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RANDOM HERO FESTIVAL II Featuring MUSHROOMHEAD & CKY In Cleveland, OH With Photos!

By Geoff Ketler, Cleveland Contributor
Sunday, June 26, 2016 @ 8:56 AM


Celebrating The Life Of Ryan Dunn In The “City Of Champions” – Cleveland, OH

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All Photos By Geoff Ketler/Aces High Photography

The city by the lake was still pulsating with the energy from the Game 7 Cavalier victory the night before as the Cleveland Agora opened its doors for “Random Hero Festival II” to pay tribute to the late actor/comedian/stuntman Ryan Dunn. Best known for his work with the Jackass movies and television series, Ryan passed away in a car accident five years ago to the day and although most of the Jackass folks are rooted in West Chester, PA; Dunn was an Ohio boy, making the location very fitting.

After the barrage of local and regional talent, Bam Margera’s FUCKFACE UNSTOPPABLE took the stage to shrieks from the crowd, but first was a short video dedicated to Ryan Dunn. It hit on some of the highlights (and lowlights) of being on the road with various configurations of Bam Margera’s bands, side projects, etc. At one point the video showed Bam screaming at his mom, April Margera, in an apparent meltdown over losing his best friend. It reminded me so much of Shawn Crahan’s work with various SLIPKNOT tour documentaries; where the pitch of the sound is toyed with and the film speed goes up and down, giving it a surreal, haunting kind of vibe. If any of the tabloid drama were true (I am sure some of it is), Bam ended up in a suicidal, alcohol-induced, depression which ultimately landed him a spot on the VH1 program Family Therapy With Dr. Jenn followed by rehab. The Bam Margera that I saw on stage that night and met with in the parking lot earlier that evening was a more subdued, cool, calm and collected Bam; albeit without losing any of his swagger.

FUCKFACE UNSTOPPABLE, which includes Bam’s brother and CKY drummer Jesse Margera behind the kit, tore into a brief set which included a lot of synth and backing tracks. Although I was not all too familiar with the group’s material, the audience ate it up. Bam’s longtime friend Brandon Novak of Jackass fame made an appearance to do backing vocals during the set which also included a guest violinist. This show was billed as the band’s only performance of 2016 and I am not going to lie; it took a little bit to knock the rust off, but what the group lacked in cohesiveness however, was overwhelming made up for with their raw energy.

The packed house started chanting “C-K-Y” as the lights finally went down at 10pm. The freshly anointed 3-piece with the recent exit of original member Deron Miller took the stage with Chad I Ginsburg handling the lead vocals as well as guitar. The band, whose name is an acronym for “Camp Kill Yourself”, rose to fame in conjunction with contributing music to the Jackass TV series. It was a total nostalgic overload. Visions of my BMX bike, home-made ramps and late nights playing the Dave Mirra PlayStation game danced in my head as CKY bludgeoned their way through the 45-minute set. “96 Quite Bitter Beings” was a hit as the fans shouted the lyrics back at the trio. Bam Margera and his crew sat side-stage for the entire set. Chad announced that this was the band’s first performance in the states in over five years. The time off didn’t really show; they were tight and Chad’s vocals were very similar to Deron’s.

After about a 30-minute set change, the hometown legends MUSHROOMHEAD made their way to the stage. Bossman, Steve “Skinny” Felton, is never at a loss for creativity, as the leader of the theatrical band had created Jackass-themed props to go along with the special occasion (see photos). After the opening song of the set, vocalist JMann spoke about being close friends with the late Ryan Dunn; paying tribute. Unfortunately many of the CKY fans bailed on MUSHROOMHEAD before their set even began. The floor of the theater, once densely packed, was now showing bare spots, but that didn’t stop the pit from taking off for the duration. Only the ballad “One More Day” provided any relief from the onslaught of the circle pit.

UNSAID FATE vocalist Jackie LaPonza made her usual appearances during “We Are The Truth”, “One More Day” and “Among The Crows”. She was decked out in Cleveland Cavaliers gear most of the time, which naturally got a rise out of the crowd. The set was heavily weighted with newer material off of the band’s recent effort The Righteous And The Butterfly but also included a few oldies, such as one of my favorites, “Before I Die”. With the exception of the last album and "Damage Done", the Waylon Reavis era of the band was completely ignored. The former MUSHROOMHEAD vocalist left the band late last year.

Once again, like so many times before, MUSHROOMHEAD conquered the Cleveland Agora Theater. I left covered in silly string and soaked with sweat and water from the water drums. I had confetti stuck in my hair and my knees ached from getting pinned to the barricade. It was quite the experience and I can’t wait to do it again.

Setlist:

  • “Qwerty”
  • “Our Apologies”
  • “Sun Doesn’t Rise”
  • “We Are The Truth”
  • “Before I Die”
  • “Out Of My Mind”
  • “No Where To Go”
  • “Solitaire Unraveling”
  • “One More Day”
  • “Damage Done”
  • “When Doves Cry” (PRINCE Cover)
  • “Among The Crows”
  • “Empty Spaces” ( PINK FLOYD Cover)
  • “Born Of Desire”
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Geoff Ketler/Aces High Photography


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