Orion Music + More Festival (Day 1)- 06/23/12
Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
Words/Photos by Jay Porks
Orion Music + More Festival Day One Recap 6/23/12
Editor’s Note: Jay Porks is so bad ass, he wrote this review during the festival. We hope you enjoy.
Welcome to the Jay Porks Day One Re-Cap of Orion Music + More Festival here in Atlantic City, NJ. For those who weren’t aware, this is the festival curated by Metallica, containing a bunch of acts you raise eyebrows to when you take a look at the list. Not only that, but Metallica is closing both nights, playing Ride The Lightning tonight, and The Black Album tomorrow night. Both days look awesome, but my plate for today is full of acts that I’ve been dying to see for a while, Arctic Monkeys and Modest Mouse to name a couple. Also got some Cage The Elephant action in there, along with the obscure (in an awesome way) Toronto natives Fucked Up. So excited for Roky Erickson. Roky is a personal highlight going into today until Metallica destroys me later on tonight. Any friend of the Meat Puppets is a friend of mine. Saturday is set to kick off for me with Baroness at 1PM. The 71st episode of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series won’t feature more than one or two videos from each act, as battery is a factor along with memory (I’m packing 32gigs), and we want to get all the Metallica we can get, because after all, they’re freaking Metallica. Anyway without further ado, let’s call this cab and get my ass down to Bader Field and get this party started!
I got out of a cab at 12:20 and walked a few blocks to the entrance side by side with a sea of folks all done up in their Metallica gear ( with a few scattered Iron Maiden and Avenged Sevenfold tees- as I sported my Meat Puppets). It’s hot, really hot. This is my first “festival”, I don’t normally know the goings on of a four-stage event. This place is HUGE! I can see for miles- and there’s all types of side things going on. Rows and rows of concessions ( water was $3- that’s a deal these days) . There’s a Metallica museum, which I’ll try check out tomorrow. There’s 100’s of old school custom cars in this tented area. Lots of people, lots of hot metal chicks wearing the appropriate attire for a 90+ degree day in the sun (life is so good). I was worried I couldn’t get my camera in, then I saw the sign that said ” no professional recording devices”. Well, if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s professional. The band the Orion stage had blasting was what every heavy metal fan would dream of- The Cure.
I didn’t know Tyson Chandler joined a band! That lead singer does resemble him- but all kidding aside if you’re kicking off a festival headlined by Metallica, I don’t see a more perfect band to do so then that in Baroness. My questions of “will you be able to hear other bands on other stages at the same time” was answered when these guys got started. I got almost all of that first song, only failed because they fooled me towards the end. The Orion stage has video screens on each side- giving it this “Hey, we’re a real festival” kind of feel. Me, the guy who’s not heavy on metal, found myself with a slight head nod and maybe a little strumming of my thigh as they passed 1:30pm with “Take my Bones Away“. Wow, they played the ONE song I actually knew the name of ! Good times, energetic set. They ended at 1:56pm
I showed up to the “Frantic” stage early, mostly due to the fact that it’s the only stage that’s tented. Some relief from the sun for a few minutes as they set Roky up. And that’s when I decided to take advantage of the free water re-fills they have on site here at the festival (warm water, but free water).
With full band (keyboardist, back up singer , drummer , 2 other guitar players and a bassist) on hand, Roky and the crew came out at 245. How old is his guy? The girl on keys is no eyesore. The lead guitarist says: “damn, it’s hotter here than it is in Texas”. I’m in opposite Baroness mode as I ride the rail here where I was further back earlier. The band backing him was tight as hell, they helped carry him and everyone else into space for a little while. Played some of my favorites like ‘Two Headed Dog’, ‘Night of the Vampire’ and “You’re Gonna Miss Me”. It looks like Roky honestly doesn’t know what planet he’s on. To only be so lucky. They were done rocking at 3:20-3:30pm.
So when I arrived at the “Fuel” stage for Fucked Up, I noticed some dude in an “OFF!” tee shirt. Must have seen a show on that Dinosaur Jr/Fucked Up/OFF tour I caught last year. First song into their set this Damien is already leaning on the rail screaming lyrics at the crowd- ripped his shirt off and the epic back sweater was in full force. Only took til the second song to get him completely in the crowd. Such a fun time, this band is too obscure and unique for me to call them punk, but they are some sub genre from that. A few songs they played were “David”, “I Hate Summer”, “The Other Shoe” (which I thought was called Dying On The Inside, because that’s the audience sing-along part) and “Turn The Season. Damien says he would’ve stayed the whole weekend, but him and his wife are expecting their 2nd child tomorrow. I ducked out about 4:40 hoping to be able to walk to some other stages to see what’s happening, I know these dudes (and bass playing non-dude) are awesome, let me see if I can discover something.
