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Zombie Ball metal fest makes debut at Lake Tahoe

Autumn Whitney
awhitney@tahoedailytribune.com
Zombie Ball headliner Cattle Decapitation's latest album was named metal album of the year by Revolver Magazine in 2015.
Courtesy / Zach Cordner |

If you go ...

What: Zombie Ball

When: Saturday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m.

Where: American Legion

Tickets: $20 presale, $25 at the door

Info: http://www.ticketriver.com

Eagerly awaiting the arrival of Oct. 31? Get into the Halloween spirit early at this weekend’s Zombie Ball, presented by Born Dead Productions. It is the first-ever event of its kind, featuring over 10 metal bands from Northern California and Nevada.

“One thing you can expect is definitely a good time with good people. All the bands that are on this — we all know each other, we’ve been playing music together for over a decade. It’s more like a family,” said Josh Lease, founder of Born Dead Productions and member of Purification By Fire, one of the bands featured in the festival.

Cattle Decapitation headlines the Zombie Ball, which is expected to last until the early hours of the morning. Revolver Magazine voted the band’s latest album, “Anthropocene Extinction,” metal album of the year in 2015. It reached No. 41 on the Billboard charts, making Cattle Decapitation one of the highest-charted death metal bands.

“Cattle Decapitation is a pretty big band; they almost broke Top 40. For them to play in a room this small is pretty unheard of — it’s rare. Having a band of this caliber come up to Tahoe isn’t something that’s going to happen too often,” Lease said.

Lease has organized events in Tahoe for the past decade, but this is the first Zombie Ball. He typically hosts a two-day Spring Meltdown featuring 40 bands, but was unable to hold one earlier this year. To make up for the lost festival, he crafted the Zombie Ball as a mini fest.

“We’re getting close to Halloween, so people are having gory Halloween stuff coming up. I thought, ‘What can we do that would be kind of cool, get people excited and make it more than just a show and give it a party feel?’ A zombie ball was a good way to go,” Lease said.

Attendees are welcome to dress up for the event, which Lease described as a type of masquerade. Get creative — you don’t need to be dressed as a zombie, but Lease does encourage people to come in costume.

“Bands from Reno, Carson City, the Bay Area — everybody loves coming up to Tahoe and it’s just a good spot for everybody to come up and hang out and do what we do. It’s going to be more of a house party feel,” Lease said.

“For people that don’t know what this music is: we don’t beat each other up, we’re all nice and friendly, very encouraging and supporting. It’s going to be a good time.”

Tickets are available for a $20 presale price at http://www.ticketriver.com, Recycled Records in Reno and The Spot in South Lake Tahoe. They are $25 when purchased at the door.

The festival begins at 6 p.m. and is open to anyone ages 18 and older. It is held at the American Legion, located at 2748 Lake Tahoe Boulevard.


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