Search results: "suicide silence"

MACHINE HEAD, SUICIDE SILENCE AND DARKEST HOUR DEMOLISH EAST ST. LOUIS 01/17/12

I have been a fan of Machine Head since before the ” Burning Red ” album was released. That CD release show was one of the first shows I have ever attended at Pop’s Concert and Nightclub in beautiful, sunny Sauget, IL. Its hard to believe its been over 10 years since that day or summer. A lot has changed, new albums, new haircuts, new groupies and a lot has stayed the same. Hard fucking music brought to you as only Machine Head can. Brutal, unforgiving and in your face. When Robb Flynn and Co. decided to bring a winter tour to St. Louis and I couldn’t help but go. Oh the memories.


A show prior to this my car battery died completely, oh well thats what happens when you drive, shit breaks. So with my battery being shot, I decided to call and try and find a ride. It wasn’t hard, one of my good friends and die hard St. Louis Metal fan Matt decided to be nice enough to give me a ride to the show. Before heading out we grabbed a few Schlafly Pale Ale’s as a gift for the band Darkest Hour. Schlafly is a great St. Louis brewer and they make exceptional beer, they also sponsor great music and events. After grabbing a few beers myself we rolled towards Pop’s in search of good times, strippers and music.

We found all 3 numerous times upon entering Pop’s glorious parking lot. After finding a spot next to the buses we had to wait a whole 5 minutes before Lonestar from Darkest Hour came outside. My friend Matt and him chatted about the weather, beer, and music in a 3 minute chat. They kept it brief as Darkest Hour was to hit the stage in less than an hour and it was 22 degrees in St. Louis with a breeze that kills. I had killed a few beers by this time and I was hoping I could have a couple more inside. Well the math wasn’t right, I had 23 dollars the show was $22 day of show. Then someone asked me the magic question. Do you need a ticket they asked? ” Yeah how much ? ” I replied. When he told me 10 dollars I was super excited. Just what I needed more alcohol, and we were in.

It was your typical metal show, lots of black shirts featuring the words fuck and bitch. I made my way to the floor to watch Darkest Hour. They hail from Washington D.C and bring the metal all over this globe. They took the stage on time and wasted no time in putting on a show that sent those in attendance to see them to go crazy, my friend Matt included.

He hyped this band up quite a bit and they did not let down. They played ” The World Engulfed In Flames ” to open their set and played it with a raw intensity. It was a great start to what would turn out to be a great show.

Singer John Henry was very into his job at vocals working both sides of the stage, and never letting the shows energy to slip back down. He was a great front man to watch work the stage.

Darkest Hour has recorded 7 albums in the past 10 years and paid a lot of dues across America among other countries. They played a variety of songs off of their collection of albums. One that stood out in my mind being the first time seeing them live was, ” A Thousand Words To Say But One ” off of the 2005 release ” Undoing Ruin “. This song really showed how together these guys are as a group.

They played a incredible set, I really enjoy these guys and look forward to seeing them back in the future. On the way down to the show Matt told me the song ” Doomsayer ” changed the way he viewed music. I respect Matt’s opinion very much and that is a major statement. So we sat on the way to the show and listened to that song twice, and it was only right they would end with ” Doomsayer ” and left the crowd charged and waiting more.

After the brief set change, the lights went dark and the crowd once again rushed the floor. Up next from Southern California was Suicide Silence. A lot of people have negative things to say about this band. The handful of times I have met them or seen them live they have always rocked and treated me and other fans with respect. They brought a sizeable chunk of the crowd that night and the floor got crazy when they started off the set with ” You Only Live Once ” which is off of their latest release ” The Black Crown “.

After first seeing them in 2008 at some local club that was packed to the walls, I have seen them countless other times over the years. They always put on a great show and take performing seriously. Lead singer Mitch Lucker loves his circle pits and would call for one almost every song to which the crowd was happy to help. It was great seeing half the crowd try for the circle pit and the other half sit there and wonder whats going on?

They had a good variety of songs during thier 40 minute set. Such as songs from the 2007 debut release ” The Cleansing ” such as the fan favorite ” No Pity For A Coward “. That got the hardcore Suicide fans revved up in a frenzy. They encouraged the crowd surfers that were flying over the barricade almost faster than security could catch them.

Towards the end of the set they still had the crowd eating out of their hands. After playing ” Smoke ” off of 2009’s ” No Time To Bleed ” album it was time for the metal show staple ” The Wall of Death “. It went over great as it normally does at Pop’s the crowd loved it and it got them to go even crazier than they were already. They followed that up with ” Disengage ” which is the last song on the ” No Time To Bleed ” album.

After Suicide finished their set, the anticipation grew as we waited for Machine Head to take the stage. The crowd chanted ” Machine Fuckin’ Head ” as the lights went out. They came out and rocked the song ” I AM HELL ” for the St. Louis crowd, red lights lit the stage giving even more feeling to the song. It was a great song to open with and people wasted no time in showing everyone else what Machine Head shows are all about.

” I Am Hell ” is a single off of the album ” Unto The Locust ” which was released in 2011. They continued the destruction with ” Imperium ” off of 2004’s ” Through The Ashes Of Empires ” which the crowd went crazy for screaming the chorus as loud as they possibly could. It seemed to get louder and louder and the show progressed.

This show reminded me of all the other great Machine Head shows I had seen here over the past decade or so. At one point frontman Robb Flynn told the crowd about the first time he came to Pop’s and how much he loved playing here, then he asked ” How many of you crazy motherfuckers are going to be here next time? ” It was obvious that they hadn’t lost any steps and that they will have a crowd in St. Louis for a long time to come.

I enjoyed the intro Robb did for the song ” Locust ” off of their latest effort ” Unto The Locust ” and they rocked it. The crowd was very into it and let them know it. During the next song ” This Is The End ” crowd surfers were flying everywhere.

After a Cheers with the crowd and waking the crowd up. Robb Dedicated ” Aesthetics Of Hate ” to Dimebag. It was a fitting tribute for a metal legend that deserves to remembered as much as possible.

It was great seeing such a awesome band from my younger years still tearing shit up, Adam Duce the bass player was as fierce as ever.

The Drums were on point, Phil Demmel was ripping up some crazy solo’s on lead guitar. They had a great setlist featuring songs we have grew to expect at a Machine Head show.

“10 Ton Hammer” and ” Bulldozer ” got the great response that each should. Lot’s of bodies flying and slamming into each other, in the crazy pit that grew with each song.

Machine Head left the stage briefly after 60 minutes and 13 songs. They came back out to rock the crowd with ” Halo ” off of 2008’s album ” The Blackening ” and closed the set with ” Davidian” off of 2005’s album ” Elegies “. It was a great performance from a band that always delivers. MACHINE FUCKIN’ HEAD tore it down once again.

After Machine Head’s set, I sat and chatted about concerts, touring and life as of late with Mitch from Suicide Silence, he was just chillen, enjoying a Coor’s Light and the crowds company. He took time to sign autographs and take pictures with all of his fans left in attendance. It is cool to see people so eager to meet their fans. This show has a great lineup, each band has a great set and it is a great time. I walked out of Pop’s slightly drunk and ears ringing and headed straight to White Castle as I do after most shows. Go see this show, go support these bands and pick up some albums. ‘

Darkest Hour has ” The Human Romance ” and 6 other albums instores
Suicide Silence has ” The Black Crown ” and 2 other albums instores
Machine Head has ” Unto The Locust ” and 6 other albums instores

http://www.darkesthour.info/
http://www.suicidesilence.net/
http://machinehead1.com/

DARKEST HOUR SET LIST 01.17.2012 SAUGET, IL POP’S

The World Engulfed in Flames

No God

Savor the Kill

With a Thousand Words to Say but One

Violent by Nature

Love as a Weapon

Your Everyday Disaster

Doomsayer (The Beginning of the End)

………..


SUICIDE SILENCE SET LIST 01.17.2012 SAUGET, IL POP’S

You Only Live Once

Wake Up

Unanswered

O.C.D.

Slaves to Substance

Disengage

Fuck Everything

No Pity for a Coward

………..

MACHINE HEAD SETLIST 01.17.2012 SAUGET, IL POP’S

I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)

Be Still and Know

Imperium

Beautiful Mourning

The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears

Locust

This Is the End

Aesthetics of Hate

Old

Darkness Within

Declaration

Bulldozer

Ten Ton Hammer

Who We Are

Encore:

Halo

Davidian

Till Next Time.

Blackest of the Black: Oak Canyon Park – Silverado, Ca 5/26/17-5/27/17

The 2017 edition of the Blackest of the Black Festival was held in the mountain area of Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, California. The festival is the brain child of Misfits’ legendary frontman Danzig and always proves to have a variety of metal bands to suit everyone’s needs.  This festival was two days of pure madness from every corner and was a great way to start Memorial Day weekend.

