Metalfest Tested, Mother Monkey Approved


3 maj 2010, 17:52

I was looking forward to Hawaii's Metalfest 2k10.4, but work was keeping me busy all week with no hint of diminishing. Time was running out faster than an old-sküll Napalm Death song, and all I knew about Metalfest was that it was on Saturday at some nightclub that was elegantly christened "4Play".

I didn't know where this club was, so my hope was that I'd be able to find it once I got in the Dixie Grill Restaurant parking lot and started looking around. Business owners love it when a longhair wanders around their family eateries. People see me and start eating faster, so they can leave before I pull out a knife or something heh.

Like I said, work was keeping me busy so I couldn't look up any info about the event beforehand. It didn't help that they moved the fest at the last minute, evidently Anna Banana's wouldn't or couldn't hold the concert. When Saturday comes around, I finally find some info, turns out the fest starts at 2pm. But I'm working Saturday afternoon, and I can't get out til 4pm. So now I'm thinking that I'm gonna miss the fest entirely because I still didn't know how long the show was going. I suppose technically you shouldn't call something a Fest if it only goes from 2 to 6 or so, but I had no idea what was going on with the show after it got moved to some nightclub in Aiea. Nothing against Aiea. In fact, if brutality is indexed by vowels, then Aiea is 100% fuckin' brutal. But the name of the club itself was not inspiring any confidence in a great Metal concert.

Luckily, I guess the Goats smiled on me, because I was able to finish one of my jobs at 3 pm. It was a small victory, as I still had a bunch of other duties, so I started on them. Sad huh? By this point I wasn't sure I wanted to get my ass in gear still. I figured none of the bands would be any good, I never gave enough of a damn to listen to Emmure, who were headlining the fest. And another part of me figures that I'm too old, I'm a mosh retiree nowadays.

The other day I was talking with one of my colleagues at work, an older lady who probably puts in even more hours than me. I asked her how she was doing, you know the usual shit...people always say "Fine" and that's that. But instead, she starts telling me that her day is great because the cafeteria was making her favorite salad. A motherfuckin' salad! No, not taco salad, or macaroni was a Cobb salad, created by the cousin of racist legend Ty Cobb. It's a small world after all. Remembering this made me realize that you don't have to have some kind of elite (food) event to really enjoy it.

So on Saturday afternoon I find out that LigeiroHI/Missbehavi0ur are gonna be at the show at 8:30. I figure I can make it in time for that, and decide I'm gonna go after all. I end up making it to the fest around 5pm. I like catching the early bands too, just to check them out, and see what the local bands are doing. Even though I was going to be by myself for a couple of hours, I figured I'd just enjoy what the bands were doing; maybe not every single note, but I was gonna focus on finding the little things.

Because I was busy with work (on a Saturday), I didn't make it to Metalfest until 5pm. It was being held in a curious little nightclub called 4Play, that I had never been to nor heard of previously. In spite of this, I had no problem finding the place; I just went to the Dixie Grill and looked upstairs and saw the place. Of course, I knew I was in the right vicinity immediately when I saw all the metalheads wearing black hanging around the parking lot.

Like I said, it's a little nightclub. Although it has a decent capacity, nevertheless the dimensions are on the smallish side. The ceiling was maybe 9 feet max, and the dance floor-turned-mosh area wasn't very wide. Add in that the club was on the 2nd floor of the building, so if a moshpit got a little too crazy you might end up seeing a flying metalhead. Regardless, I liked the place because it was still cool inside. At my advancing age, I don't care about the size of the pit, I just don't want to be standing next to a bunch of sweaty guys.

For people who have been there: has anyone figured out what the monkey mural had to do with the place? Monkeys are not indigenous to Aiea. I imagined it just showed up that day, to watch over the bands, like a doting mother watching over its brood. It was a pretty metal monkey, what with the lightning strikes around it. Also on the side, pretty much hidden by a Mobi advertising banner, was there a handlebar-mustachioed cowboy?

On to the bands.

When I got there, Street Fight was just finishing their set. I saw an itinerary of bands, which listed a 30-minute playing time for each band. I raise my horns to all the bands for keeping more or less on schedule. On one hand it meant that most only played for 15 minutes, but that's a fair amount of time to show the audience what they've got, and conversely the audience may not want to hear more than 15 minutes of a band that is stinking up the place. There were about 10 local bands scheduled to play: does Hawaii have a strong enough scene to fill this schedule? Turns out that a majority of the bands that played Metalfest lean heavily toward modern metalcore, which most of us do not want to tolerate, to say the least.

