Article and photos by Melodie Yvonne Ramey
LAFAYETTE, IN – Most communities around Indiana do their best to do up Halloween right, and Lafayette is definitely one of them. It’s no surprise the town that both Shannon Hoon and Axl Rose called home is teeming with talented artists that often come together for events of epic proportions, so when making holiday plans it was only natural to check their calendar first. Of course, many Halloween celebrations erupting all over town created monstrous musical madness in multiple locations over the weekend, so it would be a near impossibility to choose. Finally, though, two phenomenal venues jumped out above the rest. The Doom Room would be presenting their bag full of tricks and treats at the Lafayette Theater on Friday, and on Saturday the Legacy Pub would be filling with costume clad concert goers for a spooktacular show from SpaceWords.
The Lafayette Theater’s diabolical debauchery on Friday was a culmination of the dreams, or rather nightmares, of The Doom Room. The evening would be a mixture of metal music from multiple bands as well as a costume contest and guitar shredding competition. The sets would include over 5 hours of face melting melodies brought to the stage by Zephaniah, Mind’s Horizon (formerly Monolith), Bizarre Noir, Catalytic, Edge of Oblivion, and God Am. The Doom Room events are always special, and create a bit of nostalgia for me as I started out shooting on the Indianapolis metal scene decades ago. Somehow, though, in all this time I’ve never seen a metal show, or very many other concerts for that matter, as marvelous as this one, and I may never again. It’s pretty hard to top a theater full of metal heads in costumes ranging from evil clowns to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all raging in harmony. Every band that stepped on the stage, including the metal making Minions from Mind’s Horizon, melted the faces off of the multitudes of masquerading moshers. A ginormous white bear brandishing a blade towered tall above the rest in the pit, and his giant mascot head lulled back to front faster and faster with the rhythms raining down from the stage. He raised his sword high as if to signal a sign of war to those not joining in his head banging ways. The slam dancing continued feverishly from one song to the next, and soon the scene turned even more gratifyingly gruesome as dripping sweat smeared the painted faces of the participating patrons making everything resemble something out of “House of 1000 Corpses”.
The audience definitely suffered from an enchanted possession brought on by the mesmerizing theatrics and musical madness of Bizarre Noir. I got the feeling if somehow a snake charmer married death metal and had babies they would definitely grow up to be the gentleman in this band. They’re astounding presence is apparently not just limited to a special show for Halloween either. On any old day of the week if one is lucky enough to catch a show from Bizarre Noir they will feel like every day is a holiday as long as they’re with them.
Zephaniah took the stage last, and I’d have to say I was really, really impressed… and I swear not just because one of the guys looked like he could have been Dave Navarro’s hot younger brother. I really may only need three words to describe my glee with this wondrous band and those are… synchronized head banging… and if you don’t understand me right now then you don’t deserve them. They played their instruments with the speed of a bullet train coming at your face, and they did not let up until the eyeballs of the entire crowd were touching the backs of their skulls. Their original songs were phenomenal enough, but then maybe as a holiday surprise, or maybe just ‘cause they know how to please a girl, they threw in a stupefyingly wondrous rendition of Dokken’s “Dream Warrior”.
The Doom Room followed up Friday’s phenomenon with an equally hair-raising Halloween show on Saturday night. Saturday boasted a lineup including some of the greats like We’d Be, Lucifist, Antica Arcana, You Bred Raptors?, Tenstrip, Salem’s Childe, UGLYBoNES and, Fable Cry, however, sadly, I was unable to attend. As much as I love my melodies in the shade of metal I’m just as equally enamored with the spectacular stylings of SpaceWords, so when I learned they’d be at the Legacy Pub on Saturday night I had to go.
The Legacy Pub, formerly known as Hunter’s South, was packed Saturday night with a motley crew of masqueraders enjoying the game and eagerly awaiting the show and costume contest. The atmosphere was slightly mellower than the metal mayhem from the previous evening at the theater, so it was a nice counterbalance to my weekend. SpaceWords partook in the fun the same alike as the bands the evening before, and were ready to rock the crowd in their holiday best. Kelly Greene was the epitome of space dudes in a tight alien green suit and mullet wig, and was dubbed “The Green Man” for the night. William John Pinnick and Jeffrey Lageveen decided to make party time excellent as Wayne and Garth from a favorite classic, Wayne’s World. Kevin Hull was a beautiful and believable “Dumbledora the Explorer”, and Aaron Ade zoned into the current Cubs mania, seemingly channeling the spirit of Harry Caray himself.
The show was filled with excitement from the beginning to end. Kelly lost himself in the music and by the middle of their phenomenal original song, “Bore”, he was so into it that he just as quickly lost his mullet wig which made the expression of ecstasy on his face even more apparent. Kevin poured all of his passion into his guitar and the mic, so much so that one could almost forget the little girl/old man hybrid garb he had on. Even more amazing, though, might have been finding out that Harry Caray had such sweet skills on the guitar. It was definitely pure joy for everyone to watch Aaron perform as such a classic character at such a wonderful time. Jeffrey Lageveen repeatedly delighted the crowd yet again, but not just with his prodigious drumming skills. Any artist will tell you that occasionally accidents happen, even to the best of us, but it’s how you handle the moments that make all the difference. In Lageveen’s case a minor faux pas could have turned into a major tragedy when a stick leapt out of his hand to certain death in the middle of “Kevin’s Discussion”. The audience gasped with an anticipated fright, and then held their breaths collectively in amazement while Jeffrey’s super hero act ensued. Somehow, he managed to keep right on going, switching one stick back and forth from hand to hand all while frantically searching for another without even missing a beat. Then just as quickly as he lost the first, Lageveen had another stick in hand. With one swift motion he threw off its casing, and went right back to work on his kit just like it was another day at the office. True musicianship isn’t just about playing perfectly. It’s not about avoiding failure. It’s about how high you bounce back after you fall, and Jeffrey Lageveen could leap tall buildings in a single bound. Not another single drummer could’ve pulled off that phenomenal percussionary feat as well save for maybe the one and only one-armed wunderkind himself, Rick Allen from Def Leppard.
The space melodies produced by the boys carried more enchantments with them than the Pied Piper’s pipe, and by the end of the night all the ladies in the room rose to the rhythm and began dancing like whirling dervishes. Even I became slightly entranced for a moment, and put my camera down to join the girls to dance during Pinnick’s powerful vocals in their mind blowing rendition of “No One Knows” by Queens of the Stone Age. The entire show was awe-inspiring including the hosts at the Legacy Pub that were incredibly gracious and welcoming until the last second to every single patron. The venue might have been a little smaller than the theater from the previous evening, but they were definitely the right choice for the night, and Lafayette will forevermore be my right choice for my favorite holiday weekend.
Keep scrolling down for the full photo galleries from the weekend
Check out Through the Lens Magazine for Melodie’s Halloween 2015 at Digby’s with Miller in Lafayette at throughthelensmagazine.com/2015/11/the-miller-halloween-bash-at-digbys
View all of Melodie’s work at melodieyvonne.com/category/melodie-yvonne
The Doom Room Haunted Theater Extravaganza
Lafayette Theater, Lafayette, Indiana
October 28, 2016
Legacy Pub, Lafayette, Indiana
October 29, 2016
SEE even more of the Music on Melodie’s YouTube now!
View more of Melodie’s concert and event photography at melodieyvonne.com/photo-galleries/concert-and-events/
View all of Melodie’s work at melodieyvonne.com/category/melodie-yvonne
Photo and video footage shot for Photographic Melodie by Melodie Yvonne Ramey. Shot with Nikon D800E
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