Blackest of the Black Fest By The Minute

DanzigEXPAND
Danzig
Stephanie Cabral

Blackest of the Black Festival (By the Minute Review)
Oak Canyon Park
(5/26-27/2017)

Friday, May 26 (Day 1)

5:25 p.m. After dealing with yet typical Friday traffic, hundreds of Blackest of the Black attendees finally made it to the parking lot, where tailgating began immediately. Metal heads drank beers, and took shots of Jagermiester, while the background music was provided by the distorted industrial heaviness of opening band 3TEETH. (Alex Distefano)

5:55 Outside the venue, as many fans still arrive and continue to arrive in the parking lot, many more keep tailgating, leaving behind mounds of trash, cans and bottles. Clean up crews circulated the entire area on foot keeping things clean and collecting recyclables. When you consider the thousands also camping at this event, and the way metalloids love to drink beer, one is left to wonder just how much money all those cans and bottles are really worth at the end of this two day festival. (AD)

6:15 Festival goers are greeted by Gutted Greta (my name for her) hanging by the neck with her legs spread wide and her intestines missing. Just another scene from any death metal album cover. (Rachael Mattice)

Blackest of the Black Fest By The Minute
Allix Johnson

Upcoming Events

6:22 At Blackest of the Black, there was a side area for performers, including sword swallowers, fire breathers, and other freaks into body modification, scarification, suspension, torture, bondage, fire dancing and more. A middle aged man with long gray hair in a Municipal Waste shirt stood next to a caged female fire dancer and lit a cigar as she passed her flame. (AD)

6:36 Walking around more and there's a lot of open grass. Discovered torture chamber/ dungeon area with flame swallowers, a chick with nipple tape who is pounding a nail into her noise, another girl dancing in a cage, gargoyles bleeding from the eyes, a guy stapling bills on his chest, another dude swallowing a sword. Also, they are spraying audience members with fake blood. (RM)

Suicide Silence
Suicide Silence
Allix Johnson

6:40 Local heavy heroes Suicide Silence were on stage pummeling through an emotional, ripping set. The energy on stage was at high decibel levels, but for the most part, unfortunately, the crowd was just not moving much energy in return. There was however, one enthusiastic fan, a person dressed up as the giant Wienerschnitzel hot dog mascot, who was putting effort though in trying to flare up a mosh pit in the corner near the back, but it just wasn't happening. (AD)

6:51 Line for the Danzig signing at 7:30 is growing across the festival grounds (RM)

6:59 Waiting for Deafheaven. A security guard my grandfather's age who is wearing gloves and can barely walk (but he will stop anyone who tries to go backstage) flirts with me, and every other girl who walks past him. (RM)

Deafheaven
Deafheaven
Allix Johnson

7:11 OK so it’s just before sunset and we’re outdoors in the natural environment, so this is the perfect setting and ambience for arts black metal band Deafheaven. Though the caustic set was greeted with some approval by fans, again, there seemed to be little if any movement, both in terms of the crowd and the band members. This motion might have helped the music be enjoyed by more fans. Plus, anytime any type of black metal band plays and there is no pit, it’s kind of disappointing. Where is the giant, moshing Wienerschnitzel mascot when you need it? (AD)

7:20 Deafheaven's singer crawls down to one of the amps in front of the stage, hanging out doggy style and licking between his fingers. Interesting quirks. (RM)

7:24 Deafheaven closed with fan favorite "Sunbather.” (RM)

7:30 Glenn Danzig arrives at booth to sign. A few fat dudes with tattoos surrounding him are his bodyguards. A young fan in her 20's asks the man himself to sign her Danzig tattoo on her boob. He does and the she walks away crying. I am happy for her. (RM)

7:33 Adjacent to the VIP Lounge in the performance area, a pale, tattooed and thin woman is slowly suspended in the air, with two hooks piercing the skin above her knees. She holds them both and appears to be hanging in glee as the legendary UK anarchy punks Discharge blast through their set. (AD)

7:49 Dude! Discharge! A change of speed following Deafheaven and the fans dig it. discharge's circle pit is one of the biggest yet. (RM)

8:18 Legendary long running UK anarchy punks Discharge were slaying the crowd with a fast as fuck, apocalyptic and anti-establishment vibe that fed the anger into the pit. This was a band lots of people came to see, and was shown with the punks tearing it up in front to fathers of D-Beat. The one awkward moment came, with the look of a group of standing OC Sheriffs Deputies, when the singer called out thee cops for eating all the food backstage. (AD)

8:26 Two blonde, busty women and a very buff long haired dude in a leather jacket were heard exiting the ‘VIP Lounge’ with one woman saying loudly, ‘No FREE Drinks? What kind of VIP lounge is this?” The security guards just smiled and nodded keeping silently. (AD)

