(Live Review) PSYCHOFEST 2022, DAY 2 - Las Vegas, August 19/22
Review by: Mark McQueen
After a quick five hours of sleep, Little Johnny and I arose, had breakfast, and proceeded to draw up our schedules for another long day running around between 6-stages. We realized we would be apart during portions of the day/night, but did have a number of the same shows slated to cover, including band number one of the day.
Day 2 began at 11:00am with the death metal punch in the face of:
Nope, I don’t have any idea what it means either. What I do know is for an 11:00am death metal band these guys packed in a spacious room. Props for that.
Johnny is running around already trying to start a circle pit. Easy dude. Long long day to go.
For death metal (my second least favorite subgenre), I have to say this is not bad. Indistinguishable vocals barked over rapid-fire double bass drums. Songs are probably about death and/or Satan, but since I cannot really understand them, they might as well be singing about gardening or drywall installation. Although, with song titles like “Pissed,” probably not.
What the hell, in the end they did what they do, and the crowd dug them. That is a good set and a good band to me.
Next up, Johnny and I split allegiances as he remained for DevilMaster, while for The Beard, it is a trip back across the resort to the Dawghouse for:
OLD FASHIONNED ASSASSIN
Pretty average stoner band. Just some guys playing decent stoner music on one of the secondary stages. In a local club they are probably good, but after seeing Elder yesterday, I had to relegate these guys to "just okay". I can enjoy the set, but in an hour I will not remember any of it.
And their prog metal stylings. Dreadnought are two female vocalist harmonizing, one with the higher opera voice the other lower and clearer. The music is progressive rock. Hard, but not too heavy. Johnny would already be out of here, but with the plethora of black metal bands on the agenda today, this seemed initially just another symphonic pallet cleanser.
Until the one girl just went full on death metal voice. Okay now it’s a party!
Interesting, the back and forth of vocal styles is kind of Sylvaine-like stuff. Surprise, it is what makes seeing new acts intriguing.
Johnny missed out on these guys. When the Beauty and the Beast lyrics both come out of the same girl, one has to think “wow, I’ll bet she’s an entertaining lover".
I liked the surprise and thus I liked Dreadnought, so I am calling an
As I settled into the seats in the Event Center VIP section, there was Johnny (IPA in hand). You better not be expensing those to my account little dude.
MGLA are dark and brooding (despite the Event Centers massive light show), The Polish black metalers brought their brand of cold desolate 90’s era black metal. Like Behemoth, Darkthrone, and Emperor ... MGLA ARE BLACK!
Sometimes this style gets repetitive to me because I cannot understand the lyrics, but I am pleased to get a rare chance to see a world-famous European band here in America. Acts like this are why we pay the big bucks for Psychofest and I enjoyed listening to MGLA tell me just how horrible life is and that we are all likely to die miserably. Good afternoon fun in Vegas.
Next up Johnny was off to see the all-girl Motorhead band Motorbabe, while for me it is all the way back to the other side of the resort to catch band five on the day:
Garage/Psyche rock. This show was sparsely attended as there were heavier options out there playing (like Wolves in the Throne Room), but The Beard is trying to check out some new and distinctive styles, so there you go. Additionally, the second half of tonight is a slab of heavy, so I’ll take this for a quick 45-minute break.
I genuinely liked the jam portions, although not the vocals or the needless noodling between songs. Vocal sound was almost Beatles-esque, and although that 60’s sound is fine and even can be enjoyable, on the heels of an hour of MGLA’s blackness, I just could not perk back up to this.
81/100 seems fair, maybe even a little generous.
Not too far into this one, and I am not a fan of either the voice or the ambiance. This ends up my first “audible” of the weekend, meaning off I go before the set is over.
Also, since this venue is located directly above the Zouke nightclub, I figure can quickly slip down there for the High Roller mixer. A chance to get my High Roller tchotchke AND a free shot of Jamison.
I will not be telling Johnny about this though, as growing up at the orphanage and on the mean streets of his home country, Johnny and Jamison’s are not a good combination. Makes him crazy. I’ll just slip down here solo and….
SON OF A BITCH!!!
Johnny how are you already here? Why are you on the bar? And where did you get a kilt?
Take that off for Gods…
WAIT WAIT WAIT!!!
Johnny do NOT take that off, I know how you are about pants.
Seriously little dude? You’re going to Mayhem and Emperor in a kilt? Please Johnny. Please promise me you will NOT crowd surf.
