Live review: Pam and Mark Schaff
Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff
After two days and 22 bands, you would think that we would be tired. And we were, we slept in a bit on Sunday, before getting up and making our way back to Cafe 611 for the third and final day of the fest. The last day of the fest looked to be a great line up, and most the eleven bands on the list were ones we were familiar with and had been wanting to see for some time. Time to get busy, and let the last day begin!
Coming from Pittsburg, PA, Horehound was first to grace the stage on day three. A great blend of stoner/doom riffs filled the venue from the first note and continued for the entire time they were on stage. Brendan Parrish – guitar, Nick Kopco – bass, and JD – drums provide the doomy music. And vocalist Shy Kennedy provided the powerful and haunting voice that captivated the early Doom fest crowd. They’re currently working on material for a new album, and we look forward to hearing that when it comes out!
We’re not going to say that Old Blood was a surprise, we had listened to them before the fest. But I think this band from Covina, CA, stepped up on stage and turned the heads of more than a few fest attendees. From the moment they broke out a great groove on the first song, and Singer ‘Feathers’ stepped up and started singing, the crowd had all eyes on the stage. This band was fantastic. A great blend of psych/acid/doom/classic rock. They belted out a great set that set us running for the merch table to grab a copy of their record. Gunner-Guitar, Octopus-Bass, Diesel-Drums, and Stone-Synthesizer, round out the band. We hope this band gets up to our neck of the woods sometime soon. We would love to see them again.
The progressive doom of Cavern was next to get on stage, and they slammed the fest crowd with a smokin’ set from the start. Coming from Oakland, Maryland, Stephen Schrock – Drums, Zach Harkins – Guitar and Mike Lorenzen- Bass played to the growing crowd a hand full of songs from their two full-length albums and one EP. These guys are coming to Buffalo soon and we’re hoping to be able to catch them while they’re here, now that we know how great they are live.
Another Maryland band was up next in the form of Thonian Horde. They play their self-described “Black N’ Roll”, Black Metal mixed with Rock N’ Roll and a touch of thrash for good measure. The band sounded great and the crowd responded with all the head banging you could ask for during the set. The band is made up of Ron “FeZZ” McGinnis – Bass & Vox, Dan “D-mize” – Guitar, Darren “Dirty Waters” – Guitar and Tyler “The Beast” Lee – Drums. In the end, they left the stage to the crowd chanting “Hail The Horde” showing their appreciation for the great set they performed!
Burn Thee Insects
The night before we left for the fest, Burn thee Insects had played in Buffalo, and we were really set to take in the show, but unfortunately had to cancel at last minute. Regret it? You bet, this is one hell of a band. This father/son duo from Jerome, Arizona, play what they call Doompop, but don’t let that scare you off, it sounds great! They climbed on stage and performed at a blistering pace before some trouble came their way. Part way into their set, Lucust blew his amp. And after a quick change, they got the show back up and rocked the hell out of the Doom fest crowd yet again. They’re one band that can say they rocked so hard they blew their amp. If Burn Thee Insects come to your down, take in the show, don’t regret it like us.
Akris was a band that we were not familiar with before the fest. But everyone is familiar with them after the fest. This band from Virginia came to Maryland and rocked the Cafe hard. The fuzz was heavy in this one, and that was fine with everyone there. Helena Goldberg~ Bass and vocals, Tim Otis – Drums and Paul Cogle – Guitar and vocals make this three piece a must see.
Another hometown band from Maryland, Lifetime Shitlist play this hardcore doom that kicks ass. There is no way you can’t like it when these guys get on stage and rock the place in such a way. Ned Westrick- Vocals, Metal Matt Crocco- Guitar, Corey Fleming- Guitar, Ryan Larken- Bass and Bryan Glaiser- Drums make this band a favorite with the hometown crowd.
Talk about a band with a lot of talent, Lightning Born boasts some of the best the fest had to offer. A supergroup in our eyes, and rightly so. The Raleigh, NC rockers consist of members Erik Sugg (Demon Eye) on guitar, Doza Hawes (Colossus, Bloody Hammers, Hour of 13) bashing the drums, Brenna Leath (The Hell No) with amazing vocals, and the mighty Mike Dean (Corrosion of Conformity) hammering the bass. How could you go wrong watching this band on the Doom fest stage? They played a flawless set that ignited the fest goers and got the crowd in the position to bring it on home for the final bands of the night. Brenna is a powerhouse of a vocalist. She blew the crowd away with her performance. Their set was bittersweet as it marked an end for Erik Sugg, who played his last show with the band at the Doom fest. Erik and the band have all said they expect all to be well in the future when they find a replacement guitarist, but it’s hard to replace a talent such as Erik. Lightning Born was nice enough to sit down with us for an interview before they played, make sure to check back soon to see our interview with Lightning Born.
Name a band we’ve been listening to for years and finally got to see at the fest? Freedom Hawk! They did not disappoint. These guys have been bringing the fuzzy goodness since 2005 and they showed it on this night three of the fest. They are such a great live band. They came to kick ass and did so with conviction! Coming from Virginia Beach, VA, T.R. Morton – Vocals, Guitar, Mark Cave – Bass and Lenny Hines – Drums, made it known they can rock with the best of them and kicked ass for the fest attendees. If you have a chance to see these guys live we recommend you do.
The Atomic Bitchwax
If you asked us for a short list of who we have wanted to see live, The Atomic Bitchwax is on that list. They are on constant rotation in our house. Finally getting a chance to see them live was an amazing experience. Talk about getting a crowd riled up and ready to tear up the place down. On this day, with so many great bands, and two two days that came before this that had so many great bands, these guys took the place to another level with their don’t let up, smoking hot set. Chris Kosnik-Bass and Bob Pantella-Drums, both of Monster Magnet, and Finn Ryan (Core) -Guitar started the place on fire with some heavy riffage that would be hard to beat on any given night. They tore it up on stage, and we for one, cannot wait to get another chance to see these guys. They gave the Frederick crowd all the “Super Stoner Rock” they could handle!
How do you finish night three of the fest, or better yet, how do you finish off the fest period? You put Black Pyramid on stage and let them do what they do best. Another band we wanted to see live. They did not let us down any, and they did a crushing set that brought down Cafe 611 and left it in a heap of ash and rubble metaphorically speaking. This might be surprising to some of you, but after 33 bands had made their way to the stage in three days, everyone wanted more. Black Pyramid was a great choice to close out the night, and as is the case with the rest of the bands here at the fest, we hope to see them soon again.
So as we have said it throughout our review, three days, thirty-three bands, and throw in another six bands on Thursday’s pre fest show (we wish we could have made that one), this was a weekend to remember. We were so glad to see some friends we had made last year and happy to make the new friends this year. JB Matson and Mark Cruikshank and the whole fest crew did an amazing job! All their hard work definitely paid off. We definitely can’t forget to mention the great job MC Dave Benzotti, from Benzotti Live Radio, did introduce all the bands. And we can’t wait to see who they come up with next year (2018 lineup will be released on October 31st).
Till then DOOM ON!
Below is a link to the Go Fund Me page for Rev. Jim Forrester from Serpents of Secrecy/Foghound, he still has a long road ahead of him, and with mounting medical bills, he can use all the help he can get #RALLYFORREV