When you want big stage shows, thunderous water drums, and masks that will scare the bejesus out of your grandmother, go no further than Mushroomhead.

Back on December 18, 2016, a well-known masked band closed out another packed audience at the biggest, small venue left in Toledo, Ohio, known as Realm. With their reputation as the masked band that started it all, the hometown Cleveland mainstays Mushroomhead were in town to fine tune a few details before their upcoming new album, which they are recording at their Filthy Hands studio. The release date is pending at this time, with most fans hoping sooner than later in this brand new 2017 calendar year.

J Mann (vocals), Jeffrey Nothing (vocals), Skinny (drums), Stitch (samples/water drums), Church (guitar), Dr. F (bass), and Roberto Diablo (drums) made the drive over on I-80 and just happened to bring with them a few friends to help play the main stage along with the local opening bands. The band played favorites to a welcoming mosh pit, while having strobes firing for lighting effect, and water showering the faithful. The packed floor of Realm stayed mesmerized for the hour-plus mind-blowing performance.

Starting off on the second stage due to some line-up changes just happened to be Amherst, Ohio’s own Decemator. On a side note, there are a lot of great bands from Northeast Ohio that played this show. Back to the matter at hand, Anthony Jones (guitar), Mitchell Cyrus and Jerry Ramirez (vocals), Samuel Crlenjak (drums), and Barry Starkey (bass) kicked the tires and lit the fires for the show in spectacular fashion. For a metalcore/heavy metal band only being around for just under two years, they are a band worth checking out. Stay tuned on them for more touring and a new EP due out sometime this year.

Next up on the second stage was Adrian, Michigan-based underground rap unit, 10/31. Kaos (vocals), ZigZag (vocals), Durrty Dru (vocals), Coal Sadiztic (vocals), and Kain Kinetic (live DJ) showed from the first song why they think “every day is Halloween.” In an Insane Clown Posse meets Mushroomhead kind of way, their metal influences and hip-hop beats congealed to have formed a sound all their own. And just in case you didn’t think there was an ICP connection, “My mind was blown! I’ve never seen anything like that!” was heard to be said by Violent J, himself. We hope to see more of this band and hear some new material in 2017.

And bringing the second stage to a close was the native Toledo sons of discord, Forbidden Outcome. Mark (vocals), Steve (guitar), Jayson (drums), and John (bassist) knock some rust off while playing in front of friends and fans both. The guys are thinking about new music, playing more shows like the next known one in February, and planning their signature festival, Quarry Fest, fourth edition coming in late Summer of 2017.

Meanwhile, on the main stage, things got hot and heavy from the beginning opener on starting with Before My Eyes. This 2014 Wapakoneta, Ohio start up contains members Chris Storm (vocals), Anson Adkins (guitar), Tim Montague (bass), Seth Stephenson (drums), and Clint Fryer (guitar). If the fellas can ever hang the rest of the sound proof tiles in their studio space, we might hear some new material before the end of the new year. For a taste of what they have to offer, peek out their ReverbNation page and let them know what you thought.

Taking over the still warm microphone for the next act on the Realm main stage was none other than Toledo’s ambassadors of self-pleasure, You Are A Toy. This five-piece mishmash of styles is made up of Donovan Black (vocals), Nick “Panty Dropper” Hanefeld (guitar), Michael Holdren (guitar), John F Toxic (bass), and Chris Bellavia (drums). Bringing the refined, sophisticated sound of angels copulating has always been the forte of the guys as taking themselves serious has never really been apart of the mix. But seriously, if you want a good show both with effort and intensity, this is one band that if nothing else has jokes prepared just in case someone’s power supply goes dark for a few minutes. And, with the guys getting new PR photos taken, there might be some big things planned for 2017. There aren’t any scheduled shows for the band, but you never know when that might change.

The Convalescence, ended their brutal deathcore march of live music in 2016 at this show. And while their lineup will keep fans guessing from one tour to another, the official listing at this time is Keith Wampler (vocals), Brandon Davis (guitar), Zac Lunsford (guitar), Ronald Buckley (bass), Charles Webber (drums), and Katie McCrimmon (keys). There was a late day scratch on drums and fans of the band will think the face paint of the fill in for this show will look very familiar. 2016 was a big year for the band as were proud to announce joining up with Artery Global for booking in the United States. Stay tuned on the band’s social sites for a big tour announcement coming very soon. They also shot footage for a new video at this show, so it’s another good example of the hometown boy showing his Glass City roots with some hate, we would have said love, but you know.

Now, with the local support over with for this night, Akashic Record’s artist, Sedated, made his presence know with the creepiness of the plagued one to start off his set. This Kansas City, Missouri-based “one man” show brought the feel of the 10/31 guys but in a more streamlined package on the big stage. From the glorious mutton chops to the representing of various local bands merch, and having kids and Jackie from UnSaid Fate, to share in a song, come on stage at different times, it wasn’t your average rapper and a Mac book kind of set. For a good taste of what Sedated is about and witness his assist by Jackie, head over to his Facebook page and find the link to the video from there. Or, check out Horrorcore Magazine‘s interview he got the cover for to get even more on the man behind the personality.

Next up was another great indie rock band from Cleveland in the form of UnSaid Fate. Jackie LaPonza (vocals), Don DeBiase (guitar), Nino Spadaro (bass), and Mike LaPonza (drums) being the normal four-piece line-up had to this reporter’s eye a nicely capable fill in behind the skins for the night. Big sound with flashing lights and a feel to thrill kind of attitude always makes seeing this band live a treat. Jackie and the guys don’t seem to stay at home for too long as they just announced the 2017 European tour schedule. If fans are good, the band might even sneak a few “live” chances from across the Pond on their Facebook page. For a versatile band that loves everything from small dogs with bows to WWE figurines and kick ass music in between, we hope to see more of them with new music in 2017.

If you were at the show, or if you had a comment after reading this write up, head over to our Facebook or Twitter feeds and let us know what you’re thinking. Hell, show us your photos or the tree like drum stick you scored there, we love show memorabilia.

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UnSaid Fate
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The Convalescence
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You Are A Toy
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Before My Eyes
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Forbidden Outcome
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Website | Facebook | Twitter

Event Date: 18-Dec-2016

About The Author

After getting the photo bug in the far, past days of black and white film, Erich continued to develop his eye for photography which lead to stops in the sporting, art, wedding, and eventually concert music worlds. Now, doing more writing for National Rock Review, he has entered into the journey of getting to know the artists and the industry, not just the faces on the other side of the lens.

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