By WILL KRISS
Blue Felix is an underground metal band with origins in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a sound and style reminiscent of old school Slipknot and Mudvayne.
In November, Blue Felix returned to The Machine Shop in Flint, which is one of my all-time favorite venues in Michigan. The band has been hard at work relentlessly touring the states, even playing big-name festivals such as Knotfest, and has been working on a new EP to be released in a couple months.
After enjoying opening acts from hometown favorites Sydetrakt, GivenSix, and Bro-Bot, Blue Felix took the stage in full force, kicking the show off with the first song from Sample of a Solution, “Lost Control,” which is exactly what the crowd did. Toxsick Tripp commanded the audience from the stage on a metal box while belting off every line flawlessly, and at one point he even pulled out a circular blade sharpener, which he grinded against Y-Bot’s keyboard and the metal box he stood on to shower the crowd and the stage in sparks. I’ve never seen them use one before, and it was an awesome surprise that was greeted with wild roars.
The show went on, with the band doing all things typical of a Blue Felix show – hanging from the rafters, destruction of stage props, and an overall intensity that cannot be described in words. To listen to Blue Felix on record is one thing, but to see the band live is quite another. This is one of the most exciting bands in the underground metal community today, and they absolutely must be seen live to be fully appreciated.
The first time I saw Blue Felix was at the Chesaning Rockfest in summer 2012. At that point, the only details I knew about them was their single “Middle Finger Up,” and that Sid Wilson (DJ for Slipknot) was a featured guest on that song, as well as co-producer of their album “Sample of a Solution.” The day of the festival, my friend and I made the last-minute decision to attend, and noticed that Blue Felix had been added to the bill. I was planning on watching them at Dirtfest in Birch Run later that summer, so it was a nice surprise to get a taste early.
After watching a couple rock bands, we made our way over to the side stage that they were playing. There was a six-foot chain-link fence that hadn’t been there earlier, and as soon as Blue Felix started playing, there was a giant rush from the wandering crowd to the stage. There hadn’t been very many mosh pits that day, as the festival atmosphere was pretty laid back, but the sheer intensity and energy of Blue Felix could be felt a mile away. Lead singer Toxsick Tripp started destroying a lot of props onstage, as well as piggybacking off of keyboardist Y-Bot. The crowd broke out in what might have been the first good mosh pit of the day, and dust clouds were flying everywhere.
As the show progressed, we were blown away by the stage presence of Tripp. He climbed up into the rafters of the stage and was doing upside-down pull-ups and got the crowd moving in ways that only happened during their set, and not during any other band that day. The fence that I mentioned earlier was picked up single-handedly by Tripp and thrown into the crowd.
All of this chaos, however, didn’t sit well with the festival organizers. When they got to “Middle Finger Up,” Toxsick Tripp’s microphone suddenly stopped working. Every other mic he tried was also shut down, so he just screamed the lyrics from the stage, while everyone in the crowd who knew the lyrics screamed back.
After the set, everyone ran over to their booth, where the attendees eagerly lined up for pictures and merchandise. We gladly bought up every CD and shirt they had available, but Blue Felix ended up getting kicked out almost immediately afterward. Clearly, the organizers weren’t used to this kind of setting. Nevertheless, Blue Felix put on an incredible performance, and was the best band that I saw that day.
I highly recommend that if Blue Felix plays anywhere near you, go see them. You will not be disappointed in the least bit, and you will walk out with a feeling of great satisfaction. If you missed the Flint show, rest assured, Blue Felix will be back next spring with new material. And when that time comes, do not hesitate. Toxsick Tripp also has a podcast that can be viewed at http://ritualmadnesspodcast.com/