Friday, July 26, 2013

Ripple Road Trip - Days Of The Doomed III - Part 1

I don't know if Mercyful Mike Smith up in Kenosha, WI realised what he created when the first installment of Days Of The Doomed was launched in 2011. Excellent doom and metal bands far and wide as well as fans from foreign shores has made the pilgrim journey to first Kenosha, WI and then Cudahy, WI to partake in this amazing event. So it was a no-brainer for my wife Kesha and I to head up that way when version 3 was announced. After all, we have been to the two previous outings.

Kind of dreading the long drive up from Nashville we were both anticipating something "bad" to happen on the way there and back. Almost getting washed away by ridiculous rainstorms in Ohio and having our car break down in central Chicago during rush hour are amongst the things that has happened. But lo and behold, nothing of that sort occured and we arrived safely at our hotel late on Thursday night, June 20. After a quick bite to eat the bed beckoned so we would be well rested for the weekend's shindig. Woke up Friday morning where we after breakfast chilled in the pool and the jacuzzi. Back at the room I was changed and ready in no time but Kesha wanted to catch some more sleep so I went to the hotel bar. Ordered a 6-pack of Newcastle Brown Ale to take to our room and while waiting for the extremely slow and arrogant bartender I sat down had a beer and talked to Eric Wagner(The Skull, Trouble), Kathy Reeves and Kathleen Gilson. Eventually the bartender showed up and wanted $30!!!! for the 6-pack claiming NBA was only sold as singles. Needless to say I declined the purchase. Upon returning to the room my wife was on the phone with Lou Strachan, Iron Man's bass player, who is a long time friend. He showed up for a little bit before the three of us went over to their hotel so we could say hi to Al Morris, Iron Man's guitarist extraordinaire. While there talking away and having a few drinks there's a knock on the door. Lou answers that and two scantilly and barely dressed girls in their early twenties walk in. Kesha and I get up to leave thinking we're cock-blocking them but one of the girls gets a phone call and as quickly as they showed up they are gone. Al says"Kesha, weren't those two your daughters?". "No", she says,"we thought we were cock-blocking you guys and where about to leave". Lou joins in thinking they were with us too since Kesha waited outside to smoke before getting to the room. Totally confusion and misunderstanding that had us all rolling with laughter....festival moments alright.

We finally make it over to the venue, The Blue Pig Bar, and meet up with old friends catching up on things and we almost miss the first band but once inside the lure of the AC...and the drinks of course, it is down to business.

Gravedirt: A local band playing sludge doom with the unthankful task of opening the third installment of DOTD. Didn't sound too bad and did good as the crowd was kind of small but steadily increased as they played.

Moon Curse: Another local band focusing on psychedelic doom. One of the biggest surprises for me this year as I really took to their trippy and groovy take on doom. Almost heavy metal in part and very, very good!

Lucertola: This is Tad Leger of Blood Farmers' other band and were another outfit that took me by surprise. They played eastern-influenced, trippy and bluesy heavy metal/doom. Very heavy and very good indeed.

Kings Destroy: Brooklyn's Kings Destroy did destroy and then some. Featuring folks from Killing Time and Uppercut amongst others they very amazingly good. The heavy-ass doom'n'roll they play got the crowd going and I for one really, really liked them. Great stuff.

Venomous Maximus: Took to the stage and laid everything to waste from the word go. They rocked hard and the crowd loved it as they kept the momentum up from Kings Destroy's fabulous set. Very good.

Penance: what can I say? Absolutely fantastic! Original singer Lee Smith couldn't make it, so his replacement from back in the day, Butch Balich from Argus, stepped in to help out. And he was amazing as always. Towards the end of their brilliant set, Brian Lawrence the band's original singer/guitarist got on stage which was a nice surprise and very much appreciated by the crowd.

Iron Man: These stalwarts of doom never disappoints and tonight was no exception as they simply ruled! They mixed old and new stuff and had the crowd begging for more. A perfect ending to the opening day of Days of The Doomed III.

We eventually made it back to the hotel after talking to bands and friends and an excellent night time food feast at Denny's with Darin McCloskey and his girl Kathy Reeves. Those pancake bites were delicious as was the macho nacho burger hehehe. Had no problems falling asleep which was good since tomorrow was going to long.


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