October 20, 2015 The Wrecking Ball Day 2 Leaves Atlanta, GA In Rubble 8-9-15
Day One of The Wrecking Ball was a success, pulling in massive crowds for both the lighter Rock and heavier Punk genres alike. Many enjoyed the performances outside at the Music Park, with plenty of food trucks and beverage vendors lined up along the lush, grassy field; a perfect view with both shade and sun for all the outdoorsy-type festival goers. Others stayed indoors to enjoy the comforts of air conditioning and to get closer to the bands they loved, whether it be stage diving or crowd surfing. Day Two, held on Sunday August 9th, Wrecking Ball began slightly earlier than the previous day, with doors at 1 PM. Half the crowd appeared to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, having missed the first and longest day of the fest. The other half, well, they know how to live up an all weekend Rock music fest.
To get the ball rolling, Grungy Emo and Indie Rock bands such as Superheaven and Basement were some of the first to warm up the crowd at the outside amphitheater stage. Superheaven, formerly known as Daylight, launched their set off around 2 PM with new tracks from their Summer release, Ours Is Chrome; playing “Next To Nothing” and “I’ve Been Bored,” followed by more favorites off of their debut album, Jar. The night before, Superheaven had played an after-party show that was ‘off-campus’ from The Masquerade at a different venue called Aisle 5. The band covered Weezer’s Pinkerton along with Sorority Noise, who covered Smashing Pumpkin hits. Currently, Superheaven is touring across the U.S. and later this month will be heading overseas to promote Ours Is Chrome in the U.K.
At 4 o’clock sharp, Basement made their way on stage, not hesitating to play popular choices off of Colourmeinkindness such as “Whole,” “Spoiled,” and “Bad Apple.” After a two year hiatus that started in 2012, subsequent to the This Is Goodbye Tour, the band rejoined in 2014. A year after coming back together, the band announced a third studio album in the making, Promise Everything. At present, the band is touring in the US before heading back home in England. In preparation for their upcoming release, a Winter/Spring tour is set to take place in Europe. Promise Everything will be Basement’s first new album in four years, and all their fans from their homeland will be the first to hear it.
Halfway into the day, the inner stages of Heaven and Hell introduced local Atlanta band, Microwave; and adjacent to them, Make Do And Mend. The four-piece crew that makes up Microwave may have only been around for a few years, but they attracted quite the crowd downstairs. Fans and new listeners took wind and gathered around to hear what they had to offer. Aside from playing songs off their 2013 EP, When The Fever Breaks, Microwave gave a little preface of what was to come later that month (August). The band was scheduled to drop their first ever LP, Stovall. A play off of the word ‘microwave’ and what can be cooked with one, Stovall definitely gave listeners at Wrecking Ball a hunger for more. Currently promoting the new album up north in Canada, Microwave has big plans to heat up The States before the upcoming holiday season.
Make Do And Mend
Make Do And Mend, unlike the name of the stage they played on, was anything but angelic. Their melodic Punk-Rock roots shook up the top layer of the venue, making the crowd go wild. Playing from a wide variety of past studio albums and EPs, the band built up excitement around Don’t Be Long, which is to be released through Rise Records in February of 2016.
Coming in mid-day at a quarter til’ 5 is straight edge Hardcore band Foundation. As opposed to their turbulent after-party show in Hell the night before, their main performance was set upstairs in Heaven. The energy upstairs, aside from the anticipation of fans, felt different in comparison to the previous night, much like the calm before the storm. Four months prior to Wrecking Ball, Foundation made public of their soon-to-be cessation, or as they put it, the nearing of the end of their rope. “Every rope has its beginning…,” they stated, also mentioning the future release of their last album, Turncoat, before completely calling it quits. For almost ten years, Foundation has played its part literally as the foundation for the Hardcore scene in Atlanta. With many of their followers stemming from the same hometown since the beginning of their time in 2006, their cloud of listeners only grew larger and accumulated across the world over the next decade.
