What’s good, family? This is your self-proclaimed Faygo Luvin Photo Babe, Hashly Haze, giving you the rundown on a tour I was privileged enough to go see recently. I took a ton of pics and you can see them all on the Faygoluvers Facebook page.
The venue, Ground Zero, is always a juggalo-friendly spot for a wicked show. The staff are friendly, the prices are fair, and the owners are very chill, yet run things right! They even had a food truck parked next to the tour bus for those of us with the munchies, which is an epic idea at ANY concert!
I’ve seen quite a few acts here, including ABK, Boondox, Big Hoodoo, Twiztid, Davey Suicide and so on, but I have NEVER seen a crowd turn out like this at Ground Zero. They have no barricade for press, so it’s not my FAVORITE place to take photos, but other than that, I really can’t complain!
Upon arrival, I met SEVERAL colorful characters in line. Stitch could be seen on a BMX bike, doing laps around the tour bus, and there was a drone flying over us, catching everyone’s excitement as we waited for the doors to open. Tickets were only $20 in advance. There was a huge selection of merchandise as soon as we walked in. Every band had members mingling with the crowd as we wandered from booth to booth.
The show started off with a HUGE bang! I was shell shocked to see an ALL FEMALE metal band open the show and immediately DOMINATE the crowd. Their name was The Reason You Stayed and I see a lot of big talent in this band. Some day they may have to change their name to “The Reason You Came” cause the whole set was just a fantastic, heavy metal treat. They will not be openers forever. Trust.
Next up was Blackwater Drowning. I am yet again delighted to see a couple females rocking the stage and keeping up with the boys. This band is not ALL female, but you cannot take your eyes off their lead singer. She is stunning, her style is very sexy and unique, which is also how I would describe her voice. The band was very entertaining! Each member brought a different type of energetic presence. I would for sure put them on my playlist for a vigorous work out!
The third band of the night was called Product of Hate. These guys…are crazy-good. I was very pleased to have subjects to photograph with ALL THAT CHARACTER. Their music should win you over and the personality you get with it leaves you feeling pumped! I could tell that they really enjoy rocking the crowd. So if you’re looking for a band to bang your head to, you have come to the right place.
Next up was Madame Mayhem. Yet another tasty sounding metal group with a Powerhouse BABE for a lead singer! I swear, these guys were eye candy + ear candy = total satisfaction in the ‘I need to hear metal and thrash dance’ department. Yes, for me, that’s a THING, don’t judge me… You could actually feel the sadness fall over the crowd when the set ended and they cleared the stage. That is a very powerful thing. Color me impressed!
The last opener was Sumo Cyco. I did NOT see them coming at all. They were heavy from the start and had the most BEAUTIFUL creature singing the vocals, but don’t be fooled, that beauty is a BEAST! She didn’t miss a note as she ran through the crowd, jumped on tables and moshed in the pit. I was literally in awe and almost had to scoop my wig off the floor as I tried my best to just keep up. By the time their set was through, I was completely breathless. It was amazing!
I went outside to catch my breath and had a chance to speak with Stitch briefly. He said that unfortunately, Mushroomhead will not be performing at the Gathering of the Juggalos this summer because they are going to be in Mexico with Rammstein. I couldn’t fault them for that, so we wished each other well and I went back inside to get a good spot for the act I’d been waiting for.
The crowd was VERY cool. They saw my camera and basically just let me make my way to the front. I was very impressed with the good manners and consideration everyone showed each other. One guy was in my way for a while and I let him know it, but he eventually moved. Things like that can’t always be helped in such a small space.
When the house lights went down and the carnival-esque sound of Qwerty began to vibrate the stage, the crowd ERUPTED! First to step out was Skinny, crossing his arms and looking down at us. An imposing and striking image… Then one by one they stepped out and made my heart race with exhilaration. I watched as Dr. F, Stitch, Church, Roberto Diablo, Jeffrey Nothing and J Mann, each in their very distinguishable masks, made a spectacle of taking the stage. They played a few favorites, such as “Sun Doesn’t Rise”, “Kill Tomorrow” and “Solitaire Unraveling”, but other than that, I didn’t know a lot of the newer content on the set list.
The new music is as fresh as you should expect from Mushroomhead and if I’d had more cash on me I’d have bought the Righteous and the Butterfly album. That’s what I get for being a scrub-photographer, but I digress…everything was on point. Diablo and Stitch clowned around with each other and banged the water drums. J Mann and Jeffrey Nothing performed on the top of their games, but Church and Skinny kinda seemed like they were hanging back. The stage isn’t really big enough for their usual antics, so I can’t expect them to be completely free in their performance. Diablo stole the show and walked on the crowd, swinging on the beams above.
After the set, Dr. F and Stitch met us all at their merch booth for photos and autographs. They were very approachable, friendly and showed love and gratitude towards the fans. We thanked them for a fantastic night and said our goodbyes until next we meet. All in all, it was an OUTSTANDING experience.
I want to close by saying that I have been almost completely inactive in the metal scene for several years, focusing my energy on hip hop and rap, so this was a real treat! I’ve seen Mushroomhead SEVERAL times, as they have played shows with Hed PE and ICP, but to see them in their element was totally surreal. I will make it a point to add more metal to my iPod and to follow the progress all of these bands. Thank you for reading my review, looking at my photos and rocking my world.