On Friday October 4th and Saturday the 5th for the eighth straight year Susie Maynard and Springfield’s Club Panama have held the annual For Love of Sonny benefit honoring her son that passed away from JD raising money, awareness, knowledge and community support for disease research. This year’s event brought in over $1,300 which will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Prizes, raffles and auctions were held both nights featuring gift cards from Fazoli’s, Rudy’s Smokehouse, Red Lobster, Roosters, O’Charley’s, Cousin Vinny’s, Golden Corral, Cracker Barrel, Frickers and Olive Garden. Beth’s City Salon and Keg N Kork Liquor also donated prizes along with two chocolate cakes, Jell-O shots and sugar free cupcakes made by Janeen Naugle. This was the only sugar diabetics are able to eat and patrons were invited to try one. Over $150 dollars was also donated by Abby Rowley Execute Director of Shades of Passion and Romance and Abbythefunlady.com.
Other popular spirited prizes included a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka and a half gallon of Jagermeister. Two high quality Viking pool sticks donated by Donnie Propst , a Bud Light cooler/speaker system and homemade candles by Jessica Wallace. Featured auction items included two dream-catchers handmade out of bass/guitar strings by Springfield artist Nan Mitch of Nans Daydream Designs. Other contributors included Joel Naugle, Jeremy White, Heidelberg, Bobby Fisher Distributing for the event banner, Tod Panstingle for MC’ing the raffle and auctions and Shaffer Amusement & Vending.
The weekend show featured 12 bands performing an eclectic collection of music from rock, metal, electric acoustic and unplugged with bongos and a standup bass. Local talent included Element of Surprise, TBH (This Blessed Hatred), Fletcher Munson, Blackout Method, National Headcase, Killed By Art, The Defendants, Mothers Onion, Dead Beat, Gathering Mercury, Silver Skull and Abrade The Regal.
The Element Of Surprise is always a good advantage and handy weapon to have on the battlefield of music and war but Union Ohio benefit openers prove a ton of screeching, screaming noise head on can be even more devastating. The four man noise bashers gave the stage its first coat of sweat and dirt of the weekend, giving the crowd a little early evening dose of Regicide-Ragicide followed by Facebook/Reverb track By Myself. Singer/guitarist Brett Wheeler crushed boundaries immediately jumping stage into the crowd bringing them closer into their elemental Ssssnakepit.
Troy’s Fletcher Munson has experimented with sound and pitches on their own paying homage to their audio term, test namesake. Also claiming they’ll be the least heavy band of the evening, but…. they DID listen to Bolt Thrower and Suffocation on the way there. Even though they open Penny-less it’s for a great cause. An empty bottle of gin can lead to broken noses and broken hearts as the ole Ball & Chain explains with a bluesy, jazz, jam band sound, a bit like Social Distortion gone country. Crystal puts on the shades, shimmering like a boozed up recording session between Foo Fighters, Skynyrd and Blues Traveler. It’s a two guitar onslaught with bass and drums hard but mellow with a few whiskey shots of heavy sound. We get an acoustic country twanged hangover with our only friend, the Ragin’ Alcoholic, no coffee just moonshine in the cup.
Springfield sons TBH (This Blessed Hatred) feature 2 bass players for that extra deep throated chord pounding as Chad Whaley’s cement coated throat spreads a heavy shellacking on the crowd. Delivering a darker, angrier Alice in Chains sound accompanied by bassist Jared Hooten’s red haired Erik Rutan appearance and sub guitarist Tim Estep’s finger playing, delivering a double thick wall of thudding sound. They start down the Dark Path with strong bass drags, twisting chords and frantic, frenetic fretwork. The Dead Seed is planted for the next death harvest. The night got sophisticated with some moody bass and atmospheric Death meets Joe Satriani with some great sax on guitar, along with pummeling tempo with guitar expressionism and experimentation. Think jazz room mosh pits straightening up, taking a breather to enjoy the finer slower parts then moshing again. There’s a murky light in the distance walking through the mist to find safer ground. It’s a 100 fists smashing sound effect with strange Morbid Angel erratic, cathartic notes and alarming effect. Technical playing with an Opeth sound and Rush on metal guitar.
Now for some groove metal from the armpit of the Midwest, National Headcase. Dayton’s answer to a jam band consisting of Mastodon, Down and Red Fang. Welcome to the Fallout opens with Chris Porters spoken word growls encompassing a more frantic, busier Crowbar sound with guitars having the all engines go on full Motorhead charge with freight train riffs. Continuing with Burning at Both Ends from their 2011 demo, it’s Alice in Chains on full prescription adrenaline with guitars that could split and rise up pavement, break out the concrete sledge. They go old-school on Brother’s Keeper playing some gasoline guzzling bearded brutality with a shovel headed kill beat. NHC is a drunken fist fight over the last beer music. Oracle lets the industrial hammer pummeling begin with stage shaking corrosion, finishing with the circling Vultures ready for the blitzkrieg swoop and devour scavenger hunt.
Another of Springfield’s pride and joy Blackout Method came out swinging with some cool hard rock/metal covers with plenty of Rage ready to kill Diabetes In the Name of Sonny and everyone else fighting for a cure and they’re ready to throw down and Break Stuff to prove it. They got the crowd up and dancing to some sweet angst and Sugar courtesy of the System. After giving the crowd a nice Shinedown we get Face to the Floor with Chevelle finishing off the Rage with the Bulls on Parade.
Friday’s headliners Killed By Art finished the late evening, early morning marathon. All they Ever Wanted was to make you happy. History proves, it repeats itself, so learn from it. Karma comes around for everyone so make it good. They played one of singer Kim Weiss’s favorites One Last Bomb with its tribal Congo beat continuing into Roots’s swampy guitar groove. KBA also played new tunes Trouble and Dark Hero finishing up playing the numbers game with Clutch.
