On May 17th, I arrived in London, England to see Halcyon Way, Trillium, and Delain at the O2 Islington Academy. After a long plane ride and about an hour commute on the tube, I was so ready to hang out with the bands and watch them perform. I found the Halcyon Way tour bus and stashed my suitcase, then I watched the bands get ready for the show with great excitement. This was the last show of the “We are the Others” tour, and I was very glad I got to be there!
First to perform was Halcyon Way. A progressive power/thrash metal band from Atlanta, GA. As I waited in the photo pit for the band come out on stage, I looked behind me and the venue was packed full of people. After their dramatic intro music, Halcyon Way runs out on stage, the crowd cheers, and the band starts off their set with The Age of Betrayal. I was a little unsure how the band would come across with only one guitar player, but to my surprise, Trey Hollingsworth (fill in on bass) filled the void with an electric performance. I quickly forgot about the missing guitar player and was absorbed into Halcyon Way’s performance. Singer Steve Braun performed with an energy I hadn’t seen before until this show – he made his presence known by encouraging fans to pump their fists, interacting with the crowd, and several times he jumped off stage and rocked out with fans. Lead guitarist Jon Bodan never fails to deliver intricate guitar solos, and technical riffs with a passionate energy. Pounding away on the drums, Ernie Topran provided the backbone of the band’s technical metal.
Second to perform was Trillium, a band fronted by Amanda Somerville. Trillium’s debut album “Alloy” (2011) has a gothic/progressive feel filled with the angst of a relationship gone sour. As I watched, I could see Amanda projecting her angst into her performance. Her facial expressions, her appearance all said to me that she had a very personal statement to make with her music. Bassist Mark Burnash was positioned behind the keyboardist. The poor guy got stuck in a small space, but he didn’t let that stop him from rocking out. Paul Joseph performed well on stage, and ripped out some great guitar playing (with a smile). Trillium had a great performance and I look forward to watching this band progress. Amanda Sommerville has an amazing voice, and she is slowly becoming one of my favorite female vocalists.
Dutch band Delain, was the headliner on the “We are the Others” tour. They had a more hard rock/metal sound, as opposed to the previous bands. With a 19 song set list, fans got to hear all their favorites and some new songs. The band demonstrated why they are a legitimate headliner in Europe. Fans cheered, pogoed, and sang along with Delain throughout the whole set, especially when they played “The Gathering” for their encore.
On stage, Delain was very energetic. Bassist Otto Schimmelpennic and fill-in guitar player Bas Maas (from After Forever & Doro Pesch) spent most of their time spinning their long hair around, and running back and forth behind the lead singer, doing classic Zack Wylde poses and so forth. Lead singer Charlotte Wessels has a unique style on stage, and great stage presence. Delain as a whole put on a very professional show and the audience ate them up.
All the performances were great that night in London. The O2 Academy was great and I appreciated their kindness. By the end of the night, all the efforts I made to get to London were all worth it. May 16th is a night I will never forget!
Fear Factory at the Masquerade
Fear Factory destroyed the Masquerade on September 4th with an amazing set. Fear Factory was one of the first bands to pioneer industrial metal. It was great to see them back in Atlanta after a long absence. Fear Factory is on tour promoting their new album Genexas, which lead singer Burton made sure we pronounced correctly (ha). Their show was great and I found myself singing along while I took pictures of the band. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact I could hardly SEE the band. Once again the Masquerade didn’t bother to turn up the stage lights for the bands. This of course makes it very hard to photograph. Nonetheless, I still really enjoyed watching this band play some of my favorite tunes live like Shock, Edgecrusher, Damaged, and Demanufacture!
2015 Rockstar Mayhem Fest
The 2015 Rockstar Mayhem Fest visited Atlanta on July 26th, with amazing bands like WhiteChapel, and Slayer!
When I walked into Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood it was like a ghost town. In past years, the Mayhem Fest is usually packed with people, but this year was different. The entrance I walked into had no venders, no food venders, and no people hanging out between band sets. I walked clear across to the other side of the venue to find a much smaller side stage than the previous years.
After seeing, maybe a 1000+ people watching the side stage bands, I knew the Rockstar Mayhem was coming to an end. Also, the beloved Metal Mulisha motorcycle stunt riders were not present at this year’s Mayhem Fest. As for the bands, some of them just were not for me, while a few were amazing to see perform. It was a sad sight to see the Rockstar Mayhem Fest scaled down to almost nothing, but I still had a good time taking pictures.
Enjoy the pictures for the last Rockstar Mayhem Fest. Hopefully, some brave soul will pick up the torch and revive the festival!
Victory Records Stage
Check out pics from the Main Stage on the next page!
Friday @120 Marietta: Metal Invasion
Pathfinder Promotions and 120 Tavern and Music Hall Present MARIETTA METAL INVASION a night of Hard-hitting, in-your-face heavy Metal
Pathfinder Promotions and 120 Tavern and Music Hall Present “Marietta Metal Invasion,” a night of hard-hitting, in-your-face Heavy Metal from Atlanta’s Rigorism with their special guests Paladin, and on tour out of Florida: Sons Of Ragnar and Lacerate!
Rigorism formed in 2012 setting out to make music that doesn’t have a million genres, Metal is what is written, played and the adrenaline at a live show is definitely a must see. Strong vocals, powerful riffs, odd syncopated bass and drums make up RIGORISM \m/
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