Oigs Fest III – Season of the Oigs tore a hole in space-time and ripped apart Mac’s in Lansing, MI with twelve ferocious rock and metal bands.
This year marked the third year of the rock and metal extravaganza known as Oigs Fest. If you have been following the Midwest extreme music scene, you may remember Orge Fest which has morphed into Oigs. The original concept for Orge Fest started by Dave Peterman (drums for Locust Point) remains in Oigs Fest with Brad van Staveren (guitars for Cavalcade) at the helm. The goal is to celebrate heavy music with a cross-section of hard rock and metal that appeals equally to the bands and the fans. In fact, every band that plays is as much a fan of the other acts on the bill as anyone else at this festival. This community vibe is what makes this event special. Well, that vibe as well as a fantastic line-up of vibrant underground talent.
Kicking off the first half of Oigs Fest was the power punk rock of Dasterds. Their music and performance was like a friendly shot of adrenaline. Infectious melody with a dangerous dose of wit, Dasterd had the growing crowd ready to pop open a bottle of Black Label and get this party started. A great young band to check out.
Erupting from the black void was the sledgehammer of doom; Dead Daughters. This band set out from the first concussive blow to pound Mac’s into dust. Within big burly grooves coursing through veins of rich Sabbathian earth, the Dead Daughters roared. The music and physical energy of this band was impressive.
Tomb of Teeth creates music consumed with the writhing agony of life as we slowly inch our way toward death. Harsh and brutal, you could feel the pain and desperation that their music portrayed. I thought of bands like Primitive Man, Amenra, and very early At The Gates (think of “Raped By The Light of Christ”). These guys excel in painting the world black.
From the darkening forest in the fullness of gloaming walks Wizard Union. Smoking fat riffs chugging with primordial fury, Wizard Union inhaled the sacred smoke giving us music in return. Fans of Weedeater, Bongripper, and Sabbath will dig the enchanting grooves of this band. It only takes one harsh toke from the Wizard’s pipe to set you free.
I’ve mentioned before that the beauty of metal music is that it is awesome and you can learn things. For example, an Anvil Crawler is lightning that traces along the storm clouds in a brilliant display of nature’s force. The band Anvil Crawler lives up to its name by casting super charged lightning riffs bristling with progressive rock power. Their music had me thinking of Baroness and Mastodon without any vocals to clutter up the mega-riffage. Their electrifying performance was a much needed shock to the system.
Closing the first half of Oigs Fest III was Locus Point. These guys were a blast from the past with tunes that harken back to the dawn of heavy metal. Guitar-driven riffs backed up with snappy drums and bass, their sound came across as a blend of Thin Lizzy and Tigers of Pan Tang. By this time, the crowd at Mac’s Bar had swelled considerably and the hard-hitting rock of Locust Point was gleefully consumed.
The virulent savagery of Throne has been catching the ear of many fans who enjoy their death metal blackened. The band unleashed a full out assault on the crowd gathered to hear their performance. Chain-gun drums and bass splintered the air as a soul withering barrage of guitar roiled. Blasphemous vocals railed with malevolence as we basked in the blistering fires from this musical performance by Throne.
Flipping the musical dial about 90 degrees was the post-hardcore tingle of The Holy Warheads. While I dug the thick guitar and rolling drums, it was the punchy pop of the bass that gave their music the feeling of being grabbed by the collar and shaken awake. Melodic with that satisfying heft that you dig about bands like Quicksand, Helmet, or Rollins. This was my first time hearing The Holy Warheads and it won’t be my last.
Queuing up Monty Python’s “And Now for Something Completely Different” was Cavalcade. Imagine if Quorthon (Bathory) jammed with Stanley Clark and Neurosis on acid and you may be close to the psychedelic black madness of this band. I mean, does it get any better than heavy riffs accented with Theremin squeals. Fuck Deafheaven and their power-pop meets black metal, these guys are experimenting with all the edges and cooking up some Heisenberg blue.
Centenary launched into their set like a pack of starving wolves in winter. Bestial rhythms flanked by cranking chainsaw guitars set the stage for a terrifying display of vocal mayhem. The rotting corpse of death metal reigns supreme with Centenary. Their performance at Oigs Fest III was one of the highlights as they blasted from start to finish. Long live the Boss HM-2 and Centenary.
The stage lights of green and blue were a nice touch for the oceanic melodic death of the mighty Dagon. If you are not familiar with this amazingly talented band, get a copy of ‘Back to the Sea’ and revel in the fleet rhythms, glorious guitars, and feral vocals. Their set at Oigs Fest was a pant-load of fun as the band jumped around on stage while flying the horns. Fans moshed and headbanged with fervor as Dagon regaled us pelagic tales. Everytime you get the chance, go see Dagon. They make metal that sticks to your ribs and satisfies.
Bringing Oig Fest III to a furious finish was the speed rock of Against The Grain. The road warriors of rock unleashed a flame-throwing set of music. They hit heavy from their most recent album ‘Cheated Death’ with the nitro funny car “Sacrifice” and rock anthem “Going Down Fast”. They even went back to their fantastic ‘Surrounded By Snakes’ album with the riff-rock blitz of “Padded Cell”. Against The Grain were relentless in their sonic assault. No quarter was asked and none was given. If you need proof that rock and metal are alive and well, then get your ass to next year’s Oig Fest in Lansing, MI