But when I went to the fest, I was determined to enjoy some part of what the bands were doing. Maybe not all of it; maybe I'd end up wishing that Bas Rutten was punching and kicking me in the balls instead of listening to another second of these bands. But before their set was through, I resolved to look at the local bands in some kind of positive light. Unfortunately after seeing so many bands, my memory of all of them is a little hazy, so I've forgotten some things like riffs that I enjoyed for a couple of seconds, while other things that I say may be mixed up between bands. But I'm determined to give this a shot, so I apologize for any mistakes.

The first band that I see that day is listed as Corpus Black, but after their soundcheck, wherein the vocalist is trying his best bear impression, the dude announces that they are now called, something that sounded like "Audio Opossum". I don't know what it was exactly, but that's what it sounded like. These guys played nice and fast, one of their songs started out with a nice riff that I was glad to hear from a local band. They mix things up a little bit too, so they've got some nice ideas. They do have some practicing to do though. For one thing, during their show everyone in the band just stood in one place, which makes me suspect they're not comfortable with what they're playing. I realize that standing motionless can be a talent, like if you're that silver statue guy in Waikiki, but with these cats I think it's a matter of needing more playing time. Their playing needs a lot of tightening up so things become clearer and they'll sound better. And drop the shit that sounds like ska. It may not have been ska, but it reminded me of that. Now that I think about it, I think their name might actually be Audio Apostle. It makes a little bit more sense.

Up next was the two bands, that when I initially saw the slate of Metalfest bands, I wondered what the fuck was going to go down. One was called The Color of Lions. What do you think these guys would sound like, based on name alone? Personally, I was dreading the possibility of an acoustic emo set. But that was not to be, these cats played some -core. I can't really remember their sound, but the vocalist was nice and clear, and it sounded like these cats really know what they want to do. I think the vocalist could add a little character to his repertoire if he didn't try to just maximize the volume of his shouting. Their drummer used a smaller kit, but what he had he really got into banging. I think this band had two guitars and no bass. What I do know, is that this was the start of bands coming out wearing baseball caps (not all of them backward, some of them managed to put it on straight). And the vocalist would do this thing that I call wing flapping. That's where he holds the mic out with his armpits exposed, his arms crooked like a chicken wing. Then with each syllable he shouts out, he flaps his "wing". I guess that's one way to spot a -core band.

The other dubious band name was "This Is A Horrible Band Name". You may otherwise know them as This Is A Stickup. For the younger kids that may not know this, a stickup was when someone pulled a gun on you and took your money. Nowadays we're more civilized, so we willingly hand over our hand-earned money to a thief without the need for a gun. We call them "bankers". Anyway these cats were tighter than the previous band, and their vocalist was even clearer. He was a good frontman for the band, and he even announced song titles, he was engaging. I still couldn't get much into what this band was doing though. Maybe I just don't understand wearing the baseball caps.

Now around this time, I actually spotted SatanicBludlust in the crowd. Since the bands play too loud to try to have a conversation, I just waved in her direction. This was quite a surprise because I didn't know if she heard about the Metalfest. Upon Golgotha was scheduled to play, but evidently they're a Christian metalcore band. So we headed out during their set, and talked shit about them in the parking lot.

Downstairs from 4Play is the Dixie Grill, which smelled of fish; I especially noticed it when I sat down. Next to the restaurant is a tattoo shop, so we talked about tattoos (also there was MidgetOfDoom). My uncle had some tattoos, but I never did get any. I guess it might be because I have absolutely zero artistic facets. I ended up saying that if I ever got a tattoo, it would be a bunch of dots, looking like freckles. They of corpse thought that was pretty lame. I kinda liked the idea of a tattoo that didn't look like a tattoo.

Alright so back to the band; I could hear them playing while I was outside, and the Moshers For Christ didn't sound too intriguing. After they got done playing, I wanted to catch the next band. But I couldn't find SB, she had gone with her friends to their car. After a while I just went back inside alone and thought I could catch her later.

The next band was Affront The Weak. The crowds earlier in the day were decent, not big but then not small either. I remember there was one band where EVERONE left the venue before they played even one note. Except for one guy who stayed in the middle of the floor. I'm pretty sure he was a friend of the band. Eventually a few people filtered into the pit. But when Affront The Weak came on, the pit started getting bigger. Now this is certainly not something that I listen to on my own, but I watched them play to their crowd. A few circle pits were encouraged. They played deathcore but maybe they might have some hope. For one thing the singer didn't do "Wing Flapping" when he sang, instead he kind of rocked out with his shoulder wiggle. And he may not have had a hat either, I don't remember anymore. So maybe their entrenchment in -core is curable.

Then at the end of their set they start playing some space-y synths, which eventually turned out to be the beginning to Journey's "Separate Ways". I know the video for this song is well-known among the young'uns because of its 80s-ness.

