January 22, 2011--
People's Court, Des Moines, IA
To all of those who made it, 350-plus in attendance, it was a great night. The Second Annual Snow Ball presented by the 660 Group, Absolut Vodka, and People's Court. Some lineup changes occured due to circumstances out of anyone's control, but the lineup that did show up ably handled the evening. Calous was up first with their blistering brand of screaming metal, not my cup of tea, but the crowd loved them. After that was The Manics, they had a great group cohesion and the crowd-play might have needed some honing. Dead Horse Trauma came out and tore it up through a set of all of their hits. I think they sound better on CD though. They play well live, and they really rock it out...not epileptic-friendly however...lots of strobes!
An aside, the mixing last night was flat at best through DHT, and then it started getting better through the night.
Mindrite came out and tore through a hardcore set with very few back-catalog tracks. A heavy focus on the new album played to the new fans they wanted to bring in. A couple of new live performances of "Back to Earth" and "The Queen and the Joker." The crowd favorites were on point, and everyone was on the same page. "Happy Ending," "Steamroller," and "Number One" were impressive. Spencer came out in a snow suit and progressively tore off layers through the set, ending up in a pair of boxers that are not easy to describe, but can be viewed in the video for "Happy Ending." The guitar work was a little shaky in a few spots on the new tracks. The crowd was loving every minute, but the lighting was insanely lax. All in all, a really well-handled set.
The contest to crown the Snow Ball Princess was very funny, a lot of insane quiz questions, and an alcohol challenge with Absolut Vodka and then one with Jameson whiskey. A group of five very voluptuous ladies (one was visibly wearing nipple rings) vying for $800 in prizes, but ended up split between the two finalists.
Also throughout the night, a few acoustic bands performed at BackStage on the other side of the building. Hath No Fury is a group that had an amazing acoustic interpretation of Britney Spears' "Toxic."
Destrophy came out and ripped up the room with an epic set of a lot of the new songs with quite a few of the old ones as well, a lot of the older ones being from The Way of Your World album. A great set, and a lot of energy from Joe Fox, Ari, and the guys.
After the show was the after party with Mindrite doing acoustic pop music cover songs. A handful of new covers were out tonight; Dead and Gone (T.I. & Justin Timberlake), Ridin Solo (Jason DeRulo), I've Got a Feelin (Black Eyed Peas), and the crowd-pleasing drunk-fest of Friends In Low Places (Garth Brooks, as if you didn't know), during which, yours truly, got to half-assed-line-dance and half-assed-drunken-sway with some REALLY wasted dude...not to say it wasn't fun...because the whole after party was a blast.
A lot of great music and fun was had by all, and I scored a crapload of free Jagermeister swag. I hope to see you there next year! If you want to keep up to date on events, information and other great stuff about the Des Moines rock/metal scene, click the subscribe link and also share with your friends!
Mindrite - Crazy (Gnarls Barkley) short video from after party