Saturday May 14, Cincinnati and Dayton came together at the Oregon District, gathered for three loud bands intricate and diverse in style with heavy deliverance accompanied by talent that were diverse in difference but were welcomed and appreciated by the “metal” crowd. Whether it was keyboards, synthesizers, guitars or a big screen projecting trippy visuals, the crowd gathered, filling Blind Bobs, packing the venue to standing room only status.
Dayton’s Moira, started the show with a set from their new EP Asleep/Repeat/Awake. Between the night’s vocalists, Alicia Grodecki held the nicest pipes to hear with band carrying a more atmospheric pop influence.
“Machines” started the electronic ambiance with keys creating lush, flowing cloudlike waves floating over the ears like blissful audio. There were subtle Suzanne Vega nuances to her voice. Drums, keys and bass submerged the need for a guitar. “Midwestern Waste” carried a more mellow flow with small electronic flash bomb tosses, echoing off the keys. Grodecki voice carried melancholy, peaceful desperation and echoes of hope in the selected tunes. “Bones” got emotionally cold, as cold lonely notes came to share the tale. With “You Say” delivering a Fiano Apple closure to end things.
Cincinnati’s mythical metal beastly poets Casino Warrior took their first Dayton stage that night introducing the crowd to their energetic brand of monster telling metal. Sabbath sounding with a tattooed Danzig at the helm, Miguel Richards yelled out clean vocals introducing the dreaded blood sucking “Chupacabra.” The mighty half man, half horse “Centaur” galloped forward as Nilbog’s resident green creatures of the ‘80s trolled the crowd, lyrically climbing from the stage into the audience’s minds. The “Pterodactyl” squawked, swooping in just in time for drummer Chad Wolery’s ominous pounding intro to the “Pigroast.”
Dayton’s Grand Mammoth notched the decibels up a few turns, turning the crowd into a moving vivacious bouncing caravan. Vocalist and very bearded Landon McKibben took contortion to a different level, alongside guitarist and brother Brock. Too bad there wasn’t enough room on stage for spider walking. Kind of like watching CCR and Skynyrd play music to head bang to with screaming riffs and odes to classic rock and metal. “Heavy Hairy,” started things off, slow but lively. “Le Morte Blues” had plenty of guitar fuzz blasting with early Sabbath energy. “Sister Von Doom” had a certain unique NWOBHM, Queen meets Maiden charm. “Chuggernaut” carried a prog like Opeth deliverance in its stoner ‘70s jam style. They finished with the long guitar pour of the “Foggy Cauldron.”
Mouth of the Architect brought the big screen experience with them, supporting their new record Path of Eight with a multi-media companion piece by Dan Wagner. While they poured out their ambient sound abstractions, experimental visuals danced around the screen, pouring out a spacey, surrealistic experience of sight for the sound. Music to plan fragments of nightmares and half-conscious awakening’s to, getting a feminine voice on one tune, with musical images matching the bizarre beauty emanating on screen. Stock footage, abstract color patterns, shapes and space age voyages made their set a heavy, head banging, Pink Floyd inspired experience. Dreamscape images danced off faces in the crowd, holding everyone in a weird type of voluntary trance, as the screen told part of the story the music couldn’t and vice versa. Path of Eight could be purgatory’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Images by Mike Ritchie