The Road To and From Worcester, MA

Storm and Quick arrive in Lansdale on Thursday evening at 6:45pm.
They drink beer and eat cheese dogs while I attend Trent's science fair with the fam.
We return, drink more beer, watch Irreversible and eat cherry cobler.
Wake up at 6ish on Friday morning.
Depart at 6:45am after Cheerio milk bars.
Stop for gas and Roy Rogers at 11:45am in Connecticut.
Arrive in Worcester at 12:15pm and check into Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Drink Yards and River Horse while we wait for the arrival of the following suspects:

Whitey (arrives at 1:15pm)
Terry (arrives at 1:15pm)
Mulhearn (arrives at 1:30pm)
Chops (arrives at 1:30pm)
WB (arrives at 2:30pm)
Erik (arrives at 2:30pm)
Ram (arrives at 9:30pm)
Felix (arrival time unknown)
Jason and Erin Stec (arrive between 10pm and midnight)

Storm, Quick and I go to The Palladium at 2:45pm.
Wait in a long line until we are situated at 2nd stage at 3:10pm.
Invocation Of Nehek play mediocre Gothenburg-influenced American metal.
Ion Dissonance rip the room apart with Quebecois tech-death metal hardcore.
Move to main stage to see decent pounding metal by The Esoteric.
Leave venue and go back to hotel to eat, drink and reunite with others.
Return to main stage to watch excellent Suffocation-esque hardcore death metal by Premonitions Of War.
All That Remains performs like a headliner with their melodic hardcore metal.
Throwdown plays sub par tough guy fighting music that's funnier than good.
As I Lay Dying plays okay San Diego version of melodic hardcore metal.
Obituary reunites from the swamps of FLA and play some solid classic death metal songs before boring me with the rest of their set.
Unearth appeals to the Mass. locals with their violent hardcore metal.
Hatebreed entertains me surprisingly due to my abduction by Whitey and crew (big Hatebreed fans), who feed me 5 Red Bull/vodka combos to help me enjoy it better. I really earned my "wings" during that performance.
Went back to hotel with Chops (soul survivors) as Whitey and crew go clubbing.
Day one of festival concludes with us staying up until 4:00am drinking and laughing.
Day two begins with a dozen donuts from Honey Farms (poor man's 7 Eleven).
Erik, Joe and I see If Hope Dies on second stage playing...you guessed it...on par melodic metal hardcore.
The Acacia Strain is next with slow, dense, pummeling, sludgy hardcore metal.
Join others at main stage in time for Reflux, who play mind blowing, anti-political, technical metal hardcore. Probably one of the most skilled bands there. Unbelievable guitar and drumming. Hats off!
A Life Once Lost plays Meshuggah-inspired metalcore from Philly that fucks us all up.
Trivium plays Puppets-era Metallica-style thrash metal coming from a bunch of teenagers from FLA.
The Red Chord plays breakneck speed death metal hardcore. A festival favorite.
Jamey Hatebreed's and Lord Ezac's avoidable Ice Pick outfit gives us perfect opportunity to leave venue and get dinner at Honey Farms before Palladium seals doors at 6pm.
Buy Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets and microwave them at the store.
While microwaving, call Patrice and check on the fam.
Go back to hotel for needed rest and replenishment.
Get back from dinner in time for one of the best bands to come out of Canada: Strapping Young Lad! Devin Townsend charms crowd with toilet humor. SYL breaks our necks with lightening fast guitar playing and Gene Hogland's ludicrous-speed drumming. Another festival highlight for me.
Could not return to second stage due to fire marshall occupancy violation. Bands missed due to poor planning: Walls Of Jericho, Caliban, Darkest Hour, Most Precious Blood, and Blood Has Been Shed. Sucked, but talent was plentiful enough to avoid dwelling.
Terror plays generic but inspired and respectable hardcore. One of the classic lines of the festival by vocalist Scott Vogel: "...it doesn't matter how big your dick is or how deep your pussy is..." I can't believe a hardcore guy would say that in regard to how important unity is. Hilarious!
God Forbid seems impressed with their blander style of melodic metallic hardcore minus the fast thrashy moments that used to make them so good. To me, they are a band on the decline, and one of the disappointments of the festival.
Cryptopsy plays entire album of the gory death metal classic None So Vile plus a few other songs. Lord Worm impresses us with his black trench coat, French accent, low-key morbid humor, and impressive worm ingurgitating skills. One of my favorite bands at the fest.
Bleeding Through made our arses bleed with stage acrobatics and keyboard-laced death metal hardcore strait outta the O.C. Always a popular choice for the NEMHCF giving a stellar peformance for their third year in a row.
Chimaira bit and sucked the big one with their brand of music that would have been numetal if it came out 10 years ago. This band is terribly boring and severly overrated. C'mon, their first song was called "I Hate Everyone". Where's the creativity? Whoever thought that Kevin Talley could be in such a boring band? Being the former drummer of Misery Index, I'm surprised he hasn't died of boredom yet. I think Storm and I went shopping for CDs after two of their songs.