Saturdays show started with Mike Defendant, the guitar playing, singing rebellious half of acoustic hardcore punk duo The Defendants. Defendant brings a one man acoustic jam to the stage playing the strings with more force and power than the instrument was built for. He plays Broken Mirrors about the evils and issues of government regulation carrying a street musician cred singing some solo social commentary. Kick the government when they’re down! He drives to speak the truth like his protest artist hero’s before him like a new age old-school throwback to the 60’s musical revolution. He threatened to pull a ‘GG Allin’ to close the show but there were youths in the crowd. He sings a sad song about a girl that tried to go to LA to see the Ramones but never got there, damn hooded hoodlums.
Dayton’s Gathering Mercury played its first full band acoustic set with new bassist Jack Green on standup bass along with two acoustics, two bongos and a stomp box. Giving listener’s eardrums another cool dose of unplugged as I Give open’s with Miss Stacey’s sweet husky voice, becoming the hard acoustic riffed Fixation of everyone there. Softer strung Give in to Me was followed by new tune Aamona and Bliss. They Break us out of the mercury trance finishing with final new tune Carousel.
The second night of metal begins with the unique chill of winters early embrace and the echoes of the forest seeping from Mena Popp’s keyboard. Franklin’s Deadbeat is a mixture of loud screaming metal, keyboard metaphor/ambiance and some sinister killer lyrics about the dark fantasies that some people have but would never ever do. Smoke poured with the creepy keyboard notes as Deadbeat needs to be seen to be Believed. Singer/guitarist Scott Wilson has a strong Randy Blythe inspired fury and focus. Ferociously growling/screaming lyrics with a wide-eyed pissed off enthusiasm. Popp’s hands glide over the keys casting spells through the speakers taking listeners to the darkest parts of the forest for a special bonfire witches dance on the Sabbat. Sawed Off will make you laugh, cry and make your insides feel all fuzzy, right before they’re removed with a body truck chug pace. You’ll be ripped limb from limb with raged cruelty, body parts sawed off in your face with a masochist’s war cry. The blood reign continues with a short tribute to Slayer/Jeff Hanneman (RIP) as the blood rains down so bow your head and bang in reflection and respect as the keyboard growls. ‘Your Head is Mine’ yells Wilson with an evil grin as he prepares to unleash Daddy’s Little Psycho. Hell hath no fury like daddy’s little girl slightly agitated stalking in the woods with a stained pick axe surrounded by Euro horror movie music by Popp. I Murder ring’s out the basement psycho warning alarm before the lotion can be applied or hacksaw meets face. They finish with the thrash march of the walking dead on keyboards and the New Born King.
Englewood’s Mothers Onion is an eye watering cool collection of covers and originals. They break out the STP applying some elbow grease and Vasoline in case anyone in the crowd was getting Cumbersome. They peel out an original about The Night the Rain Came then pay homage to Bon Scott with some Springfield deeds done dirt cheap. They’re Never Gonna Stop raising money in Sonny’s name cranking out some Zombie then take a ride with Dr. Feelgood before drawing the Ace of Spades, but that’s the way they like it baby and don’t forget a jack and coke for Lemmy. Time for another original about all those Things You Say then pour some Gasoline on the guitar, Voodoo Chile style with Jimi. They leave us with a hard Godsmack to the face the Rocky Mountain Way.
Now one of the weekend’s highlights, with over 300 shows already under their bullet belts and a combined age of 33, the brothers Endres, 19 year old guitarist Josh and 14 year old drummer Justin of Silver Skull took the Panama stage as their own playing a solid, mystifying blend of black metal tinged with thrash and speed. No need for bass, Josh makes most of those sounds come out of his guitar with a deep, guttural, speaker vibrating feel while Justin plays the kit like a human mosh pit with Bonham strength and Peter Criss presentation. The crowd rose, edging closer watching the awe inspiring duo tear up the stage. With faces painted shiny bone pale they’ve taken corpse paint to its most decayed form. Justin stands as the eerie intro plays raising horns praising Dimebag, Dio, Steele, Schlundiner, Hanneman and all metal gods that have passed on to the big stage in the sky. Josh pulls no punches opening with pure in your face Annihilation, the speakers and our eardrums are already Suffering but smiling. Straight from the netherworld’s depths comes the Hellbound Hate into the delicately brutal beginning of Destruction before the killer chugging and unholy spirit trapped in chains screeching/growling begins.
If Slayer spilled the blood, Silver Skull Spread The Blood with crimson noise gushing from the guitar as Justin symbolically gives ceremonial blood rites. Josh gives the hair one more air windmill whiplash playing a solo straight to the Immortal gods of dark metal. Heavily influenced by Chimaira, they’re a two man, arena band that’s opened for Overkill, Obituary, Sepultura, Death Angel and Soulfly among many others. Destined for guitar god mastery status and drummer of the year/decade The Endres brothers are both experienced and professional at a very young age, if you book them, they will come.
The weekend for Sonny finishes with Springfield’s Abrade the Regal thrashing it out with some early Sunday morning loud grunge draining the last bits of predawn energy Club Panama had left. They took to the crowd, standing on tables whaling on guitar in true rock star hierarchy fashion cranking out Release, Erase and the dirt pit riffing of Nothing to Say. You can’t Walk Away from its soft tender notes/rocking melody without remembering it. For the eighth straight year Club Panama, all performing bands and benefit participants have Screamed at the World to help fight JD and find a cure. Their spirit and will Can’t Be Broken and Sonny they’ll continue the Fight for You.
Gathering Mercury pic courtesy of Mike Stacy.