New England Metalfest, er, happened.


They took my pens. While being re-admitted for Day 2 of the 10th annual New England Hardcore & Metal Festival at the Palladium in Worcester, Mass., the frisker at the door takes my ballpoint pen and black Sharpie out of my pack and unceremoniously throws them away. “Hey, are you serious?!?” I state. “Yeah, they […]

by Chris Ayers

They took my pens.

While being re-admitted for Day 2 of the 10th annual New England Hardcore & Metal Festival at the Palladium in Worcester, Mass., the frisker at the door takes my ballpoint pen and black Sharpie out of my pack and unceremoniously throws them away. “Hey, are you serious?!?” I state. “Yeah, they don’t want them inside the venue,” he replies. “How am I supposed to review the show without something to write with?” A shrug of the shoulders is returned, as I step past him and into the noise tunnel that’s been the NEMF for a whole decade.

Mainstage highlights: High on Fire simply crushing the audience; Megadeth’s new younger blood tearing it up for the aging Dave Mustaine; Monstrosity drummer Lee Barrett almost getting into a fight with a roadie for cutting their set short; Hate Eternal being very, very broo-tal; Ministry’s Al Jourgensen giving a last hurrah as part of the band’s final (?) tour.

Second stage highlights: with guitarist brandishing his signature “MW” axe, Municipal Waste delivering the final blows to a packed crowd that was still reeling from Disfear’s previous onslaught.

Best unintentional momentum destroyer: Fear Factory’s Burt Bell singing on a few Ministry classics.

Biggest band to cancel at the last minute that no one under 30 noticed: Overkill.

Biggest disappointment that no one under 30 noticed: Meshuggah frontman Jens Kidman unenthusiastically going through the motions in a blurry set of cuts that all sounded the same.

Best overpriced T-shirt for sale: First Blood’s spoof design of the Froot Loops cereal box, $25.

Biggest trend at festival: older bros/“hip” dads headbanging to In Flames or Children of Bodom with their little (a few VERY little) siblings/kids.

Biggest unsurprising trend at festival: those same kids wearing all the same In Flames and Children of Bodom tour shirts.

Hey Scott Lee, how about a doom band next year?  You know, just to mix things up…

 

Comments

  1. Commented by: Chris Dick

    Amen, brother! Did you end up getting a writing utensil?


  2. Commented by: Fred Phillips

    You’re supposed to prick your finger and write in blood, didn’t you know? That would be the metal thing to do. Oh, forgot, they won’t let you have anything sharp enough to prick your finger with. :lol:

    That’s pretty ridiculous.


  3. Commented by: Morb

    Post-9/11 America sucks.


  4. Commented by: Chris Dick

    Is it me or do metalfests generally suck? They’re basically composed of a bunch of presently-running tours that happen to join on one particular day. In theory that works. In practice it doesn’t. Someone needs to do a proper metalfest where talent is hired to perform instead of re-routed off a tour for a 30 minute set.


  5. Commented by: Fred Phillips

    9/11 made it worse, but crap like that started long before. I remember having to take my boots off at a Motley Crue show back in the late 1980s because the Nazi at the door couldn’t see the metal strap on the side of the boot that was making his metal detector go off and was convinced I was hiding a knife or a gun in there. Mind you it was a hand-held metal detector, and he was running it directly over a big, metal buckle at the time. *sigh*


  6. Commented by: Chris Ayers

    Chris, you mean like the old Milwaukee Metalfest? Ye gods, now THOSE were the days…

    The strange thing about the pens is that the doorman only searched the front pocket of my bag, not the main compartment where I had my camera and more pens!


  7. Commented by: mary alice shealy

    I know this is probably not the appropriate avenue but I had a dream about a teacher of mine named chris ayers; needless to say the dreamed moved me enough to try and track him down. So If Chris Ayers happens to see this and it is same person who lived in Rock Hill SC and taught latin in Fort Mill is the late 90’s then Mary Alice would like to get in touch with him..mt.malice@yahoo.com thanks!


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