‘Get into the pit’ or enjoy some ‘pop’

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published May 23, 2015

 Singer Dustin Smith, of the Toledo-based Truth Ascension, performs at last year’s “Get Into the Pit,” which was held at Rocky’s Pub in Riverview. This year’s event is set for May 29-30 at the Diesel Concert Lounge and Theatre in Chesterfield Township.

Singer Dustin Smith, of the Toledo-based Truth Ascension, performs at last year’s “Get Into the Pit,” which was held at Rocky’s Pub in Riverview. This year’s event is set for May 29-30 at the Diesel Concert Lounge and Theatre in Chesterfield Township.

Photo by Julie Snyder

This weekend, it’s all about the music, with two local concerts that promise to entertain.

For those who prefer their music loud, raw and aggressive, get your eardrums prepped for the second annual “Get Into the Pit” Michigan metal festival at the Diesel Concert Lounge and Theatre in Chesterfield Township from May 29-30.

But if piano pop with some jazz and trumpet sounds is more your speed, Warren resident Marcello Rossi brings his original style of music May 31 to the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy.

The Friday/Saturday event at the Diesel is a chance for moshing metalheads with a hankering for fast tempos and shredding to “Get Into the Pit.” The concert, put on by Hard Edge Radio and Hard Edge Entertainment, will feature 22 heavy metal bands from metro Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Flint, Bay City and Saginaw.

“It’s to showcase what talented bands we have in Michigan,” show organizer and Hard Edge Entertainment owner Harold “Howie” Herula, of Warren, said. “These are the heaviest of the heavy, mostly death metal and thrash, just straight-up metal.”

This year’s event will feature spot-on performances by M-102, Pick Axe Preacher, Deadringer, Speedgod, A Sleepless Malice, Severing the Need, Assault Incorporated, Bowdown and more. Also on the lineup are After the Minor, Lacerations, No Class Assassins, Hokori and All Ends Black. Both Diesel stages will be used for the show, and the bands are stage-dive ready. 

“When life gets rough and the world’s problems are politically twisted, there’s only one thing a human can do .... suck it up and ‘Get Into the Pit,’” Pick Axe Preacher singer Mike Williams stated in a press release.

The two-day concert is for people ages 18 and older. Tickets can be purchased from any of the bands prior to showtime, but also are available for $10 on the day of the show. There also is a $15 fee for a two-day wristband, which becomes available Friday night. Show organizers will have a limit of 200 wristbands.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday, with the musicians slated to start at 7:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. Food and drinks will be available during the concert. The following show sponsors have made the second “Get Into the Pit” possible: Life in Michigan, Advanced Media Copies, 2 Fat Guys & a Pipe, National Rock Review and Parkway Promotions LLC.

Hardcore metal fans are known to be dedicated to the genre and for keeping the scene alive.

“You get a good mix of 18- to 55-year-olds,” Herula said, adding that it’s usually the younger crowd bouncing around in the mosh pit with the older fans “raising their fists.”

While “Get Into the Pit” will thrash fans about, the weekend tones down Sunday when Rossi performs his show “Marcello Rossi in Concert.” Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The show begins at 6 p.m. with Natalia Lacki, 17, of Troy, opening the show. 

Rossi will be backed by band members Kevin Holevar on guitar, Erik Blundell on guitar and keyboards, bassist Michael Norkeiwicz, and drummer Cameron Miller. The performance also will feature special guest Sterling Heights resident Sabrina Carr, 19, on piano and 20-year-old Christina O’Neil, of Clarkston, singing with Rossi during the main event. The show will have a little something for everyone.

“It will be a great banquet of sound for the listener. My original music has many sides to it. I have a little pop/rock feel to my fast songs and a country/pop feel to my ballads,” Rossi said in an email. “And then some are really moving works like anthems. My style is quite unique in that my voice, which has a Broadway quality in combination with the music I write, presents a whole new theatrical style. Bring a date; this will be one great, classy show.”

Rossi’s music is known to come with its own messages.

“Many tell me they like the direction I am going with my lyrical themes,” Rossi said. “It speaks to the soul because most of what I write I’ve lived through, so it’s real and written from the heart. It is very thrilling for me to perform.”

He’ll also play pop hits from established songwriters along with a variety of  Italian, Broadway and jazz numbers.

The American Polish Cultural Center is located at 2975 E. Maple Road. For more information, call (248) 689-3636. Advance tickets for “Marcello Rossi in Concert” are $20 and available at the American Polish Cultural Center, St. Mark parish office in Warren, and at Gus Zoppi Music Center in Sterling Heights. Rossi’s latest CD, “Lessons of Life,” is available by searching Marcello Rossi on iTunes, Google Play, CD Baby, Reverbnation and Amazon.

The Diesel Concert Lounge and Theatre is located at 33151 23 Mile Road inside the Premier Bowling Complex in Chesterfield Township. The club’s website is www.dieselconcertlounge.net.