now — until we can see each other in the flesh again, streaming concerts are the standard for now, since this is as close as we can possibly get to a live gig for the moment. This concert served as a glimmering reminder that we need art; creativity and artistic expression is vitally more important than ever. Live music will make its triumphant return soon. However, in the meantime, performances like this will definitely suffice.