Although it’s only in its second year, Metal’Cuse has already built itself enough of a reputation to make organizing the event the best kind of challenge for producer, promoter and founder Ken Morrison. He didn’t have to seek out bands because they all came to him immediately following the success of the inaugural edition last November.
“More artists than I could have submitted their contact info through the website,” Morrison recalls. “If I could have taken everybody, we would have had a festival for a week.”
Last year’s headline band was The Rods, David “Rock” Feinstein’s trio out of Cortland, and helped raise money for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. This year’s event will feature eight bands, both local and outof-state outfits, including Psychopath, Nine Round, Steel Kingdom featuring Jane Evil, A Sound of Thunder and Fleshburn. The 2011 show, which will benefit Stand Up and Shout as well as the Syracuse Rescue Mission, takes place on Saturday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m., at Fusion, 3705 Brewerton Road, North Syracuse. Tickets are $10 at the door and also available online at www.groovetickets. com or www.metalcuse.com.
Morrison deliberately picked a local organization to support as part of his goal to keep the benefits of the event nearby. He also enlisted local artist Tom Carpenter of King Weasel Custom Buttons and Screen Printing to create buttons that will feature the Metal’Cuse logo as well as the phrase “Cancer Sucks.” Proceeds from the button sales will go directly to the cancer fund.
“I’m trying to keep all the business local for people because with the economy right now, it doesn’t makes sense to get a great price out of town when you can support someone in your own community,” Morrison says.
Morrison also got help from Jeff Van Buren of S.O.B. Gear and nighttime deejay Joe D. of WAQX-FM 95.7 (95X), who both aided in promotions, and Damian Martin of Damian Martin TV Video, who sponsored the backline equipment for the show.
By pairing lesser-known local groups with larger regional acts, Morrison is helping to give them an opportunity they might not get elsewhere. “I try to get young, local bands who don’t normally play on a lot of shows because they’re usually very deserving artists too,” Morrison says. “It seems like a lot of the time you see the same bands over and over again. That’s why I look for people who don’t get a lot of opportunities. I’ve tried to get newer, less-established folks who would like to be seen by a more populated event, more than if they played on the road.”
A local highlight for Morrison is Granny 4 Barrel, featuring local killer-range vocalist Terry LeRoi. Morrison squeezed this bunch into the lineup late in the planning stages. “I wouldn’t even know how to describe them,” he says. “It’s something you’ve got to come out and see. They’re completely off the hook.”
Headliner Sleepy Hollow, out of New Jersey, is celebrating their first show back on the market in almost 20 years. Seeing lead singer Bob Mitchell, who has performed around the world with bands including Attacker, and bassist Mike LaPond, another globetrotting musician who has marked time with Symphony X, will be “a really interesting up-close-and-personal experience for their fans,” according to Morrison. A Sound of Thunder hails from the Washington, D.C., area, and Jersey’s VooDoo Terror Tribe, who played last year’s show, will also be returning.
Morrison is hopeful that the event is a win-win for its good causes as well as the musicians. “Our focus is really to build something small and make it bigger,” he says, “and to raise awareness for issues like cancer and to put a hand out there for people that need help that might be using the Rescue Mission for assistance. I’m also trying to help the area realize that there are bands out there that don’t get the recognition that some others do. There’s a lot of great talent in Syracuse.”
For more information, visit www.metalcuse.com or call 455-1270.
Long Lost friends: The line stretched out the door for nearly two hours as fans crammed into venerable DeWitt nightclub Lost Horizon for a five-band blowout on Oct. 26. California’s This Time Next Year had the unenviable task of starting the night, since so many people were still outside waiting to get in. Then the other components of the Pop Punks Not Dead tour took the stage, with a blistering set by Man Overboard (they’ll return to the Lost next month). The Wonder Years featured no less than three stage dives into the throbbing mosh pit for the alwaysintense lead singer Dan “Soupy” Campbell, who rushed offstage immediately after the last song to decompress (far right). Set Your Goals, also from This Time Next Year’s home base of Walnut Creek, Calif., followed with more piercing ear candy. And the sellout evening was topped by the return of New Found Glory after an 11-year absence from local stages. The tattooed hardcore vets played loud, cracked jokes about an empty box of Cheese-Its, and had enough old-school savvy during the encore to wheel out a confetti machine to add to the party-hearty vibe (right). For more photos of the show, visit www.syracusenewtimes.com