Article by: Jessica Bishop
Photography by: Tim Brouk
Being one that is not too familiar with the metal scene, I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I walked into the Lafayette Theater Saturday night. The tangerine colored poster that hung on the front of the building looked promising, offering up a “Raucous Variety Show” with a handful of various bands, both local and out of state.
I stepped into the theater to red swirling lights and sea of raised fists. Airacobra lit up the stage with their high energy, melodic guitar solos, and heart pounding rhythm. Airacobra is self-described as “Luciferian Rock n’ Roll” from Champaign, IL. They are a five-piece band made up of Vhommit (lead vocals), TJ Walsh (guitar, vocals), Harrison Mitry (guitar, vocals), Seth “Sovereign” Jarvis (bass), and Zakk Burke (drums). Vhommit flashed around the stage as he picked up the mic stand and brandished it like a sword in a passionate intensity. Their stage presence was welcoming and entertaining to even non-metal heads. Burke’s drumming was meticulous and executed impeccably. Jarvis’ heavy hitting bass kept the crowd moving, with very few people in the audience sitting still. Their costumes of leather jackets and face make-up were reminiscent of 80’s hair bands, but their music blended a modern metal with just a touch of classic punk. They ended their set in a flash of white light and cheers from the crowd.
Off to the side of the stage were two large sheets of paper being live-painted by Elena Chimera during each set. She could be seen bobbing her head in time with the music as she contemplated the next stroke of a marker or paintbrush.
Up next to the stage was Yesterday’s Chips. They are a local Lafayette four-piece band made up of Dave Chips (vocals), T Chips (bass), Don Chips (guitar), and Mike Chips (drums.) Organic and fun loving, they were clearly a crowd favorite. They ruled the stage with a careless attitude and a “don’t give a fuck” mentality. People in the audience stood on chairs to get a better look at the spectacle on the stage. Their energy was contagious, and it bounced off the crowd. Andy Warhol style multicolored lights glowed off the faces of the band members and continued the up-beat atmosphere. Keeping in theme with the set’s shenanigans, a small pool of potato chips made it’s way into the middle of the mosh pit, just in time for Dave to throw his shirt off to the side and begin a tempestuous song about a love affair with pizza called “FatCore“. The smell in the air was a mixture of mosh pit sweat, potato chips, and beer, as the band ended their set with some easy riffs and a raging crowd.
Bizarre Noir lived up to their name sake as they brought a taste of the strange and unusual to the stage. Bizarre Noir hails from Indianapolis and is made up of Chris Charles (vocals), Craig Smoot (guitar), Dan (bass), Elias Sanchez ( drums), and often includes side appearances by several various mascots such as Horse Face. They describe themselves spot on as a “musical circus with no specific genre”. Chris kicked things off in a full, boisterous, showy tone of a stadium announcer. Ahead of the game in avant-garde theatrics, their set was thrilling and kept you on the edge of your seat as you anticipated what they would bring up onto the stage next.
An attractive woman with a baby facemask paraded around as she cried and gestured toward the crowd. They threw in some astronomical sounding keys as well as a few dramatic drum solos. Also making an appearance Saturday night was Horse Face. It was a terrifying display as he trotted along to a soft piano melody and low lighting in a smart jacket and horse mask on his face. The whole crowd seemed in on the spectacle while they danced around in a circle like a caucus race from Alice in Wonderland. The circus finally came to an end and the band bowed their last goodbyes.
Zephaniah came up last to a wall of digital confetti and the theme song from Pokemon.
From Fort Wayne, the band consists of Logan Detwiler (vocals), Justin Zych (guitar), Shaun Cothron (guitar), Ian Bender (bass), and Cody Johns (drums). Red light filled the room with a smoky atmosphere. They were what you come to expect with a metal band, complete with alluring guitar solos and Dragon Force sound. Sparking lights flickered upon the crowd, who had their fists in the air and a glow of worshiping admiration upon their faces, or at least of drunken appreciation. Zych and Cothron played perfectly in sync with one another as they pointed their guitars toward the audience and head-banged the night away. Oh, and they had fucking awesome hair.
The entire night was indeed a variety show. The impressive range of acts brought in by the Doom Room were completely different but blended together perfectly in a seamless, non-stop party. I am really excited to see everything else the Doom Room has to offer this year and am now encouraged to explore the metal genre quite a bit further.