Sunday, March 06, 2011
Scion Rock Fest 2011
Scion Rock Fest 2011
March 5th, 2011
Say what you want about “corporate rock.” The Scion car company puts on a well organized metal festival with established bands and a keen eye towards what is percolating in the underground at the moment. Considering that nearly the entirety of L.A.’s metal horde was in attendance at this year’s event, the negative initial buzz around a car company sponsoring free metal shows appears to be abating towards enthusiastic acceptance (the official Scion Rock Fest shirts were going like hotcakes; that’s good enough of an indication of acceptance for me). Couple this year’s lineup for with the fact that Southern California lacks a decent metal festival, and we all flooded suburban Pomona for a day of just soaking up metal culture (and to see some bands that rarely, if ever, make their way out here).
Looking at the lineup and set times, I had a definite game plan going in. I also intended to spend some time just walking around, browsing merch, and hitting the Grill ‘Em All trucks at least twice. I wasn’t so concerned with cramming myself to the front for the festival’s biggest bands, so forgive my few lousy pictures of such acts.
We arrived just in time to catch Wormrot, the first act to get things going just after 4pm, in Tent #1. A great clean sound highlighted Wormrot’s all out grindcore assault, and the punters in attendance started up a pit immediately.
After the set’s conclusion, I decided to hit Grill ‘Em All, figuring that I wouldn’t have so much time later in the day. After my burger, I headed to Tent #2 to catch Woe. I’m sort of up and down with this band, but their set was well done, highlighted by choice cuts from Quietly, Undramatically. Towards the end of their set, I drifted to Tent #1 to catch a couple of songs from Primate, a hardcore-ish “supergroup” with Kevin Sharpe from Brutal Truth on vocals. Not really my thing, but I stuck around for a few songs.
Back in Tent #2, Cough were getting ready to go and delivered a crushing set of stoner/ doom that brought down the tent. A great set and, as they were finishing, I scooted back over to Tent #1 and caught a few songs from Nails.
After another detour to Grill ‘Em All for some fries, I headed into the Glass House for the first big act of the evening for me, the mighty Immolation. Just about everyone else was there as the Glass House was totally jammed. Immolation are an awesome act live, and delivered the goods with songs scattered over their discography, including a track from the Hope And Horror EP. The venue’s sound wasn’t the greatest, though, muting the impact.
I decamped back to Tent #2 for the band that I was most interested in seeing, the Bay Area’s Necrite. The only full-on, corpsepainted traditional black metal band in the festival, Necrite were atmospheric and nihilistic, delivering a great set of serious black metal. Just awesome, and Necrite deserved my only t-shirt purchase of the evening.
Seeing Necrite in their entirety meant sacrificing the first portion of Obituary performing in the Fox Theater, a rather large venue anchoring the festival. While in the lobby getting a beer, I discovered that Kvelertak had to cancel their festival appearance, only to be replaced by Black Cobra. Had I known this earlier, I would have made seeing Black Cobra a priority. Oh, well. At any rate, I caught a good portion of Obituary’s set with Terry Butler on bass. A great set with great sound, my view from the very rear of the venue was good enough.
I managed to move up a bit for the newly reinvigorated Morbid Angel with Tim Yeung filling in on drums and Norwegian black metal alum Destructhor on second guitar. Morbid Angel were tight as Hell, and were obviously enthusiastic for their set. They even played a new song, sounding good, which bodes well for the immediate future of the band.
I left before Morbid Angel finished, however, and I managed to catch a couple of songs from Anaal Nathrakh, the final act in Tent #2. At this point, it was about midnight, and we had a 40-mile drive back home ahead of us.
Special thanks, as always, to my esteemed colleagues.
Here are some pics and video (of varying quality; this was not a priority for me for the day)…
The Fox Theater Crowd...
The t-shirt haul (damn Blogger)