Crowd-Pleasing Performances and Dynamic Sets: A Recap of Call Of The Wild 2024, Day 2 Highlights

Speaking of headliners, Lost Society gave us everything—loads of pyro and lights plus an intense performance of world-class modern metal. I had always considered them an old-school thrash band,...

Words and Photos: Smudge

 

I arrived at the site later than I had hoped and caught the second half of These Wicked Jackals. They were busy obliterating the crowd’s hangover with a rabid version of “Nutbush City Limits,” along with a couple of new numbers, including “You Want It,” which went down really well. They had a phenomenal guitarist who played his Flying V with incredible skill. I later discovered that he is Greek and currently works as a chef in Surrey!

On the adjacent stage, White Raven Down pummeled us with heavy riffs and grooves. Next up were Star Circus, who appeared to be a man down for reasons I won’t go into, but they overcame this and got us going with some fine heavy melodic metal. Sometimes, you just need traditional fist-pumping, horn-throwing metal so you can bang your head, and that’s exactly what Dead Demons served up on the Trailblazer stage. The tent was packed, and singer Mark Hale took total control, having the crowd in the palm of his hand. With righteously heavy songs like “Outlaw,” “Dead Man Walking,” and “Overload,” the crowd loved them even more when Hale brought his cute-as-a-button four-year-old daughter Maddie up on stage to help with the vocals. They’re a sentimental bunch.

After Dead Demons, I just about managed to catch the final strains of Haxan tearing up the main stage with their hybrid pop/punk/metal sound. Time for tea, so I had to forfeit Sam Millar, and by the sound of his sound check, I didn’t miss much.

Confess from Sweden graced the Kilmister stage—four heavily tattooed Vikings with long blonde hair. I thought it would be a glam fest, but oh no! Confess brought a bit of glam attitude but also a shed load of metal riffs, catchy melodies, and boundless energy, especially on “Pay Before I Go,” “Stand Your Ground,” “We Are The Rats,” and a rousing version of Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of the glam/sleaze thing, and Wrathchild did nothing to convince me otherwise, but some of the crowd seemed to be reliving their youth and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, Bad Touch was a breath of fresh air with their southern-fried heavy rock. “Good On Me (Jean Song)” was brought out early, and they eased their way through “I Get High,” “See It To Believe It,” and a cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Hand In My Pocket,” as well as their own “99%.” Bad Touch brought some summer sunshine, even though it was raining.

Talking to people about who they were looking forward to seeing, it was obvious that South Of Salem was the one everyone was excited about. With good reason too. They aired newer tracks like “Static,” “Hellbound Heart,” and “Villain,” which sounded huge, along with old favorites “Pretty Little Nightmare” and the immense “Cold Day In Hell.” Singer Joey Draper is becoming the consummate frontman, and he had the crowd in his hand from the start. The way things are going, this lot will be the next headliners!

Speaking of headliners, Lost Society gave us everything—loads of pyro and lights plus an intense performance of world-class modern metal. I had always considered them an old-school thrash band, but they’ve developed into a very different beast. They now use EDM tracks, which really boost their sound. They’re still very thrashy but with elements of nu-metal, groove metal, and metalcore. They’ve got the songs too, like “More Like A Beast Than An Animal,” “Non-Believer,” and “Riot.” I’m not too familiar with their songs, but boy did they deliver, especially on a phenomenal instrumental that careered into a metal thrashing beast of a track that wasn’t introduced. I’ll be honest—I was absolutely shattered, so I took my leave as singer/guitarist Sami Elbanna was introducing the huge ballad “Suffocation.” Make no mistake, I will be seeing Lost Society again at the earliest opportunity.

 

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HEILUNG’S LIVE SPECTACLE AT THE RIVERSIDE THEATER IN MILWAUKEE, WI ON SAT, APRIL 20TH, 2024: AN IMMERSIVE JOURNEY OF SOUND, STORY, AND SPIRIT
HEILUNG’S LIVE SPECTACLE AT THE RIVERSIDE THEATER IN MILWAUKEE, WI ON SAT, APRIL 20TH, 2024: AN IMMERSIVE JOURNEY OF SOUND, STORY, AND SPIRIT

HEILUNG’S LIVE SPECTACLE AT THE RIVERSIDE THEATER IN MILWAUKEE, WI ON SAT, APRIL 20TH, 2024: AN IMMERSIVE JOURNEY OF SOUND, STORY, AND SPIRIT

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