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Ahh, Michigan. We have lakes. Big fucking lakes. We used to have a booming car industry, but unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, you need not an explanation of why I won’t be speaking of that in this article. Besides, we harbor a little music festival every summer called Dirt Fest, a metal get together a few hours outside of Detroit, founded by two dudes looking to showcase their own band. Dirt Fest quickly became the summer festival for local bands looking for recognition and inspiration. It wound up becoming comparable to the one hot chick at the party which turned out to be a sausage fest – she ends up having such a good time that she lets everyone have a turn.

Anyhoo, thirteen lucky summers later and Dirt Fest is rocking a roster that has, in the past, included bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Black Dahlia Murder. Obviously something is working if these bands are rolling through, so I decided to finally go check it out this year. Armed with nothing but a delicious bottle of Jagermeister and a set of tits everyone at the MetalSucks Mansion is dying to get a look at, I embarked on what turned out to be a very interesting day. My mouth already tasted like booze before noon…

Bahamut, Blackguard, After the Burial, Beneath The Massacre Origin and Born of Osiris: Missed a large majority if not the entire performance by these bands because I was conducting interviews for MetalSucks [Coming soon – Ed.]. The little bit I caught of Decrepit Birth was great despite losing sound mid-song at one point. Beneath The Massacre finally started bringing more people in to the main stage. Solid for the sliver of the set that I caught. From what I heard, fans thoroughly enjoyed Born Of Osiris.

Winds of Plague: WOP’s performance probably got the most reception from any of the bands I was able to watch. Everyone on stage was giving their A-game, despite the technical difficulties and the overall shitty fucking speakers equipped on the main stage. Their pit was below mediocre at first, most likely because the fans didn’t want to mess up their hair. Most of them resembled these, um, well I have no idea if they’re male or female at this point.  “One Body Too Many” finally got the kids lubed up and thrusting the pit for a while.  The only downside? West-coast moshing… uggggggh. It’s gymnastics for the kids that didn’t want to wear leotards, but think its “uber kewl” to wear pants that cut off circulation to the genitalia. In the end, the set was great on their part. If you haven’t seen these guys live yet, you need to shut-off World of Warcraft and get with the program

Darkest Hour: Should have had a MUCH better response then they did. Although they had a crowd there, they had lost a decent chunk of fans after WOP left the stage. I’m not really sure why, because those guys fucking ROCKED it as usual. If you’re reading this and you’re one of the assholes that walked away after WOP, fuck you. You missed out on a great fucking set by a band that consistently puts out solid records, which is unfortunately rare these days. There was a giant hole in the center of the crowd, but no pit. It got less action then Barbra Walters’ vagina. At one point in time, some kid jumped off the stage, assuming he would be able to crowd surf – wrong. I don’t know what a full belly-flop on concrete feels like, but I’m sure that dude can give you a detailed description once his face grows back. All in all, DH murdered face. The crowd did not. Except for that one kid. Literally.

Ensiferum: Had a few stragglers at the stage, but most of the patrons had left the venue at that point. Either that or they were checking out the merch booths and vendor tents. The only people really checking these guys out were the older metalheads. At least they got a good show out of it. I believe the sound gave out while they were playing at one point in time, which would normally send the crowd into a pissed off frenzy. Not the case due to the lack of people actually listening. There music is fun. It was my first time seeing or remembering that I saw these guys live. Although most of the guys sounded like they have been gargling with whiskey and thumb-tacks for the past twenty years, I was pleasantly surprised.

Necrophagist: Meh. Not really a fan [But we are! – Eds.]. Apparently no one else there was either, given the fact they had maybe twenty people at the stage. Still not quite sure why they were headlining.

Summers prior, Dirt Fest had brought in huge crowds.  Unfortunately, this year was lack-luster, even with Summer Slaughter Tour taking over the main stage. Nothing was very organized, and who-ever decided on the layout of the event needs to get kicked in the shins. Along with the main stage, there were five other small stages scattered throughout the parking lot in which everything took place. The two stages that were closest to the main stage were so loud, and the main stage sound so shitty, that whenever there was a band on both stages at the same time, the main stage got the shaft volume and quality wise. Unfortunately from the crowds’ point of view, the sound they were hearing resembled that of a download from Napster circa 2000 – muted, blotchy and unbalanced.

Still, at the end of the day, I have to say I’m happy to have supported the uprising of American Metal festivals. Europe has shat on us for so long with events like Wacken, Grosspop and Metalfest, its about time we get in the game. Although Dirt Fest can’t even compare to those OR the New England Metal and Hardcore festival, at least we’re trying to give our brethren across the pond some competition. So while the setup and layout gets only one horn, I’ve gotta give the festival as a whole a four out of five.

And as far as Summer Slaughter is concerned, I have nothing but good things to say about the melding of metal chosen for this years line-up. If anything, its introducing new types of music to those who remain close minded about expanding their horizons. If you live in the Midwest and aren’t ready to head out to the east coast for a event like this just yet, give Dirt Fest some serious consideration. Not just because it’s a pretty sick event, but because I don’t know if I can handle that many scenesters again next year and still be confident that I won’t go completely fucking insane.

Oh, one more thing: To all those kids I attempted to give a MS sticker too, and you clearly didn’t understand that “MetalSucks” does is dripping with sarcasm, fuck you. You little bastards looked at me like I was the only pro-choice advocate at an anti-abortion rally. And to the ginger-kid that ripped up the sticker and threw it in my face: I’m going to find you, motherfucker. I promise. Hold on to your nuts, because after I’m done with your as you’re going to be screaming for your mother while you shit them out.

Thanks for your time.


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