Day one featured some of the more popular metal bands today and was started by industrial metal band 3Teeth that got the audience started on this Friday night. Los Angeles natives Butcher Babies were the second band to perform and by now, the venue had started to fill up to a nice amount to where it didn’t feel so empty. With female vocalist’s Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd taking control of the show, it was nice to see the festival getting started with a bang and more was still to come. Deathcore giants Suicide Silence have recently released their newest self-titled album so it was no surprise to see them as part of the lineup. Vocalist Eddie Hermida would alternate between clean vocals and the band’s signature high-pitch screams depending on the song. Hermida would also come out to the audience to sing to them so the fans got a more personal experience. Austrian blackened death metal band Belphegor were set to play this festival as well, but were forced to cancel their appearance due to flight issues coming to the USA. Instead, post-rock/black metal band Deafheaven took their place. Deafheaven has a very atmospheric feel to their music as if even without vocals, the music alone would be music to anyone’s ears. Frontman George Clarke had a very energetic stage presence as he would head bang and move his hands around almost in a dance-like motion. Discharge is perhaps one of the first bands to play hardcore punk since their formation in 1977. With fast and thrashy guitars and shouting vocals, it was hard to just stand around and so of course the crowd was moshing throughout the show to keep the energy of the show going. Corrosion of Conformity is a hardocre punk/sludge metal/heavy metal band that have been around since the 1980’s. Their music offers a wide variety of sound from slow-paced bluesy music, to a more faster and aggressive heavy metal and hardcore punk sound. Fans enjoyed their set and were happily headbanging the night away and moshing when it came to it.

 

Headlining day 1 of the festival was the legendary hardcore punk/crossover thrash metal band, Suicidal Tendencies. Plenty of fans were seen wearing merch so they were obviously one of the main attractions of the night. Suicidal Tendencies came out and started the show with their usual opener, You Can’t Bring Me Down. Legendary frontman Mike Muir was very energetic throughout the night as he ran around and in between songs he would give quick motivational speeches saying that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down in life as long as you get back up and to believe in your dreams. Suicidal Tendencies played many classics in their setlist which included: I Shot Reagan, War Inside My Head, Subliminal, and Trip at the Brain. The band’s performance was only made better with the addition of legendary metal drummer Dave Lombardo formerly of thrash metal legends, Slayer. During Possessed to Skate, Suicidal Tendencies invited female fans on stage and quickly turned into and all-female mosh pit and even a young boy joined in on all the fun. Suicidal Tendencies finished their set with Pledge Your Allegiance and so day of the Blackest of the Black festival came to and end. The music was over, but the night was still young. Those not ready to leave yet were treated to Danzig‘s new Black Laden Crown being premiered for the first time. Other fans were hanging around the movie screen and were watching classic movie monster movies. Many fans left the venue simply to rest up for the next day.

For fans not interested in certain bands, other entertainment at the festival included Castle Danzig which was filled with freakshow performers. Fire-breathers, fire dancers, half-naked women bathing in fake blood, sword-eaters, a man putting hooks in his eyes and wires into his nose and out of his mouth, a large man putting mouse traps on his nipples, and jugglers. A variety of carnival rides were also available for some fun. Plenty of clothing vendors and food trucks were also available.

Day two of the festival featured more more metal bands that fans were more familiar with and had the superior lineup. It was set to be a long day of festivities. The first band that played was the black metal band, Ritual. Most fans still hadn’t arrived or were being let in so if they choose to, they had to listen to the band while in line. Still, a small amount of people showed up in time to enjoy the band.

The next band up was the metal macabre band only known to mankind as Ghoul. They brought disgusting and putrid thrash metal with them and plenty of fans showed up early for them and were prepared to be bathed in the blood and juices that Ghoul squirts out. A man in a costume came out to insult the fans, but his speech was cut short when another man came out and cut off his arm and started spraying fake blood onto the audience. Ghoul started their show with Ghoulunatics from their newest Dungeon Bastards album. Nothing but pure thrash metal with deep growls to get the festival and mosh pit going. Ghoul had a variety of cast members come out which included a witch doctor biting the head off a fake chicken and dumping blood on fans, a future soldier with a water gun shooting water at fans, and even two mecha robots battling it out on stage. They are truly a spectacle to witness. Other songs played included: Shred the Dead, Off With their Heads , and Wall of Death. Combichrist was next and was another industrial metal band. They started with What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? and showed their industrial metal fans how it’s done. Fans loved hearing songs such as Throat Full of Glass and the ever-satisfying Shut Up and Swallow. American groove metal band DevilDriver also had plenty of fans in attendance and were very energetic on stage as fans headbanged and moshed the whole time. Swedish black metal legion Marduk made this festival a special appearance for the band. They were one of the main attractions of the night as they played black metal goodness like The Blond Beast, Of Hells Fire, and Panzer Division Marduk. The band was often cloaked with fog machines which gave the band a proper black metal appearance. Venom Inc also made a special appearance for this festival and had a surprise in store for fans. Venom Inc is a reincarnation of legendary British thrash metal legends, Venom. It involves original Venom members Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn and Anthony “Abaddon” Bray. On vocals was Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan who replaced original Venom singer Conrad “Cronos” Lant when he left the band at one point. Venom Inc brought old school thrash metal and played lots of Venom classics like: Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil), Don’t Burn the Witch, and Leave Me in Hell. Venom Inc made a special announcement about signing to the Nuclear Blast record label and were working on their first album Avé due out on August 11, 2017. As a special treat, the band played a new song from the album titled, Avé Satanas. Mantas made a small speech on his on how thirty years ago, he wrote a song that apparently started its own genre of music. Fans of the band knew what song it was and so Venom Inc started playing one of the most popular songs in the metal scene, Black Metal.

 

Atreyu is an American metalcore band and were most definitely the oddball of the lineup. Regardless, the band put lots of energy into their performance. To no surprise, vocalist Alex Varkatzas had to often tell the audience to jump, get crazy, etc because they seemed uninterested in a band like this. Oddly enough, the band seemed to get the biggest response when they played a cover of Bon Jovi‘s You Give Love a Bad Name. Vamps are a rock band from Tokyo, Japan that have reached stardom in Japan and were looking to gain stardom in the USA as well. Their most noticeable fans were the female Japanese fans up front who were going wild for the fans and even made flags and banners for the band to see. To no surprise, a lot of the band’s song titles and themes involve blood. One of the final bands of the night were the industrial metal pioneers and legends, Ministry. The band was led by Al Jourgensen and is one of metal’s most recognized faces. Ministry came out and started with one of their most popular songs, Psalm 69. The band was often covered with fog from fog machines and along with the flashing lights gave the band a proper industrial metal feeling. Jourgensen had a mic stand with skulls and a pentagram and would often jerk it around while he sang. Jourgensen made note that the band was getting ready to release a new album titled AmeriKKKant out in the fall of 2017 and treated the audience to the live debut of a new song titled, Antifa. Nighttime was approaching and all the fog and lights during Ministry‘s performing gave the band a great look. The energy was off the hook with fast-paced industrial metal being played.

Other songs performed were: LiesLiesLies, N.W.O, and Just One Fix. Jourgensen thanked the audience for coming out and to end the show, played one of the band’s most popular songs, Thieves. The main highlight of the night was obviously the man himself, Danzig. Everyone had gathered around to see the legendary Misfits frontman. Danzig came out and started the show with SkinCarver. Danzig had the best stage setup with lots of lights, fog, gargoyles, and different backdrops. Danzig fans were seen moshing and singing along to the music. It was the 25th anniversary of Danzig‘s third solo album titled Danzig III: How the Gods Kill so Danzig made sure to play several tracks from the album including How the Gods Kill, Godless, Left Hand Black, and Dirty Black Summer. The fans went wild for Danzig. Since Danzig had released his new album Black Laden Crown, it was mandatory for him to play new songs. the only two new songs performed were Devil on Hwy 9 and Last Ride. The show seemed to come to an end when he played his most famous song, Mother. Danzig left the stage and fans started to exit the venue. Danzig came out after a few minutes to perform two encores for those that chose to stay. Those encores were She Rides and Am I Demon. Danzig once again left the stage. Fans were clearly tired after hours of being at the festival, but wore nothing but smiles and walked out with new friends memories that would surely last a lifetime.

 

Day 1:

 

 

Suicide Silence

    

 

Deafheaven

 

 

Discharge

 

 

Corrosion of Conformity

 

 

Suicidal Tendencies

 

 

Day 2:

 

 

Ghoul

 

 

 

Combichrist

 

 

 

DevilDriver

 

 

Marduk

 

 

Venom Inc

 

 

Atreyu

 

 

Vamps

 

 

Ministry

 

 

Festival Grounds

 

Rockstar Mayhem Festival: 7/5/14 – San Manuel Amphitheater – San Bernardino, Ca

The 7th annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival kicked off in San Bernardino, California at the San Manuel Amphitheater on July 5th, 2014. The lineup for this year was somewhat different than the previous years with more of the metalcore bands making an appearance instead of the bigger and well-known bands. Some of the bands that were on the bill included: Miss May I, Mushroomhead, Suicide Silence, Body Count feat. legendary rapper Ice-T, Cannibal Corpse, Trivium, Asking Alexandria, and headliners KoRn and Avenged Sevenfold.

By the time I made my way into the area where the side-stage bands were performing, Suicide Silence was performing. I’m not familiar with their music so all I did was look on with their performance. The crowd seemed into them as they moshed away and headbanged. Suicide Silence seems to be doing well with their new singer, Eddie Hermida formerly of All Shall Perish whom replaced the late Mitch Lucker.

