Monday, June 24, 2024

Sonic Temple Kicked Off In Columbus With Disturbed, Nita Strauss, Kerry King And More

The Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival returned in 2024 for its third year in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend. The festival features artists in hard rock genres like metal and punk for a four-day celebration of all things hardcore metal. This year’s headliners included acclaimed bands like Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, and Slipknot, just to name a few. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Taking place at the Historic Crew Stadium and the grounds surrounding it, Sonic Temple has four stages, tons of different bars, and an art boutique for guests to make the most of their time. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Day 1 was on Thursday, May 16. Temperatures were in the mid 70’s and the sun was out when the doors opened up at 11am. Festival goers showed up excited to see their favorite metal acts perform live.

We started our day by checking out shredding guitarist Nita Strauss on the main Temple Stage. She wore all black and absolutely shredded some songs on the guitar. Nita talked to the crowd about being on her honeymoon at the festival after her recent nuptials to her drummer Josh Villalta. During her set, frontman David Draiman of Disturbed came out and sang their song “Dead Inside” together from Nita’s latest album. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
@thetraveladdict.com

Nita Strauss starting the day at Sonic Temple with David Draiman of Disturbed with “Dead Inside” @disturbed @Nita Strauss #daviddraiman #disturbed #sonictemple #sonictemplefest #sonictemple2024 #rock #rockmusic #guitar #guitartok #guitarist #guitargoddess

♬ original sound – thetraveladdict

Next on the Temple Stage was the Dallas, Texas band Drowning Pool. The group rocked out in all black and even sang a cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell.” Of course, they ended the set with their iconic “Bodies” for a more than excited crowd who sang along. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The pop-punk band Magnolia Park sang 8 songs during their set on the Citadel Stage. Lead vocalist Joshua Roberts delivered powerful vocals and kept the energy flowing to the packed crowd. The band had a surprise for fans, a performance of a new and unreleased song. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Next on the schedule was indie-rock band and brother duo, Taipei Houston. The pair are the sons of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. This performance was their debut at Sonic Temple, and they performed some songs from their album, Once Bit Never Bored

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Back on the main Temple Stage, P.O.D. (Payable on Death) played their hits and celebrated lead singer Sonny Sandoval’s birthday. After singing “Southtown,” a cake was brought out on stage and the entire arena sang “Happy Birthday,” followed by Sandoval throwing the cake into the crowd. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Local Troy, Ohio band Miss May I took to the Sanctuary Stage. Vocalist Levi Benton sang his heart out, excited to perform in the band’s home state. This was Miss May I’s second time performing at Sonic Temple, and they definitely didn’t disappoint. The band is always one of my favorites to see live and no one knows how to get a circle pit going than this band.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Canadian rock band, Theory Of a Deadman performed on the Temple Stage right around 4pm. The group played some of their hit No. 1 songs like “Lowlife,” “Rx (Medicate)” and “Bad Girlfriend.” Guitarist and singer Tyler Connolly served up style with his Elvira shirt and leather jacket. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Next up we went to check out one of our favorite rap metal bands, Fire from the Gods on the Sanctuary Stage. The band opened up with the title song of their latest album, Soul Revolution. The group delivered a stellar performance as lead singer AJ Channer bounced around the stage with his signature jumps for the camera.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

On the Cathedral Stage, The Ghost Inside put on an amazing show. The lead singer, Jonathan Vigil wore an all black outfit topped with a red plaid flannel, looking super chill as he sang out the lyrics of their melodic hardcore beats. They sang seven songs including the well-liked “Engine 45” and “Wash It Away.”

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Over on the Temple Stage, heavy metal band Mudvayne drew in a huge crowd for their energy-filled eight song set. The group came out with some crazy nightmare inducing stage makeup and their usual stage theatrics. The band covered all bases of their sound with some more aggressive songs like “Death Blooms” and some less heavy songs like “World So Cold.” 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Kerry King, best known for being the co-lead guitarist and songwriter of thrash metal band Slayer took to the Cathedral Stage for one of his first shows as a solo band. The guitarist was absolutely pumped to be performing, shown in his animated playing. Streams of flames exploded into the air to add effect to the powerful set. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

King put together an all-star band with Phil Demmell (MACHINE HEAD) on guitar; Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) on vocals; Kyle Sanders (HELLYEAH) playing bass and Paul Bostaph (Slayer) on drums for his solo tour.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

As the sun began to set around 7pm, Evanescence took over the Temple Stage. The rock band performed a 14-song set, accompanied by LED lights, circular rotating lights, and a massive LED screen with the band’s logo surrounded in green flames. Amy Lee’s vocals are always so distinct, and she made sure to sing some of the classics like “My Immortal” and “Going Under.” During a play through of “Bring Me To Life,” Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D. came onstage to rap some vocals alongside Lee. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Nathan Zucker/DWP Presents

The metal Gods were being channeled over on the Cathedral Stage for Judas Priest’s headlining performance. Despite many of the members being above the age of 60, the energy was never lacking and they all performed like not a day has passed since their beginnings in the metal world. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The audience erupted the loudest for classic songs like “Breaking The Law” and “Living After Midnight.” Lead singer Rob Halford started the performance in a studded black leather outfit, and ended in a sequin-covered and leather-lined trench coat. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

After Judas Priest, we ran over to the Citadel Stage to catch Cypress Hill and found our favorite set of the day. The band led by B-Real and Sen Dog vocals had everyone in the crowd lighting up as they played their hits like “Throw Your Set In The Air.” We loved every minute of their time on stage.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Hailing from Chicago, the celebrated nu-metal icons Disturbed entered the stage. The performance was full of pyrotechnics, LED screens, and smoke cannons that added an eerie and exciting element to the already energized set. David Draiman, the lead singer wore his signature black trench coat.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The group performed a haunting cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence” and their rendition of “Don’t Tell Me” with a guest appearance by New Years Day’s Ash Costello. After the 14 song setlist, the band came back out for an encore, where they had saved the best songs for last. The encore trifecta of “Unstoppable,” “Down With The Sickness” and “Inside The Fire” brought Sonic Temple Day 1 to a satisfying end. 

Check back for our daily recaps on the next three days at Sonic Temple. We can’t wait!

Words by Emily Cigan @emily.cigan and Amy Harris @thetraveladdictig

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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