Among the notable highlights of Day 1 River Stage presentations was English group Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Looking to further brand themselves in the United States, Frank Carter and company made the most of their stage presentation with high adrenaline showings of their better-known tracks “Lullaby” and “Wild Flower.” However, it was Frank Carter’s hand-stand as he crowd-surfs that really made him stand above the rest, pun intended.
Swedish band Royal Republic made a splash with their catchy garage rock, snappy outfits and confession that this was the first time they had made their way to tour in the United States, despite forming back in 2007.
Other notable highlights came way of San Diego’s Pierce the Veil; who attracted a massive multitude to their showing. The youngsters really know how to energize even the most introverted of people, as all band members parade from stage-end to stage-end with a flair for what’s cool. Having been introduced by a hype-man in a devilish ape mask blowing up dynamite (referencing their ongoing We Will Detonate Tour, alongside Sum 41), Vic Fuentes and the gang display the dynamic musicianship that has made them a household name with each passing year.
Day II of the River Stage performances were once again noteworthy. After several strong presentations by way of Fire from the Gods, Sylar and Attila, Buffalo band Every Time I Die put forth a show of epic proportions. Known for the abundance of mosh-pits at their shows, the Keith Buckley-led band lived up to their reputation as fans raged to their tunes with fist-bumps in the air and crowd-surfers making their way to the front pit. Buckley, after encouraging fans to rage harder, makes his way to the front row fans and kicks the adrenaline up a notch as he delivers his vocals to tune “Decayin’ with the Boys.” Every Time I Die’s 35-minute, 12-track presentation was far and away the most explosive up to that point.
Adding to the rock festivities were French metal outfit Gojira. Having been around since 1996, the quartet led by front-man Joe Duplantier can still rock your socks off. The heavy-hitting crew from Bayonne dazzled their crowd with presentations of their classic tunes, as well as newer ones from latest LP Magma. The 40-minute presentation is brimmed with explosive string-play and top-notch drum-work from Mario Duplantier, in addition to industrial fog machines adding an extra element of awe to an already surreal show.
Lastly, but definitely not least, were the closing presentation duties of Amon Amarth. The Viking-themed outfit spared no detail in creating a one-of-kind visual display that included a replica Viking ship and several war shields decorating the stage. The melodic death metal quintet is at the top of their game with a dazzling and righteous rock-out routine; which includes a healthy amount of hair-whipping; in addition to the expected excellence that is an Amon Amarth show.
To Conclude, Welcome to Rockville was a gathering of all grand things that rock music represents: tunes, tootin’, hollerin’, booze and fans coming together to celebrate the love of the genre. No, rock-n-roll is not dead. Rock-n-roll is alive and thriving.