8:33 Food stands aren't impressive. One is charging $6 for one taco. I get pizza with black lemonade, because it must be black at the Blackest. While eating at the tables, I overhear a girl (one who wears high heels to festivals) say to her boyfriend, "i have scars on my legs because of you. Isn't it time I gave you scars on yours?" (RM)

8:44 It's dark and cold. people start huddling around the few space heaters lighting the grounds. (RM)

Corrosion of Conformity
Corrosion of Conformity
Allix Johnson

8:49 Corrosion of Conformity lights up stage for first full night set. Side by side stage makes it easy to get close to the front. Redneck rampaging speaking to my soul "who's got the fire." Pepper Keenan to the audience, "We drove a long way to get here. Glenn Danzig picked a cool spot for this Fest. This song is heavier than shit and is called "7 days" check it out." (RM)

9:11 You could really smell the reefer, as people burned the sweet leaf during Corrosion Of Conformity’s hard rocking set of ‘80s and ‘90s metal, with hints of Southern Rock, thrash, punk doom and sludge all with a groove that was smack dab in your face, which created a mini sea of head bangers. (AD)

9:18 COC Closed with "clean my wounds" audience was singing along. (RM)

9:29 Festival host Full Metal Jackie makes Suicidal Tendencies’ introduction and lets concert goers know Danzig's new album will be played in full after Suicidal Tendencies' show. (RM)

Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal Tendencies
Allix Johnson

9:30 Suicidal opens with "Can't Bring Me Down." The side of the stage couldn't get any more crowded with plus ones, otherwise they'd run into the band. (RM)

9:40 Mike Muir's mic cuts out and continues to have volume issues during their set. Even headliners can't escape technical difficulties. (RM)

10:22 Suicidal Tendencies were on stage throwing it down. Of course, there were circle pits but the roughest pit of the night was on stage, when Mike Muir invited dozens of females on stage to slam during the classic ST tune, ‘Possessed to Skate.” (AD)

10:48 Best drummer of the night has to go to the one and only Dave Lombardo whose speed, power and precision was the glue of Suicidal’s sound. But wait, am I mistaking, or did ST really perform this festival and NOT play their classic, iconic song ‘Institutionalized?” WTF? (AD)

11:11 Afterword the concert, not everyone left promptly. Many stuck around and watched the freak show performers and fire dancers, while others bought food or merch. For those too drunk, a comfortable area in the grass was set up with giant screen where black and white horror films were projected. Many stuck around to enjoy Pizza, BBQ, and other various Vegan and non carnivore friendly foods and watch these old movies in the dark. (AD)

Blackest of the Black Fest By The MinuteEXPAND
Stephanie Cabral

Saturday, May 27 (Day 2)

2:11 p.m. Day Two’s pre-gaming in the parking lot began earlier, as tailgaters listened to the slaughter cult punk infused horror thrash antics of Ghoul, and all the madness that ensued. You could hear fans cheering louder as more people chugged beers and walked toward the entrance. (AD)

3:38 Today is hotter than yesterday. There’s a guy in a wheelchair, putting forth all his effort into headbanging hard during Devildriver’s loud, energetic set. (AD)

Marduk and Der Wienerschnitzel
Marduk and Der Wienerschnitzel
Allix Johnson

4:20 Underneath a blazing hot sun, people are passing joints during one most brutal and sinister performances, courtesy of black metal band Marduk. This blasphemous, truly evil musical assault had just enough energy to get a ridiculously rough, a circle pit flared up, including many thrashers, punks, and black metal enthusiasts who were bashing the shit out of each other. In the corner, the genderless Wienerschnitzel hot dog mascot once again appeared dancing at first gleefully, then escaping just before shit got too brutal. (AD)

4:44 During the ultra intense and crushing set by black metal warriors Marduk, a random shirtless performer walked the festival grounds, freaking people out with his ability to swallow swords and balance them on his tongue. One wrong move and the dude could be horribly injured or killed! (AD)

4:51 Marduk goes out with a fucking bang...and fog. Echoing atmospheric cold makes it seem like we are somewhere else but Southern California. All of the black metalzzzz. (RM)

5:00 Definitely more people on the grounds today. Packed for Venom Inc. People using shaded areas to stay out of the sun (it's not hot). So goth of them. (RM)

5:22 Venom Inc, is performing the song, “Black Metal,” arguably a tune responsible for founding the genre. It’s still hot as Hell with the sun over head, but the punks, thrashers, and freaks took over the slam dancing duties in the circle pit to get things really moving. (AD)

5:23 Cronos from Venom Inc shouts words of wisdom to the crowd -"Despite political strife throughout the years, we are all one, it's all metal, and we thank you for everything brothers and sisters." (RM)

Atreyu
Atreyu
Allix Johnson

5:40 Atreyu opens with audio from the original "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" where Gene Wilder talks about rowing and hell. Cool....(RM)

