People know who I am. They know what I do. I don’t try and hide the fact that I am the face behind this blog. Some bands don’t care that I’m at their shows whereas other bands will start freaking out when they see me walk into their show. They know I’m notorious for being honest. I don’t sugarcoat things. That’s just not my style. Everyone knows this and respects this.

I would like to think I keep this blog pretty neutral. If I see something I love, I let you know. If I see something I hate, I’m not afraid to voice my hatred. The beauty of this scene is that no matter what I write about a band, people still love me and I’m still part of the family. Sure, I’ve gotten my fair share of hate mail and nasty words written about me online but haters gonna hate and that’s all just part of the game.

I could write only good things about the show last night. I could sugarcoat every single pitfall of the day and find someway to spin into a positive thing but that’s not why you read this blog… right? You want to hear what really happened so this is what really happened:

Yesterday was the first annual Minneapolis Toxic Air Festival. There were 23 bands that played throughout the day on two stages. Some of them were friends of mine, some of them were local bands I had never heard of, and some of them were true legends in the metal scene.

Failing to Wake was a band that definitely caught my attention. I saw these guys a few months back and really didn’t think much of them. They were brand new back then… like brand spanking new… like didn’t even have a Facebook new. It wasn’t that they were bad, more that there was just nothing to write home about. That all changed after seeing them last night. They came out on stage with power and pummeled through their all too short set. Their music was clean and heavy and definitely didn’t sound like a local band. These guys may be new to the scene but they will quickly become a household name among the metal community here. I promise you that.

Things started about an hour late due to some diva-esque attitudes from one of the headliners (at least that’s what I heard from some very reliable sources) so one of the bands set to play the main stage ended up playing the side stage. This band just so happened to be one of my buddy’s bands, Mithya.

I felt terrible for them. They were super excited to be playing the mainstage for this show but one of the other bands refused to hop stages so Mithya had to bite the bullet. I was afraid this was going to affect their attitudes and live show but I was relieved to see it didn’t affect it at all. If anything, I think it gave them the drive to do a killer set and that’s exactly what they did. They sounded great and looked great. Word spread like wildfire that they had been switched to the other stage with a new time slot and the room was packed. Lee, the singer and a good friend of mine, blew me away like always with his super powerful voice. I was so proud of these boys for rolling with the punches that the day brought.

Buried Above Ground was the main reason I went to this show. Eric, the singer, and DJ, the guitarist, are some of my best friends in this scene and I will do whatever I can to support them. It was this band’s first show since last fall and the first show with a new line-up that includes members of the defunct local group, Thira. They had been hyping this show for weeks and I was super excited to see what they had up their sleeves.

Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong did go wrong during their set. The sound was god awful. Their samples weren’t working. The band members couldn’t hear anything in the monitors. All of these sound issues caused them to sound a little less than perfect. My heart was breaking more and more with each song. I knew that they’re better than that. We all know that they’re better than that. You could tell by their faces that they were beyond pissed.

As if the sound issues and the scantily clad female dancers that joined the band on stage for the last song (we won’t get into that one as it was a one time thing and came off completely differently than what the band had in mind) weren’t bad enough, when Eric, the singer and a good friend, tried to hop back on stage after getting down in the crowd, he slipped and ended up cracking his head open. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever had to watch. I wanted to turn away. I just couldn’t watch but we are family and no matter what happens, that doesn’t change. Sure, the set was next to terrible but the sound issues weren’t Buried Above Ground’s fault. They didn’t stop, they didn’t give up, they played through it. They have a few other huge shows in the works coming up and I’m sure they will be more than amazing.

Mushroomhead was one of the headliners of the night. They were… well… they were interesting. Being a Slipknot fan, I never really gave Mushroomhead a chance. There has always been a feud between the two bands due to the similarities of the two bands. They both wear masks and their music is eerily similar. Watching their set, I got why the feud exists. Instead of empty kegs, Mushroomhead has two “water drum” players. Water drums are exactly what you think they’d be… just large drums with water that constantly sprays on the top of them so when the players hit them, the water comes up almost Blue Man Group style. I quickly got bored with their gimmicky stage show and lackluster music so I went to go socialize with my family who were all in the entry way letting off some steam and having a few drinks.

The long day was closed out by legendary band Ministry but after watching 22 other bands, I was fading quick and only had the energy to catch a few of their songs. I will say it was awesome to hear them acknowledge and thank all of the local bands that had played previously in the day. Some of the headlining bands didn’t mention all of the hard work the locals put in to play this show. Rumor has it that even one band was straight up rude to the local musicians that they ran into in the green room and backstage (Here’s looking to you Otep!).

Sure, yesterday didn’t go quite as planned. It ended with some of my friends pissed off, some of them happy their set went surprisingly well, and one of them in the hospital getting eight staples in his damn head. Regardless of how it went, we are a family and families stick together. I love these people with all of my heart and will support them even when they’re having an off night.

These people mean the world to me and one bad show isn’t going to change that.

Line Up:

Buried Above Ground
Failing To Wake
Prima Nocta
Death Blossom
In Existence
Next To None
Embrace The Ending
Nameless Victim
Strange Forest
Eternal Voyager
Forever In Grey
The Pursuit of Cash
Unstable Society


Venue: Skyway Theater

Sausage Fest Meter- 87 out of 10

Average Age of the Crowd- 30

Crowd Surfers- 1

Stage Divers-None

Random Shirtless Dudes- 6

Moshability- High

Staples in Eric’s Head- 8

Broken Bones- None noticed but I’m sure some people are hurting this morning

Trench Coats Worn Even Though It’s Summer- 5

Fights- 1

Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None Notcied

Celebrity Sightings- Evan of Milestone; Bill of Metalsota

Overall Score- 4 out of 10

Show on Deck- Letlive.