A spectacular event that everyone will certainly enjoy is the Orion Music + More Festival. For the first time ever, this fest—featuring multiple stages and more than 30 bands—will commence at Bader Field in Atlantic City. Metallica organized the diverse show where musicians from every corner are slated to perform each day. As the headliners on Saturday, June 23, Metallica will play Ride The Lightning in its entirety and on Sunday, June 24, perform The Black Album. This will be the only time to hear these legends play two of their best albums. Tickets for this festival are $150 for both days, $90 for individual days and $750 for VIP passes. Orion is an event formed in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the black album.
Suck It And See, the fourth piece of work from England’s Arctic Monkeys, was released in 2011. The new record, in keeping with their usual cheerfulness, has a poppy sound that is light-hearted and slightly humorous. Songs like “R U Mine?” allow the band to show their stuff by creating catchy, enjoyable pieces. A performance at Coachella as well as a nationwide tour has been keeping the group busy this year. In between records, the band has done multiple EPs that have earned air time over the years. Surely, the Arctic Monkeys’ stellar songwriting had a hand in earning them a tour spot in support of The Black Keys. They will be playing the Fuel stage on Saturday.
Still riding the wave of success that 2010’s Nightmare brought on, Avenged Sevenfold are about to finish the tour cycle that the record spawned. They will perform at Orion on June 24 on the Fuel stage and it will be the last show the guys will participate in before taking a well-deserved break. After that they’ll be writing their promised next album. Avenged has relentlessly toured since their last record was released, an album dedicated to and inspired by the loss of their bandmate, “The Rev,” which took a much darker turn than previous records. Some tracks off of the album, such as “Nightmare” and “So Far Away,” are some of the biggest hits Avenged Sevenfold has had since their inception. Since Nightmare has been out, the band has introduced several unreleased tracks and has written a song, “Not Ready To Die,” for Call Of Duty: Black Ops.
On June 23, Modest Mouse, the band behind the infamous 2004 hit, “Float On,” will take the Orion stage in the slot just prior to Metallica. The day after their performance, they will play the Governors Ball Festival on Randall’s Island. Having not put out any new music in years on Epic Records, it is remarkable how well the band continues to be received on tour. The No One’s First And You’re Next EP dropped in 2009 and in recent years, the group reissued their Moon & Antarctica album on vinyl. Around their date at Orion, Modest Mouse has a small tour around the U.S. ending in June.
The Gaslight Anthem
The Gaslight Anthem, based out of New Brunswick, NJ, will have their newest album, 45, on shelves July 24. The follow-up is sure to be well-received, just as the work before it, American Slang, was. The title-track, “American Slang,” set the tone for the band’s coming years and allowed them to gain widespread notoriety. This group perfectly blends rock and blues with a dash of punk. With their raw appeal, The Gaslight Anthem is sure to please when the play live on Saturday, June 23. After this show, they will continue performing throughout the States.
Straight out of Nashville, TN, Eric Church is considered a revolutionary performer within the genre of country music. Chief is the musician’s third and most recent record and it’s on sale now. This album was recorded live in studio, even utilizing original vocal tracking. “Homeboy” is the first single and it illustrates the trials of a brother gone astray. “Springsteen” is a more intricate song structurally. Additionally, Church has been nominated for Male Video Of The Year at the CMT Awards this year. Amidst a summer tour in the U.S., Church will play the Orion stage on Sunday.
Cage The Elephant
Cage The Elephant’s career in music was launched by their 2009 hit, “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked.” Thank You, Happy Birthday, is the band’s most up-to-date work, which debuted in 2011. Continuing on playing straight-forward rock, the last record was a defining one for the Kentucky-native group. They will play Governors Ball on Randall’s Island as well. On Saturday, the band will perform live on the Fuel stage.
The Canadian post-hardcore outfit, Fucked Up, has released a lot of their music in two-song sets on vinyl. David Comes To Life is the band’s most recent work. Going against the grain with their style and sound, the group has an intense breed of followers. They will play Orion on June 23 on the Fuel stage.
The Aquarian Picks…
The California-native poppy surf-rock band, Best Coast, released their second full-length, The Only Place, to the masses earlier this year. “The Only Place” was at the forefront of the tour that the band has been and will continue on in the U.S., as well as “Last Year” and “How They Want Me To Be.” Crazy For You, the group’s debut record, put them on the indie map in 2010 as a force to be reckoned with. With a performance at SXSW under their belt, Best Coast are set to play the Orion Festival on Sunday at the Orion stage. Sticking to an easygoing style akin to The Beach Boys, the band is sure to put on a fun and effortless set at this festival.
Original member of the 13th Floor Elevators and innovator of psychedelic rock as its own genre, Roky Erickson will play the Frantic stage on June 23. With the 13th Floor Elevators, he took part in the creation of the hit song, “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” The cult favorite put out his most recent album, True Love Cast Out All Evil, in 2010. The rocker’s biographical documentary, You’re Gonna Miss Me, was screened at SXSW in 2005 and he performed at Coachella in 2007. True Love Cast Out All Evil is the musician’s first new material released in 14 years. Witness the legend that is Roky Erickson perform live at Orion on Saturday.