Man, this guy is a handful.
So, a canvas bag and a water bottle? Yep, seems well worth a 600-dollar ticket. Anyway, off we go for a couple of the bigger names on today’s agenda.
Now most people into the genre are well familiar with the sordid and infamous history of Mayhem, including the original singer Dead (who carried around dead animals in a bag so he could sniff them before he went on stage). The same Dead who liked to cut himself open during live performances and eventually decided to shoot himself in the head with a shotgun after penning a suicide note that just read “Sorry about the mess”.
Or of course the guitarist Euonymus who created Mayhem and the new 90’s Norwegian black metal movement. And who can forget his gruesome death at the hands of Burzum vocalist and convicted church burner Varg Vikernes aka Count Grishnackh.
Having never seen this band, I indeed looked forward to just what was going to happen over the next hour.
Well, this set started as a total clusterfuck. No sound. We are all watching the Mayhem mime show. Lights and gestures, but no sound except drums. That WAS scary.
Finally, the sound monkeys get us dialed in by end of song one.
After that it was the Satanic black metal opera that is Mayhem. Attila Csihr (the singer) growled his way through the evil songs that motivated the 1990’s black metal second movement. I will definitely say that this set, as much as any I have seen, “felt” black metal. This just felt real. Points for that.
When Attila growls, he seems to have amazing lung power and one would think Pazuzu is coming right out of his body onto the stage. Quite the worthwhile performance and worthy of a good score, minus a few for the opening set sound fuckery. Mayhem sold me a show both visually and sonically.
Going a fest high (so far) 95/100.
One of the big three of 90’s era black metal, like Mayhem, Emperor's tale is full of church burning and murder. These guys lived their gimmick.
Tonight, they brought that to Vegas.
Star studded lights, massive sound, and crowd adulation; Emperor brought the fury in a separate way then Mayhem. Songs were faster and more expansive than Mayhem , but did not feel as real to me. I was not thinking evil black metal band, but rather a really thrashy black metal band. Nothing wrong with that and I am thrilled I have seen a bucket list band like Emperor, but I can only give out
90/100 based largely on a cool light show and good presentation.
ANTICHRIST SEIGE MACHINE
Wow…okay that’s pretty uncompromising death metal, bordering on some grindcore. I know that style. To be frank, personally I hate that style. Now, before all of you who flat out LOVE that style start looking for pitchforks and torches, out of respect, I will grade this 71/100 (call an audible) and move on to the pool stage to catch the rest of the Cephalic Carnage set.
Thrash with a saxophone. Clever. Still pretty brutal, but far more bearable than Antichrist Siege Machine.
These guys seem like they are having fun. The final number they put on masks and ran around the stage jamming like crazy. Hard not to enjoy that at a pool stage.
Throwing them a 78/100 for craziness.
Heavy thrash. Lots of mosh pits breaking out.
Johnny has ditched the kilt. (Little shit had on a speedo underneath). He is now in the pool attempting to start an Aquatic Circle Pit. Happily, many of the pool patrons join in and the water churns through Nuclear Assault's numbers as if the Kraken itself were ascending from the depths.
Your reviewer however has ascended to the sky deck in pursuit of pictures video and safety.
These guys are straight ahead thrash. Semi clear lyrics. Fun show from my sky perch of safety. There are mosh pits down there on land and sea. Lol.
Giving them 85/100 for a fun set this late. Admittedly, however, the Beard is running out of energy.
Once more Johnny and I would separate. He was headed to Akhlys and Whores. (He will be disappointed to find out they are not “actual” Whores.) At least not at that stage. “Try winning a thousand at the craps table. The real Whores smell it and show right up.” In any event, (while Johnny chases endless moshing), based on a recommendation from radio star “Sarah Whizzbanger,” the Beard headed to the smaller stage for my last act of the evening.
THE GODDAMN GALLOWS
Ok, we already had thrash with a saxophone, now we get punk with a stand-up bass, mandolin, and guitar. Sure. Why not? Apparently anything can happen at this fest.
Thing is, this stuff is immediately catchy. Lol I may be tired, but I am also a fan.
It’s a punk hoedown. They are also engaging and funny in-between songs. Not the normal kick you in the teeth punk attitudes.
Going 86/100 because it is late, and I did not get sleepy watching them.
That is going to do it for the Beard tonight.
2-days and 23 bands in.
A few hours of sleep and we will start it all over again.