Live Review: KoreFest 6
Written by Shannon Reardon
“We gotta do [Kore Fest 6] at Gramercy Theater, that was always my dream to do it [here] anyway,” said singer Kore Rozzik.
A dream that Rozzik was able to live out on Sat., Oct. 22, as he presented his sixth annual production of Kore Fest at the Gramercy Theater in Manhattan, NY, with bands ANAKA, Bandita, Symfinity, Sinaro, Wild Street, and Kore Rozzik himself.
Kore Fest 6 was hosted was Tim “No. 37” Martinez, founder of “Hate the Hate,” a project that is a USA Network Characters Unite Award Winning rock ‘n’ roll concert series designed to raise awareness against hate crimes, bullying and discrimination as well as suicide prevention.
“Tim No. 37 was actually the host of Kore Fest one through three, and I’ve always been friends with him, so I knew for Kore Fest 6 I wanted to do a charity,” said Rozzik. “I wanted to put some heart and love into the project… And I’ve experienced a lot of online bullying, a lot of online slander – a lot of people have talked a lot of stuff about me over the last few years and even much so in this last year. So I felt like the best way to put the cap on everything I’ve been through was to have Tim’s ‘Hate the Hate’ charity be involved in it.”
Rozzik says that ‘Hate the Hate’ is a project that he not only endorses but also a project that he empathizes with due to the volume of bullying he has received and the affect that it has had on him.
“It’s hard to act like it doesn’t affect you – it does,” Rozzik says. “It never brought me to point of wanting to take my own life and commit suicide, but I know a lot of people in my position have felt have felt that way and have committed suicide.”
The night opened with the three piece hard rock act, Bandita.
The New York City natives are new to the scene, having just formed May of 2015.
They performed their songs ‘Riding on the Outside,’ ‘Mad Grin,’ ‘Side to Side,’ ‘Hit the Top,’ and ‘For the Moon,’ a song that singer Sean Hanley dedicated to his girlfriend, Hannah.
“Ride on the Outside’ and ‘Hit the Top’ are all about basically loving one another,” says Hanley. “[They’re] pretty much about leaving toxic situations, leaving people that are just going to bring you down and keep you in a negative state of mind, and how just freeing yourself of that and surrounding yourself with love and positivity bring not only you together, but the people around together and inspire them to improve their lives.”
Bandita say that both in life and in their music it is important to remain positive when faced with adversity.
“There’s a ying and a yang to life,” said drummer, James Jones. “Focusing on negative internal stimuli can drive people into bad places, but it something that we explore because we are human.”
Following after Bandita was orchestral rock group, Symfinity.
The New York natives played songs “Everything I Know Explodes,” “Halfway,” “Flipside,” “Cries of Humanity,” and “With Me Know.”
Singer Seann Branchfield, as well as the other artists on the ballot, says that the reason he joined on to do Kore Fest 6 was not only due to the working relationship that he formed with Rozzik, but because the festival was promoting anti-bullying.
“We joined on to do Kore Fest 6 [presented by Hate the Hate] because I know [Kore], but also because we’ve all been bullied and we all know what it feels like,” said Branchfield. “It’s something we all can relate to.”
Sinaro were the next band to take the stage after Symfinity.
The hard rock and metal band performed their songs, “Last Memories(intro),” “No Salvation,” “Nothing Left In Us,” “Bullet Through Your Head,” “Bleed Your Sins,” “The Sun Burns In Disbelief,” and “The Fire in Me.”
The last act to take the stage before the founder of Kore Fest, was heavy metal band ANAKA, who performed songs, “Doomsday Divide,” “Deathborn,” “Ominous Visions,” “Erase,” “The Glorified Crusade,” “The Unwavering,” “Voice Of The Faceless,” and “Fall From Grace.”
As the band finished their set, fans in the crowd shouted for more, but it was time for Kore Rozzik to the stage.
Rozzik’s set started with a dark stage, as figure took the stage, dimmed green lights began to show that the figure was a woman in lingerie. She began to dance around the stage as the intro to “Mistress” started playing and the band took the stage.
“Doomsday Walks,” “Welcome to the Party,” “Spellbound,” “Bitter Rat,” “Kill the Clown,” “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” and “Psychological” were the other songs that Rozzik performed.
“I feel like [Kore Fest 6] was a real turning the page for Kore Rozzik,” said Rozzik. “I feel like I reinvented myself. I feel like I squashed a lot of the negativity that was out there, not just because we did this with Hate the Hate, but I just think we did such a strong performance. We gave it everything we could.”