The festival started off at 2:30pm and was equipped with two stages, one of which was outside. Local talents such as After the Tide, Ignoring the Echoes, Cadre, As Darkness Falls, and Bloodline Riot got the event kicked off with the proper push.
Once 6:30pm came around, the venue had stocked a decent crowd and were then presented with a treat named, Shockwave.
This group consists of 3 teenage boys, all ranging from 17-18 years old and were rocking just as hard as every adult that hit the stage that night. I was truly blown away. Another reason they impressed me was because their drummer was also the lead singer. Which, musically, is extremely strenuous, but he nailed every note and drum beat during that set.
These kids are a force to be reckoned with. Worth keeping an eye on them.
Alas, my Shockwave experience was cut short due to the fact that ELISIUM was beginning their set at 7pm on the outdoor stage. You could tell that was where everyone wanted to be at that moment as they crowd grooved along to the tracks, “A.G.V.” and “Bombshells”. All dressed in suits, the Virginia based band produced a prominent presence during Jam Fest.
At this point, I was in a place of euphoria, being surrounded by such so much talent and passion. And my love for local music was warmly cleansed with the next two bands. Ray Street Park is no unfamiliar name to the Detroit music scene, having played Mayhem Festival and opening for bands like Saliva.
Their thrash-rock sounded had me, and the audience, bobbing our heads and throwing up the horns. Next, was a Northwest gem named, Seldom Told. The reason I label them as a gem is because of the vocal strength of the lead singer, Mira Faris. That woman can belt her chords with the best of them; Izzy Hale to Stevie Nicks.
The highlight of the evening, the cherry on top of my sundae, the Sonny to my Cher were the feelings I received from the Auckland, New Zealand native band, Like A Storm.
Even though these guys never stop touring, I had yet to catch one of their performances. So it was a true joy to finally get to experience their unique musical energy. And did I mention they’re all brothers? Yep, a family band consisting of members Chris Brooks: Lead vocals, Matt Brooks: Guitar, Kent Brook: Bass.
The band got their set rolling with singles off their 2012 and 2013 album releases, and before you know it Chris pulls out a 5 foot Length, pipe-looking instrument. Which slightly stunned both myself and the audience. It is called a didgeridoo, and an extremely difficult wind instrument to play due its size, and technical breathing technique used to produce the sound.It’s called circular breathing, and requires emitting stored breath through the mouth using your tongue and cheeks.
Like A Storm already has a bang-up, unique sound, but this instrument is that extra spice that takes their flavor to a tastier level. Which is supplied in tracks such as, “Love the Way You Hate Me” and “Six Feet Under”.
With Like A Strom’s set already going swimmingly, the band decided to turn it up a notch with a cover of AC/DC’s, “T.N.T.”. And you better believe every crowd member was supplying the correct “HEY’s” to match the lyrics perfectly. All of a sudden Chris sternly marches his way into the audience to start getting down with his fans. Fists in the air, everyone singing. It was magical. Like A Storm is one of the most fan-friendly bands I have ever had the privilege of meeting.
The band closed out their set with their hit single, “Love the Way You Hate Me”. Perfect ending. Kent’s sharp bass. Matt’s never ending smile while he strikes his guitar. Chris’s didgeridoo skills. The culmination was the most epic moment of the evening. Be sure to check out Like A Storm the next time they’re in your area. And I promise they will be soon.
Closing out Jam Fest, was southern-rock favorite, Saving Abel. Which got their start with their 2008 self-titled album, and hit-single, “Addicted”. As the band congregated on stage they began to show sincere admiration to all the people that had come out to the show, and proceeded to play all their hits such as, “Addicted”, “The Sex Is Good” and “Drowning (Face Down)”, along with recent releases like, “Mystify”.
All around, it was a memorable evening with ripe variety. And, as always, just being able to witness the musicians that tour, write, and play just for the pure love of it will always be a gift that myself, and all the music fans out there will forever have.