This past Tuesday, January 10th the MAGFest Expansion Pack Tour came through Cattivo in Pittsburgh, PA. The DLC pack brought together some of the musical guests at this year’s MAGFest, a music and gaming festival held every year in Maryland. The tour picked up a one-off party member in the form of Dethlehem, a Pittsburgh native band and MAGFest alum. Most excitingly for me, the this was also Machinae Supremacy’s first US tour, with their first US showing being at MAGFest 2012.
Never have video game scores been performed so heavily. KoTR takes the epic compositions within the video gaming world and give them a brutal, metalizing tribute. I may have missed most of their set because of work, but their performance from MAGFest is up on YouTube for your viewing pleasure, courtesy of the festival itself.
Danimal Cannon is a mixture of flashy and melodic guitar solos along the lines of Joe Satriani with all of the chiptune synth power a Nintendo Gameboy can muster. I’m not kidding when I say this, but Danimal Cannon is the project made up of Dan Behrens on guitarist and a Nintendo Gameboy on synthesizer. His performance was great, and despite a few technical issues with the Gameboy, he was able to save the show, even performing a song or two he had not planned on or rehearsed of the tour.
You can check out his entire performance from MAGFest here.
Next up was Pittsburgh’s own RPG themed melo-deth band Dethlehem. They came out on stage fully clad in armor, ready to defend their castle of a stage. They had just celebrated the two year anniversary since the release of their last album, Destroyers of the Realm, and it was time to get back to playing shows. It was not only their first performance of the year, and also the first with bassist/rogue Grimshaw Longfellow having returned to the party. It was good to see him back “playing heavy metal, slaying dragons, and all that sh*t.” To celebrate the occasion they closed out their set with the brand new, never before played ever song “Tales of a Time Forgotten.”
Being completely unfamiliar with Dallas, Texas’ Urizen, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was in for. They had a pretty interesting merch selection, but it was the murmurs going around the crowd that caught my attention. “Do you think they’ll do the full show here,” asked one person, “If you haven’t seen them, then you’re in for a surprise” came another. Needless to say, my interest had been piqued.
The stage was full of props by the time the band took the stage. It appeared as if it was a mad scientist’s lair, with metal contraptions covered in wires all around. It didn’t take long for it to become apparent what they would be used for. Before the band jumped into their second song, the stage was stormed by the Dr. Fritz von Schmecklehammer to urge the band to use his ‘Supersonic Electronic Sub-Moronic Brain Stimulation Units’ to give them super musician powers! Things didn’t go exactly as a planned, a fight ensued, a robot battle was had, and a giant penis shaped monster arrived to fight the band. Things got a little weird, but it was easily one of the goofiest performances I have ever seen by a metal band and I mean that in the most endearing way possible.
You can check out their full performance from MAGFest here.
Last but not least was Sweden’s SID metal outfit Machinae Supremacy. They are currently on their very first US tour, touring in support of their newest release “Into The Night World.” The album is wonderful, by the way, but I digress. It has been four years since I first misspelled Machine Head into Spotify’s Search bar and found these guys and I had very little hope that the opportunity would ever arise to see them, let alone in my own hometown surrounded by friends and colleagues.
The crowd was not the greatest at this point. It appeared as if people were apprehensive to come forward for them, but after a few songs it was clear they had won over the crowd and the floor filled up. They essentially played a greatest hits set (or at least they are songs I would pick as “Greatest Hits” worthy) as well as two new ones, “Welcome to the Night Worlds,” and “The Last March of the Undead.”
Overall the show was a ton of fun, I only wish that it could have went on longer but the night was quickly approaching midnight. The tour package is very well put together, and all of the bands involved bring something unique to the show. I would highly recommend checking out all of the bands on the bill, even if you will not be able to make it out to a show. It’s a great time to just geek out and thrash about.
1/7 – MAGFest – Washington, DC*
1/9 – Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY*
1/10 – Cativo – Pittsburgh, PA*
1/11 – The Ritz – Warren, MI*
1/12 – Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL*&**
1/13 – Big Shots – Valparaiso, IN*&**
1/14 – Rockstar Pro Arena – Dayton, OH*
1/16 – The Warehouse – Clarksvile, TN
1/17 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
1/18 – Southport Hall – Jefferson, LA
1/19 – BFE Rock Club – Houston, TX
1/20 – Grizzly Hall – Austin, TX
1/21 – Trees – Dallas, TX
* w/ Knights of the Round
** w/ Psychostick