With 21 bands spread out amongst 3 stages at Hawaiian Brians, it was going to be a hell of a challenge to even try to catch a glimpse of the bands that sounded familiar. There would be sacrifices and I am not, after all, the spunky 20 year old metalhead of yesteryear. Here stands a photographer who just threw his back out sneezing a few days ago. No epic story there, so yeah, I was going in cautious with a few extra earplugs in my backpockets and camera in hand.
Walking in at 5pm I already knew that most of the bands I wanted to see were playing at the same time in different areas of the venue. Painful but necessary, after all, they were the ones that drew the local crowd.
First thing first, I had a mission to showcase and contain the epicness of local death metal band, Aphesis in a few band photos before their gig time later that evening. If it meant missing a few acts in the process, so be it. Being the metal guy with camera in hand is just like having a red target carved on your chest but I love every minute of it. The gratification of capturing that moment is well worth missing a few songs here and there.
Back in the venue, organized chaos ensued. At this point, the next few hours are a complete blur. Just like having way too many new albums on your desk, it was near impossible to soak in an entire set of any given band throughout the night. There were epic hills & valleys with every band. Metalfest if anything is proving ground, a test to see which local acts can draw a crowd and keep them there long enough to remember your name.
Witnessing Suicide Silence was the reward if you made it this long without going home with a migraine. Still holding a grudge against the sneeze that did me in a few nights earlier, I stood at the sidelines to hear the pummeling double-kick of Suicide Silence's drummer tear through their set. Fighting every urge in my body, I fought the urge to go into battle to get my shot. I did manage to get a few that I was happy with as well as help a woman in the audience get some video on her phone. Raul, I think your age is showing.
It was a great night that culminated with a very different audience over at Kelly O' Neils, where I got to hang out with my bud, Cathy as she tore up the stage with her band Missing Dave.