Danzig bored us to tears with newer solo stuff, but as soon as he called Doyle from the Misfits out on stage, they gave us the closest that we'll ever see to a classic Misfits reunion. I wish Doyle was the answer to every sucky performance because he spiced the evening up like heroin to Richard Pryor. Doyle leaves the stage, and Danzig closes with Twist Of Cain and Mother. Exciting!
Day two ends as we go back to the hotel for more drinking and partying and dodging a ball-busting Officer Meatbeef, who was itching for an arrest. He didn't get it, though. None from our camp anyway.
Day three begins with the departure of Ram, Whitey, Terry, Joe Quick, Jason and Erin Stec. Chops, Mulhearn, Storm, WB, Erik and I are soul survivors from our camp.
Went to venue at noon with WB.
Met up with Felix, who was deserted by Whitey and his camp.
Started drinking venue-supplied Sam Adams immediately quelling hangover demons. "Hair of the dog!"
Paria started the day with solid technical hardcore metal from Omaha, Nebraska.
Hell Within plays decent metallic hardcore with a small tribute to Slayer mixed in.
Felix and I went back to hotel reuniting with recovering others.
Returned to venue in time to see Howling Syn, a Canadian quartet that includes an operatic woman wearing a black leather girdle sporting a red cross. The pig-tailed vocal wonder had all of the hand and arm motions to make their somewhat boring music more humorous.
Into The Moat plays blend of Dillinger-esque metallic hardcore.
Went to first stage to see catchiest hardcore this side of Snapcase. The band is Evergreen Terrace, and marks were high in my book. A festival favorite for sure. Sing alongs were in full effect.
From Poland came Behemoth, who graces the stage with anti-Christian, blackened death metal. Another festival favorite in my book. C'mon! They were wearing corpse paint and spiked catcher's shin guards!
3 Inches Of Blood steps up to the plate with retro feel to metal. With multiple guitars and multiple vocalists sporting that falsetto range, I strained my eyes looking for big 80s hair, but I couldn't find it. Good music, though.
Made final CD purchases while The Risk Taken provided driving energetic hardcore in the background.
Making a sacrifice missing Black Dahlia Murder and Between The Buried And Me on the main stage, opted for second stage to see Chicago's Dead To Fall, who started their set with an At The Gates cover and ended with the "Carnage" chant that concludes their song "The Gates Of Hell". That chant was foreshadowing for why I was really there...to lobby for a good spot to see Denver hydrogrinders Cephalic Carnage. It was worth the sacrifice. Storm, Felix and I got right up in them guts for growl-alongs, moshing, and my first circle pit in years. I have the bruises to show. This band never disappoints. Their set was short, but it was worth every minute to see it up close. Kicking it off with "Hybrid" and slipping "Lucid Interval" into the mix was a nice touch, but they mostly played songs from Anomalies. It's great to see Jawsh back in the band.
Stepped outside and inserted sausage and 1 lb burger into stomach via mouth gearing up for final bands of evening.
Hypocrisy begins evening with brutally melodic death metal from Sweden.
Dark Tranquility plays fast melodic death metal, which technically isn't influenced by Gothenburg since they ARE from Gothenburg.
Soilwork plays boring melodic death metal from Sweden with piss-poor choruses and repetitive guitar riffs. I'm not a fan.
Nile was a breath of fresh air with their Egyptian-influenced death metal.
To close it all out was King Diamond, who was anti-climactic. Without stage gimmicks (iron fence across the stage, interpretive dancing, puppet theater, and the stabbing and coffin-placing of a baby doll [?]), the music wasn't strong enough to stand on its own. The best part about it was his falsetto range. Some find it annoying. I personally think it's comical. I liken him to a caricature of metal. The crowd seemed to dig it somewhat, but Mulhearn was the first to bail. He can't stand the King. After all, the man plays with dolls.
Went back to hotel.
Polished off our seven cases for the whole weekend.
Watched Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead (sucked).
Made jokes about the new pope (Joey Ratz).
Fell asleep.
Departed on Monday at 9:30am.
Got home in time to drop Storm off at the train station.
Picked up Bella on time.
Favorite performance- Reflux
Honorable mentions - Cryptopsy, Strapping Young Lad, Behemoth, The Red Chord, Evergreen Terrace, Bleeding Through
Most surprising performance- Premonitions Of War
Best t-shirt - "I Love My Wife" worn by Jason Stec.

I agree with Jason. Thanks go out to Patrice and family for helping me make this all happen. It was a special weekend for my friends and I, but what's even more special is Patrice for letting me live like a derelict for one weekend of the year. Here's to you, honey!

1 validations:

Marksthespot said...

Good job with the rundown. I feel like I was there (even though I only know the four lamest bands). Your prose triggered my tinnitus.

You should find a programmer and create the Metal Genre Generator, randomly spitting out combinations of terms of art - one adjective (e.g., "melodic," "pounding," "classic," "mediocre"), one subgenre ("tech," "death," "black") and one genre ("metal," "hardcore," um, "grindcore"? um, uh, "polkacore"?).

Where have all the flowers gone?