The fourth annual Deep Ellum Metal Festival kicked off on Friday for the first of two days of events. With 18 bands across four stages at three venues, the festival put on display not only our local talent (and some touring acts), but also the neighborhood that has long been Dallas’ epicenter for live music. As fans roamed up and down Crowdus Street, from Elm to Main, they popped into either Reno’s, Wit’s End, or the Curtain Club to catch their favorite bands or check out someone they’ve heard about, but haven’t had the chance to witness live. To say there was a buzz in the air would be an understatement. Indeed, everyone on hand was excited for the evenings festivities.

With the good luck of perfect weather, Wit’s End’s rooftop patio was packed all evening long. But, whether you were inside checking out bands on their main stage, over at Reno’s or the Curtain Club, you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a great band playing their guts out. And what’s great about these venues and Deep Ellum, you could stop in for food or drinks at any number of places if your ears needed a rest.

It was impossible to catch every band, but some of the highlights of the night included Protest at the Curtain Club, I Am Destruction on Wit’s End’s rooftop, and Protozoid at Reno’s. Protest were playing their first show with new singer Champ Morgan (BLK OPS, ex-Kill the Client) and properly owned the room. Protest’s set was high energy and full of the thrash/hardcore spirit that has garnered them a loyal fanbase. Later, Kentucky’s Stonecutters put on a solid set of their own as they effortlessly shifted from Sabbath to Slayer-like riffs. Doubtless, these out-of-towner’s won over the local crowd.

Protozoid crushed over at Reno’s at what they announced would be the first of two shows before they take an indefinite hiatus. The crowd gasped at this announcement, but were assured they weren’t done for good and were subsequently treated to a powerful set. Earlier at Reno’s, Iron Jaw put on a typically crushing set. With a classic power-metal sound, the band is one of our favorites here at the void report.

Check out our gallery with photos of Asphyxiation Infecta, Blasphemous Goat Vomit, Bull by the Horn, Cropdust, Hoodrat, I Am Destruction, Iron Jaw, Protest, Protozoid, Reviled, SHARPY, Skelteria, Stonecutters, and Victorem. Then continue on to our coverage of Day 2 of the Festival, including more great photos of the bands.

– J. Kevin Lynch (words); Brently Kirksey & DeLisa McMurray (photos)

– click to enlarge photos – 



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