2013 FESTIVAL REPORT
March 13th - 17th
Every March downtown Austin turns into a sea of people from the technology, film and music industries for a festival that takes over every conceivable space. A crazy corporate sponsorship shit-show to be sure, but pretty much all the metal shows are free, so itís hard to complain. Blogs like Brooklyn Vegan, Invisible Oranges, Metal Sucks and Metal Injection have hosted some great shows in recent years. I think the House of Vans day show at the Mohawk on Wednesday was one of my favorites this year which featured Skeletonwitch, Pallbearer, Trash Talk, Power Trip, Inter Arma, Royal Thunder, Vattnet Viskar and others. Unfortunately most bands only get 30 minute sets, but when theyíre free shows that sometimes have free food and booze, any setlist length is acceptable. The Saturday Converse-sponsored show was awesome as well with Clutch and Orange Goblin headlining a two stage venue alongside Black Breath, Hatred Surge, Mammoth Grinder, Ancient VVisdom, Kadavar, Royal Thunder and more.
Chaos in Tejas 9
May 30th - June 2nd
Austinís annual punk / hardcore / metal / indie fest might be the biggest and best Ďundergroundí fest in the country. Timmy Hefner is the mastermind that curates and organizes this DIY-feeling punk party across multiple venues near downtown and the east side. Since CiT takes place the weekend before MDF, Timmy usually is able to snag some of that metal talent and this year was no exception. The Bolt Thrower show was the shining star of the weekend. With Mammoth Grinder, Magic Circle, Iron Lung, Imprecation, Cruciamentum and all Tragedy opening for BT, the crust punks and metalheads rubbed elbows and traded stage diving opportunities. The Absu / Manilla Road show that closed out the weekend at Red 7 on Sunday was another not to miss with Anhedonist, Speedwolf, Mitochondiron, Satanís Satyrs and Abigail all on the bill as well. Chaos In Tejas has been my favorite festival every year Iíve lived in Austin.
Housecore Horror Film Festival
October 24th - 27th
Phil Anselmo decided to bring his Housecore Horror Film Festival to Austin for itís inaugural year the weekend before Halloween. A celebration of horror films seems to be the perfect event to roll a metal festival into especially in a town with both a film and music legacy of itís own. They aired some new and upcoming horror movies alongside screenings of classics in 35MM with daytime and evening concerts going on as well. The highlights of the day shows included Pallbearer, Repulsion and Pig Destroyer (their first performance with a live bass player). The evening shows were headlined by Goblin, Down, The Melvins, Gwar and Eyehategod. The EHG set was notable for being their first return to the stage since the death of drummer Joey LaCaze. Dale Crover of the Melvins took over behind the drum kit for this emotionally charged set. Atilla of Mayhem, under his Void ov Voices moniker, provided and errie soundtrack for the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari utilizing vocal looping and effects. The weekend closed out with the Italian band Goblin performing the live score to the film Suspiria as it was projected behind them. Considering it was the first year of the festival it was all organized well and went as smoothly as could be expected.
November 8th - 10th
FunFunFun Fest is the perfect blend of metal, punk, comedy, hip-hop, indie rock and electronic. Itís a fest thatís able to pull some big names but also keep some underground gems in the lineup. I was honestly more excited for the hip-hop and comedy sides of FFF this year, but there was still some great metal. On the comedy side I caught Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Rob Delaney, Kyle Kinane and Matt Bearden; with Patton and Sarah being highlights that Iíve been a big fan of and have wanted to see for a while. Deltron 3030 and Jurassic 5 were the both awesome on the hip-hop stage, as were Flatbush Zombies and RJD2. Gojira, Pelican, Subhumans and Melt Banana all tore up the Black Stage. Body Count and Flag were entertaining at least. As most everyone who saw this last run of shows can attest, Slayer sounded great and was the best way to end the weekend.