Mammatus performing at Psycho California Music Festival. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
On the five year anniversary of legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio's death, metal fans travelled from all over the United States in order to pack the Observatory and immerse themselves in sludge (and other subgenres of heavy metal). In his preview of the Psycho California music festival, Jason Roche suggested that the worst band in the three day festival's 50-plus band line-up was "very good." If the 20 acts that performed on Saturday were a decent cross-section of the talent playing over the entire weekend, then Mr. Roche's assessment proved accurate and the pilgrimages that the numerous metalheads made paid off.
Though Friday's attendees were not going to let a few hiccups ruin their overall experience of this musical and cultural feast, several recalled a couple problems from the opening day of the event. Specifically, they said that the Constellation Room (one of the Observatory's two performance areas) had been double booked with the indie rock band The Wombats, and this resulted in the programming for the "Grizzly Stage" being relocated to an outdoor stage, which allegedly had bad sound. The other main gripe was in the arrangement of the merch area, which was also located outside. This issue hadn't been resolved satisfactorily by Saturday, as fans wanting to buy t-shirts and sundries had to wait for prolonged periods of time, in a long line that stretched through the courtyard behind the venue, in order to reach the tent of the coveted merchandise.
See also: The 10 Best Bands at Psycho CaliforniaMore »