Set List Bonus: Scion Rock Fest
Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Jamie Wayt
Driving from Hollywood to Pomona is like turning back time. Located approximately 27 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Pomona's humble '70s-era downtown square served as the base for the daylong Scion Rock Fest on May 17. Four venues along the square became home to 26 bands for nine hours. The festival was free to attend with an RSVP, which left festivalgoers with money in their pockets to spend on band merchandise, beverages and food from the likes of the Grill 'Em All Truck.
Festivities began at approximately 3 p.m., and after I finished a few interviews, I caught the end of King Buzzo, the solo side project of the Melvins' Buzz Osborne. King Buzzo has been the unsung hero of the Seattle sound, performing with only an acoustic guitar, maddened vocals and his famous coif.
Next, I watched San Francisco's Orchid. With their heavy Black Sabbath influence, Orchid are the kings of vibe, and their nostalgic sound layered over great songwriting quickly eased me into the zone. Their set featured career-spanning tracks such as "Silent One" from 2013's The Mouths Of Madness, the title track from their 2011 album Capricorn, and "Eastern Woman" from their 2009 EP Through The Devil's Doorway.
Portland collective Lord Dying have quickly burst onto the scene with their heavy riffs. Playing a space on top of the Fox Theater, it seemed as if the weight of their set would send us all crashing through the floor. Bathed in green light, the band battered their onlookers with their powerful set.
Back in the Fox Theater after dinner, Red Fang's groove served as a pick-me-up for anyone resting in a food coma. The Portland band's set included tracks from their latest (and greatest) album Whales And Leeches, such as "Blood Like Cream," and older favorites, including "Prehistoric Dog" from their 2009 self-titled release.
After a short break, Oakland, Calif., band High On Fire took the stage. The sound of guitarist Matt Pike's tone felt like being wrapped in an old familiar blanket. The beginning notes of "Madness Of An Architect" delivered me into the fuzz and became one of the most memorable moments of the night.
I caught myself yawning while trekking over to a small venue next to the Glass House to see French band Aqua Nebula Oscillator. Their psychedelic hard rock sound was an outlier for the festival, but their quirky stage presence and antics were not lost on me. The members donned a mixture of paisley, cowboy boots, a long bejeweled robe, and velvet. Highlights of the set were the inclusion of an electric sitar and the performance of "Kill Yourself," which left me in a daze.
I stopped by the black-cloaked Midnight's set next door at the Glass House for a couple of songs, including "You Can't Stop Steel," while en route to see the evening's headliners, GRAMMY nominees Machine Head. The stage at the Fox Theater was transformed into a chess board, with black, white and red set pieces adorning different configurations of their logo decorated the stage. I stood near the soundboard to get the full picture of the double guitar work of Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel. From this perspective, I could see the fans jumping and singing along in various states of admiration. The highlight was Flynn introducing "Darkness Within" with a heartfelt speech about how listening to music has helped him. The band also chose the evening to premier a new song, "Killers & Kings," adding to an already stellar heavy metal day.
Machine Head Set List:
"Ten Ton Hammer"
"The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears"
"Killers & Kings"
"Aesthetics Of Hate"
(Jamie Wayt lives in Los Angeles and is the rock community blogger for GRAMMY.com. She has attended and written about more than 700 shows since 2007. You can follow her musical adventures at www.hardrockchick.com.)