Words: Josh Lease

Photos: Foy


First off I really want to thank each and every person that made this years Spring Meltdown METAL Festival possible, It wouldn’t have been possible with out your help. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. It was alot of work to be able to pull this off. 


At the beginning of the week leading up to this years event i had made a Facebook post saying that we were going to see some magic this weekend. Boy was I right and them some. 
So the eve of the Meltdown we attempted to load in sound to the American Legion Hall in South Lake Tahoe. The sound truck was supposed to show up at 5:30pm for load in. We received a phone call that sound as running behind and to hold up at The Legion. A few hours went by and the Born Dead Crew headed over to Whiskey Dicks for some drinks. After a quick power drinking session the sound truck showed at 12:30 am at Whiskey Dicks and the celebrating continued as we decided it was too late for a load in and also the fact that we had 8 guys on the verge of a blackout in pink “V” neck shirts and our underoos it was best we went home and loaded sound in the morning.

LETS PARTY!!!! The man that made it all happen. Josh Lease from born dead production @borndead530


8:30 AM and about 2.5 hours of sleep later I awoke to an ice cold beer being placed in my hands with a voice saying “Here! You’re going to need this”. That was not the case I needed an IV and gallon of pedialyte , four tylenol , and to go back to bed (none of that happened by the way). By 9:30 we were at the venue loading in sound and let me tell you that was not a pleasurable experience in the condition I was in. I took a shirtless nap facedown on the asphalt and woke to everything loaded in and the sound guy was ringing in the room , I had a headache and finally was able to hold down some fluids and get to work and completely reconfigure the set times due to bands falling off the bill last minute. After going threw our last final plans of how to attack this thing bands and friends began to arrive. The parking lot was filling up quick and was starting to show signs of some pre gaming.

Of course DanGar was there in full force.


The doors opened and Symbolik (Stockton, CA) fired the night off with monster sound pushing the brutality they brought to the stage. Vengeance (Camarillo, CA) with some ripping thrash came up next and got the early crowd pumped up to go fast. Up next Erabyss (Bishop,CA) showed up and took the crowd by surprise with some rippin riffs and some super sexy tones. Now the next band was a one man band by the name of Through These Gates (Mammoth Lakes, CA). I was in the crowd and over heard a girl ask “is this guy a one man band?” I smiled hearing that and as soon as i cracked a smile on my face i heard “Yes Im a one man band, and i dont give a fuck!” come over the PA. Mike you are a savage man much respect to you sir!!!! Extirpate (Sacramento, CA) showed up to the party with a new member/vocalist and since I saw them last and brought an intensity that had yet to hit the stage this band had hints of some Black Dahlia Murder with some tasty thrash. Up next The Delirium Process (South Lake Tahoe, CA) the only local band on the entire festival. This was their last show ever and it was rad to catch these fellas play one last set. Good luck in future fellas. At about this time in the show I noticed i had a text from Garin from Arsonists get all the girls (Santa Cruz, CA) that their van had broken down about 40 miles away in the middle of nowhere so Donovan from Walk Away Alpha (Reno,NV) was sent to the rescue while Aethere (Salinas, CA) took the stage. These boys brought it tough. Rocking nine string guitars and two vocalists who happen to be Cody Fuentes of Anchors and Peter Pawlak ex Rings of Saturn vocalist. You will be hearing about this band more and more as time goes on that is for sure. After Aethere came the always entertaining Life Uh’Da Party . Prosthetic penis swinging and a cute chin piece Life Uh’Da Party turned Spring Meltdown 2013 into a party. There was a wild bunch of banshees taking turns riding eachother down the stairs and circus tricks in the pit. 

No caption needed.


Donovan returned from rescuing AGATG just in time for Walk Away Alpha’s set and he hopped in stage with his brothers and rocked South Lake Tahoe and the Legion with tasty licks that had everyone banging their heads and screaming for more. Drag Me Under straight up brought the sexy to the party. Taking up the stage and the floor and and showed everyone just how sexy they really are and kinda broke up the generas a bit and led way to Conducting From The Grave (Sacramento, CA) taking stage. From the first cord being picked the circle pit was fully engaged and the circle headbanging was in sync. The crowd was going full steam ahead for CFTG. Smiles shined through out their entire set as bodies flew from one side of the room to the other. With two bands left AGATG took the stage and completely lost their minds and kept the energy levels high till the early AM when Enslave The Creation came on to close the night out. There was not a single mishap the entire night until the very end. ETC had some amp issues and gave it all they were cut short. Everyone was fired up for day two of the Meltdown and it was time for us to unload the sound out of the building and prepare for the next day. Having making it into bed finally at 5:45am I finally got to take my first break since about 1pm and I’m pretty sure I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

Arsonist Get All The Girls.


