A photographic account of heavy music in Portland, Maine
Who’s playing Mathew’s this weekend? …
While wild packs of choads descend on Fore Street for this year’s three-day Old Port Festival, the cool kids will once again alight on Mathew’s rooftop deck for the 3rd annual Roof Party.
And everyone will be there.
This year, it’s a two-day affair beginning Saturday afternoon and trampling everything in sight until midnight Sunday. Nearly 40 bands will perform. (See full line-ups at the bottom of this post.)
Saturday is a mix of DIY underground acts; while Sunday’s lineup is a veritable who’s-who of bad motherfuckers.
From 1 p.m. to at least 5:30 Sunday, the shit is so heavy, it’s liable to create a singularity. Holyfilth, Swamp Water, Sylvia, Eastern Spell, Seax and Hessian. (Let’s hope the roof deck is up to code.)
Each year, the party is organized by Jimmy Cooper and Chris Corrado. Corrado said this year’s show is mammoth compared to the first two.
“This looks to be the biggest event Mathew’s has ever seen. There has been a buzz around town about this show for the past two weeks and I am extremely excited to be part of it,” Corrado said. “I can’t wait to see a lot of familiar faces and bang my head all day.”
Cooper booked acts for Saturday, while Corrado handled Sunday’s lineup. The formats are the same of both days — 30-minute sets, 15-minute turnovers, simultaneous music on two stages — but the lineups are dissimilar, Corrado said.
“Both shows are extremely different,” Corrado said. “Jimmy threw together a full day of local acts that vary in sound. Each band is entirely different from the next.”
Cooper said it’s hard to describe the vibe for Saturday.
“Underground portland music? Weirdo outsider rock?” he said. “I’d describe it as an eclectic mix of an eclectic mix.”
Sunday’s description is slightly more straightforward.
“It’s a full-blown metal and hardcore fest,” Corrado said. “Metal mania, baby.”
Nearly all the bands are local, except Rhode Island’s Balam, New Hampshire’s KYOTY, and Bangor’s Holy Filth and Flooding Panama.
“The two out-of-state bands are the bands I’m most excited about and can’t wait for people to check out,” Corrado said.
KYOTY is a three-piece sludgy, atmospheric, post-metal band that’s “heavy and soothing at the same time.” Balam is “psychedelic doom metal at it’s finest.”
“When you see them, expect to get high off their riffs alone,” he said.
Set times are “strict.” Address is 133 Free Street. Cover is $3. Beer is $2 …
… which brings us to our next topic:
How to Drink Beer for 12 Hours without Dying
The Roof Party presents a potentially lethal combination of metal, cheap beer and oodles of time under a blood-red sun. We asked three Roof Party veterans for tips on survival.
Sylvia guitarist Sean Libby attributes his survival to 15 years of “month-long micro-bursts of powerful, alcoholympic training sessions.”
“It looks a lot like that scene in Rocky IV when he’s running up a mountain with a log on his shoulders. Pretty much exactly like that,” he said. “Also, drinking a shot of water everytime you take a shot of whiskey and wearing really high-cut jean shorts keeps the body from overheating.”
Hessian and Eastern Spell guitarist Angus McFarland said the key to survival is a balanced diet.
“Eat hot dogs. They’re like a small meal you can eat every hour and they’ll keep the booze kinda soaked up,” he said. “Also, if possible, get drunk the night before. You’ll be hung over, and it’ll be hard to get started, but it primes you for that long, half-in-the-bag sweet spot you’re looking for.”
McFarland also encourages liberal use of coconut oil, because “long-term drinking can be really drying, especially in the sun.”
Zak Haab, Stone Tools guitarist and haver-of-the-most-metal-name-in-Portland, contemplated this question from the Tree of Woe.
“I have survived my metal lifestyle by striving ever forward in my quest to answer the riddle of steel,” Haab said. “My god is a cold and unforgiving god, and if I haven’t shotgunned enough tall boys, he will cast me from Valhalla laughing atop his mountain.
“I pray to Crom to grant me inebriation, and so far he has been just.”
*Times are surely gonna change.