Sound Check drove the dreaded 32 miles down to LaPine Friday night for
the R3 Festival and learned three very important things; Vengeance
Creek are Central Oregon's metal royalty, clever beat-boxing can steal
the show and you can three-person sandwich grind to metal.
sun set on a triple-digit August night, band after band played to a
half-interested crowd switching between the two trailer truck stages.
The crowd grew as the sun descended and the local rap group Povciti
took the stage giving the crowd its promised dose of local rap and
properly woke them up. Sound Check learned from this set that you can
apparently find Povciti's Epic and H@ze in the Old Mill District and
that they're established local celebrities. Well, if they weren't local
celebrities before then they are now. The duo laid their underground
hip-hop routine on thick and brought the crowd to its feet with their
finale - a freestyle rap accompanied by master beat boxer Dain
Strothoff. The kid can beat-box like nobody's business to every kind of
beat imaginable and stole the show from right under the duo. Whoever
this kid is, Sound Check contemplated that he could give Person People
(keyword "could") a run for their money if accompanied by the right
freestyle artist. Maybe it was the possible heat stoke, but our thirty
bucks entrance fee was justified right then and there.
Soon after, it was time to switch stages and give metal their go with local heroes Vengeance Creek. At first glance, the band members mirror other rock gods. The bass player is a dead ringer for Metallica's Kirk Hammett, guitarist Don Adams resembles Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell and for a moment in the heat of metal riff shredding you could swear it was him and the singer has a serious case of Eddie Vedder hair. Appearances aside Vengeance Creek handed every other band their asses royally in just the first shred of metal riffs.
Yagermeister and all, and Don Adams approached the mic and announced he would be playing a Dimebag Darrell-style national anthem. With the first note of the "Star Spangled Banner" power cut out. The crowd in its drunken haze was bewildered by the screeching sound. Then the power struck back on and the band rocked that trailer truck bed with glory.
Vengeance Creek's one up on all other local metalites becuase of their musicianship, especially Adams. They don't need to scream lyrics to get their presence felt. It's throwback metal done with justice. Paul Roberts truly captures Bruce Dickinson and the band wouldn't do badly as an Iron Maiden tribute band either.
After Creek properly put up points for the metal side it was time to venture back to Sound Check's neck of the woods and cool off. It's a bonafided fact that its always ten degrees hotter in LaPine. Or so we heard...