8:17AM and I’m wide awake and ready for round two. Aching getting out of bed from loading in and out every band up and down a flight of stairs I had my ass handed to me but knew i had to get up and get my day started. First thing I had to do was re write this set list as well cause I misplaced this one later to find it under my bed a couple days later. I ran the errands for the morning and showed up at Whiskey Dicks around 11:30am and started getting the show under way. Once again cars and people started showing up one after another and the begging of a parking lot party was underway. Hang the Kode’s drummer had a family emergency and couldn’t make it so Logan from Otis said he would make an attempt give it a shot with ony about 45 mins before Hang the Codes set. Seven Churches (Yearington, NV) started day two of the Meltdown off by turning up the fuck yeah, going fast with some kick ass thrash, and lighting a fire under some asses. Hang the Kode (Merced, CA) after a quick little crash course in their music took the stage with Logan filling in and absolutely crushed it. I couldn’t even tell what happened by watching. Those fellas absolutely killed it ! Guttershark (Hayward,CA) I had never seen before and god damn is that band bad ass. Fast aggressive, high energy and the raddest dudes to boot. The next band up was nowhere to be found so Kinetik got bumped up a slot and took to the stage and stepped up and played some of the sexiest metal I’ve heard in a long time so it was an added bonus. Seeing as how Arsonists Get All The Girls were stuck in town and we had a band that was a no show they treated us with a second set and lost their shit once again and on the final song everyone rushed the stage and sung “the game of life” with them.

Not really living up to there name here but its Tahoe what do you expected..


Short Fuse (Redwood City, CA) just back from their European tour took the stage and floor and shocked Tahoe and Whiskey Dicks once again with their brutal sound.


Blasphemous Creation (Reno,NV) took the stage with war armor and pissed off as can be. BC owned that stage Saturday night straight up.


Purification By Fire (Nevada City, CA) followed BC’s path and got on stage and kept the fury alive not backing off one bit. PBF was heavy , pissed and out for blood.


Weapon Status Red charged the stage and payed homage to the fallen Chi Chang of the Deftones and covered “my own summer” to end their set with the crowd singing at the top of their lungs. It was a good feeling in there that is for sure.


Armed For Apocalypse too the stage next and let me tell you, they were like and earthquake that lasted for 25 minutes straight. Probably the heaviest band on the entire meltdown just kept the heavy tones coming and pulverized South Lake Tahoe. At this time we were running about 45 minutes behind schedule and we had to start figuring how to make up time and as much as I hated doing it i started asking bands to cut set times (that were already 25 mins) but before that had to happen once again bands worked together and did what they had to do to help one another out.


Cursed (Merced,CA) took the stage and rocked harder than ever.


Zombie Eating Horse (Whittier, CA) came up and got wild and joined in for the fun and also gave AGATG a ride back to Santa Cruz. The crowd was waiting all day for Otis (Reno,NV) to hit the stage and when the did everyone moved forward and packed the stage as Otis annihilated Whiskey Dicks stage for 25 minutes straight. Logan to the rescue again let Blessed Curse (Colfax,CA) use his brand new drum kit (I know wasn’t an easy thing to do) to help cut time and get every band get to play their set.


Blessed Curse took the stage and thrashed the fuck out of it . It was their first time playing this side of the lake and left a mark in it thats for sure. If you like kick ass thrash metal give these guys a listen.


Early Graves hasn’t been to a Meltdown in 3 years and they showed up kicked everyone’s ass in there and somehow I mustered up energy to mosh their entire set and sing along to a few songs. The pit was brutal and everyone was colliding at full force still with giant smiles on their faces. Early Graves was absolutely perfect.


Murderlicious and Hoods were up next and they pretty much set up and got heavy and stony. It was a nice way to lead into Hoods.


There was a quick break and HOODS were up to finish the night off with a few members down but still killed it anyway. They finished the night with “dont fight, lets party tonight” and once again the crowd rushed the stage for a sing along except this time everyone was shirtless and we went out with a bang and our shirts off. 

What I witnessed this weekend was amazing . Not only once or twice but multiple times bands had each others backs and made sure they made it to the show , were able to have a good set and not 15 minutes. I watched many friendships made. If there is one thing that was made clear to me this weekend its that metal is family. This was the radest Spring Meltdown to date and i can tell you this after 10 hours of sleep in three nights, and loading every band on and off the stage both nights im already looking forward to making SPRING MELTDOWN 8. Till next year ~ Josh “Dance Party” Lease

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