After them, Body Count featuring Ice-T took the stage and legendary rapper Ice-T put on a show to prove that he can also rock out. The crowd reacted well as there were mosh pits the whole time and crowd surfers started to appear once Body Count started to play their hit, Cop Killer. I’d never heard of Body Count until they were announced to be at this year’s Mayhem Fest and they were definitely and interesting addition.

Once Body Count finished, the first band I was looking forward to came on. The biggest-selling death metal band, Cannibal Corpse! They played a blistering set that kept the crowd going to where at one point I was being thrown around by two different mosh pits going on around me. They started their set with my favorite track from their newest Torture album, Scourge of Iron. The rest of their set included hits such as: Make Them Suffer, I Cum Blood, Stripped, Raped, and Strangled, and their most famous song, Hammer Smashed Face. As always, frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher made us laugh by cursing at us, the people standing around, the crowd that was watching from up the hill instead of being in the front with us, and by telling jokes. They are definitely a fun and brutal band to see live and I’m looking forward to their new album in September!

Video recorded by my friend/concert partner, Kanon Madness:

 

After all the main stage bands were finished, I made my way to the main stage where Trivium had started to perform. I’ve heard of Trivium for a long time now but I’ve never listened to them so this gave me chance to check them out and see what they’re all about. I could tell there were fans of their within the crowd from either singing along or they were wearing their Trivium shirts. As for the music itself, I wasn’t really impressed. It’s either because I just didn’t know their music or because there’s nothing that really stood out that made me want to check out their music and become a full on fan. Oh well, I tried.

Asking Alexandria was next and I’ve heard plenty about this band. They were the band that I asked myself, why are they on the main stage instead of Cannibal Corpse? I’m sure the majority of people there were wondering the same thing. During their performance, I looked around and saw little to no reaction from the crowd. I saw the occasional person going wild, but it could’ve been just random people going crazy for no reason, or an actual fan of theirs.

KoRn was the first of the headlining bands. Clearly there were a ton of KoRn fans since once the lights went out signaling their arrival, the crowd erupted in a huge roar louder than anything I had heard all day from being there. They wasted no time in pumping up the crowd as they opened with the crowd favorite, Falling Away From Me. Being the first night of the tour, I could tell they were freshly energized compared to the 2 previous times I’ve seen them since they were way more active and frontman Jonathan Davis brought his A-game and sounded the best out of the 3 times I’ve seen them. They played mainly hits during the night which included: Never, Never, Shoots and Ladders, Twist, Love & Meth, Here to Stay, and they premiered the song Hater live for the first time which will be released as a bonus track for the upcoming re-release of their album, The Paradigm Shift. They also played their most famous song, Freak on a Leash. Both Jonathan Davis’ and bassist Fieldy’s sons came out to rock out with their dads and it was fun seeing them have father and son moments right on stage. Seeing guitarist Brian “Head” Welch back in the band after being gone since 2005 made the band feel complete. KoRn finished their set with Jonathan Davis saying it’s been 20 years since the release of their self-titled debut album and proceeded to end the night by playing Blind, the first track off of that album. I always enjoy seeing KoRn live and will continue to do so.

Korn 1

 

The final act of the night was Avenged Sevenfold. Some people were all for them and couldn’t wait to see them, others wanted nothing to do with them and stated to leave after KoRn’s set. I’m a fan of theirs so I stayed. Once again, the lights went out and the crowd got on their feet and yelled and screamed as Avenged Sevenfold made their way to the stage. They started off with the first track off of their newest Hail to the King album, Shepherd of Fire. A7X had the best and biggest stage set-up. They had steps on the sides so they could go up and down as they please, a church-like backdrop with 3 screens showing the band perform from different angles as well as cartoons/music videos, pyros and fireballs that shot out matching the guitar solos, and of course the giant skeleton king statue. A7X had an impressive setlist dishing out the usual songs they play live as well as new ones I didn’t expect them to play. Their songs included: Nightmare, Bat Country, Seize the Day (tribute to their late drummer, Jimmy “the Rev” Sullivan), Burn It Down (rarely played), Afterlife, and of course, Unholy Confessions. I love how they use their pyros on stage, whenever certain guitar parts/solos would come on, pyros would shoot out from the back of the stage and go from left to right or just randomly shoot out from everywhere depending on what was being played but it was a beautiful sight. Guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance are amazing guitar players with their dual guitar playing and sounded spot on from the albums. Singer M. Shadows sounded awesome and had no trouble singing live with his wide range of vocals. Arin Ilejay served as the band’s new drummer following the death of original drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan and he did an amazing job on the drums.

17a7x

Seeing the type of music I mainly listen to, it’s a bit out of the ordinary for me to say I love bands like KoRn and Avenged Sevenfold, but they were some of the first bands I listened to so they’ll always have meaning to me.

KoRn

1korn 2korn 3korn 4korn 6korn 7korn 8korn 9korn

 

Avenged Sevenfold

10a7x 11a7x 12a7x 13a7x 14a7x 15a7x 16a7x

Inaugural Mayhem Cruise Sets Sail December 7th

Inaugural Mayhem Cruise Sets Sail December 7th 

Update 08/08/12: This cruise has been cancelled. Click here for more information

 

Good news metal heads, cruises are no longer just for your out of touch parents. From the fine folks who bring you the annual Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, it’s the Mayhem Cruise. Departing for the Bahamas from Miami on December 7th, 2012 the four day trek will feature performances from many of your favorite heavy metal acts. Some of the musical highlights include Lamb of God, Anthrax and Hatebreed. In addition, the cruise will feature DJ sets from JDevil (Jonathan Davis of Korn) and DJ Starscream (Sid of Slipknot).

 

Ticket packages start at $699 and payment options are available. For more details, check out the official site by clicking here.

Confirmed Artist For Mayhem Cruse (A/O 04/30/12):

Lamb of God

Machine Head

Anthrax

Hatebreed

Suicide Silence

Kingdom of Sorrow

Otherwise

Girl on Fire

Born of Osiris

Periphery

Gojira

Anti Mortem

Battlecross

Gypsyhawk

JDevil

Dj Starscream

Fourth Annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival To Hit North America This Summer

Fourth Annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival To Hit North America This Summer

Dates and artist for the fourth annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival have been announced. The trek will kick off in San Bernardino, CA on July 9th and wrap August 14th in West Palm Beach, Florida. The tour will once again have dueling side stages featuring the likes of Suicide Silence, Kingdom of Sorrow and Unearth. The main stage will feature Trivium, In Flames, Machine Head, Megadeth, Godsmack and headliners Disturbed. Why Megadeth is playing below Godsmack and Disturbed is beyond us, but then again we are music snobs and not the typical simple minded mainstream rock fans sending Godsmack and Disturbed to the top of the charts time and time again.

Take note: On July 9th in San Bernardino, CA, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s metal cartoon phenomenon DETHKLOK will perform in the place of MEGADETH, and colossal Bay Area thrash kings TESTAMENT will perform in the place of IN FLAMES. TESTAMENT will also perform in the place of IN FLAMES on the July 10th Mountain View, CA date. MEGADETH will not be appearing on the Montreal, QC Heavy MTL date. Other bands will be announced for Heavy MTL soon.

Rockstar Mayhem Festival tour dates:
7/9 — San Manuel Amphitheater — San Bernardino, CA
7/10 — Shoreline Amphitheatre — Mountain View, CA
7/12 — White River Amphitheatre — Auburn, WA
7/13 — Idaho Center Amphitheater — Nampa, ID
7/15 — Desert Sky Pavilion — Phoenix, AZ
7/16 — Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque Presents The Pavilion — Albuquerque, NM
7/17 — Comfort Dental Amphitheater — Englewood, CO
7/19 — Verizon Wireless Amphitheater — Maryland Heights, MO
7/20 — Riverbend Music Center — Cincinnati, OH
7/22 — Comcast Center — Mansfield, MA
7/23 — Parc Jean-Drapeau — (Heavy MTL) — Montreal, QC /www.heavymtl.com
7/24 — Comcast Theater — Hartford, CT
7/27 — PNC Bank Arts Center — Holmdel, NJ
7/29 — First Niagara Pavilion — Burgettstown, PA
7/30 — Jiffy Lube Live — Bristow, VA
7/31 — Susquehanna Bank Center — Camden, NJ
8/2 — Virginia Beach Amphitheater — Virginia Beach, VA
8/3 — Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek — Raleigh, NC
8/5 — First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre — Tinley Park, IL
8/6 — DTE Energy Music Theatre — Clarkston, MI
8/7 — Verizon Wireless Music Center — Noblesville, IN
8/9 — Zoo Amphitheatre — Oklahoma City, OK
8/10 – Gexa Energy Pavilion — Dallas, TX
8/12 — Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood — Atlanta, GA
8/13 — 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre — Tampa, FL
8/14 — Cruzan Amphitheatre — West Palm Beach, FL

 Make sure to visit the festivals official website for up to the minute details on the trek.

 

 

BeezNutz Presents Top 10 Shows Part 1 (10-6)

10. St Vincent, 2/15/10 Bottleneck Lawerence KS.

After catching her twice the previous year. I made a little trek across the state to see her at a venue I had not been to for 8 years. She did not disappoint.

It was a awesome set, the one that makes you want to come back out as soon as possible and see another. I ended up doing that and almost died in the process shitty story, moving along.

