Blackoutfest summoned the masses to The Union on Friday as Skeletonwitch played to a near-capacity crowd on the festival’s second day. Bands took to the stage at 6 p.m., as Wizard Beasts, Spooktober, Saturn Missle Batteries, Dropdead Sons, Guinea Worms, Bass Drum of Death, This Moment in Black History, Thomas Function and Buffalo Killers put on a rock ‘n’ roll clinic prior to the headlining set at 12:45.
Regrettably tardy to the performance of “South-beast” Ohio hardcore band Wizzard Beats, I arrived for the lo-fi, high energy set of Spooktober and the anthemic psych-rock of Dropdead Sons. The venue was as crowded as the bill, and Cleveland punk outfit This Moment in Black History did not fail to enthrall its audience in one of the most furious performances of the night.
Not to be outdone, Skeletonwitch signaled its return to Athens with the familiar flurry of blastbeats, airborne beer and dueling guitar that earned the band its rabid following. I staggered out of The Union thoroughly impressed with the endeavors of the independent music community in putting on and hosting the event for 15 years.
Seeing the energy in that diverse line-up made it a memorable night in Athens. Stay tuned for Saturday’s headliners Dead Meadow and the rest of another mammoth lineup.
-- Marshall Pearson, News Editor