A few words and a lot of photos from Louder Than Life 2016

[All photos by Nik Vechery]

Saturday

In its third year, Louder Than Life returned with nu-metal radio staples (Korn, Slipknot), hard-rock favorites that lean a little more to the underground side of things (The Cult, Ghost, Slayer) and a group of Rock & Roll Hall of Famers who continue to transcend their studio work on the stage with Cheap Trick. On Saturday, The Cult’s late afternoon set of big, no-frills, semi-psychedelic rock lived up to their legendary status — they, like Cheap Trick, weren’t the heaviest or most-aggressive band there, but, in terms of attitude and energy and stage presence, they were unmatched. Speaking of Cheap Trick: I now understand why they were booked at a predominately metal festival — they are a lot more evil-sounding live, playing with the sort of heavy-handed power-chord swagger that veered into much more grittier territory than the majority of their studio work. They played a medley of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting For My Man” and “Heroin,” with guitar work that sounded something straight out of Motörhead’s playbook. Anthrax’s Scott Ian joined them for “Auf Wiedersehen.” It was my favorite performance of the night. Afterwards, Slayer was predictably excellent, and while Avenged Sevenfold is not my thing, they seemed to make a lot of people happy, which is the whole point of this sort of event.—Scott Recker

Motionless In White
Motionless In White
Motionless In White
Motionless In White
Motionless In White
Motionless In White
Sick Puppies
Sick Puppies
Sick Puppies
Sick Puppies
Sick Puppies
Sick Puppies
A young metal fan
A young metal fan
Hell Yeah
Hell Yeah
Hell Yeah
Hell Yeah
Hell Yeah
Hell Yeah
Anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax
7-ape-surfer
Someone dressed like an ape who just finished crowd surfing
Pierce The Veil
Pierce The Veil
Pierce The Veil
Pierce The Veil
Pierce The Veil
Pierce The Veil
The Cult
The Cult
The Cult
The Cult
Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick
Slayer
Slayer
Slayer
Slayer
Slayer
Slayer
Slayer
Slayer
Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold

 

Sunday

Louder Than Life 2016’s unsung hero was the Zorn Stage. Despite the fact that it was on the complete opposite side of the festival from the two main stages, condensing the secondary stages down into one stage was the right move for the festival. It housed my favorite acts from this year, from having crunchy fun with Cheap Trick to going to Valhalla with Sabadon to just throwing caution to the wind with Zakk Sabbath and Clutch. Don’t get me wrong: The main stages are great as well, but if you attend Louder Than Life next year, you should take a few more walks down to the Zorn Stage and see what’s going on.—Nik Vechery

Trivium
Trivium
Trivium
Trivium
Trivium
Trivium
Sabadon
Sabaton
Sabadon
Sabaton
Sabadon
Sabaton
Pop Evil
Pop Evil
Pop Evil
Pop Evil
Pop Evil
Pop Evil
Sevendust
Sevendust
Sevendust
Sevendust
Sevendust
Sevendust
Zakk Sabbath
Zakk Sabbath
Zakk Sabbath
Zakk Sabbath
Zakk Sabbath
Zakk Sabbath
Zakk Sabbath
Zakk Sabbath
Clutch
Clutch
Clutch
Clutch
Clutch
Clutch
Ghost
Ghost
Ghost
Ghost
Ghost
Ghost
Korn
Korn
Korn
Korn
Korn
Korn
Disturbed
Disturbed
Disturbed
Disturbed
Disturbed
Disturbed
Slipknot
Slipknot
Slipknot
Slipknot
Slipknot
Slipknot