9. Foxy Shazam, The Old Rock House St Louis.

Foxy Shazam 10/20/10

What can I say about this band. I first got to know them by checking out a free instore at my favorite record store Vintage Vinyl. I bought their CD and got two tickets to see them open for Hole. I ended up getting to the show late and only caught the last two songs. I couldn’t wait to see them again.

A few months later they were back and I knew I had to go. Even if that meant missing various other great shows that evening. When he told this Jack Nicolson story I knew I had made the right choice.

Foxy Shazam’s live show can be pretty crazy sometimes a perfect example comes around 5:31 in this next video. I couldn’t believe what I had seen……

They have a show lined up already next year for Janurary you know where I’ll be.

8. Drive By Truckers
Drive By Truckers The Pageant St. Louis, MO. 10/02/10

Sometimes I am spontaneous and go to shows on just a whim. That was certainly the case with Drive By Truckers. After seeing a great opening set during the summer Tom Petty Tour. I ended up being off of work the night of their headlining show here. I had no choice, I had to go.

Everything about this show was great, everyone including the security was relaxed. They put on a great show alternating singers between songs really gives a nice variety to the show.

I enjoyed the occasional slide guitar they played during certain songs.

They played great and everyone enjoyed as you can clearly see by the crowd reaction as they retake the stage for the encore.

7. Jackson Browne and David Lindley

I didn’t expect this show to be so good or make my top ten but surprises are sometimes fun. It was either mothers day or close to my mom’s birthday when I got the email saying Jackson Browne was coming to town. I knew he was one of my moms favorite musicians so I jumped at the chance to buy tickets.

I enjoyed the set and got a first hand education on the talented David Lindley who mostly played the slide guitar throughout the set.

While I enjoyed the set my mom loved it, it felt good to be able to see her so happy. She really enjoyed ” Rock Me On The Water”

Needless to say she enjoyed her gift and the show very much. Well worth the money spent, Jackson Browne is a great performer.

6. Van’s Warped Tour 2010 Bonner Springs KS

This one is tough to write about as it was the most life changing moment in all of my year of 2010. It started off so innocently and ended so tragically.

First I made the 5 hour drive in less than 4.5 hours, I was skating to Kansas. I pushed about 75-80 the entire way with minimal stops. I made it to the gas station right before the venue. I picked up two tall boys. I remember sitting in the car, AC blasting pounding these beers as mass amounts of kids waited in line.

As the line moved I pounded my ritual 2 bottles of water, snuck an entire other bottle of Vodka in with me and proceeded to get warped.

First band on my list at the bright and early time of 11 a.m was the almighty PENNYWISE, I scored a rail spot and enjoyed myself as the oven of the day started to preheat to a heat index of 105 +. I knew what Pennywise would close with but did not expect the special guest that joined them for ” Bro Hymm”

Epic to say the least. The next band on my to do list for the day was Shawn The Clown from Slipknot’s Side Project ” DIRTY LITTLE RABBITS”. Sadly the singer was suffering from a broken foot and Shawn had a family situation and couldn’t make it. That didn’t stop them from playing a amazing set and I watched the entire thing. My favorite song they did was called ” Happy”.

After that set I needed some shade and warm shots of Vodka to ease the pain of the intense heat. Followed by some healthy water doses I was ready to endure more heat. The next band I had to see was The Dillenger Escape plan. You wouldn’t know it was insanely hot by the way they played. Intense doesnt even begin to cover it.

After a bit of wondering and more warm vodka shots I was ready to find something else to watch and found it in the form of IWRESTLEDABEAR once. I will be honest like a lot of bands on the tour I watched them because of the cool name. The wall of Death was the highlight of their set for me.

After A bit more shade it was fun time for me. I love seeing the Reel Big Fish, A Lot. They always make me smile and put on a great show. This one was no exception.

Always full of fun and humor this set was my favorite of day, The band Tip The Van Joined them for ” She Has Girlfriend Now “.

The ended their set one a high note with a brief cover of ” Enter Sandman” right into the crowd favorite ” Beer “.

At this point it was about 6 p.m still two hours of warped to go, but what to do? I needed to sober up so the answer was easy, go see more bands.

I remember this part of my day crystal clear as if it was a HD movie playing over and over in my head. I saw this photographer throughout the day on crutches with a broken foot. I went up to talk to him and commend him on his dedication of his craft.

We are walking he is trying to tell me about his website and out of the corner of my eye I notice something disturbing. It was a lifeless body with one person at his side, and everything else just became backround noise.

After a moment the lady at his side was yelling for paramedics who were on the scene in a flash. I watched for maybe 5 minutes as they beat on his lifeless chest. I felt horrible and helpless. Soon after a great crowd gathered around the area as people stood by gawking.

I felt horrible seeing that, and felt worse walking no more than 20-30 feet away to watch Suicide Silence. I figured that would be better than watching the other scene.

It felt so wrong trying to enjoy a show, while someone else is dying in the backround. Every now and again through the pit you could see his lifeless shoe’s still on the ground as Paramedics tried to bring him back. I left that show feeling sick. The entire way home all I could picture was me laying in his spot and being the one that wasn’t as lucky.

I came home went to bed, and awoke to the new’s I was dreading hearing. The man had passed away, to hit closer to home he was my age and in good health. The heat can kill, we all need to respect that and be careful out there.

His name was Curtis Alan Deforest or just Alan to his friends and family and I will never, ever forget him. R.I.P Alan, I am sure you will be at the next warped in spirit.

2010 Vans Warped Tour – The Heavy Metal Report

Vans Warped Tour 2010

06/27/10 – Seaside Park – Ventura, CA

Words/Photos & Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com

 

When it comes to Warped Tour, as great as it is to seek out new and exciting sounds, the main reason I hit the event is for heavy music.  Be it punk or metal I attend North America’s longest running festival tour (now in it’s 16th year) for the release from these oh so soothing sounds.  So let’s discuss some of the metal that went down at Seaside Park as part of the 2010 Vans Warped Tour.

The Dillinger Escape Plan

It was bound to happen at some point.  In two previous trips to Seaside Park in Ventura, CA I had avoided the nightmare traffic jam that occurs when the venue hold shows.  This year, we left a bit later than usual and as a result missed the first four songs by main stage openers – The Dillinger Escape Plan.  To be honest, I fell out of touch with the New Jersey based act after Miss-Machine, but having seen the band live multiple times in the past, I was shocked at what I found. There was a pit, but the problem was that no one was in it.  Just a big open space where a pit should be.  By the time the band was closing with “Farewell Mona Lisa” it appeared that they were just as upset by the lack of response from the crowd as I was.  Guitarist Jeff Tuttle jumped into the crowd trying to get some kind of movement going.  As you can see in the video below – he failed.  TDEP left the stage, and I assumed that most of the metal fans were simply still trying to get into the venue.  Turns out I was totally wrong.

 

Parkway Drive

I headed over to the Altec/Lansing stage simple because I have heard some hype about Parkway Drive.  With a band name like Parkway Drive (terrible band name in my honest opinion) I assumed I would get some lame Emo mall-core garbage that would send me away faster than you can say Confide.  I admit I was wrong.  Parkway Drive not only breaks the trend of metal bands by not wearing all black all the time – but they fucking rock.  The band also solved the mystery of where everyone was during The Dillinger Escape Plan set.  With five times the amount of fans crammed into the picnic area of Seaside Park (where the Altec/Lansing stage was located) – it is clear the next generation of metal is here.  I caught three songs, including “Carrion” and “Boneyards” and really found them full of life and good energy.  I know I wouldn’t miss a set by these Australians if we were to cross paths on a package tour sometime down the road.

 

Whitechapel

Last Turkey Day weekend, Whitechapel made me a fan with their brutal set at the All Day All Ages Metal Fest held within the Hollywood Palladium.  There was no way in hell I was missing their Warped Tour appearance.  Just the site of the bands pre-show huddle as “Of Legions” played from the PA was enough to cause my arm hair to rise.  With fans as far as the eyes could see, the group hit the stage hard with the thunderous “The Darkest Day of Man.”  For the next thirty minutes, the group performed a mix of classic Whitechapel tracks as well as songs from their recently released Billboard Top 50 albumA New Era of Corruption. After “The Darkest day of Man” rocked the sun soaked crowd, some older Whitechapel songs found their way into the set. Highlights included a bone crushing take on “Possession” and a treat for the hardcore –  “Vicer Exciser” from the bands 2007 debut The Somatic Defilement.

 

I have to assume that many in the crowd were new to Whitechapel.  “Eternal Refuge” and “Breeding Violence” seemed to have much rowdier pits then the closing “This Is Exile.”  I mention this because Exile is the point in the show where lead vocalist Phil Bozeman splits the crowd for the Wall of Death.  Bozeman tried not once, but twice to part the Warped crowd, but for whatever reason the youth of Ventura couldn’t grasp the concept.  In closing, Whitechapel owned and I am sure made many new fans, even if those fans can’t follow the simple directions requesting that they separate into two sides only to run and beat the shit out of each other.

