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REPORTING LIVE: NEW ENGLAND METAL AND HARDCORE FESTIVAL: DAY 2

DILLINGER

The Dillinger Escape Plan (pictured) threw down on one of the liveliest, rowdiest, and most intense live shows I’ve ever seen. That night, I made an uncompromising decision to come out of crowd surfing retirement during their song “Mullet Burden”.

Some day, I should get a case to keep my glasses safe for situations like these.

After shaking off a spiteful evening of drinking, I hobble back to the Palladium for the second day of the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival. I’ve surprisingly made it on time for the first band on the main stage, Allston natives, Totality. Given the hour, there aren’t a lot of people here and enough space to go up front to lean on the barricade and headbang. These kids are feisty today.

It’s so early, yet the small crowd is circling faster than NASCARs on the Daytona Speedway for Totality and Hellsot.

Totality

Today’s lineup is more technical, folk, and power metal on the main stage. I see a lot of leather cuffs, kilts, war paint, and parents shaking their heads because they don’t understand what their kids are into. I see one soccer mom in khakis and a light pink sweater holding onto her purse for dear life.

She’s bobbing her head trying to get into the music. She’s faking it, but I applaud her efforts.

It’s still obnoxiously early and I haven’t even gotten rid of my hangover, let alone eaten breakfast yet. I order a beer anyway, pound it quick, and order the second round immediately. Maybe I’m going a little hard in the paint, or maybe I’m just being a responsible reporter. I assume the latter.

Trollfest take the stage a little late, but when they do, their singer is in a bumble bee suit and a few of the other band members have antennas on their heads.  With an accordion, a saxophone, and a banjo, this is one of the weirdest, most original metal bands I’ve ever seen or heard. This is a band that is sincere in the sense that they want to have fun and make music that they like. It translates well into their live shows.

During the last song they literally have the crowd barking “Woof woof woof.”

Trollfest

The band Tyr is up next. I’ve heard and seen a lot of hype for these guys. The majority of shirts I’ve seen today are for Tyr. Their logo is even far up on the flyer for the weekend despite the sub-prime set time. I can see how the kids would like it, but it’s not for me. The band has commanding stage presence and despite serious gazes and custom leather suits, they look like they’re having fun.

After a few beers and no real nourishment on my day’s journey, I’m famished. I hit up the café on the corner attached to the Palladium for a ballpark cookie, which is a chocolate chip cookie with potato chips and pretzels baked into it. The line for the register is out the door and the café is direly understaffed. The poor girl behind the counter deserves a break more than I can fathom.

When I step out of the café I meet a drunken fellow in sunglasses. His friends are embarrassed and apologize over and over again. They came all the way from Maryland for the festival. We start to chat and they tell me about this band from Detroit playing upstairs called Battlecross.

We go to check them out and they totally shred.

Today is also April 20th (4/20) and Battlecross are excited about it, but between the pagan nerds, children with their parents, and the straight-edge hardcore crowd, I’m not sure if these attendees are.

Battlecross

People are rejoicing for folk metal band Ensiferum from Norway. The band is sporting kilts and war paint, and have lost their shirts (with the exception of their female keyboardist). The crowd has formed the oddest circle pit I’ve never seen. Metalheads have their arms linked around one another’s shoulders and are dancing in a circle similar to the traditional Eastern European circle dance, the hora.

Ensiferum

I meet a man to the side of the crowd in a homemade leather suit, “This is the music of our ancestors! It is in our blood! This is what draws us to it. Our genes recognize it from our pasts.”

He then takes out his phone and begins to show me videos on his phone of him slicing inanimate objects with a sword.

As the night progresses, I head towards the back, by the bar, for Swedish death doomers Katatonia. The band is still, and so is the crowd. There is no pit and hardly a nod, but I’m guessing people are into it by the undivided gazes of concertgoers, and the front of the room is packed.

Dillinger Escape Plan

For the Dillinger Escape Plan’s set I decide to get my hands dirty in the pit and go as far to the front as I can.

Some day, I should get a case to keep my glasses safe for situations like these.

Dillinger are known for outrageous live shows. I had to get up close and personal for this one. The band opens up with their new single “Prancer” and it’s an instant madhouse.

The band is reckless, consistently sailing over security guards and barricades, crowd surfing on the bulk that makes up the front rows. I can’t remember the last time I saw crowd surfers so supported yet so epileptic in form.

They don’t even miss a note of their carefully-calculated, complex song equations, regardless of these erratic displays of rock n roll.

Greg Puciato

Greg Puciato is climbing the main stage speakers, roughly two or three stories high.

I don’t think he jumps because of all the obstacles between him and his landing pad, AKA the crowd.

Puciato dropkicks the drums a couple times and keeps hijacking the crash symbol for himself, waving it through the air.

The Dillinger Escape Plan threw down on one of the liveliest, rowdiest, and most intense live shows I’ve ever seen.

That night, I made an uncompromising decision to come out of crowd surfing retirement during their song “Mullet Burden”.

For you readers who don’t know me, I am a big guy and haven’t surfed on people in years. The pit opens wide for a split second and from the back I charge through space to the front towards the stage, put my hands on someone’s shoulders, and muscle myself up as high as I can, crawling on top of the wave of patrons who take me from there.

Opeth

By the time Swedish melodic death proggers Opeth go on, I feel like I need a crutch just to crawl to the back.

I take a seat at a high top for Opeth, but periodically walk to the front for a better view, like a stroll in the park on a nice night admiring the performance. Opeth architect Mikael Åkerfeldt at times looks like he is standing alone in the fog on stage. He is joined by his band members but appears alone, like a stone statue seldom moving from the center of the stage.

CHECK BACK FOR MORE #REPORTINGLIVE AND BILLY’S INTERVIEW WITH TRAP THEM, OUT TOMORROW ON DIGBOSTON.COM!

About BILLY GAMBLE

Alive culinary pancake performance metal yogi chef from Providence RI, still not loud enough, still not fast enough, where’s my tall boy?
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One Response to REPORTING LIVE: NEW ENGLAND METAL AND HARDCORE FESTIVAL: DAY 2

  1. Pingback: INTERVIEW: ENSIFERUM @ NEW ENGLAND METAL AND HARDCORE FESTIVAL | DigBoston