Monday, May 10, 2010

EdgeFest VI

EdgeFest VI
By John P. Smith
            In the end, metal super giant Godsmack seized the day and brought down the house.
EdgeFest VI, held at the state fair grounds in Little Rock and sponsored by Little Rock radio station 100.3 The Edge, featured a diverse lineup of 13 hard rocking bands.  It was co-headlined by veteran metal artists Rob Zombie and Godsmack.
            Rob Zombie appeared to have won the day at the end of his hour-long multimedia, audio-visual, mechanized assault.  Zombie rocked the blow-out crowd of wall-to-wall metal heads nearly to their knees with hard, head-banging classics such as “Living Dead Girl” and “Dragula.”  His bass-laced metal core establishes a bone-shaking foundation for some awesome in-your-face guitar work by John 5.  Just using this proven music formula would be enough for most metal fans.
Zombie, however, heaps on top of his musical nucleus five huge screens of seemingly incoherent visual distraction along with a parade of mechanical what-the-hells, at least one of which appears to be fashioned after a Martian as described in the early 20th Century “Red Planet” books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
            Rob Zombie’s show was worth the price of admission by itself.  So when Godsmack, hit their first note, the stage was set for a serious metal let down.   Sully Erna, multi-talented front for the four-man band from Massachusetts, would have none of it.   With nothing more than a background banner emblazoned with their sun symbol and name, Godsmack delivered a set fans will remember for decades.
            After dropping a couple of tracks from their new CD on the crowd to “wake everybody up” the band threw down some classic Godsmack, complete with bone-jarring drums and ear-throbbing bass lines topped by Erna vocals and Tony Rombola guitar licks.  As one sweat-dripping, arm-pumping, multi-pierced, tattooed patron was wont to say, “Just hearing VooDoo live is worth the price of admission.”  No argument here.
            After about an hour of basic rock metal showmanship at its finest, while the band took a short intermission, fans began to trickle out to leave.  Those poor bastards who left early! They missed the coolest part of the act.  When the band took the stage again, it was with Sully Erna on a drum set opposite band drummer Shannon Larkin for a drum duel-duet as spectacular as has ever been performed before a live audience.  Amid this thundering, rumbling, rhythmic overload, one fan noted that, “Sully is just an all-around bad ass.”  Again, no argument here.
            Godsmack ended their stage time with the crowd-pleasing classic “I Stand Alone” that had everyone singing along.   What the crowed ended up with was straight-up rock show versus blinding light show.  Rock show wins every time.
            Prior to the major headlining acts, 11 other bands performed.  Papa Roach and Five Finger Death Punch played respectable sets.  And Seether…played, too–right over a band on the small stage called Shaman’s Harvest.  Rob Zombie played on the big stage over the top of Lacuna Coil on the small stage.  This sucked and whoever was working the timing on this screwed up very badly.
            Band’s missed due to being stuck in traffic:
            Bullet For My Valentine
            Drowning Pool
            Hell Yeah
            All the small stage bands before Shaman’s Harvest.
            (Personal Note:  I took my daughter to this concert for her 16th Birthday.  Her single purpose in going was to see Bullet For My Valentine.  All those other bands were just a bonus.   Bullet played just before we got there because we were in traffic for more than two hours.  I’m still not sure who screwed this up the most.  Basing my timing on previous EdgeFest attendance, I left home in time to get to the fair grounds by 2 p.m., anticipating some minor traffic flow problems.  I, along with concert promoters, state and local police, did not anticipate the huge crowd that converged on the music festival and snarled up traffic as far away as the river bridge (about five miles.)  It also appears that the shows started early or played shorter sets than expected.  I suspect I will not hear the end of this until she gets to see Bullet For My Valentine in concert.  Maybe never…)

(Editor’s Note:  John P. Smith is a freelance writer currently living in Bee Branch, Ark.)

1 comment:

AicnMCRfan94 said...

You, completely forgot the best part of Rob Zombie's performance. Joey Jordinson (drummer for Slipknot), played drums for him! He's the one in that picture. Though you can't really tell. And, you're right, you'll never hear the end of it. Not even after I see Bullet, which, I will. ;)