I’m in Oakland, California, this weekend for the second edition of California Deathfest, which began yesterday afternoon (Friday, October 14, 2016) and continues through Sunday. The photo above captures one of the sights that greeted me this morning a few steps from our waterfront hotel. I’m here with my NCS comrades DGR and BadWolf and some other good Seattle friends, enjoying some mild and occasionally drizzly weather while Seattle is getting beat to hell by a weekend windstorm. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
Usually when I go to metal festivals I take lots of photos (and more recently videos) and try to write up reports on the performances for the site. This time, before leaving for Oakland, I decided not to do that. I decided I would just devote myself to watching the sets and talking with people and not worry about “work” for NCS. So far I’ve mostly kept to that resolution — but not entirely.
I did take photos of four bands yesterday afternoon and last night — but only four. And I did make videos — four of them — capturing songs from the amazing set by Germany’s Mantar (they turned in one of the best shows of Maryland Deathfest when I saw them the first time two years ago, and they’ve done it again here). I probably would have taken more videos of other bands, but I didn’t have as good a vantage point as I did for Mantar (i.e., a place right up against the stage where I could get an unobstructed iPhone camera view without being jostled and without having to hold my phone up high and annoy the living shit out of people behind me).
Consistent with my resolution, I’m also not going to carve out time to write about the performances I’ve seen so far — even though I’ve seen some really good ones. I would add that I only caught a little more than half the sets from yesterday due to a nice, long, relaxing dinner with our group (and I’m embarrassed to say that I also missed Brujeria‘s set, which ended Day One of the festival, because I started the day at 4 a.m. and just completely ran out of gas).
With all those caveats, the photos below (which I didn’t take time to improve with processing) are from the sets I enjoyed the most from those I saw: Splatterhouse (who opened the festival), Mantar, Black Breath, and Agoraphobic Nosebleed.
I’ll probably do another post like this one tomorrow. Not sure if I’ll have time to put together our usual Sunday Rearview Mirror and Shades of Black features.