Concert Review: Wednesday 13 – Alrosa Villa – October 27th

Thought I was dead, didn’t ya’?  Nope, just been dealing with real life while still making it to a few shows that I want to tell you about – so here we go.  First up, I LOVE me some good Horror Rock around Halloween, and with The Misfits & GWAR conveniently avoiding Columbus this season, one of the scary themed shows I DID attend was Wednesday 13 at the Alrosa Villa.  Here’s the breakdown;

The first band I caught was Phantom 13 out of Marion, Ohio, who played some decent Horror Punk but were VERY derivative of early Misfits/Danzig (probably too much so for any real commercial success). Still, if you like that sound (and I do), Phantom puts out catchy tune-age like “Death Dealer” & “Dust Filled Veins” that’ll have you singing along in the shower (or is that in the blood bath?).

Next up, some local favorites of mine, Mystic Syntax – who you may recall I saw sweating it out in 90 degree mid-day heat at Woodshock. Much more conducive playing conditions this night, with another strong performance by the band that was one part Electro-Industrial, one part Metal and a uniquely strange experience to witness. Like a post-apocalyptic nightclub act, MS creates eerie tunes full of emotionless lyrics & driving beats wrapped in techno-centric keyboard samples. “Just Like You” is featured on the linked site, and gives you a good feel for their sound.

Polkadot Cadaver were next, an eclectic & funky experimental group formed by ex-members of Dog Fashion Disco. I’ll give them credit for avoiding cliche, but I didn’t need to hear (among other things) the full cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. Not my cup of tea, but I encourage you to follow the link & give them a listen for yourself.

The following band, Vampires Everywhere are more of what I expected for an opening act on this bill, a Gothic boy band with heavy 80’s Sunset Strip influences. That being said, I found them to be very entertaining with a rocking set of Power Pop tunes overlaid with occasional scream-o vocals. Probably dripping in Twilight groupies, Vampires Everywhere have a melodic brand of cemetery angst that is catchy, listenable & was ultimately fun to watch. I particularly like “Immortal Love”, which you can hear if you follow the link.

Wednesday 13 came out last, with all the fog swept, light flashing intensity of a great Halloween show. Not as heavy on stage props as I would’ve expected, the band more than made up for it with a powerful presence, chugging through a set that mixed new offerings with a good selection of old staples (except “I Love To Say Fuck”, a personal fave of mine). Melodic & catchy, like most bands on this bill, W-13 do a great job of capturing a Punk sensibility, sprinkling in some A7X type metallic goodness and serving it all up in Psychobilly homage that’s both lyrically humorous (with songs like “Calling All Corpses” and “Happily Ever Cadaver” for example) but backed up by a good rock n’ roll crunch. Below is a shaky fan-made video from a show a few weeks previous, that aptly captures their live performance. Really good stuff, and I’d not hesitate to see them again. Thanks to some help from, I can offer you what was played as well;

  • Calling All  Corpses
  • I Walked With A Zombie
  • Scream Baby Scream
  • My Home Sweet Homicide
  • Silver Bullets
  • From Here to the Hearse
  • Happily Ever Cadaver
  • Rambo
  • Put Your Death Mask On
  • I Want You Dead
  • I Wanna Be Cremated
  • House By The Cemetary
  • 197666
  • Til Death Do Us Party
  • Bad Things
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes


Concert Review: Woodshock Day 2

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?