 

Bring Me The Horizon

I had walked away from Bring Me The Horizon’s main stage set after two songs because the United Kingdom’s leader in Metalcore had once again failed to captivate me.  I have to think perhaps it’s something wrong with me?  The first time I saw these guys was during the 2009 Taste of Chaos tour and I was fortunate enough to watch them from the flippin’ stage.  I felt nothing.  This Sunday at Warped, I was blessed with a photo pass, and while I stuck my lens inches from their sweat soaked faces, I found myself bored.  Hell, even tonight I had coffee with a world-class musician who has toured the world multiple times, and he was singing the praises of these guys.  So what am I missing?

I even caught the tail end of the set walking to another stage, excited that the final song was named for Hunter S. Thompson’s suicide note.  Explain this to me.  How can you have a song called “Football Season Is Over” from an album called Suicide Season and have it NOT be about the greatest writer in American history?

When I started this site, the goal was to have fans review the music they love.  I wanted this, because any time I read a concert review in a newspaper or magazine, it seems that the journalist is out of touch and does not understand the band and their music.  So instead of taking the easy road and saying fuck these generic jerk-offs who are more about being scene then creating something pleasing to the ears, I have a request.  If you are a fan of this band, and you happen to come across this review contact me.  Sign up for the site, or send me an e-mail .  Hell send me your review of these guys via messenger pigeon if you must.  I want to know what you feel when Warped hits your town, and you are running across a parking lot engulfed in the WALL OF DEATH that takes place during “Football Season is Over.”  Tell me why you love BTMH, because despite being blessed to see them from photo pits and on stage, I simply do not grasp what the big flipping deal is about these lads.

Suicide Silence

I had a choice.  Go watch Suicide Silence, or get snuck back stage.  I think you can guess which choice I made.  Suicide Silence made a huge impression on me at the 2009 Golden Gods Awards.  Yet, I never followed up.  I like what I have heard, but when I see the record at Target, it’s always been left behind with claims of maybe next time.  I need to get my ass to Target, because really these guys are onto something.  Thankfully, after a looooooooooong day at Warped Tour, my crew hung right behind the side stage where the Southern California band was performing.  The last band on that stage on this third stop of Warped, I layed down upon a lush lawn and stared into space as the band just killed it.  Perhaps it was the exhaustion, or trips to the beer garden but with muffled sound and unable to see the band we still managed to correct.  You know what, it was not the exhaustion, and it was not the beer.  It was the simple fact that good music will always sooth the soul.  Suicide Silence, I am coming for you, and next time around we will do it right.

Musically Speaking: The 2009 Golden Gods Awards

The 2009 Golden Gods Awards

Club Nokia – Los Angeles, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com

 

This past Tuesday night, I headed to Club Nokia here in Los Angeles to check out the first annual Epiphone/Revolver Golden Gods Awards presented by Honda Fury. I met up with our contest winner Jeff (cool guy) and fellow talesfromthepit.net user Cheryl (a.k.a. Krazy For Korn/also very cool) to check out the whose who of heavy metal (the show even included a black carpet instead of the traditional red). Despite the fact that the winners list leaked on blabbermouth.net a few hours before the show, it is not my goal to tell you about the winners here You can simply watch the show on MTV2 on May 2nd who won the rather unique awards.

God presenting an award to the Rainbow Bar & Grill

God presenting an award to the Rainbow Bar & Grill

Part of the advertising in local street papers and the internet that made me excited for this show was a DJ set by Corey Taylor of Slipknot. I have a lot of respect for Taylor and thought watching him DJ would be a real treat. No disrespect to Taylor, he picked a great mix of metal (everything from Priest and Black Sabbath to White Zombie and Pantera) and punk (Minor Thread anyone?). I however expected him to spin vinyl, not play songs from his IPOD. “Spinning” from the venues soundboard, Taylor was kind enough to take photos with fans and seemed to be having a blast. Most important, he got the crowed pumped up for the evening, one classic at a time.

Corey Taylor - Golden Gods 09:  Club Nokia, Los Angeles CA

Corey Taylor - Golden Gods 09: Club Nokia, Los Angeles CA

The first musical performance of the evening was Killswitch Engage. I was somewhat shocked that they opened the show, but looking back, you want a big opening for television and they definitely can fill those shoes. The band opened with the Guitar Hero hit “My Curse”. As the crowd simply stood and watched like it was a Tuesday night in Silver Lake, guitarist Adam D taunted the crowd, calling them names the censors will have to remove from the broadcast. Up next was a new song (name unknown) that very well may have been making its live debut. Just my impression – it felt very light and I hate to say it but an attempt at a commercial hit. The band closed their three song set with their cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver.” About ½ way though the song, the venue opened up the second section of the three tiered lower floor. Many including myself moved up to be closer to the action. As front man Howard Jones belted out the classic, Adam D continued to call the crowd another word for cats. The band thanked the crowd and left the stage, seeming disappointed by the lack luster response.

Holy Diver - Killswitch Engage 04/07/09 - Golden Gods Awards 2009

Holy Diver - Killswitch Engage 04/07/09 - Golden Gods Awards 2009

The second performance of the night was by Riverside Grindcore up and comers Suicide Silence. I had never heard the music of this five piece band and all I have to say is this. Heavy fucking elephant tits. Wow, these guys were amazing. The band wore typical sneakers and tight black jeans, but up top the band had on white button up shirts, black ties and nice suit jackets. As the band played their four song set, the nights first circle pits got going up on the front of the floor. These guys won me over big time, and I will be seeking them out again for sure.

Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence - Golden Gods 2009:  Club Nokia - Los Angeles, CA

Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence - Golden Gods 2009: Club Nokia - Los Angeles, CA

I don’t recall what award he gave out, but Hatebreed front man (and this decades Rikki Rachtman) Jamey Jasta warned the crowd that he expected to see EVERYONE moving during his bands set. When they hit the stage a few minutes later, the the audience did not disappoint the Connecticut hardcore band. They opened the set with “Destroy Everything” which the fans took to heart. Many were upset that they were stuck on the second tier of the lower floor (the front section of the floor was limited to 100 people who got paper bracelets allowing them access up front) and decided to simply hop the rail. This continued into the second song “To The Threshold” as the circle pit in the front grew larger and larger. Jasta was very talkative during the brief set. In between shout outs to Cypress Hill’s Sen Dog (who was in the circle pit wearing a Black Label Society leather vest) the front man reminded the audience that they were on TV and that they were to get crazy. Hands down, Hatebreed (who I have never seen, but always wanted too) played the most high energy and brutal set of the night.

Hatebreed @ the 2009 Golden Gods Awards:  Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA

Hatebreed @ the 2009 Golden Gods Awards: Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA

The fourth band of the night was All That Remains. A lot of people in the section I was in seemed very upset that they were the next to last band. Another band I don’t know much about, the first song they played was not only very out of place, but rather terrible. Front man Philip Labonts vocals sounded weak and powerless. If Godsmack is Alice in Chains on their worst day, All That Remains is Godsmack after their worst week ever. As the crowd booed between songs, (something the crowd did a lot over the night. Metallica, Protest The Hero, and Atreyu front man Alex Varkatzas were all booed) the band shrugged it off and kept rolling. I will say this, each song (they played three total) seemed to get better, but really that’s just me trying to find something positive to say.

All That Remains - Golden Gods 2009: Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA

All That Remains - Golden Gods 2009: Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA

The night closed with a set that left many deaf (myself included) by Megadeth. The three song set list was voted on by fans. The legends opened with “Peace Sells”. With the bass line that doubles as the into music for MTV News, the band launched into the 1986 classic as many in the house went crazy. The song went right into the bands second number – “Sweating Bullets.” The band sounded tight as pits swirled and Mustaine sang the psycho vocals with his signature growl. The band closed their set with “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”. This is one of my favorite Megadeth songs, and for the first time all night I wish I could hop the rail to get into the main pit. The band killed it as it cranked out the legendary thrash number. As fast as they came, the band left the stage much to the disappointment of many fans who paid expecting a longer set. With that, the first ever North American metal show came to an end. Make sure to check it out May 2nd on MTV2. Look for me bootlegging in the Lamb Of God t-shirt :)

Megadeth - Golden Gods 2009: Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA 04/07/09

Megadeth - Golden Gods 2009: Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA 04/07/09

 

 





Knotfest Day 1: San Manuel Amphitheater – San Bernardino, CA 10/24/15

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The metal fest known as Knotfest hit the desert plains of San Bernardino, California for two days of non-stop metal devastation! Someof the biggest names in metal were in attendance as well as some newer band and the Coldcock Whisky winners. I was fortunate enough to get access to both days of the festival and photograph bands to my metal heart’s desire with the exception of both day’s headliners Judas Priest and Slipknot. The festival also saw many attractions besides bands which included people on stilts, thunderdome, Slipknot museum, carnival games, and carnival rides. I arrived early on to catch many of the bands that I’ll either be seeing for the first time or for the second or more time.

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Inquisition is a two-man black metal band from Colombia. As most black metal bands perform, they had corpse painting and all black outfits. For many fans, this was their first time seeing Inquisition. Inquisition started the show with Force of the Floating Tomb. Frontman Dagon has an interesting voice when singing as it sounds almost robotic, yet still has that black metal feel. While their music isn’t relatively fast as most black metal bands, Inquisition prefers a calmer style. Still, with their style of music they pulled in the crowd with plenty of horns thrown in the air and headbangers seen on the rail.

