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LOTS of fun at Mammoth Cave Fest 2

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If you were to sum up Mammoth Cave Fest 2 in a word, that word would be ‘Lots.’ As in there was lots of music, lots of local bands , lots of people to see them,  lots of ear bleeding keyboards, lots of dissonance, surprisingly lots of Rickenbacker  guitars, lots of screeching feedback and LOTS of volume more than likely resulting in lots of Oman Ra II were a highlight of Mammoth Cave II. Photo by Richard Ameryhearing loss for those attending.  
Judging by last year’s successful Mammoth Cave Fest, I knew that was going to happen, so I opened the whole shindig for all of four people at noon, with one of my songs called ‘Noise Complaint’ not that it is based on  Henotic, even though they have received several noise complaints over the past year and a half especially when they open the big firehall doors. I thought I played a good set, and I was touched that Leon Barr and Wendy Faith came just to see me.
There were at least 21 local acts on the bill this year, which was impressive. Even more impressive was how much many of the local acts who played last year’s Mammoth Cave Fest and lots who formed after it, have really stepped up their game and Paul Lwton playing in one of his many bands. Photo by Richard Ameryperformances. Love them or loathe them, the Myelin Sheathes have become a punk rock juggernaut judging by their supremely tight set while the MoThe Topless Mongos played an excellent set at Mammoth Cave Fest 2. 
Photo by Richard Ameryby Dicks  retain the spirit and weird humour of the Ramones and even played a garage rock version of the Who’s ‘Magic Bus.’ Fist City had an impressive set of garge punk complete with Evan Van Reekum’s guitar solos as well. Meanwhile Chief Mountain has branched out from their punk/ surf rock roots into a more stoner rock, psychedelic type of sound.
“This is the best show I have ever been a part of  in Lethbridge,” enthused organizer Paul Lawton, who was also playing in no less that five bands on the Lethbridge bill.
“Everyone  had fun, everyone got paid and everyone raged. I’m running on pure adrenaline. This is what I do,” said the harried looking Lawton.
While everyone had their favourites on the bill, my personal favourites were  a really tight, garage rock set by Montreal’s Oman Ra II. You have to love a band who can turn the Ramones’ classic Rock and Roll High School into a psychedelic garage rocker and the fact the guitarist tore off most of the strings off his guitar during a psychedelic feedback drenched final song, made them a tough act to follow. However, upstairs, Calgary’s Topless Mongos set of dirty, raw, sleazy Stooges style punk rock, came a close second.
 The Wicked Awesomes played their last show ever in Lethbridge. Photo by Richard AmeryI’m not a big fan of DJ and keyboard based music, but I was impressed by Chris D’Eon’s solo set of R and B tinged keyboard grooves and rapping, which he performed before joining  Oman Ra II on bass, percussion and  then on keyboards. I was also impressed with Sleepyhead’s  exuberant set which had the DJ jumping all over the place, pounding on keyboards, knocking them over and accidentally unplugging everything, rapping and smashing the odd drum in between.
 The Sharp Ends, a late addition to the Lethbridge show were impressive as well with their energy and barely restrained chaos on stage.
Lethbridge was also privileged to see Edmonton’s The Wicked Awesomes’ last show ever. There was semi-nudity involved plus  Strokes’ style mayhem happening on stage plus more screeching keyboards.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 May 2010 18:02 )  
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