The Storm Warning Tour, featuring Hed PE, The Veer Union and Everybody Panic ripped through Realm Toledo last Saturday night!


Realm Toledo (formerly Club Bijou and other names) played host to The Storm Warning Tour featuring national recording artists Hed PE, The Veer Union and Everybody Panic last Saturday night. Also on the card were local bands You Are a Toy and Drop Dead Silhouette as well as Spitting Nails from Detroit.

I got a late start and I wasn’t really sure where I was going because I thought I was heading to a club that I have never been to before. I guess if you consider the name change that would be correct but in reality I had frequented the venue on several occasions including my first Mushroomhead show as well as seeing one of my favorite bands of the nineties, Seven Mary Three

When I arrived DDS was in the latter part of their set but I was able to get a good idea of the three-piece group had to offer and my take on that would be a heavy metal punk type of thing. It was different and perhaps something I could have gotten into had I not missed most of what they had to offer.

The three-piece band got their start in 2006, consists of Brandon Fox on guitar and vocals, Ross Ball on bass and vocals while Alex Borger sits on the throne in back of the band.

From what heard they definitely have talent with a style all of their own. I’ll have to keep an eye on their schedule in order to take in a full performance to really form an opinion one way or the other. But with the limited access that I had, I’d say a full set of DDS is most assuredly better than a visit to the dentist’s chair (pun intended).

Spitting Nails followed Drop Dead Silhouette to the stage and I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this five-man group from the Motor City. Their Facebook page didn’t give me many clues either, other than they were pretty heavy by listening to a video or two on their page, and those were live version up close with distorted sound.

Drop Dead Silhouette and Spitting Nails at the Realm on 5/7/16. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles,

Those videos did not do justice to the band other than they made it abundantly clear that they were into heavy metal. What they didn’t show was that they could melt your face off with their heavy metal delivery. I likened their sound to taking Slayer, Anthrax and Lamb of God, put it in a bag, shake it up the empty the contents and poof, you’d have Spitting Nails.

I know that’s saying a lot but I’m telling you the combination of Mick Stone (vocals), Jerry Steifer (guitar), Rob Fuchs (guitar), Miles Korte (bass) and Matt Korte (drums) have what it takes to reach the next level and be successful. If you see the name Spitting Nails on a venue in your area, drop what you’re doing and go see for yourself. I’m positive that you’ll be in full agreement with my call.

You Are a Toy made their return to the stage after being down since last October. Besides having a few technical difficulties with guitarist, Nick Hanefeld’s equipment, I’d call their return a success.

Donovan Black was solid on lead vocals as always and his charisma was not lacking. Meanwhile Freemason Keef unleashed a brutal attack on the skins with Hanefeld and Mike Holdren doing an outstanding job with their six strings (beyond the difficulties mentioned earlier). Don Pope of Taunting Giants did a smash up job assuming the role of guest bass player for the night.

I’m sure you’ll see YAAT’s name on flyers around the Toledo area in the foreseeable future so make sure to venture out and catch a show. Remember it’s to support the locals…they could be the next great band. You Are a Toy has the talent to do all that and more.

You Are a Toy and Everybody Panic at the Realm on 5/7/16. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Everybody Panic out of Oklahoma City was the first touring band to play and it was the first time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them. And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. TY took to the stage in his bare feet and poured everything he had into his performance, as did the entire band. LEVI was superb sitting behind his big white drum set while PAT was not only extremely animated he was dead on with his bass playing. PROVO wrapped this surprise up with a tenacious set on his six string which help get the fans ready for the final two acts.

The Veer Union out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has proven to have staying power, evident by the fact that they got their start in 2004, although it was under the name Veer.

Today’s lineup is quite different than the original cast with lead vocalist, Crispin Earl, being the last man standing. He proved to be more than capable of being in the role as he delivered an in your face performance that was crisp and clean. He commanded the crowd’s attention and got it as he delivered an exceptional performance of old favorites like “Seasons” to new tunes such as “Defying Gravity”. His energy level hasn’t dwindled since I first saw them at the 2009 Rock on the Range.

The Veer Union at the Realm on 5/7/16. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

 Ryan Ramsdell (rhythm guitar), Dan Sittler (lead guitar), Amal Wijayanayake (bass and screamed vocals) and Tyler Reimer (drums) were a formidable supporting cast behind Earl.

Wijayanayake’s axe-wielding ability was top notch and his screaming vocals was a perfect mix with Earl. He also showed a knack for taking the lead midway through the set.

Sittler and Ramsdell combined for a solid riff-filled set while Reimer’s stick work was mesmerizing.  

Hed PE is a band that for whatever reason I kept missing any time they were in the area. The California boys didn’t disappoint as they gave a high-energy show that was charged with fun-filled banter between lead man, Jared ‘Jahred’ Gomes and the audience. If Gomes and the rest of band wasn’t having a good time, they definitely fooled me.

 Gomes is the lone member of the band that is still around from its inception in 1994. He displayed his multitude of singing talents whether it was rapping, growling or singing reggae. He was a true showman in every definition of the word.

Hed PE at the Realm for The Storm Warning Tour on 5/7/16. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

 Jeremiah ‘Trauma’ Stratton did an outstanding job on drums with Greg ‘Gregzilla’ Harrison exuding all kind of giddiness in doing what he was born to do. Simply put, the man can lay down unbelievable riffs and shred the guitar. Kurt ‘Kid Bass’ Blankenship who joined the Hed PE fold earlier this year looked like he has been around for years.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what a tremendous venue the Realm is. Their staff was courteous and prompt (and I was just partaking in water).

Much thanks to James Herkimer and the Realm Concert Series group for extending The Rust Belt Chronicles the opportunity to expand our Toledo base. It is greatly appreciated and we look forward to covering more concerts in the future.  

If you haven’t been out to the Realm, do yourself a favor and make a point of doing so. I guarantee it’ll be a great time.

Overall it was a great night of entertainment at a venue whose goal is to show their customers a good time and have them come back. This is one guy who went all in and was most assuredly impressed. 

Until the next time this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns up and rock on’!! \m/ \m/






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Larry Ritter About Larry Ritter

Hello my name is Larry Ritter, or “Big L” to most of my friends. I’m a production supervisor for a major manufacturer of auto parts here in northwest Ohio. I received an Associate’s degree from Owen’s Community College where I graduated cum laude honors. I have a true passion for music, sports, photography and riding motorcycles. My love for these things are surpassed by just one thing, family, which includes two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.


  1. Tracy Trexler says:

    So excited to see this post, I will get a chance to see Hed pe on Tuesday in small town USA, WV! I have been a fan of the band since the late 90s. I have checked out the Veer Union and looks like it’s going to be a great night for me! Thanks for the awesome review it’s added to my excitement!

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