Day 3 was all about the rock and boy did we rock. With rockers like Billy Idol and The Foo Fighters the audience had a blast and so did we. But we weren’t afraid to dip into the heavy said with bands such as Bullet For My Valentine and The Bronx. Thank you Welcome To Rockville for a wonderful three days. We hope to see you again next year!
Billy Idol was listed as one of the main headliners for Welcome To Rockville and in doing so put the rest of the bands to shame with how powerful his live set was. Since beginning his career in the late 70’s I’m sure he has gathered more tips and stories than any other alive artists today. Idol showcased some of those tips on stage as he opened his set with Shock To The System before telling the audience “C’mon Rockville I wanna see you fucking dance!” during the following song Dancing With Myself. Idol told the audience that they had a short set but would continue rocking with Scream. Scream is a track from Idol’s album Devil’s Playground and features a perfect balance between guitar and vocals as well as an awesome guitar solo which was captivating to see live. Idol wasn’t afraid to slow things down either with a personal favorite of mine Eyes Without A Face before telling the audience they were going to go out with a favorite of his own entitled Rebel Yell which received a loud reaction. Thank you for making my life so fucking great said Idol before asking his guitarist Steve Stevens to show the audience what a hit song sounds like and then Idol began singing his encore song White Wedding which was played with an acoustic intro only to be followed by the electric live band shortly after. With nearly forty years of experience under his belt Idol continues and friends continue to electrify the stage and light up the audience with ease and love because who can play music for forty years and not love what they’re doing?
Bullet For My Valentine brought the metal to the rock show with new bandmates Jamie Mathias on bass and Jason Bowld on drums. Bullet began their set with their single that was recorded with both new members titled Don’t Need You and the fans were not afraid to show their love for that song or the band as we saw multiple crowd surfers take to the sky during the first song as well as seeing one audience member make his way over the crowd with an inflatable raft. Lead vocalist for Bullet Matthew Tuck seemed impressed as he smiled and led into Over It and after playing Your Betrayal which really got the audience moving. Tuck asked the audience what the fuck is up you crazy bastards? And then admitted that his voice was wrecked and asked the audience to help him out during the rest of the set. Tuck then told the crowd they were going to take the audience back to ’04 as they played 4 Words To Choke Upon which had the entire circle pit going nuts. Before finishing up their set Tuck got one more good roar out of the crowd by telling them “You can do better than that motherfuckers, make some noise!” Bullet then played Tears Don’t Fall from their 2005 album The Poison which had the entire audience clapping in the intro for the band. And as the last song rolled in I jumped into the circle pit to have some fun one last time during one of my favorite old school classics Waking The Demon from their album Scream Aim Fire. Despite the change out of both their drummer and bassist Bullet For My Valentine has not changed and continues to put on the heavier metal show that we expect from the band. Although their album Temper Temper was not heavily favored their comeback album The Venom has been receiving much better positive feedback and we look forward to what’s to come!
Taking the fans back to a time of heavy rock came the electrifying and innovating band Baroness opening with Kerosene. Although the audience is not as packed as the main stages you can tell each crowd member in attendance is not a floater, but instead a long time fan of the band as they scream the lyrics “You take your time, I’ll take mine!” As the fans begin to come down from an exhilarating first song Baroness kicks them into high gear again as they play March To The Sea which has a beautiful melodic sound and groove. With a few of synth sounds and a ton of heavy rock, we were introduced to Morningstar. Then we slowed things down with Green Theme which has a roller coaster of ups and downs in terms of pace; however, it comes with a truly artistic style. We heard Little Things, Shock Me as well as Chlorine and Wine which gives us a better look at lead vocalists John Dyer Baizley’s intense vocals and guitar playing as well as guitar player Gina Gleason’s backing vocals and guitar. Through the last few songs my biased opionion for favorite song will always go to If I Have To Wake Up (Would You Stop The Rain?) because the lyrics, guitars, vocals, and drums are all meshed together perfectly and I couldn’t ask for a better song than what Baroness has prepared for us. By the end of the set both the band and the audience looked satisfied with each others performance and participation and I couldn’t say I saw a flaw in their set which leads me to advocate on behalf of all fans: This is what a perfect set, a perfect band, and a perfect evening looks like. Take notes up and comers, you have some work to do.
