Splice Magazine

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Welcome To Rockville 2022 Day 4 Review

Photo credit: Nathan Zucker
Daytona, Fl. (May 22, 2022)

It is the last day of Welcome to Rockville this year. Everyone is weary from two days of rain delays and missed acts. Yet when a glance at the weather was done by the rain weary masses all that was spotted was sun and heat, the perfect remedy to two days of dreary weather. Of course part of that cure also involved one last day of live music courtesy of Danny Wimmer Presents.
With the mood as bright as the sky, everyone was now focused on making the most of the festivals last day. With the schedule slightly tweaked, Radkey kicked the day off at the Octane stage. This Missouri based trio of brothers brought their punk inspired music to the stage in full force. During their high energy performance, they wore their Ramones influence on their sleeves. Unlike their influences, they displayed a level of musicianship far beyond anything to ever grace the stage of CBGB’s in the seventies.
One of the more anticipated performances of the early part of the day was Spiritbox. Fans packed in early to catch this white hot Canadian band. Since breaking on Sirius Liquid Metal channel with their song “Holy Roller” interest in this band has skyrocketed. Combing Industrial, metal core, and even alternative the sound that this band has created has captivated listeners. Their performance was everything the audience expected and needed. Singer Courtney LaPlante showed everyone the incredible range in her voice.

Photo credit: Cameron Nunez

At the Space Zebra stage another super-hot act to perform was The Pretty Reckless. Fronted by actress turned singer Taylor Momsen, she has more than proven that she has the chops to front a hard rock outfit. With their latest album Death By Rock And Roll out and the multiple singles it has spawned, they had plenty of new songs to wow everyone with. Their performance of “Death By Rock And Roll” was particularly potent. Momson was in full form and while she is a mere wisp of a woman, don’t let that fool you her as she was able to belt out the lyrics with her powerful voice.

Photo credit: Steve Thrasher

With several strong female performers having already performed at Rockville, there was one left on the schedule. This was definitely one of the biggest bands of the day let alone a female fronted one. Yes, Halestorm now had their turn on the Octane stage. As always Lzzy and the band were brilliant. They lead things off with “Back From The Dead” the lead song from their album of the same title. Towards the end of the song Lzzy gave the crowd a sly smile and said “we’re back bitches” which elicited a loud cheer from everyone. They breathlessly went from ‘The Steeple”, another one of their latest singles, into a supercharged version of “Love Bites”. It wouldn’t be a Halestorm show without Arejay Hale getting to show off his copious drumming skills, and he did not disappoint everyone. Over their forty five minutes set time they played a show that was equal to how hot Florida’s weather was.

Photo credit: Steve Carlos

Speaking of the heat, Florida provided plenty of that as well as tons of humidity. With all the bodies crowded in at the stage, the crew at DWP had an answer to help keep everyone cool. They had high pressure water hoses and were spraying down the crowd. Talk about a festival friendly and fun way to get cooled off. What had to be another first for a rock festival was an actual water slide. Yes, if you needed a break from the heat, you could climb up the slide and cool off. Judging by the line, this was indeed popular. The festival also provided plenty of water refill stations to help keep everyone hydrated throughout the day.

With the evening starting to arrive it was now time for the really big bands to come out and play. When Janes Addiction was announced that they would be on the bill, this was a major draw. Sadly though, Dave Navarro the guitarist wouldn’t be able to make the trip due to his battle with long Covid. In a very cool pivot, Porno For Pyros would be making their first live appearance in over twenty years. Seemingly they broke up their performance into two parts. The first part they played the nineties alternative psychedelic tinged music of their own including the hits “Pets”, and “Tahitian Moon”. The second half was dedicated to Janes Addiction songs, including a trippy version of “Stop” to close out their time on stage.

Photo credit: Nathan Zucker

In yet another amazing booking by Danny Wimmer Presents, they grabbed one of the biggest alternative bands ever. Yes, Smashing Pumpkins would be making a Welcome To Rockville appearance. Under a sea of blue lights, the band came out on stage followed by Billy Corgan. With the crowd cheering wildly Billy had his arms outstretched and head down taking in all the love he was given. Of course songs such as “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”, “Today”, and “Ava Adore” were featured and played to perfection. In a very cool moment Billy brought out his two young daughters onto the stage while he sang “Cyr”. Obviously, his girls enjoyed the moment as they were dancing next to their father. The Pumpkins even played a great cover of “Once In A lifetime” the Talking Heads Hit song.

Photo credit: Steve Thrasher

Now it was time for the last band of the night. The band set to close out the whole festival was Industrial powerhouse Nine Inch Nails. With the stage pitch black, a drum beat was going off and the back part of the stage was turned into a strobe that would fire off to the beat. At just the right moment the strobes lowered in intensity with the band appeared in its proper place and lead singer at center stage. They launched into an intense version of “Mr. Self Destruct”. The driving beat of their music and the stylized videos of their performance being played on the giant video screens on either side of the stage just added to the intensity of the show. While there were minor technical glitches in the beginning of their set, they were overcome and through it all they sounded great. Their hour and a half plus concert were filled with their hit songs such as “Head Like A Hole”, “Closer”, “The Perfect Drug”, and show closing song “Hurt”.

Photo credit: Cameron Nunez

While this years version of Welcome To Rockville was hampered by the weather, this was out of everyone’s control and the staff at Danny Wimmer Presents did what they could to keep everyone safe, which ultimately is the most important thing they could do. But what they could control, they did their usual marvelous job. There were incredible bands on all the stages and every performance left all the bands fans happy. At the end of the day that alone is what ultimately determines whether a festival is a success. By that metric, this year’s version of Welcome To Rockville was indeed a success.

Welcome To Rockville: