Photography and Article by Syd Innovaria
The Detroit Bruise and Brews Fest III was like any other March day- kinda cold, kinda dreary, but sunny. It was a 6 hour ride for myself and the group Burdens Within, who were kind enough to give me a lift up there. The suspense dragged on, the quiet almost like a thin pane of glass. I recall how I had never met any of the bands that were going to play with Burdens Within, and I had literally no clue what I was going in for. We arrive at the venue (Diesel Concert Lounge), we part ways.
Most of the time was spent literally walking from one side of the venue to the other and realizing my camera settings weren’t doing what I wanted.
I will mention I learned during the course of the evening that most of the bands playing were from Detroit, Michigan. Burdens Within is from Crawfordsville Indiana, but all the others that I interviewed and talk about below are from Detroit.
I missed the band Laurentian Tides by just about 5 minutes. And then as I went around the floor, there were several merch tables set up for various bands, mostly attended to by at least one or two of the members. Everyone seemed pretty friendly and excited, it was overall a good atmosphere. Also lots of space in the venue and two stages, if you haven’t been. There’s a main stage and a side stage- one is in front near the arcade/bowling area and the bar, while the other is down in a giant den-like spot. Tall stage, very lovely carpet- looked fancy.
Looking back on this, it was probably one of the funnest and busiest shows I have covered. Everyone was constantly moving and hurrying to either watch a band or play in their band or attend to their merch table, or get more alcohol.
There were various musicians I got introduced to and couldn’t tell you to this day who they were. But at some point throughout the evening I ran into the group All Is Faded, which, sadly has indeed faded into history it would seem. After this gig, they played a couple more shows and then quietly disbanded into other projects. All Is Faded was Jay D. Stryder, John Tagge, Tyler Green, Cody Graham and John Maconochie.
All Is Faded (minus Tagge) showing some love at the merch table before their set.
I took a few images near their merch table, then after wandering around a bit more I found Valiant Revenge who played after Laurentian Tides. They were decent performers actually, though the side stage was kinda sucky that evening- not many people over there I thought. Valiant Revenge is Patrick Harvey (vocals), Jeremey Meyer, Christopher Bowlin, Steve Sleziak and Justin Terry.
Patrick takes a moment to breathe.
They were interested in doing an interview about the show, so we went into the arcade area (which, sadly, was much darker than I needed it to be for a video interview). Got some good stuff, then went on, finding Laurentian Tides this time- which was easily one of the best interviews of the night. No one was too drunk, or confused, and the lighting was great! They wanted an interview, so we hung out for a bit and talked about the show. They were very enthusiastic and fun, and had a lot to say about their music and the show. Laurentian Tides is Jandro Aguirre (vocals), Billy Hughes, Tom, and Richardoug. I went shortly after to photograph Burdens Within; they clearly had a lot of fun on that stage. The crowd response was good for all the bands as well. Burdens Within is Danny Rivers (vocals), Mike Riley, Ryan Battering, Ryan Kline and Craig Thomas on drums.
Danny Rivers belting it out.
I kept running in to members of All Is Faded over and over, I guess it was important that they remind me they were going to play really soon and I needed to watch. Which yes- I was talking to a group of people about the show and then ran up to catch them as they took the stage.
I will say this about that band. They had a commanding presence- all of them really, and they were all super young in comparison to a lot of the other bands there. 5 years give or take, I’d say, though I honestly don’t know everyone’s age. Singer Jay Stryder had a very charismatic air about him and the crowd was super into the whole thing. John Tagge sported a huge sticker on his guitar saying SWAG, and the night rolled on. If anyone was getting noticed that night it was them, myself and fellow photographer/musician Jason Caine. We never spoke at the show, but we continually “fought” for the best spots for pictures. He plays in the band Circle the Crown– whom did not play at this event but you will read about them soon in this magazine.
(There is no escape, guys.)
Stryder and Tagge during their set.
After the intensity ebbed and the set came to an end, we ended up in the bowling alley, sitting at a “bowling table”, I guess? They picked the WORST spot for an interview. Or perhaps I did, it’s possible- the lighting was HORRIBLE. I’m not sure how I didn’t notice as I was interviewing them- but we were all a bit drunk by this point I believe. I will say I had considerably less than All Is Faded– Stryder openly admitted to having several shots on stage and pre-show in the interview. Very interesting the different personalities in the band- everyone was decently outgoing and friendly, and excited with the rush of being drunk and having a good show.
Stryder and Tyler raise a shot, while Cody mimes.
I am fairly certain the Stryder was the drunkest of us all, though. He handled the interview so well!
After this, I was done interviewing and the show was over, and Stryder and I hung out for the last 15 minutes of the evening. I believe the members of Burdens Within were a slight bit ticked at my lolly-gagging about while trying to continue my “conversation” with Stryder.
The show was beautiful and the venue was amazing. I’m technically not a huge metal fan, but when it’s done right, it’s one of the best things in the world.
I would add that out of every band there, All Is Faded had the appearance factor in their favor. Bright colors, nice outfits, good hair. (Good hair is important.) If any band here were to become world-famous- well, it could have been them, considering they would go over great in Japan. Japanese would go crazy for those kids. I genuinely thought they were all pretty fun.
I also think Laurentian Tides had a great interview presence and even though I missed their main set, I enjoy the music I have heard since the show. They were very enthusiastic and that is another thing I don’t see enough of in musicians- the enthusiasm. Someone is walking around interviewing people, they capitalized on that concept pretty fast. At other events I’ve covered, I have had to either not interview at all because I’m lazy, or seek them out- they don’t bother to come forward.
I would recommend checking all of these guys out, they’re all really good. All Is Faded isn’t together, but they are all doing other things and you can check out other projects they have going on if you try to find the members. Good luck!
We ended up staying the night at a hotel in Detroit. It’s every bit as bad as it sounds, even though plenty of places in Detroit are nice. It was really small, and I slept on a weird cot- everyone shared a room.
Danny Rivers pauses during their set, lost in the music.
If you’re a musician reading this I really recommend playing a show at Diesel Concert Lounge. The acoustics are good, the sound person is good, the stage is pretty decent size. If you’re just a concert-goer, I’d say go here if you like hearing music well and also like drinking, and possibly arcade games or bowling. It’s a fun mix.
If you want to hear the exclusive interviews with those above named groups, look no further than our YouTube channel! Soon after this article, you can go to Drunk Octopus TV and listen to what these cats really felt about the show….if you like that sort of thing.