FESTIVAL REVIEW: INKCARCERATION FESTIVAL 2019 Live at Ohio State Reformatory – Day 2 (Saturday)
After fueling up at a local Bob Evans, we set out, once again for day two at Ohio State Reformatory. Getting there early, before the gates opened, we decided to treat ourselves to a quick tour of the reformatory. It was pretty amazing to be able to access these spaces, that surely contain hundreds of stories from years past. We were able to check out the cell blocks, as well as solitary cells, before seeing the wardens offices as well as the electric chair. If only those walls could talk!! We made it back outside as both the Monster Dolls and Cleveland’s Impending Lies took to the side stage, as well as Titans In Time and Light The Torch on the main stage. With day two being completely sold out, it was no surprise that both stages had a great turn out, even this early in the day. Day Two was off to a great start!
We made our way over to the side stage as Los Angeles based Raven Black delivered a short, yet intense set including “13”, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars” and “Carnival”. Known only as Raven (vocals), Muppet (drums), The Doctor (lead guitar), and Stitches (bass), this theatrical metal band (founded 2012) could easily bring the dead to life with their unique brand of metal and performance. Founded in 2013, Eyes Set To Kill were next up, as the sun’s rays began to beat relentlessly upon us all. But this trio from Tempe, Arizona kept their cool while hammering out a short set, ending with “Broken Frames” from their self-titled album (2009). Feeling rather hungry and in need of a quick breather, we wandered out of the sweaty and sunburned crowd and made our way towards our all-time festival favorite – “ISLAND NOODLES”. With giant woks churning out pound after pound of fresh teriyaki chicken with noodles and stir-fried with fresh garlic, ginger, and a medley of fresh vegetables, the results are amazing!!. You’ll have to make your way to their stand at your next festival and find out for yourself, just how good they really are.
After a pit stop to fill up on water, it was off to the main stage to catch Josh Todd and Steve Dacanay, with the rest of the boys from Buckcherry. While Todd’s vocals weren’t clear for most of their set ( a technical issue with the sound system), it certainly didn’t stop him from belting out such classics as “Porno Star”, “Somebody Fucked With Me”, “Crazy Bitch”, and even a Nine Inch Nails cover, “Head Like A Hole”. Dacanay laid down his guitar tracks and riffs with ease, smiling widely and interacting with the capacity crowd. Originating in Los Angeles, Buckcherry began their journey in 1995 and have amassed 8 chart-topping albums over their lengthy career. Wasting no time setting up, crew members feverishly hustled about getting everything in place as members of Red Sun Rising walked up to the stairs to the back of the stage. Opening their 8 song setlist with “Veins”, there were some minor soundboard snafus that were quickly corrected as they played on. Ending their set with “Deathwish”, it was obvious the crowd wished these Ohio natives could play longer.
After reuniting to celebrate their 30th anniversary, and continuing with live shows, next up on the side stage were Stabbing Westward. This was one of the highlights of the weekend for me, as Stabbing Westward were one of my 90’s listening staples. Delivering an intense set of industrial/alternative metal, including such hits as “What Do I Have To Do?” and “Save Yourself”, there was little evidence of a decade hiatus. I, along with the huge crowd surrounding the small stage, had a blast reliving our earlier years with these Illinois natives. Closing out the second stage was Andrew WK. Still sporting his trademark filthy white jeans and tee, this crazy madman came to chew some bubble gum and party his ass off, and he was all out of bubble gum. What a wild and crazy ride it was! With a heavy dose of spin kicks, jumps and occasionally even punching invisible foes, WK had the mosh pit in a frenzy, while the rest were dancing and singing right along. A native of Manhattan, NY and a seasoned veteran for over 20 years, Andrew WK is a must-see entertainer if you haven’t yet had the pleasure.
With the second stage finished for the day, the huge crowd gathered at the main stage for Motionless In White-fronted by the multi-talented Chris Motionless and accompanied by Ricky Horror (guitar), Ryan Sitkowki (guitar), and Vinny Mauro (drums). Chris Motionless hit the stage highly energized, and had a blast interacting with the capacity crowd, as they played everything from “Disguise” and “Devil’s Night”, to their closing number “Eternally Yours”. You can catch them as they tour later this year with Alice Cooper and Halestorm. In keeping with the Pennsylvania theme, Live, a multi-platinum American rock band hailing from York, Pennsylvania ( Motionless in White are from Scranton ) took to the main stage. With over 22 million albums sold worldwide in their nearly thirty-year career, Live took us all on a journey back in time. Along with their classics “All Over You”, “Shit Town”, “I Alone”, and of course, their biggest hit “Lightning Crashes”, Ed Kowalczyk delivered stellar vocals, much to the delight of everyone in attendance. While waiting backstage after leaving the photo pit, I even caught Chris Motionless singing along with his fellow Pennsylvanians!!
Headlining and closing out Day 2 are the other bad boys of Boston, MA, the one and only Godsmack!! Without any hesitation or time to waste, Sully Erna (vocals/guitar/drums), Tony Rombola (guitar), Robbie Merrill (bass), and Shannon Larkin (drums) ripped straight into their explosive set with “When Legends Rise” off their most recent album. The crowd literally came apart at its seams as the photo pit filled with fans, who somehow evaded security guards, or surfed over the rail in order to stop and video Erna in his prime. This made shooting pictures near impossible, as there was literally nowhere to move. Playing all their all-time crowd-pleasers, including Erna and Larkin battling it out on dual revolving stages in “Batalla de Los Tambores”. After 10 songs, the band appeared to call it quits…but we knew better as Godsmack eased into their encore with “Under Your Scars”, which brought a somber effect on the fans, then quickly rolled into “Bulletproof”, both from ‘When Legends Rise’ .
A perfect ending to a glorious mixture of musical talent, food, and a very well-natured crowd. Kudos Godsmack!