Day two of Woodshock was . . . weirder than Day 1, and I got the impression all was not going smoothly backstage. More on that in a bit. Here’s the high-points of the day’s line-up;
Mari Jayn – was one of two bands this day that I thought were no more. I’m glad I was wrong on both counts. MJ is what you would call ‘biker rock’, with fist pumping arena anthems & song titles like ‘Modern Day Outlaw’, ‘Creatures’ and ‘The Animal’. Good ole’ fashioned rock n’ roll, I’ve been wearing their swag for years (and picked up a free do rag courtesy of bassist Mikel Anthony). Guitarist Manus D. is pictured. Badass!
Spike Opera – The other reunited band that I previously thought was metal history. Has a VERY loyal following in their hometown of Springfield, Ohio (which coincidentally is my birthplace as well), and brought many of their brethren to the show. Decent Thrash metal but their set suffered from technical difficulties and a muddy sound. Need to hear them again sometime as they have the potential to kill. Sadly, their drummer Kenny shattered his foot backstage later that night. OH NO, THEY GOT KENNY! Seriously, tho – here’s hoping for a speedy recovery dude!
Altemira – A nu-metal trio out of Lima that was really fucking loud for a 3 piece, and had a good, full sound. Go to their Reverb Nation page (linked) and download 7 songs for free. Another band that I need to hear more from.
Then things started to get weird as, among other things, there was a Reggae act playing and what seemed like an eternity of Marley-esque “happy” music while nothing was on stage at all. I napped & prayed for the bad men to go away.
The Black Order – We were now officially into the stoner portion of the festival as TBO plowed through a sludgefest of Sabbath/Black Label inspired hymns of doom. Really dug these guys, especially the THC-drenched ‘Bleed The Sky’ (check it out on their Facebook page). Quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries of the entire weekend.
This Blessed Hatred – Who knew people were so pissed off in Springfield, Ohio? First Spike Opera, now TBH – wow, way to represent at the ‘shock! Crunchy Death metal just like your Daddy likes it, with discernible lyrics, galloping rhythms and wonderfully offbeat tempo changes. I love a band that intentionally makes their songs more complicated & interesting – well done guys! Check out ‘Krawl’ on their page (linked).
Mystic Syntax – Merging Industrial & Trance in an atmospheric symphony while maintaining their metal edge, these guys are quickly becoming a favorite. Not your typical festival act, and I applaud their creativity (and being able to play in the ridiculous heat that burned all of us during their set). Highly recommended.
Lazarus A.D. – Winners of the 2011 Rim Of Hell Favorite award (which I just now created), Lazarus A.D. stormed the stage & basically schooled everyone in how Thrash is done. Seriously folks, check’em out and become a believer. Tight as hell with a unique dueling guitar/dueling vocals attack. On their fanpage, someone wrote “these guys will save Thrash Metal”. Quite possibly.
Bobaflex – Wouldn’t be a party without the McCoys in town, and that’s just what we got; brothers Shawn & Marty McCoy, alternating guitar & vocal duties alongside their bandmates, to mesmerize the audience (esp. the women, let’s be honest here) with their bare knuckled brand of rowdy, dirty & accessible rock n’ roll. This was the Mrs.’s favorite of the festival . . . .gee, I wonder why?
SEVER – Local favorites, who actually don’t feel like a ‘local’ act at all, their sound being far more professional & polished than one would expect of an unsigned band. SEVER get lots of radio exposure and has seen an explosion of their fan-base – deservedly so. Check out ‘Speechless’ on their Reverb Nation page, as I think it showcases their style and versatility.
Hed(PE) – The final two bands of the evening went thru Hell & back to get to Woodshock, the first being Hed(PE) who had to borrow SEVER’s equipment because their’s was AWOL (but were rumored to NOT have given everything back – shame, shame boys). Still, their show is one part punk/rap, one part environmental evangelism and 100% entertaining. It’d been a while since I’d seen the ‘Hed, and I was totally blown away. I should mention here that the Mrs. wants me to tell you Hed(PE) were “also her favorite of the festival”. Not sure that she is picking just one favorite, but whatev. Go Listen to “It’s All Over”.
Closing the festival, but not by choice, was Dead By Wednesday who had the mother of all roadtrips to get to Woodshock (the details are sketchy but there were vehicle issues and mayhem involved). Honestly, I didn’t get to hear most of their set (there were strippers and a drum circle – I get distracted easily) but admire the band’s ‘Never Say Die’ attitude to make it to the show.
So there you have it; typical Woodshock in that all sorts of craziness abounded, things got broken, and blood & sweat were the rule of the day. But as you can see, there were literally TONS of talented bands sharing that stage over the weekend. I am truly glad I was there to experience it. Join me next year, mmk?