Ever look at a festival lineup and think, I could do a better job at picking bands than these people. How do I get that job? Well for the Orion Music + More Festival, the answer is: be a successful metal band for 30 years and then do it yourself.
For its second year in a row, Metallica brought the fire, the heat, and the sounds to a festival setting — shifting the action away from Atlantic City, NY to the rustic confines of Detroit, MI, specifically Belle Isle. Once again, they presided over an eclectic mix of metal, rock, punk, and even EDM (it’s everywhere and you’ll never escape it).
Produced by C3 Presents…, the two-day festival shares many similarities to Lollapalloza, but it’s far smaller and more manageable. In fact, the festival grounds are maybe half the size of Lollapalooza, which makes it easier for everyone to get from stage to stage, but still big enough where only a little bit of noise bled from other stages.
Even if they’re all pushing 50, Metallica knows what sort of music their fans dig. And like a smart, savvy friend, they’re insisting they branch out to younger talent like Datsik or The Orwells. It’s like this weird symbiotic relationship, where James Hetfield & Co. endorse something and then the fans oblige. It’s exposure for everyone, both artists and fans.
Here are 12 things we brought back with us from the Motor City.
Chicago’s own The Orwells had the dubious pleasure of being one of the opening bands for the entire weekend (other being The Bronx); playing the 2pm slot on the Damage stage. After Metallica’s Rob Trujillo introduced them as one of the youngest bands at the festival, the fresh faced five-some strolled on the stage confident and shy. Once their brand of poppy rock started, however, they were completely comfortable in front of the small opening day crowd. Lead singer Mario Cuomo jerked and zombied across the stage in a kind of half-seizure like stupor, while the band bounced and bopped behind him. The crowd quickly grew to see these kids blast out a fast paced set, and the kids did the best thing opening bands can do: gain a lot of new fans. Great way to start the weekend.
How loud? Louder than love.