Night three of the 10th annual Slop Fest was held at Little Kings Shuffle Club in downtown Athens on Saturday night. The hardcore rock show featured 10 acts and kicked off at 8 p.m., continuing late into the night.
Be forewarned, Slop Fest is not for the faint of heart or those with sensitive ears. Even though it’s held in a smaller indoor venue, the rock’n’rollers don’t hold any punches when it comes to screaming and moshing.
One of the first acts of the night was the band Kneeler, a relatively new addition to the Athens music scene. All the band members were dressed in camo, as their set was seemingly military-themed, and the drummer wore a machine gun magazine as a sash.
Immediately when the band began playing, the volume in the bar skyrocketed as the lead singer began bouncing around in front of the stage, dragging the mic stand along with him.
The short set was packed full of uninhibited energy. The front-man ran from side-to-side and crawled on all fours in between screaming the lyrics to the songs, even losing his hat at one point. As the set went on more and more people crowded the indoor venue, but most were packed near the bar, giving the singer a wide berth for his athletic performance.
After Kneeler, Weaponized Flesh began setting up, including props such as a mini Christmas tree and red string lights over the speakers.
“It can be Christmas whenever,” said the Weaponized Flesh frontman shorty after taking the stage. The drummer just behind him wore a Santa hat throughout the show.
However, the holiday theme didn’t continue into the band’s music, as the second song played was about “having bugs living inside you,” and another one, with a very self-explanatory title, was called “Eaten Alive and Killed by Cockroaches.”
Weaponized Flesh ended its set with an unrecognizable rendition of a Christmas song, after declaring “we believe in the spirit of Christmas.”
Apparition took the stage next, which marked the beginning of a wild performance. The lead singer, Oliver Vitale, is also a guitarist for Kneeler, and a few of his Kneeler bandmates were right by the stage as the set began.
Vitale gave an enthusiastic performance as he moved about in front of the crowd, screaming along to the loud instruments.
Quickly, a few audience members in the front, including the drummer from Kneeler, began moshing, a violent form of dancing where concert-goers intentionally crash into other participants. This went on throughout the concert, with Vitale sometimes participating.
Near the end of the set, one man fell and his shirt plus a section of his pants was entirely ripped off his body, with shreds scattered across the floor of the bar.
Throughout the night, the crowds grew, venturing outside between sets and coming back in as they heard the music begin. Many could be seen putting in ear plugs to dull the deafening sound of the intense instruments and singing.
During each set, audience members head-banged, played air-guitar and jumped along to the music. Even some people who walked outside of the venue stopped at the loud music and could be seen dancing through the windows.
Whether you’re a long-time rock fan or are just curious to see what moshing looks like in person, you can catch the final night of this year’s Slop Fest tonight in Hi-Lo Bar and Lounge at 8 p.m.