When I drove into the parking area around 12:30pm before the MDF festivities, I noticed a woman (who looked Vietnamese to me) in a maroon velvet dress making her way toward Edison Lot. I assumed she was just a fan who got dressed up for her favorite band.
Nope. She ran the Thai food vendor for the entire day, flipping dozens of skewered chicken slices over a huge open grill and dishing out huge portions of pad thai.
That was my afternoon snack.
Before that I had Pork Lord Tacos, loaded down with fresh Pico de gallo and lime juice.
I half expected to see them roasting a whole hog on a spit, because….well, that’s metal. Each of those tacos disappeared in 2 bites.
Guy Fieri would’ve been proud, I can just picture him now: “That is the express train to flavor city, bro. Killer.” (fist pump)
For dinner (before heading over to watch Gorguts), HOM chowed down on Zombie BBQ, a Philadelphia joint that made the trip down to serve up more slow-roasted pork.
“This is the biggest event we do all year,” one of the cooks told me as I slathered Angry Chef hot sauce on the melt-in-your-mouth sandwich. The spices, smoke and heat were magnificent in the open spring air (I can still smell it now as I write this).
This of course, begs the question: what to wash down this 4-alarm fare with?
Easy. Snake Dog IPA, available at MDF for the first time on draft and in cans. Having that excellent beer from Flying Dog (Maryland’s craft brewery) on hand was a big plus. I especially like a strong IPA to pair with spicy food because it has enough bitterness and strength to stand up to the heat.
The drafts were said out within the first hour, and the stomped carcasses of the cans were everywhere. Having Flying Dog’s In-Heat Wheat and the Classic Pale Ale on hand would have also been nice for the summer heat. The MDF organizers ought to consider making Flying Dog an official sponsor, if they haven’t thought of it already. Good music deserves good beer.
The growing variety of food and drink was complimmented by MDF’s open-air bazaar of all things metal.
Set away from the performance area and separated by a high makeshift fence was a row flanked by open-faced tents selling every kind of band shirt, poster and album you were looking for. The end of the row was a large tented area forming a central metal marketplace where bands would often come straight from the stage to talk to fans, sign autographs, exchange handshakes and devil horns, and sell some merch. The whole strip was always teeming with activity.
There were medieval tapestries of black, white and red shirts between us and the bands playing outside, and the glorious cacophony of instruments, shouting, laughing and sales.
Both local and international distributors and shops were present.
“This must be like Christmas for you guys, isn’t it?” I said to the people representing Season of Mist records. HOM contributed to the brisk trade, lugging a bag back to his car with the following albums:
Immortal – At the Heart of Winter
Mayhem – Ordo Ad Chao
Marduk – Those of the Unlight
Blut Aus Nord – Dialogue With the Stars 2
Pentagram – Relentless
Amorphis – Tales From 10,000 Lakes
Guys, it’s been a pleasure setting my MDF travelogue down and sharing it with you. Needless to say, I highly recommend the festival, especially for anyone who can drive a few hours from the US East Coast. The bands are the centerpiece, but all the ancillary events going on imbue the event with a sense of childlike wonder.
I look forward to seeing MDF expand, perhaps even one day rivaling the European mega-festivals across the pond. I’d go back, again and again.
Now to get HOM’s ass to Wacken….maybe a Kickstarter campaign is in order?
Written by Matt P