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Festival Review: Orion Music + More

on June 26, 2012, 4:45pm
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orion metallica Festival Review: Orion Music + More

Metal fans are the nicest fans in the world. With a dedicated fan base that loses their shit when someone on stage even utters the name Eddie Trunk, it was almost as if the crowd at the inaugural Orion Music + More Festival were looking forward to an East coast metal festival to blow Mayhem and Warped out of the water. Different generations of fans littered the audience, from the parents who brought their kids to the show to the teens who made a quick stop at Hot Topic to pick up their first Metallica shirt before the festival.

“I think you’re the only band wearing all white,” I said to Titus Andronicus drummer, Eric Harm. He looked over at his bandmates, “Oh shit, we are. Oh well!” Orion might have been the only festival with a de facto dress code that wasn’t hipster chic, and strived to soak up as much heat as possible. But, this was just one thing that made this festival feel like an escape from the ones we have already. With a lineup that you can’t find anywhere else, and an audience that might not be seen at your Bonnaroos or Coachellas, Orion effectively opened the door for future festivals of different ilk.

orionmz 48 Festival Review: Orion Music + More

It was immaculately organized, with stages only minutes apart from each other and yet little to no sound bleed. The sight lines were great, and the bathroom lines were short. Outside of music, there were exhibits like Kirk’s Crypt, with a collection of people in complete zombie garb and props from famous horror movies, while James Hetfield brought in muscle cars and vintage bikes to bolster the aesthetic of the festival. Perhaps Atlantic City doesn’t have the prettiest, or any, skyline but it did provide for breezy weather and nice late-night options for attendees.

Some people exhibited a mentality of “If it ain’t metal, it ain’t good,” scorning fans at the festival for anything other than Metallica. Thankfully, most people were the metal fans that I know well, picking up someone when they fall in the pit and asking if they’re okay. They were the kind of audience open to new musical opportunities, visibly becoming fans of the acts in front of them. At Orion, you could walk from a mosh pit to Best Coast, or from a female vocalist with a growl to, well, Best Coast. Over the weekend, I lost my voice trying to speak or sing over more decibels than I’ve ever been exposed to and capped off each night with a Metallica performance. While some may have been off gambling in Atlantic City, Orion was the only sure bet in town.

-Michael Zonenashvili
Staff Writer

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June 30, 2012 at 6:59 am

Rory,I paid $225. For my pit tix ,the $750. Ones were on a platform in left field.if I can see Metallica and all those other bands for $112.50 a night is do it all water was cheap or free as well as car shows;crypts;skateboarding,and other college stuff.Stop bitching and stay home next time.Metallica Rules.

Rory Biller
June 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

We went for day 1. There was a giant barricade separating fan club members willing to pay $700 a head from the rest of us at the main stage. It was a giant hemisphere keeping the 99% far enough away that we couldn’t see guitar strings. I was definitely more keen to see Arctic Monkeys, Fucked Up and Red Fang anyways, but Metallica can suck the big one. I was a big fan when I was younger and I wanted to see Ride The Lightning up close.

There was no mention that we wouldn’t be able to get within 200 feet of the main stage when I purchased tickets. Just another dirty money grubbing trick from the masters of money grubbing. Fuck you Metallica. When Lars came out to introduce the Arctic Monkeys I was wishing I had a sharp rock in my hand.

June 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Pay $700 get your info right! It’s called the snake pit! Thoses people are from Metallica club that won passes to get into snake pit, money could not buy u a ticket there!!!

June 30, 2012 at 9:09 am

Rory–you are out of your mind. I didnt purchase the $700 a head tickets and was about 150 yards from the stage.

July 1, 2012 at 4:39 am

Shut up. Just shut up. Reply

July 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm

you must be hot ;)

July 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Not true at all. EVERYONE had access to the first ring (excluding the snake pit) until 5pm each day. Then, only fan club members who paid $225 for the entire weekend were allowed to stay in there. Call me crazy, but I don’t see a problem with a band that takes care of their fans. Those in the snakepit were chosen at random, irrespective of their ticket.

June 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm

It was an amazing time!! I have been to hundreds of shows and this was without a doubt the most well organized – from the event staff to the volunteers. I only hope what Jaymz said is true…this was the first ANNUAL Orion Festival!! Is it 2013 yet???

June 27, 2012 at 10:21 am

Personally, I have no time for Metallica, but I would attend if the fest was closer to me. Fun and solid line up.

Josh G
June 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm

My friends and I couldn’t go to this but we caught Cage the Elephant and the Gaslight Anthem the night before, that show was insane.


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