ZS: You know it’s a punk show anytime a big, bald, bearded, shirtless frontman can go into a crowd with bright pink tape wrapped around his head….right? Either way, the only thing fucked up about Fucked Up’s set was the fact that I didn’t show up earlier to catch their entire performance.
KM: Every minute I saw of Fucked Up was predictably pretty great. Pink Eyes remains the punkest bear of a man you’ve seen, and he spent a huge chunk of their set prowling through the audience and bellowing into his mic. Even though I’m not crazy about them on record, I ended up being annoyed with myself for stopping to check out Red Fang instead.
KM: They were OK, but it’s hard for a band like this to follow Black Tusk AND The Sword and not get lost in the shuffle. I absolutely love this band, but I was stoner-rocked out by this point in the day. I know, sacrilege. I still love you, dudes.
BT: They’re such a fun band. I don’t know how anyone could get stoner-rocked out at a metal festival.
The Gaslight Anthem:
BT: I suppose I should show some Jersey pride, but this band personally has never done it for me, with their mashup of Springsteen and Social Distortion. However, they play to a pretty sizable crowd that seems to appreciate them. With their major label debut coming out soon, this is another band that might want to get used to playing bigger stages.
KM: My view of this seems to be similar to how Bram views Modest Mouse. To me, it’s just moderately OK, play-it-safe rock that’s passable background music. I got moving away from this in a hurry.
KM: This is exactly the kind of indie band that needs to be at a fest like Orion. Rocking, loud, discordant, creative, off-kilter, and hyperactive. They’re everything I want from an alt-rock act, and unless somebody calls up Jeff the Brotherhood next year, it’s hard to imagine a band more fitting for this audience as a change-of-pace pick.
Cage the Elephant:
BT: If you listen to rock radio like Metallica fans obviously do, you’ve probably heard Cage the Elephant over the last few years. The crowd seemed moderately into them from what I’ve heard, but Metal Insider didn’t get a chance to watch them.
ZS: When Suicidal Tendencies were confirmed for Orion, it seemed like a sure thing that Robert Trujillo would join his former band onstage for at least one song. But the fact that Trujillo joined Cyco Mike and crew for multiple tunes (including a few Infectious Grooves songs) was a true treat for the large crowd standing in front of the Damage Inc. Stage.
There was another memorable moment, though, that didn’t happen onstage during the set. Halfway through, paramedics rushed into the crowd to make way for a stretcher. At first, I was a little considered for the injured. However, the injured fan made his way through the crowd on stretcher with his devil horns held high (as if he was a football player giving the thumbs up while getting lifted off of the field). Pretty bad ass, wouldn’t you say?
KM: The crowd’s far back enough by this point that “War Inside My Head” is practically inaudible at the edges. I get the bleedthrough issue at a show like this and why you don’t want to make the stages too loud, but come on, it’s Suicidal Tendencies! Delay the schedule a half-hour, and only two stages would’ve been active. If I hadn’t been too far back in the crowd to hear them properly, I would’ve just glued myself to the spot.
BT: Having been around for about as long as Metallica, Suicidal bridged skate punk, hardcore and metal, and many true fans of heavy in the mid-80s dug their self titled album and Join the Army as much as Kill ’em All and Ride the Lightning. For onetime bassist Rob Trujillo to reunite with the band, not to mention the fact that it’s been their first East Coast show in a while, was probably the non-Metallica highlight for many fans. They definitely had one of the largest non-Orion stage crowds.
KM: Isaac Brock in purple hot pants and a seafoam green V-neck. That’s all you really need to know, and I’m a fan. They did play a couple from The Moon and Antarctica, but the band seemed impossibly limp and out-of-place. Possibly the biggest disappointment from Day 1, but that’s assuming you went in with expectations of any kind.
BT: This, almost more than any other band, made me question the booking initially. Sure, everyone knows “Float On” from a decade ago or so, and they’re definitely a respected band, but they’re just one of those bands that grates on me. It was also, for the time, one of the most sparsely-attended main stage bands. That said, if you were an indie rock fan that happens to have liked Metallica at any point in time, then this was a great festival for you. Where else could you be one of a few thousand watching Modest Mouse play a huge stage built for 10 times that?
KM: There were English punters in the pit. THERE WERE ENGLISH PUNTERS IN THE PIT. This band has always been the equal of its hype, and this show was no exception. Freakishly tight, and probably the only true rock stars there Day 1 outside of Metallica.