Apologies to Slap in advance; I tried falling asleep, but couldn't and decided to write a review instead. It should be noted the festival began on the 14th, but none of the four Metal Setlists members who went on the 15th attended the first day, which featured Huntress, Dreaming Dead and a couple of other locals.
I showed up at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater at John McLaren Park a few minutes before the first band of the day, DC3, began their set. I met up with Slap and two of his friends, my companions for the day. DC3 were pretty boring, a generic hard rock band with a terrible vocalist. The highlight of their set was a cover of 'War Pigs', probably the only part of their half-hour set that roused any sort of reaction from the 30-40 people there at the time. After their set, I bought the last copy of Ghoul's out-of-print Transmission Zero
on vinyl, which included a poster and Ghoul 3D glasses.
Next up were Beercraft, which Slap and I had assumed after some research online were a folk metal band. They turned out to be black metal (with some
elements of folk to an extent), and were pretty good, especially when it came to vocals, delivered by their female singer/keyboardist. Next up would be Haunted by Heroes, a hard rock band consisting of middle-schoolers. We thought we'd miss their set (partially, at least) by chowing down at the Mexican food stand nearby, but to our dismay finished eating as they made their way onto the stage. Their drummer and lead guitarist weren't too bad for their age, but I didn't enjoy their music as a whole. They got shut down early due to time constraints, and looked pretty pissed about it. However, their set marked the first time non-photographer audience members would come down from the seating area and into the pit area, so kudos to them for getting people to get off their asses. Later I'd find their setlist on the ground not far from the stage, but I'm too lazy to type it out, nor do I imagine anyone here actually gives a shit about them.
Next up was D.H. Peligro of Dead Kennedys fame, with his solo band. They played crossover, and did a pretty good job at it. After their set, I got two setlists and a guitar pick from Peligro, letting Slap have the setlist; he'll post it up here sometime tomorrow. Interestingly enough, nobody came up (or down, if you will) for their set, which surprised me, since their music was pretty moshable. Whilst waiting for Gravehill to start, I won two bags of Thrasher Magazine swag in a raffle. Other prizes included a guitar pedal signed by Gary Holt, and a Washburn guitar signed by the members of Ghoul.
Next was the first band of the day with whom I was familiar, Gravehill. I was a bit disappointed they didn't dress up, but they played really well and got a fairly large crowd in the pit area; the first mosh pit of the day, too. They drenched themselves in fake blood (at least I think it was fake!), but that was the extent of their theatrics, which are usually a big part of their live show from what I understand. Guitars were spot-on, and banter from Gravehill's singer in between songs was pretty funny: "This here is [guitarist] Corpsemolestor. Ladies, he may have a six-pack, but I've got the [pointing towards his huge stomach] whole keg!" After their set, I got their bloody setlist off the stage, later getting the band to sign it, who were all very friendly. When giving his autograph, Gravehill's drummer asked me whether he should make it out to Lincoln or teenage Jesus, which I laughed at. Here is their setlist:
Rites of the Pentagram
Black Blood Rising
Suffer No Man to Live
Soon after Gravehill finished, Onioner found us and hung out a bit with us before Slough Feg started. Slough Feg (a band I had only listened to once before) were awesome; a traditional metal band fronted by a vocalist/guitarist with a great voice and a lot of sass, I was very impressed by what I saw. Most of their set comprised of Lord Weird Slough Feg covers (the former incantation of the band); at some point in the middle of their set, they played an impromptu cover of Joan Baez's 'Diamonds & Rust' to which I sung along pretty heartily. After their set, I got their setlist from their bassist, a vinyl record slip. However, since it didn't have 'Diamonds & Rust' listed, I'm going to assume it may be missing another song or two. I'm sure Onioner can clear thid up. Here's their incomplete and possibly out-of-order setlist:
Death Machine [The Lord Weird Slough Feg]
The 95 Thesis
Highlander [The Lord Weird Slough Feg]
Diamonds & Rust [Joan Baez]
The Final Gambit [The Lord Weird Slough Feg]
Traders and Gunboats [The Lord Weird Slough Feg]
Last but sure as hell not least were Creepsylvania's (also known as Oakland) own Ghoul. Since discovering Ghoul in November of last year, I've become a pretty big fan, so I was stoked to finally see them. Ross, Sean, and I exchanged a few words before their set. They were fucking great; even with Jerry Garcia's somewhat mediocre sound set-up, they sounded spot-on, and I didn't pussy out of getting a fuckton of blood on me. I screamed my lungs out to 'Heads', 'Casket', and 'Feast', headbanging as hard and fast as I could the rest of the time. The crowd was going pretty fucking crazy, too; people began stagediving (a no-no at a venue like the Garcia) and guys in Black Flag, Doom, and Weekend Nachos shirts started tearing the pit area apart. I'll be seeing Ghoul again this month; on my birthday and with Autopsy, no less. Here's their setlist:
The Lunatic Hour
Off With Their Heads
The Mark of Voodoo
Bury the Hatchet
Rise, Killbot, Rise!
As Your Casket Closes
After their set, I got Ross' setlist, and got the band to sign the poster that came with my vinyl. Sean also gave me one of his guitar picks, so I had a lot of Ghoul shit by the end of the day. And so came to a close my first Tidal Wave experience, and my first US show of the summer. I look forward to more free live metal next summer