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New England Metal and Hardcore Fest 2009 Wrap Up

Entering its second decade, the New England Metal and Hardcore Fest has flip-flopped through the years, between being a two or three day event. This year, the organizers, namely our good friend Scott Lee, trimmed the event down to two days, but added a third stage at Chasers, around the corner from the Palladium in Worcester, which spotlighted a crop of local acts and up ‘n comers. So the event remains recession-friendly by offering the most bang for your buck.

Besides an action packed lineup that included sets by Lamb of God (at left) the Haunted, Whitechapel, Book of Black Earth and a surprise appearance from the uber-buzzing Suicide Silence, many local artists were at the event, socializing among their constituents. Trevor Phipps of Unearth copped to “just hanging out” before his band heads on the road; Phipps also runs Ironclad, his own label. Shadows Fall‘s Jason Bittner, who performed with his other project Burning Human, was seen at the Palladium’s back bar on Friday night, hating on his iPhone and heartily tossing back a few. Shadows Fall’s Matt Bachand was also floating around much of the weekend.

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    Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Mastodon at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Mastodon at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Crowd at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Neurosis at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Neurosis at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Crowd at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

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Saturday was a convergence of metalheads and Deadheads on Worcester. A Dead concert was on tap at the DCU Center around the corner, so the scent of patchouli wafted through the air as dirty, dreaded Deadheads sold PB&J sandwiches, offered hits of nitrous from balloons and walked barefoot along the main drag of the formerly industrial city. God Forbid drummer Corey Pierce effectively summed up the cultural dichotomy, telling Noisecreep, “When groups of people who normally get along get drunk, bad shit happens. I predict shit’s gonna get ‘ignint’ tonight when these two crowds get together.”

“Ignint-ness” aside, As I Lay Dying drummer Jordan Mancino was rocking serious mutton chops and a bushy ‘stache, which he’s been growing for a year and has only trimmed it twice in that time. “I’m keeping it legit,” he said. AILD vocalist Tim Lambesis performed double duty, as his Austrian Death Machine project, which is inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, performed. Unearth’s Ken Susi shredded, while an Ah-nuld doppleganger, decked in ‘Terminator’ gear and a rubber mask, rocked out while screaming lyrics. The Guvernator hasn’t been this fun since, er, ‘Kindergarten Cop.’

While the NEMHCF could have benefitted from a “must see” event, like a band play their only US show during the weekend, it was still two days of metal moshtasticness.

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