The Bronx took Welcome To: Rockville hostage on Sunday night and they didn’t regret a second of it. With rhythm and dance came The Bronx playing hard punk music with their tracks Sore Throat, Shitty Future, and Knifeman the audience could not get enough of these punks. The Bronx doesn’t mess around, they’re hardcore from the beginning and it does not end their entire set. Although these gentlemen may have looked a bit out of their element by being on a larger stage and having a separation of barricade and security they made sure to give the fans a hell of a set and not let anyone feel left out. Besides lead vocalist Matt Caughthran making the most noise, the instrumentals stand out just as well. Alongside Caughthran is Joby J. Ford and Ken Horne on guitar and backing vocals, Brad Magers on bass and backing vocals as well meanwhile David Hidalgo, Jr. sits behind the drum kit and does a killer job.
There’s been a fever coming for a little while now and no one knows how to stop these three men. They come in waves, they come to your festivals, they come to your shows, they even come to your house to let you know one thing: There’s a fever coming. Fever 333 is Jason Butlers follow up band post-Letlive. Walking over to the stage I told my buddy “You’re going to like these guys, they’re a trip.” And they sure were. After seeing Fever 333 perform a few months prior at Musink I knew we were in for something special today at Welcome To Rockville. We built this bitch says Butler before leading into Made An America which features a mixture of rap style and sung lyrics. The message is clear with Fever 333 there is wrongdoing and wrongful direction being taken and they’re here to spread a message. With Burn It Down and Coming In Butler got very excited (as usual) and climbed up the stage until he was higher than the rest of the crowd to which he said after the song ended “You climb these knowing how to get up, but never thinking of how to get down”. As Butler came down the band played a few more songs as they finished up their set, but made one thing clear to their audience”We are not here to divide, we are here to create a space for free speech. You have a safe space with Fever 333.”
The Foo Fighters took over day three of Welcome: To Rockville and it was spectacular, to say the least. With nearly, a twenty song set the Foo Fighters made their two-hour time slot look like a cake walk and they loved every second of it! What better song to begin with than Run from the album Concrete and Gold. I’ve heard your typical radio played Foo Fighter songs such as Monkey Wrench and My Hero, but the collection that they have of even better songs such as Run is mind-blowing and really displays the band’s versatility and skill of each instrument that they use. As expected we heard most of the set from the group’s new album Concrete and Gold but we also heard some classics from albums like The Colour and Shape and Wasting Light. On the unexpected side of the spectrum though during the “bandtroduction” as Dave Grohl calls it we saw Billy Idol join the men on stage for a cover of the song Gimme Some Truth (originally by John Lennon) followed by John Travolta coming out as the band played You’re The One That I Want (from Grease). And just when the audience thought this couldn’t be followed up we saw Grohl take on the drums and drummer Taylor Hawkins take the mic as the band played a cover of Under Pressure. Finishing off their set with Best of You and Everlong the crowd gave a loud round of applause and a wave of metal horns were raised. To be clear when you see the Foo Fighters live you don’t get a regular show. Not even close. You get the Foo. Fighters. These guys will make you laugh, bang your head, amaze you, and make you feel like you guys are old friends catching up over a beer and that’s not easy to find with any other band. Dave Grohl’s skill and ability to be a frontman exceeds and surpasses all expectations and quite frankly could be his own one-man band if need be so shout out to him.
Overall Welcome To: Rockville was a great success for everyone involved. There was plenty of food, Monster Energy drinks, beer, bathrooms, stages, AND A FERRIS WHEEL.. I mean they truly had it all and all the lines were super short so who could complain? It was three days of beautiful weather, awesome music, and friends. But if it wasn’t for the bands we wouldn’t have some great entertainment to enjoy in the sun so thank you to all those who traveled near and far to give us an eccentric time.