Metal-punk mania, underage blues: Web-only version


Wednesday 13, Vains of Jenna, Only Flesh

Ugly Monkey

Sunday, Jan. 14

The scene at the Ugly Monkey before the show Sunday night seemed quintessential touring band. After a gig in Cincinnati that lasted until 3 a.m., Wednesday 13 and his bandmates drove through rain-soaked Midwestern streets to end up in Indy for an early evening sound check. Gathering their oatmeal cookies and bottled water, the bad boys left for BW3s (and the aftermath of fans who watched Saturday’s Colts game) to prepare for their headlining performance. Columbus, Ohio’s shock-rockers Only Flesh plugged in loads of gear covered with dismembered doll parts, while singer Rev. Lower looped extra-strength chains and metal rings to the rafters, testing their safety.

The stresses of out-of-town shows — bad directions, late nights, sleeping on fans’ floors, an overabundance of alcohol, pop and drive-thru food — didn’t phase the bands, who stayed afloat with energy drinks.

Only Flesh could set off an airport full of metal detectors with all their studded accessories, but Lower’s charming “I (heart) Kisses” button just showed off how down-to-earth five tattooed, Dave Chapelle comedy-loving guys can be. A little after 8 p.m., a crowd of 15 sent smiles, gasps of awe and cell phone camera clicks their way as synth master Shrapnel pierced Lower’s back with four flesh hooks, sending him dangling and swinging in the air while still singing “Broken Doll.”

Soon, the audience doubled in size with fans from as far away as Illinois, but a handful of underage Kentucky kids were shamefully turned away at the door.

A cover of “Bang Your Head” later, the screeching metal sleaze of Bam Margera-endorsed Swedish band Vains of Jenna soon followed. Harsh like skinny, rabid stray cats, the bandana and high-top-wearing quartet thrashed metal with a Guns N’ Roses undertone. Smokin’ guitar licks from Nicki Kin on “Baby’s Got a Secret” caved into “Don’t Give a Damn,” which makes an MTV appearance in a few weeks. The highlight of VOJ’s set was the explosive “Set It Off,” led by vocalist/guitarist Lizzy DeVine, which broke momentarily into an ’80s-style metal ballad.

At 10:30 p.m., Wednesday 13 and his band strutted to the stage like mini-celebrities. A rowdy John Deere salesman in the audience sung along and threw his fist in the air to every song. With multicolored dreads, Wednesday 13 brought the monster metal-punk rock sound back to Indy, performing new songs like “Home Sweet Homicide” and “Morgue Than Words” (dedicated to recently deceased “Munsters” actress Yvonne De Carlo) off “Fang Bang” and older Muderdolls tunes like “Die My Bride” and “197666,” drawing the adoring crowd closer to the stage.

In response to the small but attentive crowd, Wednesday 13 joked, “They offered us a sold-out show, and we said, ‘No, we’re doing a private party!’”


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