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Swedish melodic death metal lords At the Gates were one of the main attractions of side stage 2. Plenty of fans were seen screaming their name and singing along as they started the show with Death and the Labyrinth from their newest album At War With Reality which is their first album in 19 years. The mosh pits commenced and helped At the Gates start off strong. At the Gates continued the slaughter with Slaughter of the Soul from their 1995 landmark album, Slaughter of the Soul. Being their biggest hit, fans went absolutely crazy as the mosh pits got more violent and huge clouds of dust were lifted from the ground and people could be seen covering their mouths and coughing. Some fans were seen waving the flag from Sweden as a thank you for At the Gates performing this one off USA show. Other songs in their setlist included: Cold, Under A Serpent Sun, Suicide Nation, and Blinded by Fear. At the Gates have proven themselves to be one of Sweden’s biggest bands and fans are very grateful to have them return after a very long hiatus.

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Body Count is a heavy metal band formed by and fronted by legendary rapper Ice-T. Most people would think it’s odd to have an almost all black band perform heavy metal music. Some are for it, some are against it, some really don’t care. Body Count started the show with Body Count’s in the House and were welcomed with open arms as fans went wild and the mosh pits continued. After their performance of Masters of Revenge, guitarist Ernie C started experiencing technical difficulties and in the meantime, Ice-T entertained the audience by telling dirty jokes to which the crowd loved and laughed at them. The show continued and they played songs like Manslaughter and There Goes the Neighborhood. Body Count finished their set with their most controversial song, Cop Killer. Fans moshed and raised their fists and horns as they sang along, “Fuck the police! Fuck the Police!”. Body Count definitely knew how to get the crowd going and left the fans wanting more.

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Belphegor is a blackened death metal band from Austria and along with stage-mates Kataklysm, have made the first stop of their tour at Knotfest. Belphegor have an intimidating stage presence with two microphone stands covered by bones and the band members have their faces painted white and covered with makeup that resembles blood. Plenty of fans could be seen anxiously waiting as Belphegor started the show with Feast Upon the Dead. Frontman Helmuth would unleash his demon-like vocals on the crowd while shedding on the guitar. Quite often he would make these evil faces while rolling his eyes to the back of his head giving him a truly demonic look.  Other songs in their setlist included: Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador, Lucifer Incestus, and Bondage Goat Zombie. Belphegor has just started their US tour and hopefully will make another Southern California stop to truly experience a full set instead of a cut-down set.

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The scumdogs of the universe Gwar are no strangers to the metal world. Infamously known for their stage theatrics, props, costumes, and of course their heavy use of blood (red food coloring) and other bodily fluids. Even with the death of Oderus Urungus, Gwar lives on and continues to spread their shenanigans to the masses. A human with an overly-sized head came out to greet the fans only to be held down by Bonesnapper and decapitated by a huge sword in which the body started spraying a stream of blood to the crowd as Gwar started the show with Crush, Kill, Destroy. Fans were overly joyed at the thought of being covered in blood and happily puts themselves in the path of the stream and soon lots of fans looked like they got a tan from the blood turning orange on them. An alien monster with a snail-shaped penis came out on stage to intimidate the fans and address since Urungus is dead, Gwar belonged to him now. Gwar would have none of that and proceeded to have an on-stage battle with Bonesnapper using an axe to beat down the alien monster as the band started to play Vlad the Impaler. The alien monster would then proceed to piss on the fans with his yellow liquid giving the human filth another chance to be soaked in alien piss. Other songs they played were: Saddam a Go-Go, The Salaminizer, and Sick of You. Gwar was one of the best side stage bands and were the final band on stage 2 as fans that were in the pit were seen leaving soaked in blood.

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Kataklysm is a Canadian death metal band and released their twelfth studio album titled Of Ghosts and Gods on July31, 2015. Along with Belphegor, they embarked on the Of Ghosts and Gods USA tour and made Knotfest their first stop. Kataklysm started the show with If I Was God…I’d Burn It All. Frontman Maurizio Iacono displayed his powerful voice and really displayed his technique. It took a few tries for Iacono to get the crowd going into a mosh pit instead of standing around. Kataklysm has a very heavy sound to their music and metalheads will have an easy time headbanging to their music. Sadly, Kataklysm are heavily underrated. They played songs like: The Black Sheep, The Ambassador of Pain, and Crippled & Broken. The whole band has a great stage presence and are more deserving than what they get. If this tour makes a stop in or near your area, they are definitely worth checking out.

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The first band on the main stage that I got to check out was Trivium. Trivium released their seventh studio album Silence in the Snow on October 2, 2015. Trivium had plenty of fans in the crowd and some of the crowd up front had signs for them to see. Trivium came out and started the show with Silence in the Snow from the new album. Trivium‘s music can often be described as a blend of metalcore, thrash metal, and heavy metal. Some might refer to them as new age Metallica. Frontman Matt Heafy would shred away track after track and enjoyed interacting with the fans. The other band members did their part in making their music sound just as good live as on album. Trivium played songs from their catalog like: Until the world Goes Cold, Blind Leading the Blind, and In Waves. Trivium has a great stage presence and made a great addition to get the audience warmed up for the other main stage bands.

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Progressive/sludge metal band Mastodon is currently one of the biggest bands in metal and on June 24, 2014, released their sixth album, Once More ‘Round the Sun. Mastodon started the show with the first track from the new album, Tread Lightly. As Mastodon does with most tours, it’s no surprise to see that the new album dominated their setlist with as many as 6 tracks of the 10 songs performed were from the new album. Mastodon is one of those bands that sound so well live that they sound just like the album, note for note. In addition to the new songs, they also played older songs like: Aqua Dementia, Bladecatcher, and Black Tongue. During the middle of the set, frontman Troy Sanders made note to the audience that this exact Mastodon show was their 2,000th show. One of the best songs played was High Road, the first single from the new album and the music video for it is the first ever metal music video to contain females twerking. Mastodon ended the show by playing their most popular song and one of the most well-known metal songs, Blood and Thunder from their critically-acclaimed and Moby-Dick inspired Leviathan album. Mastodon is surely on their way of becoming one of the biggest metal bands of all time.

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Nu-Metal veterans KoRn are currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their self-titled debut album. KoRn‘s first stop on the 20th anniversary tour was at Knotfest. KoRn started the show with Blind, the first track from the self-titled album. Drummer Ray Luzier started the song by repeatedly hitting his ride cymbal as the song originally starts. Bassist Fieldy would hit the quick funky bass notes. Guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch would introduce the song letting the fans know the show was about to start. Frontman Jonathan Davis came center, took ahold of his signature mic stand, screamed into it, “ARE YOU REEAADDYYY!?!?” as the song started in full force with all members headbanging and fans on the floor jumping simultaneously for an impressive sight. For this tour, KoRn was playing their debut album in its entirety. Some songs they haven’t played from that album in years and others they play regularly. Songs like Ball Tongue and Need To have recently been been played for the first time since the anniversary tour of the album that started earlier this year. Other song like Clown and Faget are fan-favorites that are regularly played, but are still welcomed from old and new fans. Being that KoRn has a shorter setlist than their own headlining tour, they couldn’t possibly plays just songs from the debut album. Instead, they played the first seven songs from the debut album. Davis came out with his signature bag pipes and fans knew what song was coming next. Shoots and Ladders is one of KoRn‘s best songs and is played at almost all their shows and is always fun singing along to a mix of nursery rhymes. To mix up the setlist, KoRn played some of their other hits starting with Falling Away From Me. This being a fan-favorite, the crowd was very into it and jumped to the beginning of the song and fans could be seen singing along. Here to Stay and Did My Time were other fan-favorites that made people in the crowd go wild and mosh pits could be seen from anywhere in the venue. KoRn finished the show with their most popular song, Freak on a Leash. Fans could be seen singing along to the song and of course loved with when Davis performed the beat box solo that the song is known for. KoRn finished the show and came out to greet fans and have their kids come out as well as they threw guitar picks and drum heads into the crowd. KoRn left the stage and paved way for the headliner of the night; the gods of heavy metal, Judas Priest!