Unlike many bands whose lyrics speak from the mind, Foundation’s lyrics speak from the heart, and the very bottom pit of it. If there is one band who has always been transparent with their fans, their friends, and more importantly themselves, it is Foundation. So as their second to last show ever in Georgia is about to undertake, Atlantans were not even close to thinking they were ready. Staring out into a black abyss, Foundation opened up with the introduction to one of their upcoming songs, titled “The New Faith.” Lights flashed on and their set was followed by songs that speak of bravery such as “Purple Heart” and “No Cure for Fools.” Deeper into the show people were crawling over and on top of each other to reach the mic; instantly glued to one another while immersing themselves to the hard-hitting, aggressive riffs that accompanied the chorus that they screech. Vocalist Tomas Pearson took a break halfway through to speak on how none of this (the Wrecking Ball fest) would exist without the listeners. Music itself would mean nothing without an ear on the receiving end. Winding down their set with favorites off of Hang Your Head and When The Smoke Clears, “Pray For Atlanta” and “Devotion II” tied up the finale of their performance entirely, much like the end of a rope.
With the sun dipping behind the Atlanta skyline, much of the crowd migrated outdoors to cheer on the next band on their list. Coming in hot at 7:30 PM was a band both old and new, Desaparecidos. Formed originally as a side project in 2001, the band had then created two EPs and one LP while signed under Saddle Creek Records. Most recently, Desaparecidos signed with Epitaph Records and with the release of Payola two months prior to their performance at Wrecking Ball Fest, the crowd ignited. Much of their fans cheered onto the stage vocalist Conor Oberst, who was mostly well known from former band, Bright Eyes. In contrast to Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos offers a little more Punk in their step. The charming, gravelly vocals and thought-provoking lyrics were continued on, but the rest of the band transitioned to a faster and more upbeat assonant. Poppy riffs accompanied by the clashing of drums in “The Left is Right” started their set off like a riot. Wrapping up with classics off of Read Music/Speak Spanish, “Greater Omaha” made for a perfect finale to their fiery performance.
Coheed and Cambria
With great anticipation, Desaparecidos’ crowd stuck around to secure a good view of the stage. The remaining showgoers gathered outside and along the entire park’s borders; for everyone knew who was scheduled to play next would blow out the rest of the The Wrecking Ball fest. While the twilight of the night sky lost its blue hue, everything became pitch black for a moment. The guitar rang and shivered through the Summer air, and the murmur of the crowd reverberated with excitement. From the shadows emerged an applauded figure, a red light blazed over the entire stage and out came Claudio Sanchez playing the beginning solo of “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3.”
For twenty years, Coheed and Cambria have graced the music world with their steady presence of eight studio albums, five live recording albums, and four EPs. This Progressive Rock supremacy pulled in a mass of listeners from all around the world in one night, endowing upon their audience a night to remember. As the night moved forward, time-honored singles such as “Devil in Jersey City,” “A Favor House Atlantic,” and “Here We Are Juggernaut” fired up the entire amphitheater. Although they had played in Atlanta plenty of times before, the final night of Wrecking Ball held something special. The band’s eighth forthcoming album, The Color Before the Sun, was expected to make its appearance late October, but Coheed wanted to give Atlanta a departing gift before the night was through, playing hit song “You Got Spirit, Kid,” which was officially released only a month prior to the fest. To conclude the legendary band’s performance, “Welcome Home” set off the final encore of the night. The Wrecking Ball ATL was officially over.
Two days and three nights of non-stop Punk Rock shenanigans took place in the best city in the South. The Masquerade did not disappoint by creating and hosting Atlanta’s first ever Rock-only festival. Following the commencement of The Wrecking Ball, good news lights the way. The venue announced recently this month that the festival will in fact be held annually. The dates for The Wrecking Ball 2016 have been revealed for August 12th-14th. With next year’s announcement being much more ahead of time than this year’s, we can only wonder what sort of tricks are being held up their sleeves.