Splice Magazine

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Welcome To Rockville 2021 Celebrates It’s Return: Day 3

Photo Credit: Steve Thrasher
Daytona FL(November 13th )

With two picture perfect days to start off Welcome To Rockville, and another great schedule for day three, things were primed for more success. But the normally beautiful fall weather that Florida is known for decided to keep everyone guessing. Instead of a picture perfect forecast, things were mixed. In other words, weatherman speak for who knows what things are going to do. The sky was grey and very light showers could be felt now and then. Thankfully though as the festival was starting to get cranked up, the skies cleared up just as the festival was kicking into overdrive.

If you haven’t seen or heard Fever 333, their reputation for an incendiary show preceded them which meant that the crowd for their performance was huge. This was obviously a must see performance for a lot of folks. The trio calmly made their way onto the stage and were waving at their fans. As soon as drummer Aric Improta hit the cymbals to start their first song “Bite Back”, it was like a light switched was flipped. Singer Jason Aalon Butler and guitarist Stephen Harrison were in constant motion running back and forth across the stage. Almost as quickly the mosh pits opened up. In what had to have been one of the most exciting parts of their high energy set, was as their final song “Hunting Season” was winding down Butler left the stage. With everyone wondering what he was up to, a gate opened up next to the stage and an SUV drove up to the crowd and Butler climbed out and onto the roof. Imploring everyone to get closer, he then jumped into the crowd and to everyone’s delight.

 

As the sunset, it was now time for Badflower to perform. This foursome out of California has been touring relentlessly behind their latest album OK I’m Sick and building quite a following based off the strength of their shows and the quality of their music. After a spirited performance of “Fukboi”, lead singer Josh Katz asked everyone to turn around and check out one of Florida’s beautiful sunsets. In what had to have been a dream moment for a fan, during their performance of “Stalker” Katz hopped off the stage with his guitar and mic, went to a fan and handed them his mic so he could sing and play. They got to play their hit songs “Ghost” and “The Jester” during what felt like a set that was too short because it went by so quickly. They capped off their show with the song “30” which they released on Josh Katz’s 30th birthday.

Photo Credit: Steve Thrasher

One of the great imports for this year’s edition was England’s Asking Alexandria. Bathed in a sea of blue lighting, they hit the stage with tons of energy and opened up things with their hit song “Alone Again”. If you have heard any of their music on the radio over the last couple of years, then that song made it onto their setlist. If you ‘ve heard it, they played it. Introducing one of their songs, lead singer Danny Worsnop said “This next song is a message to some of the people in my life and I’m sure you have them in your life. Let me see your middle fingers up”. Of course, after that all you saw was a sea of middle fingers. That was just what the band wanted to see as they launched into “Antisocialist”. Guitarist Benjamin Bruce even got in on things when he said to the audience “Front to back, side to side Rockville I want to see you jump” as they launched into “Down To Hell”. They saved their best for last with an incredible performance of “Alone In A Room”

Photo Credit: Steve Thrasher

If there is one band that has picked up the mantle of thrash with the retirement it is Lamb Of God. With their inclusion into the Welcome To Rockville lineup this became one of the bands that many people circled on there “must see” list of bands. As the stage went dark Randy Blythe was the lone member to be back lit creating a striking visual. With a primordial scream he and the rest of the band launched into a blistering performance of “Memento Mori”. Easily the heaviest band of the whole festival, Lamb Of God put on a raw blistering set. Almost from the first song mosh pits and crowd surfing kicked into high gear. As they finished up with “Resurrection Man”, Randy Blythe said to the audience” My friend Corey Taylor touched on this the other night.” Referencing what had happened in Houston. He went on to say “That will not happen with us because we look after each other in this community, we take care of each other in this community. Cause we are one f*cking family. If you see someone go down, what do you do? You pick them up. Let’s have fun, go nuts and stay safe”. With that they played “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For”. Without question, Lamb Of God played the heaviest set of not just the day, but the whole weekend. They closed out this masterful performance with their hit song “Redneck”.

Photo Credit: Steve Thrasher

As the night was growing late, it was time for the penultimate band Staind. After a long hiatus, they came back with a roar in 2019 for one of Danny Wimmer Presents other festivals Louder Than Life. Since then, they have toured to the delight of their fans. As everyone was streaming towards the stage they were playing, The video screens came alive with animated internals of clocks with ticking playing through the sound system. The band hit the stage and launched into a visceral performance of “Eyes Wide Open”. One thing is obvious immediately, Aaron Lewis’s voice is amazing. Whether he is singing clearly or a deep growl it is one of the most distinctive and best voices in rock music. While it has been some time since the band has released any new material, what they did play was a set full of their greatest songs played brilliantly. In a somewhat comical nod to his reputation Aaron said to the crowd “I don’t have very much to say. Everything that comes out of my mouth get’s me in trouble. So, we’ll just stick to the music.”. Indeed, that was a great plan as the music they played was flawless. They finished their night with their classic song “Mudshovel”. Just on sound alone this could have easily been the closing act.

Photo Credit: Steve Thrasher

While Staind did a marvelous job, there was one final band to close out the third night. That group would be none other than Disturbed. What a choice it was by the folks at Danny Wimmer Presents to have them close out the evening. To get the crowd in the mood they had Disturbed’s performances from past festivals playing on the video screens. If there was ever a perfect song to start a show, Disturbed made a perfect choice in “Are You Ready”. Judging by the cheers some forty thousand people were ready. They kept their foot to the floor playing hit after hit. You wanted to hear “The Vengeful One” or “Stupify”? You got to hear it. How about “The Game” or “Liberate”. Yup those were played as well. The band decided to slow things down with an acoustic performance of “A Reason To Fight” which they dedicated to all those that are fighting their demons whether they were depression or addiction. During their performance of “The Light” lead singer Dave Draiman had the audience light up their lighters and cell phones when he sang the words “The Light”. When he got to that point everyone lit whatever they had up creating an amazing scene lighting up nearly all of the Daytona Speedway infield. The last song of the night was Disturbed’s biggest song, “Down With The Sickness”. After a blistering performance of it, Draiman said to the audience “Say our name” and the audience shouted back Disturbed, he followed it up with “We are all disturbed”!

Photo Credit: Steve Thrasher

What a terrific way to end the third night of the festival. While this would normally be the final night and everyone would be heading home weary yet thrilled by three days of top notch performances, this year was no normal year. After all there would be one more day to go, and all the excitement and surprises that go along with it.

Welcome To Rockville:

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