Heavy Holidays 2015 in Review


by Erik Oldman
Photography courtesy of Don Stankowski/Design Eye Photography

The third annual Heavy Holidays foodraiser (food drive and fundraiser) was held at Quencher’s Saloon in Bucktown. The foodraiser brought out the metalheads that volunteer with Rock in Chicago , staff reviewer Melissa DeGott, Rock in Chicago cohost Jacek Leja and local metal reviewer Geoff Teach along with our good friends, Morgan and Luco from The Metal Experience online radio show. The bill was a rather heavy and diverse one this year, ranging from the brutal grindcore of Everything Must Die to the ethereal post-ish ambient yet brutal stylings of Warforged.


Clockwise from left: Doc Metal, Erik Oldman, Geoff Teach, and Melissa DeGott

Everything Must Die


Everything Must Die returned for a second year as the opener for the event.  The audience was treated to their high energy and blistering set of grindcore peppered with some entertaining newer material. The band is experimenting out into other genres and offered the hilarious rock-steady reggae “Smoke Weed, Eat People” along with the 80′s hair-rock send up of intimate encounters of a cremated kind with “Look at that Ash” that had audience in stitches.




Southside tech-death mutant ninja shredders Impale were up next with an air tight set of tunes from their latest release “Persistence Despite Discouragement”. As always Impale bring an intense stage show, lots of energy, and bringing the crowd back from the bar and gluing them to the front of the stage.




TanZen was third up for the evening and brought a different sound, at times heading into djent and metalcore territory, other times getting into more spacey and progressive textures. Lead vocalist Ted Siofos’ balance of passionate clean vocals and evil growls driving the bands dynamics.




Warforged headlined the evening with a boatload of new material and a new guitarist. Warforged is many things, atmospheric, symphonic, brutal, technical, very progressive, and a band to watch in 2016


What Good Did All This Do?

Our fundraising goal for this year was $500 in donations, which provides approximately 1,191 meals for those who need help feeding themselves and their families.

Our net total Impact from funds raised at the door was $150, which can provide about 700 meals….not a ton of money, but every bit helps.

Our non perishable collection goal was 500lbs.
We collected and delivered ~80lbs for the Greater Chicago Food Depository to distribute to area food pantries and shelters. Roughly 300 meals can be prepared with what was collected.

Shout Outs

Thank you to Sam and Joram from Phantom Note Productions for saving the day and offering us a night at the 11th hour. Thank you to the gracious staff at Quenchers for the tasty eats, wonderful beer selection and hospitality. Thank you to DOC Metal, Morgan and Luco from the Metal Experience for helping get the word out. Special shout out to Ryan Adomaitis from No Conviction. Our thoughts are with your family and we wish you our sincerest condolences. Thanks to The Everything Must Die crew for filling in. Huge thanks to Geoff Teach from Teach’s Criterion of Metal again for your vision and helping put the show together with another fantastic bill. Thanks to all the bands for the fantastic night of music and most importantly, thanks to you for listening, for supporting the bands and for helping those less fortunate with your donations.

Check out more photos from Heavy Holidays