What’s cooler than one of Ohio’s own, Cleveland’s masked men playing doomsday in December last year coming back the following October and playing Halloween night? Dayton was the third to last show on Mushroomhead’s 40 date fall tour with returning vocalist JMann. Though mother-nature brought the rain and winds of fury, postponing several little demons and dragons’ stroll through candy land and once again darkened a few house lights, McGuffy’s House of Rock was packed and celebrating All Hallows Eve under the influence of Mushroomed metal.
Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Pagan New Year, Samhain and the night before All Saints Day. The harvest is over and the winter/darker half of the year begins. The name meaning ‘hallowed’ or ‘holy’ evening has origins in both Christian and Pagan history. To any devout horror or heavy metal fan, the 31st is definitely the scariest day of the year and deserving of all day worship. Even mask-wearing, heavy-breathing, knife wielding, silent fictional slashers deserve their own day too.
Dayton hometown heros Forces of Nature started the hallowed evening. Last year’s lone Armageddon playing partner to the headliner. Notwithstanding what mother-nature was doing outside. Forces played their patented Pantera meets Slayer mid-pit stomp pounding the piss out of each other sound, ripping open the metal kegger with the face smashing Magnus Lee. Tate Moore’s voice has the devil sandpapering his vocal chords. Since the Apocalypse didn’t happen on schedule last year, they decide to court global danger and play a heavy, angry, defiant song about it with a few guitar licking tastes of Morbid Angel for extra heavenly hierarchal rebellion.
ASOT (As Seen On TV) rips out Udo Dirkschneider’s soft vocals ramming them down Tate’s hoarse, coarse throat, and together they make beautiful music along-side Marc Godsey, Jimmy Rose’s ripping guitar-flesh playing and Johnnie Wallace’s vampiric bass blood wallop. Of course any foursome of metal beasts are lucky to have a fair beauty among them, and the drums are pleasantly hammered by metal matriarch Shannon Godsey. The Godsey’s were also celebrating their 23 year anniversary.
The second showing of local support comes from Dayton’s self-made Moshpits & Lighters creators, In The Cut, led by event marketing mastermind Daniel DeDoncker. Breaking right into Killswitch Engage’s Until the End, they’re each a silent army of one and collectively sold out McGuffy’s with all local talent.
They play a song about all the assholes, particularly the ones out on Halloween doing stupid sh- (present company excluded). Here’s some Hatred Divine. Aaron Noble poured out the power on keys with the black eyes of Alice. He also broke out the skull and bones keyboard decor using two freshly pulled spines courtesy of one ugly motherf-….. They finish with a fun, fan friendly dip into the 80’s rock power ballad vault singing Separate Ways. There were a few zombies onstage that just happened to be in the band and the night couldn’t end without a cute and innocent love bite amongst monstrous brothers. The end also marked a first time event as DeDoncker stopped mid-song announcing McGuffy’s owner Julia’s birthday.
Next up, from the birthplace of the Mushroom, comes the answer of what Quentin Tarantino in a heavy metal band would sound like. The X Members are birthed in musical freedom, bathed in whiskey and bred to destroy. Self-described as a beautiful train wreck of punk, rockabilly, metal, swing and hard rock, they’re greasy, mean and good at it too. Comprised of current and former members of Cleveland talent Pitch Black Forecast, State of Conviction, The Missing, Keratoma and Horror Madonna, they’re equal parts Astro-Creep mixed with Horton Heat.
Columbus’ XFactor1 is American blue collar passion and intensity with a second to none with do it yourself attitude and an unquenchable desire for success. They open with Break You. Singer QBall is dressed for the evening in metal surgical scrubs ready for the scalpel and some bloodshed. With a sound combination of Hellyeah, Seether and Shinedown with hints of Staind and Creed, they Bring It On with every show, with deep dark powered background vocals, clean strong lead vocals and a muscle bound hard rock sound stringing the metal carrot at the audience.
Alanis Morissette with the dark side of Smurfette and a twitter of Tinkerbell, Freedman resembles a sweet swirling mixture of what made Babes in Toyland, L7, Courtney Love and the Cycle Sluts from Hell so alluring to kids and enduring to concerned mothers everywhere. With a raw performance style of The Great Kat and voice ranging from high pitched innocent girl next door to loud feminine roar, she’s her own switchblade banshee donning many hats on stage, including a cowboy and the pope. The demented dolls open with Committed. Freeman, the Chelsea grinned painted princess playing the bad seed asylum escapee roaming the empty roads and backwoods churches in search of her sanity. She could be a sideshow freak or a lost child of the corn.
Mushroomhead count their blessings, being around/fan supported for 20 years and counting. They’re fed up with the status quo and ready to fight and kill for what they believe in. Do you really wanna f- with a band that looks like that tonight? The Sun Doesn’t Rise at all until the past is put behind.