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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Summer Side Show 9 experience: Part 1

This past weekend was most eventful! Quite unexpectedly, I was invited to join my friend Jordan and the always-spectacular band Misfortune500 for a trip to Columbus, GA's festival of tunes, Summer Side Show. For me, it was my first true look into the action behind the scenes, from start to finish, of a day-long multistage show. Exciting, indeed!

The day started off rather early as hundreds of band members gathered to await the verdict on where and when they would be rockin' for the fans. Surrounded by a crowd of mostly high schoolers, my pals and I were certainly some of the oldest people there, but since we all looked to be somewhere around the age of sixteen, we blended in perfectly. Fashion-wise, however, it seemed we were a bit out of the loop since, despite the already intense heat of the early morning, we were standing amidst a sea of black fabric. No one, though, was more overdressed for the mid-day sun than the guy sporting the Batman costume who passed the time during the two long hours of band registration walking back and forth between the band area and the tent beside his own unique, gun-adorned version of the "batmobile". Oh, the things you see at music festivals! Finally, after quite a bit of waiting around and hiding from the sun's rays in the ever-shrinking shadows, the bands were given their time slots for the four stages that faced outwards in a rectangle in the middle of a large field on Columbus State's campus. Scrambling for what I would call a "prime real estate" spot, we quickly pitched Misfortune500's merch tent and set about displaying the goods. It was then that the cacophony of metal engulfed us from every angle.

Now I'll be honest, I'm not the world's biggest metal fan. Just like in most genres, I'll take the best and leave the rest. But even if I was a huge fanatic for screamo metal, that crushing mountain of sound would have been overwhelming. See, that's why earplugs are always a good idea! And that, kids, was my public service announcement for today. ANYway, after jamming in my industrial grade ones (best gift my brother ever gave me), I ventured out into the dire heat to scope out some quality tunes. And, joy upon joy, it wasn't long until I found some!

The first rockin' musician to catch my ears was creative rapper G Nasty. I only heard a small bit of his set, but the taste I did manage to get of his tracks put a sure smile on my face. My next find was a band whose name sure sounded like The Old New Standard, but since I've been able to find nothing of their particular existence online, I am tragically uncertain of their identity. No matter who they were, though, I must say their quality classic rock was a welcome choice! Finishing out the discoveries of my first few rounds of the stages, Asheville, North Carolina's Issachar grabbed my attention with their jazzy take on the metal genre, especially during their last few more melody-driven tunes. I couldn't stay long, though, because by that point, the heat became unbearable enough to warrant another trip back to Misfortune500's merch tent for a much needed bit of shade.

Check back tomorrow for more documentation of the purely crazy Summer Side Show 9 experience!

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