Carnival of Madness plays to full house

A near-capacity crowd descended upon the Osage Million Dollar Elm Event Center last Friday night as the Carnival of Madness rolled through town. Featuring a nice mixture of rock music, the carnival left everyone in attendance begging for more – an understatement to say the event was a success.

Emphatic was first on stage, playing an abbreviated set as the crowds made their way inside. By the time Adelitas Way took the stage, the event center was nearly full. The Las Vegas group threw down a nice, hard set that included their hits “Sick,” and “Invincible” that delighted the crowd.

Following a short intermission, Edmonton, Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry took over. In a recent interview, drummer John Fred Young said his band puts on “a good live show,” and that is exactly what the fans got. From go the group took command of the stage. As Young beat the skins like they owed him money, guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Jon Lawhon jumped on risers, head banging and showing off for the crowd. Chris Robertson’s lyrics were playful and almost bluesy at times.

Black Stone Cherry included recent hits “White Trash Millionaire,” and “Blame it on the Boom Boom” before closing out with “Lonely Train.” Their seven song set was fast, heavy, crisp and extremely entertaining. The thing that stuck out the most about their set were the smiles on all of their faces as they played. These four guys aren’t your average rockers, they appreciate where they are, and it shows. This group is on the rise.

Alter Bridge took the stage next and exuded a stage presence that I haven’t seen in some time. Featuring three of the four members of the popular, softer band Creed, Alter Bridge also exceeded my expectations. The level of intensity in their set was unreal, as was the heaviness of some of their songs. Lead singer Myles Kennedy poured his soul into the set, and at times reminded me of some of the 90’s grunge singers.

The band included hits “Ghost of Days Gone By,” “Isolation,” and “Rise Today” in an extremely entertaining set. The best part was Kennedy’s guitar duel with Mark Tremonti that ultimately lead into “Rise Today.”

Headlining the show was Vancouver’s Theory of a Deadman. The crowd got a good laugh as the house lights went down and they awaited the band’s arrival, when the sound system played a clip from the song “Blame Canada” from the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.

The band then took the stage and rolled out a great hour-long set that kept fan’s fists in the air. Songs like “So Happy,” and “Bitch Came Back” gave those recently out of relationships the release that they undoubtedly came to the show for. Changing the tempo, the band moved into slower songs “Out of My Head,” and “Santa Monica” to give the set a nice balance. Theory added “Hate My Life,” and “Bad Girlfriend” along with “Lowlife” as they powered on through their set.

All of the bands on the bill were great and recommended on their return trips through town.