Southern groove rock band, Baroness, makes use of heavy and ethereal elements within their sound for a very original feel. Their latest album, Yellow & Green, will drop on July 17 on Relapse Records. Baroness’ live set at Orion on Saturday, June 23, will be the last in the States before they head overseas for a European tour. The current two-disc release is filled with groove-oriented tracks like “Take My Bones Away.” The group combines multiple influences for a one-of-a-kind feel that will only add to the live experience of Baroness.
The Sword are a Texas-based doom metal outfit. Warp Riders was the group’s 2010 full-length on Razor & Tie Records. The Sword will be traveling and playing a few live shows up until their scheduled set at this festival. On Saturday, June 23, they will play the Fuel stage. Their fourth album is set to be released later this year. Recently, they put out a single that was previously recorded called “Hammer Of Heaven,” as well as a different version of the song “Ebetheron.” The Sword will most certainly deliver their signature heaviness onstage for this festival.
Playing the Frantic stage at Orion will be the last show stateside that Wooden Shjips will perform before embarking on a European tour. West, released in 2011, is the most recent album from the experimental psychedelic rock group. This was the band’s first time making a record in studio. Wooden Shjips indulge in trippy rhythms throughout the album and will spread good vibes on June 23.
The Venice, CA thrash band, Suicidal Tendencies, will play the Damage Inc. stage on Saturday. The group has had a colorful history and are known for their popular tune, “Institutionalized.” Free Your Soul And Save My Mind is their most recent material, which was released in 2000. Current member of Metallica, Rob Trujillo, was the bassist for Suicidal Tendencies for a few years in the ‘90s.
The Brazilian metal outfit formed in 1984, Sepultura has been in the game for decades now. In 2011, they signed with Nuclear Blast Records and recorded their latest album, Kairos. At the moment, the group is on a European tour and will be in the States in time for a set at Orion. Favorite tracks from the current release are “Beneath The Remains” and “Chaos A.D.” The band will perform on Sunday, June 24, on the Damage Inc. stage.
Torche are a Florida-based stoner pop foursome. They blend both heavy and super catchy elements to refine their sound. This band just released their latest record, Harmonicraft, on Robotic Empire Records. The Miami natives are touring the U.S. with the Orion festival as one of the many stops along the way. They’re set to head overseas later this year but before then, the group will do a live set on the Damage Inc. stage on June 24.
Murder The Mountains is the 2011 follow-up to Red Fang’s debut self-titled record. The Aquarian cover veterans began their most recent tour cycle on June 1 and they will travel nationwide before heading to Europe. Since their formation in 2005, Red Fang has covered serious ground within the industry, performing at large festivals all over the world. The Damage Inc. stage is where the stoner rock band will be live on Saturday.
The remaining acts that are lined up to take the stage at the Orion Music + More outdoor festival are groups from all corners of the music world. On the Frantic stage, The Jim Breuer Heavy Metal Comedy Tour will perform on both days with a set that is a fusion of stand-up and metal music. Don Jamieson, Jim Florentine, and Hot Snakes will each have a set on Saturday on this stage as well. Black Tusk, Letlive., and Kyng can be seen on the Damage Inc. stage that day while Lucero will play on the Orion stage. On Sunday, June 24, Liturgy, The Black Angels, Soul Rebels, Shuli Egar, Charred Walls Of The Damned, and Titus Andronicus will be on the Frantic stage. On the Damage Inc. stage on Sunday, Thy Will Be Done, Landmine Marathon, and The Black Dahlia Murder will perform. Gary Clark Jr. and the Danish metal outfit Volbeat will perform on the Fuel stage along with A Place To Bury Strangers on June 24. Ghost will also play the Orion stage on Sunday.
A show of the hundred best submissions, including custom cars, hot rods, muscle cars, and motorcycles, will be on display at Orion’s Custom Car + Motorcycle Show. A “Best In Show” award will be given to the winner in each category. Attendees of the show will also be able to vote for the “Fan Favorite” vehicle. James Hetfield’s own 1936 Auburn Roadster Slow Burn Kustom will be on display for the audiences of Orion. Vendors showcasing an assortment of rock memorabilia from vinyl to gear will be opening up shop at Orion Music + More with Ktulu’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Emporium. Kirk Hammett will display his personal accumulation of early American horror film keepsakes for the masses in Kirk’s Crypt. This horror fanatic’s archives include movie props, comics, toys, posters, and other rare finds. Kirk will even stop by the Crypt for an allotted time each day to talk monsters. At the Seek And Destroy Atlantic City Air Assault, world renowned surfers will take the shores of Atlantic City. Surf movies and goods will be accessible at the Billabong Oasis Lounge. Vans will be providing their Motorbreath Mini Ramp and their own team of riders who will be showing off for the fans on both dates of the festival where Robert Trujillo will be a part of the excitement. A Vans tent will be put in place for signings by the skaters. A Metallica version of Vans’ very own “Half-Cab” shoe will be on sale in the fall in honor of the company’s 20th anniversary of producing it.