5:49 Guitarist from Atreyu gets lifted up on the shoulder of some hunky dude. (RM)

6:04 So many metal Asian girls out here. One with a purse that says "I love elfs." I read my email and find a pitch asking me to interview the band The Vamps from Japan. The girls are wearing the band's merch, to the show. A few have this athletic jersey/varsity jacket and others have smeared on fake blood by their mouths. The band hasn't gone on yet. I'm watching them waiting for Atreyu to finish their set. (RM)

6:14 Atreyu covers Bon Jovi "you give love a bad name." Only thing good about this band is the drummer. Sorry… (RM)

6:22 During OC metalcore band Atreyu, there was an enormous line of people all waiting for a chance to win a free hot dog from, you guessed it Wienerschnitzel. Unfortunately though, someone must have turned the amps down a notch because the loud clear powerful volume was not there for this band’s set. (AD)

6:28 As people get even more drunk, the line for the disgusting port-o-potties is as long as the line for the Danzig signing on Friday. We are in the woods, they might as well let us go in the bushes. Also, there isn't a media tent. Photographers are refused entry into VIP area to use port-o-potties. (RM)

Dave Navarro
Dave Navarro
Alex Distefano

6:33 At the side stage for the freaks and performers, Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction is suspended in the air, and swings back and forth from sharp metal hooks pierced through his back. A crowd gathers to watch, as Atreyu is almost finishing up their intense, but not loud enough set. (AD)

6:38 Watched a dude lift the legs of Gutted Greta and pretend to eat her out while his friend took a picture. Bringing out the class in all of us. (RM)

VAMPS
VAMPS
Allix Johnson

6:40 VAMPS: Everyone is trying to figure out what they are witnessing. The small moshpit is more dancey and less violent with the cute metal Asian girls. They don't seem to know what to do with their hands. Are they waving? Are they pointing? Are they throwing the "I love you" sign instead of devil horns? What's happening?? Also, all of the band members are wearing really bagging clothing. (RM)

7:06 Toddler around 2 with huge ear muffs on and his diaper sticking out is running around with Dad and a shirt on that says "Punk Rock Never Dies." (RM)

7:17 The line to use the porta potties is downright ridiculous. Making things worse, some were in such bad shape, people were refusing to use them, leaving the door open as a warning to others; one woman was overheard saying she almost puked. (AD)

Ministry
Ministry
Allix Johnson

7:40 Al Jourgensen from Ministry is one the stage talking about new album coming out and if people don't like it to "Throw shit at us and it will probably help us write better shit." Then people throw shit and he said "Haven't played it yet, asshole!" Ministry's set was as intense as a phlebotomy (or one can assume), and the strongest of the festival! A drastic improvement from their appearance at Chicago Open Air last summer. Hail \m/ (RM)

8:11 The sun has set and Ministry has taken the stage, things get off to a crazy start with the classic tune, “Psalm 69”. But, just before the second song, “Punch in the Face,” a death metal dude in the way back near a patch of grass got on his knees and proposed the question to his girl. She said yes and they embraced and kissed. (AD)

8:20 During my pizza break, I’m standing near a 40-something couple trying to figure out if they hooked up 20 years ago. Then, talking about their other past fucks and the dude agreeing one of the chick's lovers probably "took his time going down on her." The dude laughs too loudly at his own jokes. (RM)

8:57 Minstry is joined by guest vocalist Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory, who sings the track, “Just One Fix”. The entire set has been an ultra heavy and intense throwback to how real circle pits and slam dancing were done. The performance of this song along proved that without Ministry there would not be bands like Fear Factory, Static X, and countless others. (AD)

9:01 Danzig is late. Didn't have an official intro from Jackie. Danzig has mic problems right away. Second headliner to have this issue. (RM)

9:03 As most people wait for the headliner, Danzig to appear on stage, in the back of the venue the food trucks are catering to a seldom few who have bad cases of the munchies. A tall stoner with a huge beard was heard trying to bargain with the Pizza place, “ I only have $10, can i just get those last 4 slices you have?” It worked in his favor. (AD)

9:12 Danzig's voice is struggling. Performs new song off of new album, Black Laden Crown, released on Friday. A dude pushing back against security gets escorted out in a Half Nelson. A second dude is escorted out shortly after the first by three OC Sheriff Department officers. (RM)

9:13 Danzig's vocal strength gets more robust as the set continues. (RM)

10:13 In the back where people are standing and watching the show on the grass, a drunken, yet romantic shirtless long haired dude is giving his girlfriend a lap dance, during the Danzig song “Dirty Black Summer.” (AD)

11:22 After the concert there were people still wondering around in the fog of the after show, searching for the after parties or freak shows. But near a tree passed on the grass, a man was drunk and barely mumbling. His really disappointed friend was standing above him, saying “Come on fool, you’re better than this homie, walk it off, let’s get some food!” (AD)



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