Orion Music + More – Day 1, Belle Isle

Rolling into it’s second year with success from last year’s inaugural run in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Orion Music + More is back with Metallica – and more – in Detroit, Michigan.

Rumored as a possible permanent home, Detroit is expecting a massive crowd for this two-day early June festival.

Day one kicked off with a bang with The Bronx on the main-stage. Revving up the steadily growing crowd was no issue and their power got the festival going on the right foot with fuel from their highly praised debut albums as well as their recently released IV.

In addition, local Detroit rock powerhouse, BATTLECROSS, had an early set over at a smaller stage. Introduced by Metallica vocalist James Hetfield and bassist Robert Trujillo, BATTLECROSS enjoyed a rowdy crowd and the confidence of being backed by the festival’s headliners.

Boston punk rockers Dropkick Murphys were welcomed to Motor City with open arms. They looked more happy to be here than the fans were to have them. Starting their set with new single “The Boys Are Back” from their new album, Dropkick Murphys had the crowd chanting along with them non-stop.

An unfamiliar name graced the schedule of Orion Music + More this weekend. “Dehaan” had been previously unheard of, but some had figured out the inside joke brewed up by Metallica. Rumors of nearly anything had been circulating, but one thing remained certain – Metallica would be making surprise appearances everywhere. No one said they’d be bringing music…

A pleasant surprise awaited those who knew, but when Metallica themselves made their way up the ramp to the smallest stage on the Belle Isle grounds, there was a literal eruption and migration of the entire festival to the small corner of the park.

Performing their entire first album Kill “Em All, Metallica threw down nearly an hour of material – pretty awesome for a surprise performance. Cliff Burton’s father was also present side stage for the duration of the set grinning ear to ear.

Foals’ performance was a little refreshing and a tasteful change of genre similar to Silversun Pickups, but experienced more tame and laid back crowds. With them in the mix, you can’t really put your finger on the targeted genre of Orion Music + More – including the dubstep/EDM dedicated stage.

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Rise Against rekindled the out of control fun back on the main stage. The Chicago natives are always a joy to see, especially Zack Blair taking gutsy jumps a few feet off stage.

Robert Trujillo and his band, Infectious Grooves took on the Fuel stage as the last band to perform before Red Hot Chili Peppers’ headlining performance. Their grand entrance with small kids dressed with over-sized Halloween masks dancing around upped the fun of the already funky music. Think funk, punk, and hip-hop blended up – a mix that’s quite catchy.

Hetfield was also spotted during Red Hot Chili Peppers’ set checking out the extensive display of classic cars on the east side of the park. Fans took noticed, but were very respectful.

James Hetfield

Looking for photos from The Red Hot Chili Peppers? Over here…

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