Mushroomhead came on late -- but strong.
Based on previous incarnations of Mushroomhead's legendary Halloween show, the band's fans had high expectations. And the group delivered, in a big way.
After sitting through six opening bands (Cleveland's own Ventana
being the highlight), the men in masks took the stage at just after midnight. Over the PA came the announcement: "Due to technical difficulties, Slipknot will not be appearing tonight," which was greeted by chants of "Fuck Slipknot!" from the cadre of 'Shroomers in the pit. Soon after, the lights came up, revealing their Nightmare Before Christmas
-themed set, complete with falling snow. They didn't waste any time kicking into "Damage Done," from their new album, Savior Sorrow
. The set was a good mix of old- and new-school Mushroomhead, mixing fan favorites such as "Bwomp" and "Solitaire Unraveling" with newer cuts like "12 Hundred" and "Kill Tomorrow."
It's not a party without snacks.
The real highlight came toward the end of the show, when Stitch and Little Dan (Skinny's drum tech and drummer for Ventana) came out wearing masks from two members of Slipknot (Dan wearing Chris Fehn's mask with the Pinocchio-style nose, Stitch wearing Shawn "Clown" Crahan's mask). When they weren't playing the large drums at the front of the stage, Dan proceeded to masturbate his mask's nose, and Stitch took off his mask and flipped the bird at it, eliciting fits of laughter from the crowd.
Though some of the Thirteamers
are bitching about it, singer Waylon seemed to talk a lot more compared to other shows, which seemed a good thing. Who wants to see a band just play its songs?
One small disappointment this year: no pumpkin masks. But, because they're on tour, and the fact that the performance was nothing short of great, though shorter (a 40-minute set) than what we're used to, all is forgiven. -- David "Frito" Lay
Scene photos by Walter Novak.