Wisely the singer did NOT try to ruin Steve Perry's song, so I got the feeling they can at least recognize a great song and not fuck it up. They were fun to watch, if not hear.

Phoenix Rose was supposed to play, but I don't think they showed up at all. So The 86 List went up next. I gotta say, they're a pretty solid punk band. They played a nice batch of songs that were catchy and diverse, so they got some good songcraft. They even throw in some dub/ska/whatever moments and utilize them well. Listening to them playing their singalong style of punk, I couldn't help but think of cookies

Eventually Before Fire got on, to play their brand of death metal. Their vocalist showed off some strong growls, holding them for approximately a half-minute (I left my stop watch at home, so do not consider this official). And he's diverse, throwing in some higher sanguine screams too. But I started feeling real hungry so I left towards the end of their set to grab some grub. I probably ended up missing another band too.

Oh, around the beginning of The 86 List's set, LigeiroHI and Missbehavi0ur showed up. Poof Connex in tha house! Although we totally forgot to spit out some rhymes. Dayum, next time!

After feeding my face, I wasn't sure if I still had anything left to watch more bands. I figured I just I had to go back to say goodbye to my MFHers, and ended up catching a band called Irrepressible Heroes. Turns out these cats play InstruMetal songs. Not the flashy kind of instrumental, like with tons of guitar effects and/or neoclassical shredding. In fact not much shredding at all, but just Metal songs done without vocals. It was pretty simple, but they turned out to hit the spot that night. I don't know if they're looking for a vocalist, but honestly I think they wouldn't gain much by adding one. Vocalists nowadays don't impress me with their growls that lack any discernible formed words. It's safe to say for me that moment has passed. Still though, it does feel like someone is missing, maybe they can just have a guy stand in front of the mic doing Metal Poses, eg standing with one foot on a monitor or amp and headbanging. Catch these cats in the future. They talked about playing one black metal song, but it sounded more like death metal to me.

All Heart played too, they're a -core band that loves their breakdowns, but they're nothing special. I'm saying breakdowns have their place, but I like them to hit with a little more viciousness. Since it is a Metalfest, I don't feel I'm out of line thinking they'd sound better if they played some more metallic riffs. Combine the heaviness of Metal with the speed of hardcore, and there's a good chance I'll dig your songs.

Of corpse Corrupt Absolute had the penultimate spot in the Fest, and on this night I thought they sounded great. They played an intro sample with Middle East-sounding ambiance before going into their songs. Maybe it had something to do with the acoustics of a smaller club, but their songs were more ear-grabbing. I think they still play the same songs as what I've heard them do before (such as The Freezer Song) but I really noticed the drums. Were they always triggered? I did like the way they stood out still, and they propelled the songs along. The guitars played some meat and potatoes riffs, and refrained from drawing out their solos.

I had enough by then, but forced myself to catch some of Emmure's set. At least these guys actually showed up to play, although there were some rumbling doubts when their scheduled time came and they still weren't around. I don't think they're horrible--I mean, they weren't horribly out of place. They played loud, and heavy; maybe their riffs are not top tier stuff, but they're...not horrible. But by this time, I had no energy left. Also, the MILFs that I had seen during Affront The Weak's set seemed to have gone home to put the kids to sleep. So I vamoosed too.

I think this fest setup is good, to have bands play for <30 minutes. I'm up for going to the next one. Who knows who they can get to headline next?!
Godkända inlägg
Metalheads From Hawaii


  • HK_Metal

    Ahhh....odium apostle. My friend boston is in that band and when they said they were a "black metal band" I got pretty excited....well..let down a lil I guess. The song on their myspace called "new song" was SUPPOSED to be the new black metal song. You know the guy who puts on the bear face? he is seriously crazy, I've talked to him a couple of times and have caught the bus home from a alter solum show with him and boston. He is homeless and lives in a cave and sometimes forgets song lyrics, but overall pretty cool guy lol.

    1 jun 2010, 08:17
  • mudiferous_quadruped

    I wonder how he listens to music, being homeless? He should tell some of his homeless stories/views at shows. Does he have a grudge against society, or anyone in particular? I hate the guy who turns on the water sprinklers at the park.

    12 jun 2010, 06:00
  • HK_Metal

    No clue, I know he comes down every once and awhile to shower at the YMCA and to play shows/practice. Talking to their other band mates was pretty funny, apparently not only does he forget lyrics but he will break out into uncalled for mini solos. Next time they play and a solo comes on watch how the drummer and guitarist look at each other haha. From the mini rants he does before songs I'm sure he has the usual Anarcho-Socialist hang up on large private companies and conservatives. Lmao, the guy who turns on the sprinklers.

    14 jun 2010, 22:43
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