The world famous prison penitentiary, Ohio State Reformatory was the setting for the 3-day tattoo festival, Ink in the Clink in Mansfield, Ohio. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Warm 80 degree heat with sun shining all weekend long. Sadly, I missed the first day, but was present for the rest to make sure no moments went undocumented.
The staff and everyone involved with the production were outstanding to work with. Met with a lot talented artists and amazing photographers who really were on another level. Browsing the reformatory was one of the coolest parts of the festival. With all the history that presented itself from room-to-room, you also got to witness highly skilled tattoo artists and unique vendors that you wouldn't normally see at your local flea market.
Special effect artist, Robert Kurtzman had his work on display there, but he himself wasn't there in person due to business obligations in NYC. Paranormal Penitentiary were there to give me the low down of his artwork. The twisted wickedness Robert creates is damn impressive and his attention to detail grabbed my attention right off the bat.
The horror dancing cabaret girls, the Monster Dolls, were there dancing the whole weekend with synchronizing dances, fire twirling, and fantastic stage props. Just watching them move around on stage kept me engaged as they flawlessly moved to the beat of the music.
Look at their costumes and tell me they're aren't bad ass?! They were all super sweet to let me grab a shot of them back stage. Thanks, ladies!
If there was one band that stuck out beyond the rest, it certainly had to be Psychostick. A metalcore band from Chicago with a HUGE twist. It's all comedy worked into their stage act and music. Farfetched outfits accompanied their charismatic persona kept you entertained from the first strum of the guitar cord.
It was great to see Flaw again. Last time I saw them was a month ago in Akron at the Empire Concert Club. Beofre the start of their set, the band had some technical difficulties which there was a long 20 minute delay. From the fans' perspective, they were getting a little antsy and annoyed. None-the-less, they eventually busted out and played a solid show.
One of the two national bands that played that night was Drowning Pool. I was especially excited to see how they sounded since going through several singers in the past. The best part of the show and I think everyone there could agree, was seeing America's Got Talent star, John Hetlinger do Drowning Pool's famous "Bodies" song. If you don't know who John is, he's the 80 year old guy that's been a internet sensation covering the band's heaviest song on the national television show. Drowning Pool invited him to travel with them and to bring his talent out on the big stage.
Last of the night, Saliva came on stage and didn't hide the fact they came loaded with the hard stuff. Crown and Fireball were available as refreshments to quickly heat up day 2 of Ink in the Clink. Saliva was more difficult to shoot as the stage lights was very spotty and had me quickly adjusting my camera for each shot. A lot of Bobby, but I was able to grab some stage side shots for a gloomy look, which I ended up liking more than anywhere else.
I really wasn't anticipating such a forceful and heavy ass band besides Olathia to ignite the final day of Ink in the Clink. I was wrong. Columbus area electronica metal group, Dread Engine played a mind-blowing set with wicked dual vocal screams and fast tempo'd guitar riffs that took my adrenaline above 10. No exaggeration. If James Hetfield of Metallica decided to mesh with Lamb of God in his heyday, you'd have a good idea of the sound of Dread Engine, but you get a music video below instead. You're welcome.
I've seen their sound evolve. I've seen there comfort zone mesh tighter than the waistline of a 80's glam hair band. Seeing their cooperative teamwork by producing catchy melodies with Chris' talented writing, transforms each new Olathia piece into heavy metal nirvana. The new stuff is soo good and we heard more than a few that afternoon from their 45-minute set.
Red Sun Rising
Wow. It's probably be almost a few years since I last saw Red Sun Rising. Their success keeps climbing the charts. Already with two top charted singles from their "Polyester Zeal" album, Red Sun Rising haven't slowed the wheels down at all. Playing the biggest festivals in the country and opening for some of the biggest names in rock. It sure is nice these Akron natives have made northeast Ohio proud. It's one thing to love the album, but seeing them live is just a sweet entertainment perk to witness. Be sure to check them out next month when they come to the new Goodyear Theatre next month in Akron with 3 Doors Down.
Seeing Pop Evil twice already, I didn't expect to see anything that I haven't already witnessed. Well, maybe their new drummer, but it all seemed like a typical Pop Evil show. Not a big fan of their music, but I love their crowd control they use with some of their popular songs, such as "Footsteps" and "Take It All".