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Judas Priest is regarded as one of the greatest metal bands of all time and they have every right to be called that. Led by the metal god Rob Halford, Judas Priest has earned their place in the music world as one of the greatest bands in metal. After what seemed to be the end for the band, they came back to release their seventeenth studio album Redeemer of Souls on July 8, 2014. Judas Priest served as the perfect headliner for night 1 with lots of fans waiting for the metal gods. Black Sabbath‘s War Pigs played over the speakers and fans knew that was the cue that Judas Priest was about to start. The lights went out and fans screamed as loud as they could as the intro track Battle Cry played over the speakers. The curtain that was covering the stage came down and revealed Judas Priest on stage as they started the show with the first track from the new album, Dragonaut. Judas Priest kept to their roots by playing classics as the show continued with Metal Gods, a song about robots and technology taking over the world. Victim of Changes was the third song and gave Halford a chance to show that age hasn’t affected his legendary voice as he let out his beautiful high-pitched voice throughout the song. He would send a shiver down your spine as he sang, “VICTIM OF CHAAANGEEESSS!!” and guitarists Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton played the song to perfection and showed why they’re two of metal’s greatest guitarists. Halls of Valhalla is another new song that they played followed by The Rage which was a nice treat given that they don’t play that too often. The synth intro to the next song could be heard and fans knew exactly what was coming. The classic song, Turbo Lover. Halford would hold out the mic to fans and let them, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” Halford would sing, “Tell me there’s no otherrr”. Halford would hold out the mic again and let fans again sing, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” and Halford would finish with, “better run for coverrr!”. The real treat of the night came when they played the next song, Screaming For Vengeance from their album of the same name which itself is a metal masterpiece. That song hasn’t been performed in almost 30 years and many younger fans were overjoyed to finally have the chance to hear it live. Halford was at the top of his game as he sing in high-pitch with little problem as the song requires. Faulkner and Tipton performed the guitar solos to perfection and really brought the song to life after so long. Following that, Judas Priest kept bringing out the classics that made them who they are. The next song was one of the greatest songs in metal, Breaking the Law. Anyone that listens to metal should be familiar with this song. Halford would hold out the mic to the audience as they sang the chorus, “Breaking the Law! Breaking the Law!”. It is a very fun song to sing to live and amazing to experience everyone singing along. The stage went silent as the sound of an engine roaring could be heard. Fans screamed as they knew exactly what was coming next. Halford came out riding a motorcycle and to no surprise, the next song was Hell Bent For Leather. The stage went dark again as the familiar intro of The Hellion started and fans sang along to the intro of, “ooo-ahh-ooo-oh”.  The intro ended and Judas Priest jumped right into Electric Eye. Fans all over could be heard singing along to the chorus, “I’m electric, electric spy. I’m protective Electric Eye”.  The band took a quick break while Halford engaged with the crowd with some vocal exercises as the crowd followed his lead. Judas Priest was to end the one with another one of their most popular songs, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’. Fans were loving singing along to this song from start to finish. The show seemed to be over until Jose from SiriusXM Radio came out and asked the crowd if they wanted one more song. The crowd cheered to no surprise and Judas Priest came out to play the final song of the night, Painkiller. What a perfect choice for a show finisher. This song is the definition of heavy metal. Dual guitar leads, fast drumming, and Halford’s legendary voice. Halford finished the song strong with a very long, “Pain…killerrrrrrrrrr!!”. Judas Priest showed off their musicianship one last time in a huge noise of heavy metal music mashup of guitars and drums being played at the same time combined with the screaming of fans. Judas Priest left the stage while leaving the crowd overwhelmed that they just witnessed one of the greatest bands in metal. So was the end to day one of Knotfest.

Additional photos:

Inquisition

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At the Gates

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Body Count

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Belphegor

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Gwar

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Kataklysm

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Trivium

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Mastodon

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KoRn

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Festival

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Primavera Sound Festival 2013: Day 1

Primavera Sound Festival, Day 1, May 23, 2013

Words by Jakob Ross, Pictures/Videos by Scott Ross

PRIMAVERA SOUND ENTRANCE

“The day has finally come,” I thought upon waking up in my hotel room on Thursday, May 23. Washed up, grabbed breakfast, got dressed, etc., etc. You know how it is.

Next thing I knew, my father and I were riding a very dirty feeling subway train from our hotel to Parc del Fòrum—that’s Forum Park for those non-Portuguese speakers out there—where I’d take part in three straight days of late nights, loud bands, and the painfully bitter smell of Heineken and urine pervading my nasal cavity.

Before I get started on recapping my first day at Barcelona’s best independent music festival, let me start by saying: Hi. I’m Jakob Ross. I’m 16 years old, and last year I moved to Germany. You’ve already heard about the time I saw Sigur Rós in Munich, and you’ve probably read about all of my exploits in Atlanta and Seattle and Bonnaroo. But you’re about to read about my experience at Spain’s most well-known and most notoriously well stacked festival, Primavera Sound. Lineups for this festival over the past 10 years of its existence have included the likes of Aphex Twin, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, LCD Soundsystem, Mogwai, Television, Sonic Youth, Jay Reatard, El-P, Black Lips, Jesu, Sunn O))), Yo La Tengo, Low, Japandroids, Pavement, Sunny Day Real Estate, Pixies, The xx, Wire, Battles, Das Racist, Grinderman, Yuck, Sufjan Stevens, Suicide, Public Image Ltd., PJ Harvey, Mercury Rev; the list goes on and on and on into eternity. And this year’s lineup was as impressive (if not more impressive) than every major American festival combined, and comes with a guaranteed “Those ‘Big in Europe’ Bands Will Draw Big Crowds” that Coachella couldn’t deliver.

So, of course, upon seeing 2013’s expansive and “spend money to fly to Spain”-worthy lineup, I felt like I had to go. And with a wave of a magic wand, it seemed, I was there. I had my wristband after visiting the venue the day before and was preparing myself for an exciting weekend.

Author’s Note: As much fun as attending Bonnaroo last year was, it was really nice to have an air conditioned hotel room with a bed to come back to after a long day’s rocking.

L’Hereu Escampa

L'Hereu Escampa

The first band I expected to see at the festival was British post-punkers Savages, although I decided to watch the band before them just out of curiosity. My dad and I were among the first people to make it to the Pitchfork Stage (curated by the infamous website), and we got there about a half hour before Portuguese garage rock duo L’Hereu Escampa took the stage to deliver a short set of raucous, energetic songs that reminded me somewhat of mid-to-late 90s post-hardcore and emo. Think The Dismemberment Plan meets La Dispute meets Japandroids meets the Portuguese language. Obviously I knew literally nothing about the band and couldn’t tell you what songs they played or what lyrics they sang, but I can tell you they impressed me. Being in a largely Portuguese-speaking part of Spain, there were many people in the audience who knew most of the words and had prior knowledge of this band’s existence. But by the time their set ended I’d noticed a significant increase in crowd size. Perhaps a lot of people wanted to get their early for Savages, but it’s good to see bands like this get attention from an audience who’d otherwise never know they exist.

Also, quick shout out to the guy wearing the Snowing t-shirt underneath the Have A Nice Life zip-up hoodie.

Savages

SAVAGES

So, you might not know about a band called Savages. You should probably change that. Savages are a British all-female post-punk group who just put out their debut album “Silence Yourself” earlier this month, and it’s one of the best releases of the year. They’re currently coming off some hype that’s built around them ever since the release of their debut EP, as well as some very well received performances at SXSW.

Considering the fact that their album was very well reviewed on Pitchfork’s website, it should be no surprise that they’d be playing this particular stage. The crowd slowly increased in size in anticipation for Savages’ first performance at the festival. They sound-checked and prepared their equipment, and soon enough they came on stage and opened up their very intense and fun set with “Shut Up,” which is even more “punk” live than it is on record.

Savages, in my opinion, sound like what would happen if Joy Division replaced Ian Curtis’ dead body with Patti Smith. Thankfully that never happened, otherwise Savages would sound like a cheap knockoff, and not the fresh take on dark punk that they currently are.

The band is fronted by insanely charismatic frontwoman Jehnny Beth, who is apparently from France and not England like her colleagues. She sang with the same ferocity and passion that she sings with on the album, and plus she does these really cool downward fist-pumps that look like she’s about to roll dice, but she never actually does roll any dice.

If there was anything especially wrong with the set, it’s that guitarist Gemma Thompson’s guitar stopped working about halfway through the set. The rhythm section repeated the same phrase for a good 10 minutes or so while Gemma and the sound crew tried to figure out the problem. Although the band members were obviously a little frustrated with the situation (thankfully they did finally solve it and continue with the now abridged setlist), their ability to soldier through the technical difficulty and leave no band member behind was truly admirable, and probably won them many fans that night.

Their set eventually finished with the almost dance-worthy track “Husbands” as the friendly looking mosh pit near me grew in size. They thanked us and were treated to a long standing ovation, which was probably half praise for their incredible music and half praise for their ability to work through a technical difficulty with grace.

Metz

METZ

I don’t know what it is about Metz’s set that compelled me actually join a mosh pit, but something about the Canadian noise punk trio’s 2-minute bursts of feedback-driven sugar rush essence made me decide that moshing would be a good idea. And you know what? It really was. It also helped that the mosh pits in Europe were exceptionally friendly and not nearly as rough as they are in the States.

So Metz took the stage at 8:45 PM on the Pitchfork stage (which also makes sense considering the fact that Pitchfork reviewed their debut album very highly last year) and the crowd immediately went insane. Metz were playing loudly and energetically, and for a moment it felt almost as if I was in a punk club in downtown Whateversville, and not right next to the Mediterranean Sea.

Oh, did I mention that Parc del Fòrum is located right on the Mediterranean Sea? Because it is.

Metz sped through the rest of their 40-minute set with great ease, maneuvering in and out of different time signatures and even taking the time for some two-part vocal harmonies.

To be completely honest, not much more can be said about the set that I haven’t already said. Loud, check; noisy, check; mosh, check; trio, check; Canadian, check. All that I can say is that if you enjoy acts like Big Black, The Jesus Lizard, or even Nirvana, then I highly recommend you listen to their music.

Dinosaur Jr.

