After thirteen years without touring the UK, MUSHROOMHEAD returned this year after their 2014 release The Righteous and The Butterfly and the departure of vocalist, Waylon Reavis. With such a long time away from the UK, how would the tour go down with the fans who have been waiting years to see a band that has been a staple in the metal genre?
Local Nottingham band, THE FIVE HUNDRED, are a metal band who were very well received by the crowd of their home town. There is something to be said for supporting your local talent, but there was a strong energy coming from the audience, many of whom queued long before doors to ensure barrier positions. As a band, they were very energetic and excellent openers for headline act MUSHROOMHEAD by getting the crowd involved, moving them closer and generally raising the spirit.
Female fronted Exeter metal band, SANGUINE, graced the stage next and used the mix of female vocals and male backing vocals extremely effectively together. Coupled with some crowd pleasing riffs and drum beats, they created an enjoyable atmosphere. After the excitement for opening band THE FIVE HUNDRED, the atmosphere was more subdued for SANGUINE, until they got into their stride and began winning the audience over, many of whom, it seemed were new to their music.
This tour is MUSHROOMHEAD‘s first in the UK for thirteen years, so it is fair to expect all stops to be pulled out. Dramatic water-covered drums were either side of the stage soaking the first few rows of the audience, and UV paint covered band members certainly delivered that. Their masks were a simplified version of those seen in their infamous music videos, however they served the purpose of being disconcerting, certainly coupled with their outfits, a mixture of boiler suits and distressed coats. Their theatrics didn’t stop there, guest vocalist Jackie LaPonza (UNSAID FATE) sang with the band for a few songs, much to the appreciation of the crowd and later came on again in a wedding dress for another song. The set ended rather suddenly, after only an hour. After the last song, the set lists were being handed out, much to the confusion of the audience. There was no big finish or dramatic end, something that would be expected from a band like MUSHROOMHEAD.
Check out our exclusive photo gallery of the night’s action in Nottingham below (Photo Credit: Dean Martin):