Bam Margera’s Fuckface Unstoppable bring chaos to Amityville, NY 11-13-14

Bam Margera’s Fuckface Unstoppable bring chaos to Amityville, NY 11-13-14

On Thursday, November 13th, professional badass Brandon Cole “Bam” Margera appeared with his band Fuckface Unstoppable at the Revolution Bar and Music Hall in Amityville, New York. Although it is unlikely he will ever appear on a box of Wheaties, Margera, a pro-skater, started his career as a teenager, filming himself and his friends performing skateboarding tricks. With friends from his hometown of West Chester, Pennsylvania, he created the CKY (Camp Kill Yourself) video series, named after his band which he had formed about a year prior to the first CKY video release. Fully embracing the more subversive side of skateboarding culture: glorifying substance abuse, taking extreme risks, and pushing the body to its limits, Margera found himself a star of the aptly named, yet admittedly hilarious, MTV show Jackass. When Jackass ended, Margera continued to appear on MTV in the slightly more respectable Viva la Bam followed by Bam’s Unholy Union, a reality show which followed its star and his then fiancee and now ex-wife Missy Roshstein as they planned their wedding. A true Renaissance man, Margera has also written, starred in, and produced independent films, hosted a radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio, opened a bar, written a book, directed music videos, and founded a record label. Always on the lookout for a new project, Margera started Fuckface Unstoppable in 2013. Along with Margera was guitarist Chad I. Ginsberg, bassist Matthew “Matty J” Janaitis, and drummer, Bam’s brother, Jess Margera. On this date in November, with a fill list of supporting acts that includes Nexus Canvas, As Days Fade, Ashes in the Sky, Howitzer, and Polkadot Cadaver, the night was poised to be one filled with excitement.

Post Hardcore band Nexus Canvas started the night off playing to the early arrivals, who had a positive response to the band. The Long Island three-piece played a few good songs, and they had decent stage presence for a group of newcomers. They introduced their final song as a new one, then immediately backtracked and joked that every song was new to the crowd since Nexus Canvas is just emerging on the scene. Now the band will be taking time off from playing live shows in order to focus on recording, but their appearance at this show was great exposure for these young hopefuls.

As Days Fade is a metal band from Queens who returned to Revolution to support Margera just days after having played there as openers for Combichrist. The four piece played to a larger crowd this time, and they has a blast doing so. At one point, singer Blake Fili leapt off the stage to sing with the crowd, who responded enthusiastically to the band throughout the set, especially when they introduced a new song, “Taking Over Me.” The band showed appreciation for fans by entering those who purchased merchandise in a raffle to win an Epiphone guitar.

Next up was metal outfit Ashes in the Sky, and the band’s performance made it clear that they have that “it” factor. With close to two hundred people crammed toward the stage, Ashes in the Sky played a strong and polished set, at one point dedicating a song to deceased former member Travis Sloboda. The band have just announced that they will no longer be working with vocalist Andrew Nicolae and that guitarist Dave Lombardo will be taking on lead vocals while the band looks for a new singer. No matter what obstacles they may be facing now, however, with their skill and charisma, it looks like this band will come out on top.

The Phoenix, Arizona, three-piece metal combo Howitzer was up next. Before playing, guitarist Matt Moody shook hands with everyone in the front row and thanked them for their support, humbly, yet cleverly engaging a crowd which was largely unfamiliar with these out-of-towners. Moody and the other members, Beau Dively (bass), and Jeremy Jalowiec (drums), rotated vocal duties throughout the set, each member offering his own distinct style. Howitzer have taken on a DIY approach, and they have had great success in doing so. The band is unsigned, but have released four albums on their own and opened for big-name acts like Sevendust and Hatebreed, among others. At Revolution, they played a tight set of good old fashioned metal, prompting the crowd to get angry and get moving. “I know there is anger out there,” joked Jalowiec, “‘cause we have been driving the roads of Long Island all day.”

Penultimate act Polkadot Cadaver is a metal band from Maryland who keep things interesting by incorporating ska and reggae sounds into their music. The four piece band fronted by Dog Fashion Disco’s Todd Smith on vocals and guitar also consists of Jason Stepp on guitar/keyboards, Mike Oliver on drums, Brian “Wendy” White on bass. Touring in support of their latest full length release, Last Call in Jonestown, the band was perhaps one of the most anticipated acts of the evening. Like Jalowiec of Howitzer, Smith also made an astute observation about New York as he wondered aloud, “How the fuck do you people afford to smoke here?” As they performed songs like “Long Strange Trip to Paradise,” Dog Fashion Disco cover “War Party,” as well as the new album title track, “Last Call in Jonestown,” these seasoned performers played a polished set, which the crowd was enthusiastic for from start to finish.

The four opening bands remained to see Margera as Fuckface Unstoppable, and everyone was eager to see what was in store. It quickly became evident that a Fuckface Unstoppable performance is more of a Bacchanalian free-for-all than it is a rock concert. No matter, though. The opening acts had provided enough good music, and now the crowd was ready to party. First, two cases of beer were readied on the stage for the band’s consumption. The musicians took the stage, and when singer Alex Flamsteed, aka Rubbish Heap of Guttermouth, took the stage, the crowd began to roar, and the noise became deafening when Margera himself came out. When Margera spoke to the crowd, his words were indecipherable, and it is not clear whether that was because he drank constantly throughout the set or that the crowd was overpowering him in volume or both. The pit was utter chaos, with crowd surfing, stage diving, and nudity. When Flamesteed tried to kiss a few male members of the crowd, and one fan pushed him away, Margera warned the crowd that they were “all fucked now,” and the singer dove into the middle of the sweaty mass of bodies. The band played throughout the craziness, and from what the audience could hear, they were actually quite good, but the music was overshadowed by the rowdy antics of Flamesteed and the crowd itself.

The experience was like any other show until Fuckface Unstoppable took the stage, but that is to be expected of pretty much anything involving Bam Margera. The anarchy he and his band brought was welcome and his audience absolutely adores every moment of it. At thirty five years old, Margera embodies the basest of adolescent  indulgences, but he is tapped into a market that will always have a demand. As much as he brings out the tsk-tsk among polite society, he is laughing all the way to the bank, so perhaps the joke is on his critics. Ultimately, the Fuckface Unstoppable show was like a frat social for metalheads, and, with the exception of returning same-sex kisses proffered by the singer, the crowd was eager to doff their inhibitions and join the party.

 

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