Mushroomhead Proves They’re a Band with a Vision
John Kujawski
10/27/2008 7:49:10 PM

More often than not, touring bands play for crowds who show up mainly for the sound of the thrill of a mosh pit. Still, there are people who buy tickets with the hopes of getting a true show for their money; complete with theatrics and light shows that make for a different experience than what can be heard on a recording. Mushroomhead is one of those bands.

This seven-member group was formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1993, and since then, has created an experience that’s a bit like attending a good play with loud music and unique visuals. Musically, the sound is a mix of metal and industrial with a strong emphasis on keyboards and dark melodies. There are two lead singers, Jeffery Nothing and Waylon Reavis, who make full use of the stage, both with vocal ability ranging from roaring screams to a smooth melodic sound--almost chilling at times. All of this is complemented by a great light show and the fact that the band members all wear masks on stage--from painted faces to large pig heads. It was no wonder that the people in attendance at Pop’s anxiously awaited for the set to begin.

Mushroomhead hit the stage just after 10pm and gave the audience an hour to remember. With very little chatter between songs and a light show in perfect sync with the music, it was hard not to love the performance. There was a true sense of passion in Nothing’s vocals and his overall performance, and he came across as someone who truly loved what he was doing.

The band’s songs were quite strong. Keyboardist Shmot and guitarist Gravy managed to dish out heavy riffs that also had solid melodies. Highlights included “Solitude Unraveling” which captured all of the bands great elements, as well as the melodic “Save Us.” A surprise cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” was also thrown into the set, which worked perfectly.

Nothing did manage to say a few words to the audience, but it was mainly to announce that they have a new DVD Mushroomhead Vol. 2 (Megaforce), set for release on October 20th. In addition, Nothing announced to the well-attended audience that he was “sick as hell” and shouted “here, you want some sick water?” just before throwing a bottle into the crowd, drenching some of the people who looked like they’d just stepped out of the office and gone straight to the show.

After the hour-long set was up, there were no encores offered, but it had, after all, been a long evening of music, with four opening acts. For those patrons who came early, one of the openers was Sleepmachine, a unique hardcore/metal band from Granite City, Illinois who put a strong emphasis on bass guitar, something often overlooked in the genre. While there were no visual effects for the Sleepmachine set, they brought a tremendous amount of energy to the stage and made getting to Pop’s early that night worthwhile.

By the time the evening was over, fans of Mushroomhead had been given an experience to remember. It was a show in the true sense of the word: so much more than mere sound--but one with an artistic vision.


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