finally…ICHTHUS: Day 3

I approached this festival praying for no rain, since I had encountered a day of rain at the Alive Festival last summer. Well, be careful what you wish for. Day 3 of Ichthus was a scorcher.

The scorcher began with the first time I had seen Manic Drive in about 4 years. Their guitarist still does his “robot playing the violin routine” (if that description just confused you, YouTube “manic drive”).  The absence of an onstage bass player detracted from the show. In fact, most of the time the lead wasn’t even playing anything. Overall their sound was fine but the performance was a bit underwhelming. It was fun to hear “Nebulous”, from their early days again though.

Manic Drive

Originally we were going to catch The Showdown at the Deep End stage but due to a birth in the Sleeping Giant family some timeslots shifted around and we ended up sitting through Photoside Cafe’s set in the Galleria tent. Their sound was interesting enough, but honestly I wasn’t really paying that much attention (maybe I should have, I noticed they played the Main Stage at Cornerstone Festival a couple of weeks ago). Following this we wandered back to the Mainstage to catch Remedy Drive.  Their onstage antics, while entertaining, didn’t really match the mood of all their music. Remedy Drive mixes standard CCM pop rock with MuteMath like onstage frolicking.  I had to give them credit for giving that performance their all in the 95 degree heat though.

Following Remedy Drive Ross and I picked up some Chick Fil A and I collapsed inside the Galleria tent. I would have LOVED to been at the DeepEnd watching MyChildren MyBride and Corpus Christi but my borderline-heat-exhausted body was saying “No WAY!”.  So we hid out there and I watched the grooves of the Ascenxion Band rather stone-faced as I tried to get some of my energy back. Finally around 6 I felt a bit better and we walked back to the Mainstage to catch Fireflight. Fireflight’s performance didn’t bring anything new to the table experience wise for me (other than tracks from their most recent album, For Those Who Wait).

Red took the stage around 8 PM, performing a set nearly identical to the set I saw in Dayton (see the “Red at the Attic” post), but sans “Pieces”, keeping the set pretty high energy. Seeing them outdoors in an amphitheater setting was a nice change as well. The highlights of the night were still yet to come, though.

Skillet

Skillet played an extended set, opening up with “Hero” and “Whispers in the Dark”.  Those who caught the band on their Awake Tonight tour with Tobymac would have recognized many of the onstage pyrotechnic tricks, such as the false ending to “Hero”, followed by the song kicking back into gear with the launch of fireworks. Hearing songs live for the first time is always fun, and in this set I experienced the cheesy “It’s Not Me It’s You” and “Sometimes” from Awake live. My only disappointment with their set was the lack of material from the “Collide” record. “Savior” was indeed a crowd pleaser but “My Obsession”, “Forsaken”, and “Collide would have been nice.

The day concluded at the Deep End with what would prove to be one of my favorite sets of the entire festival. The now legendary The Devil Wears Prada played to another huge crowd, with moshers and dancers galore. They went on late, and had some issues with the vocals but on the whole it was fantastic. They opened with the classic “Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?” and closed with their current single “Assistant to the Regional Manager.” The breakdown amidst Mike Hranica’s growls of “Rumors and rumors and rumors…” always gives me chills, and hearing this live was a treat. I also got to hear the oldies “Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over” and “Goats on a Boat”.  The encore was “Wapakalypse” from their latest record, and close to 1 AM the 3rd day of Ichthus came to a close…

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