Where it all started

Pennsylvania’s Motionless in White returned home for a special Halloween show at the Electric Factory

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

There’s just something special about a band that stays true to its roots. This is certainly the case for Pennsylvania’s own Motionless in White, which concluded its nationwide Graveyard Shift Tour in its own backyard at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory on Halloween night. Though the rock/metalcore band gives off a Marilyn Manson-esque vibe, they’re all just hometown boys at heart who know how to put on an unforgettable show.

On stage: Rock/metalcore band, Motionless in White, returned to its Pennsylvania roots with a special Halloween show at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory. SAMANTHA BAMBINO / TIMES PHOTO

MIW’s lineup consists of vocalist Chris “Motionless” Cerulli, Ryan Sitkowski and Ricky “Horror” Olson on guitar, Devin “Ghost” Sola on bass and Vinny Mauro on drums. On any given day, whether it’s the heart of summer or the Christmas season, the members of MIW never stray far from their signature black pants, black vests, black makeup…you get the point. And Halloween was no different.

Sporting a pair of larger-than-life bat wings, Cerulli commanded the stage as the crowd belted lyrics back to him, trying with all their might to get closer to the front barricade. The rest of the members looked like their normal selves, but Sola was the exception as usual. Showing off makeup skills that most girls would be jealous of, the bassist transformed himself into a skeleton-like matador, complete with roses and of course, spatterings of fake blood.

Quite a scene: The band’s bassist Devin “Ghost” Sola creates intricate costumes year-round and his makeup skills were evident on Halloween. SAMANTHA BAMBINO / TIMES PHOTO

Motionless in White included all generations of fans in the show, performing new hits like “Necessary Evil” off of their latest album Graveyard Shift as well as old school favorites like “Abigail.”

Before the song “570,” named after the band’s hometown area code, Cerulli got a little emotional. As the lyrics state, MIW spent years on the road traveling to gigs in a tiny van, with Sitkowski sleeping in the front passenger seat and Olson hoarding coffee creamers in a Ziplock bag. They worked tirelessly to become what they are today, so for him, it was surreal to be performing to a packed venue in his home state.

Cerulli went on to thank his family, especially his father, who has been a vital part of MIW’s success from behind-the-scenes. He explained how Jerry Cerulli would always pack the band’s van before tour and handcraft the stage props, many of which sprinkled the stage that night. With intricate stone angels, countless carved pumpkins and red-eyed skeletons, the atmosphere allowed fans to leave Philly behind and step into a world the Addams family would approve of.

In a special surprise and touching moment, Cerulli brought his father onstage to perform a cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” In true MIW fashion, Jerry rocked a black outfit his son would be proud of and, to keep up with the Halloween spirit, a long, black wig.

To officially honor his band’s favorite holiday, Cerulli hosted a Halloween costume contest. Before the show, scouts were placed in the crowd to pick 10 of the best-dressed fans, who were then judged by the audience. There was certainly a variety, as Reptar shared the stage with Jesus Christ. In the end, one smart fan who dressed as Cerulli himself came out victorious, winning the ultimate MIW merchandise package.

The night continued in a high energy mixture of music, elaborate stage production and hilarious occurrences that could only happen on Halloween night. It’s not every day that you see Pennywise the clown crowdsurfing…

The final few songs included the popular “Break the Cycle,” catchy “Voices” and longtime crowd favorite “Devil’s Night.” As the band exited the stage, fans chanted “one more song, one more song” until they returned for an encore of the Graveyard Shift single, “Eternally Yours.”

As a few fans lingered in an attempt to catch drum sticks flung by Mauro, the rest trickled back into the real world as Halloween came to a close. Though turkeys and Christmas lights will soon emerge, one thing will never change for the guys of Motionless in White — every day is a good excuse to wear black. ••

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com