Come on. Don’t pretend like you’re reading this website and you don’t know who Dinosaur Jr. are. Okay, well, Dinosaur Jr. are a North American alternative rock trio most famously consisting of lead singer and guitar god J Mascis, bass player Lou Barlow, and drummer Murph. Dinosaur Jr. would spend their career merging noise rock, punk, alternative rock, grunge, and even a touch of shoegaze into an impressive discography of well-received releases that would certify the band’s place in rock and roll history. The slowly-falling-apart band broke up in 1997 (with J being the only remaining original member) but reunited in 2005 with the three original members. I would finally get the opportunity to see one of my favorite touring acts live, although they’d have to play the show without Murph, since he couldn’t make it that day.

Dinosaur Jr. gloomily (are they capable of expressing any other mood?) played their career-spanning set that included classics (“Budge,” “Freak Scene,” “Sludgefeast,” “Feel the Pain”), covers (The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” J and Lou’s first band Deep Wound’s “Training Ground,” a song by Last Rights performed with Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham), and songs from their excellent new-ish album “I Bet On Sky.”

J and Lou stood on opposite sides of the stage and rarely interacted, which I guess is usual, but aroused a bit of suspicion from me. Either way, Dinosaur Jr. delivered an amazing set that would both impress the longtime fans and give newcomers something to talk about.

Killer Mike

KILLER MIKE

And back to the Pitchfork Stage I went to catch Atlanta rapper Killer Mike promote his excellent 2012 album “R.A.P. Music” and build up hype for his upcoming El-P collaboration “Run the Jewels,” which will be released for free. Mike and El-P have worked a lot together over the past year, and although El-P wasn’t able to actually appear at the festival with Killer Mike, he was there in spirit, as Killer Mike dedicated song after song to his newfound brother in arms.

At 11:20, 5 minutes before Killer Mike was to take the stage, the crowd was looking rather thin, and I was somewhat worried that the few of us in the crowd would need to be as loud and energetic as humanly possible to keep Mike’s spirits up. Fortunately though, the crowd had thickened and grown considerably by the time he took the stage. Killer Mike smiled and launched into “Big Beast,” proving that he had an incredible amount of energy and live capabilities despite being a somewhat overweight gentleman.

Killer Mike continued into a nonstop flow of energy that I did not at all expect from him, whether it was his bombastic song “Untitled” or his political masterpiece “Reagan,” the latter of which had the entire crowd, including yours truly, chanting “I’M GLAD REAGAN’S DEAD.”

The set continued through what were mostly songs from “R.A.P. Music” and Killer Mike never lost an iota of energy. He sweat like crazy but continued to deliver his lyrics with perfection and clarity, even coming down to the crowd to preach an uplifting pseudo-Christian sermon. He also had his wife sit on the side (she was even mouthing some of the words), and Mike introduced us and has us all say hello. He was easily one of the most surprisingly great shows of the entire three days, and I left his show feeling incredibly happy.

Hot Snakes

Rick Froberg and John Reis have had one of the most important partnerships in punk rock history. Froberg and Reis first collaborated in 1986, when they formed the band Pitchfork, one of the first post-hardcore bands in existence. Pitchfork broke up in 1990 just after the release of their debut album, and right around the time that John Reis formed his long-lasting garage rock/punk group Rocket From the Crypt, and John and Rick joined forces for yet another band, Drive Like Jehu. Drive Like Jehu stuck around for about 5 years, releasing two incredible albums that blended math rock and post-hardcore, being one of the first bands to do so. John and Rick took a bit of a break from each other while Rocket From the Crypt continued to release music, but during a period of inactivity in the late 90s, Reis and Froberg decided to form yet another band, Hot Snakes. Hot Snakes would incorporate all the musical styles that John Reis and Rick Froberg had worked with in all their previous bands, including post-hardcore, garage rock, and math rock. Hot Snakes and Rocket From the Crypt both broke up at around the same time, the mid-2000s, but Hot Snakes eventually reunited in 2011 and continue to perform festivals and small tours to this day. And that brings us all up to speed on John Reis and Rick Froberg.

Now due to a scheduling conflict with Killer Mike and Hot Snakes, I had to decide who I’d want to see more of. A few songs into Killer Mike’s energetic set, my dad and I both decided to watch Mike’s entire setlist and catch the last few songs of Hot Snakes’ set. So after Killer Mike was done, we headed all the way over to the other side of the festival ground to the All Tomorrow’s Parties Stage (which I assume was curated or at least sponsored by the famous festival) to watch punk legends perform some intricately strange tunes in the form of Hot Snakes.

To be honest, I’m not completely well versed on the music of Hot Snakes, so I’m not entirely sure what songs they played and didn’t play. But I do know that they played loudly and proudly, and John Reis and Rick Froberg both looked excited to be performing together again. Their partnership has been going strong, then nonexistent, then strong, then nonexistent, then strong again for over 25 years, and it really shows in seeing how in sync these guys are. The few songs of their show that I caught were a lot of fun to watch, and I’m glad I got the chance to see some legendary punks in a live setting.

Death Grips

DEATH GRIPS

So… Do you guys like Death Grips? Chances are that, if you’ve heard them, you either love them with a dedicated fan’s passion, or you have a strong dislike for their loud blend of punk, hip-hop, electronica, and noise. Whatever your opinion of Death Grips is, if you’ve actually listened to them, they’re an elusive group with a very dedicated fanbase and one of the most intense and cathartic live shows in the world of music.

Death Grips consists of mysterious lyricist and vocalist Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett, producer Andy “Flatlander ” Morin, and drummer Zach Hill, but Zach Hill would be sitting out of this current tour to focus on writing the screenplay for a film as well as working on some new Death Grips music.

At around 1:15 AM, on the same stage as Hot Snakes, MC Ride and Flatlander graced the stage with their rather disturbing presence. Ride looked as if he was possessed by some sort of demon (which he could be for all I know) and Flatlander prepared to unleash electronically produced hell on the gathering of people who came to watch. They opened up their set with “Lost Boys,” before diving right into fan-favorite “Guillotine.” One thing I noticed was that Flatlander was actually playing the beats using samples he’d collected and imported onto the keys of a keyboard. He was actually composing and playing the beats, not just letting them play on a laptop.

The crowd was extremely energetic, as I anticipated, and I shouted the lyrics until I had no voice left. My head thumped with a dull headache but I ignored it, because I was seeing Death Grips, one of my favorite bands. MC Ride danced on stage and shouted the lyrics at near perfection. It’s crazy that this guy gets on stage almost every night and shouts for an hour and can still have enough energy to do the same thing the next night.

MC Ride looks something like an anorexic Rick Ross, and he sounds like one too, but in a really good way. I just wanted to point that out but didn’t really have anywhere to put it.

Death Grips went from song to song with great ease, not taking the time to speak to or thank the audience (as if anyone actually expected that). Although I’m not sure of the order, they played songs like “Takyon (Death Yon)”, “Get Got,” “The Fever (Aye Aye),” “I’ve Seen Footage,” “System Blower,” “Hacker,” “Come Up And Get Me,” “Lil Boy,” “No Love,” and the set-closing “Lock Your Doors.” Death Grips were very loud, very intense, and at times somewhat frightening to watch. MC Ride has the looks of a homeless man and the skillful grace of a ballerina on DMT; and while Zach Hill’s presence was missed, it was still awesome to see one of my favorite bands live. And that’s all there is to it. Stay noided.

Animal Collective

ANCO

The last band I saw that night was Animal Collective, a.k.a. Exactly The Kind of Hipster BS That People Under The Age of 25 Pretend To Enjoy Ironically. I’m kidding, Animal Collective rules.

I got to the Primavera Stage an hour early and saw all four members sound checking their rather complex equipment, as well as setting up the stage, which would include a ton of balloons that formed the shape of a mouth. An hour later, at a little bit past 3 in the morning (yeah, these shows ran very late), Panda Bear, Geologist, Avey Tare, and Deakin all took their respective spots on the stage to perform their psychedelic brand of synthesizer based indie rock and folk.

AnCo opened up the set with “I Think I Can” which comes off their “Fall Be Kind EP,” before going into “Today’s Supernatural,” “Wide Eyed,” and “Applesauce,” three songs from their most recent effort “Centipede Hz.” Although “Centipede” didn’t exactly get the same amount of critical or commercial praise that 2009’s “Merriweather Post Pavilion” got, I still think that a lot of the better songs from this album translate extremely well in a live format, especially the song “Monkey Riches” which would be the second-to-last song.

Some might complain that this set leaned a little too heavy on the fan favorites—including “What Would I Want? Sky” and “My Girls”—but I feel like Animal Collective jammed from one song into another with great skill and ease, and what specific songs they play doesn’t matter. Their live setup is so intricate and huge (excluding Panda Bear’s minimalistic drumset) that watching them actually navigate this complex equipment is a sight to see, whether you’re a mild fan, a fanatic, or you’ve never heard them before.

They ended the set with “The Purple Bottle,” a song from 2005’s excellent “Feels” album, which was pretty much their last guitar-driven indie folk record, and left the stage at a bit past 4 in the morning, making this an hour long set that would give us just enough time to sit outside in the cold for a half hour waiting for the subways to open (which it does at 5 am).

Overall, the first day was a success that left me with ringing ears, stinging eyes, and a pounding head. The subway ride that night would be extremely crowded and definitely suck, but the resulting sleep would bring me absolute tranquility. I slept from 6 am until noon and prepared myself for Day 2.

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