Caught the end of Jim Breuer’s “Heavy Metal Comedy Tour” set back at the “Frantic” stage. He was explaining how he started doing voices by prank calling his fellow Sears co-workers with Kaddafi bomb threats. Heard some dude say “I’m not into that whole ‘pot head comedy’ thing he does”. I don’t really get that statement, I don’t think Half Baked 2 is due out anytime soon. It was a fun few minutes over there
With time to kill til Cage the Elephant, the “Fuel” stage is already getting packed by the front. So I decided to go listen in on a few Gaslight Anthem songs, Since it looks like the entire state of New Jersey has made their way over to see the hometown boys. These guys are terrible. No seriously, these guys are terrible. I came in right while they were playing “American Slang” , and heard a few after that. Why are people into this band? Even the jokes they make between songs are lame: “Here’s a slow song, so it’s your chance to talk to that girl with the tattoos next to you, because you know they don’t hang out where we hang out”. Where “We” hang out?? You guys are in a rock band that a bunch of sheep worship- you guys hang out where people like Jay-Z hang out. You are not us- we paid to get in. Oh yea, did I mention your band’s terribly boring?
Cage The Elephant
My thoughts on Cage The Eleplant can be summed up by what the lead singer said after the 1st song: “we’re weird people”. Weird in a good way, I enjoy the kinda half rap thing they do on some songs, and the music is funky as funk! No wonder Kirk Hammet introduced them. I was at this same stage for Fucked Up and was like 3 rows deep- now for Cage( who played House of Blues last night) I’m at least a football field away. Not only that, but just as I’m getting into this I see people already heading towards the Orion stage for Modest Mouse. Do I leave this set and scout a spot that’s maybe only 90 yards away for MM, or do I stay?
There are SO many people here! I guess lots of folks skipped the early day activities and are arriving late , but I’m deep behind easily 1000 people standing. But I’m so far back, I can see over the heads. Awesome. Guys came out blazing, opened with “The Whale Song”. Modest Mouse has a million albums(not actually a million), so even being handed a set of not-so-familiars didn’t piss me off as it would with some other bands. “Float On” was a pleasant surprise at about 7:35ish. “Shit Luck” was mixed in there too. People are already at this stage setting themselves up for good Metallica spots while I’m still peaking across the way to see how bad (in terms of me not being up front) things were getting for Arctic Monkeys.
And the trek back to the Fuel stage for Arctic Monkeys. Jeez am I getting a work out today or what? They were introduced by Lars (who introduced Baroness earlier), and they proceeded to prove their coolness. Lots of dancing going on during this set. And not just during that song with dance floor in the name.
They played “Fluorescent Adolescent” ( my personal favorite of theirs) 2nd to last, after he introduced a song called “Brick by Brick”, in which the drummer handled some of the vocal duties. Was pleased that the stage lights were able to be used during this set, as it was just getting dark outside as they closed in on the end. One of the only bands to perform after sundown this weekend, The Arctic Monkeys delivered anything their solo live show could’ve sent a fan home happy with.Ended it with “Are you Mine” 9:06
At this point and time it’s past 9 o clock, and you look down at the Orion stage and see blue lights on stage, now everybody is facing that way, and you couldn’t get close if you tried. Didn’t need to, when Metallica came out and played “Ride The Lightning” in it’s entirety it did a couple of things for me. One, Metallica will kick your balls in live. That is a serious professional band. Seeing the guys have sort of a sense of humor up there and with putting on this festival and all almost makes up for that whole Napster thing. They said they “flipped it up” on us a bit-they played some stuff not on the record first like “Master Of Puppets,” “Sad But True,” “The Four Horsemen,” after kicking it off with “Hit The Lights.” I didn’t have the battery life on my phone to Google the album’s track list so I marked down the highlights with times next to them in my notes here.
At 10:05Pm, they played “Escape.” Am I a lucky bastard or what? My first ever time seeing this band, and I get the song they haven’t played-EVER. Of course my camera’s battery is dead for this, (as it’s been since Master Of Puppets) they didn’t mess it up or anything. Sounded good.
10:25PM “For Whom the Bell Tolls” was insane. People raising fists (it is Jersey after all)-this one guy came in from of my camera and screamed the lyrics into my phone while I was trying to snap that last picture before the battery died. Thanks asshole.
Encores: To me, an encore means “songs played when you were about to walk towards the exit”. This happened at least 5 times on Saturday, where the boys said goodnight and convinced half the crowd they were done only to keep coming back on stage stopping people in their tracks. They saved their cool pyrotechnics til the end. Pictures of those fireworks and the flames rising would’ve been pretty wicked. So encore goes as follows “Nothing Else Matters”, “Enter Sandman”(this is where stuff started blowing up. Note to self: Save battery life for Day Two’s encore!). Then they ducked off stage for a minute and I started walking towards the exit, again and they came back out to play “Battery” and “One” before they said goodnight (again!). The walk began once more, because surely it’s over. Nope. Came back out to play one more, “Seek And Destroy.” Place went crazy. They went way past the scheduled time of 11 on the billing. Incredible.
To read all about Orion Music + More Day Two – Click Here