StormFest 2014 Post Wrap-Up

Dare I say, best Stormfest ever?

I do, I do, I do!

This year’s’ Stormfest was incredible! From the first party metal power chords of Porkbelly to the last “Jump the f*ck up!” from Hemlock, this was a great day for Nebraska Metal. Each and every band kicked ass, and the crowd returned the energy right back to the stage for almost 10 hours!! Bands donated merch to be given away during set changes, and the last prize given away was a custom Stormfest painted guitar, customized by Paul Corbin.

I walked into the Hideout just a few minutes after 4pm to hear Porkbelly about half way through their set. My jaw dropped when I walked into the “stage room” and saw the amount of partying that was already going on at 4 F*CKING O’ CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON!! A lot of the bands were there supporting their scene all day long, accompanied by a throng of fans rabid for beer and metal.

I could go on and on and on about each band, but I will not! Go check the bands out for yourself!

But, here is a quick rundown of the music that came off of the Stormfest stage this past Saturday:

Porkbelly opened up the fest with a set of their grooving party metal songs, with singer Zack Gilbert decked out in his yellow “Hulkamania” shirt and do­rag.

Orville was up next with their high­octane display of rawk. This was their second show back on stage after a “1+ year Christian backpacking , fact­ finding hiatus” (quoted from the band’s facebook, I’m not entirely sure that is true).

After Orville, North Platte’s Dollarhyde brought a modern metal melee to the Hideout stage.

Then, at about 6:15, Kearney’s heavy hitters Slantpiece banged heads through their whole set, complete with the proper amount of the obligatory “Hey! Hey! Hey!”s.

Next up was Cynge, from Lincoln, filling the air with their own brand of pounding brutality.

TenDead followed Cynge, and their crushing set included the day’s first appearance of the festival’s namesake, Storm Corbin, on guitar during “Stones Throw.”

TenDead bassist and Stormfest organizer Tripp Stevens stayed on stage after TenDead’s set to play a tight, quick set of thrashy, NWOBHM ­inspired tunes with Primal Waters. This was his second time on stage with PW.

And even after that Uncle Tripp didn’t leave the stage, playing his third set in a row with Norfolk’s masters of neck ­snapping heaviness, The Blood of War, in a one guitar, four­ piece configuration.

Following the low­end reign of Tripp was Black on High with their nimbly ­riffed driving metal. Black on High was also joined by Mr. Storm Corbin on guitar for “Circle.”

When Black on High left the stage, the unstoppable force of the almighty DeadEchoes was unleashed unto Omaha. My f*cking god, DE is pretty high up in my top 10 favorite bands to see live, not just local bands, but bands period. F*ck.

By this point I was just mind­blown. But there were still two kick­ass out­-of­-state bands left to play!!! Next up was Wichita’s KingShifter. I have had the pleasure of seeing these guys a few times now, and they are simply fantastic. Big meaty riffs and the skillful wail of lead vocalist Sprout blasted out of the house PA.

Between the sets of KingShifter and Hemlock, Kris Corbin took the stage for a drawing to win the grand prize of a custom­ painted Stormfest guitar. The numbers were drawn, and after a few dud tickets were pulled from the bucket, Mr. Timothy Mulbery was declared the winner! Congratulations Tim!

And finally, the grand finale of Stormfest 2014, Hemlock. I had not seen Hemlock before this Stormfest, and their live show does not disappoint. The Las Vegas quartet brings a type of energy not often seen at metal shows; vocalist Chad Smith had the crowd eating out of his hand from the first chorus on. Everyone in the room was jumping up and down, fists pumping. Even the band!

I thought that this year’s Stormfest was going to be the best one to date, and if I do say so myself, I couldn’t have been more correct. I knew that it would be a great time, but I didn’t expect it to be this good. The Hideout is a perfect venue for this festival, and Tripp of Clenched Fist Productions did a fantastic job as always. But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out these quotes lifted from some of the bands social media pages:

“Omaha, Omaha, Omaha.. That’s how we f*cking do it!!! Big shout-out to Uncle Tripp & to all the bands! It was an absolute pleasure playing!!! Thank you for everyone who came out & to everyone who stuck around to listen to all the bands!! We look forward to seeing all of you again!! Thank you!” ­ Joshua – Orville

“Stormfest….oh Stormfest. 2 days later and we’re still feeling it. Thanks to all of you for your support not only for our set but for the whole 10 hours of kick ass metal. Proud to be a part of it. Cheers to every band that we got the privilege of jamming with!” ­- Slantpiece

“We had a blast last night in Omaha!! STORMFEST Was insane!!!!! Haven’t had that much fun in a long time! Thanx to Uncle Tripp and all the bands that played!” ­- Dollarhyde

“Stormfest was awesome! Thanks to all that made it such a great day!” – ­TenDead

I can’t wait until next year’s Stormfest comes around!!
But there are plenty of great local metal shows between now and then so…

Get out and pay some cover charges!