Rockville Recovers on Day 2

By on May 6, 2015
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Corey Taylor Slipknot (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

On Day 2 of the 2015 Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville festival fans would be given a gift from Mother Nature. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky throughout the day and promoters, along with the city of Jacksonville, did a great job to get Metropolitan Park ready for the second day of festivities. They brought in truckloads of red mulch to cover the mud puddles that encompassed the grounds the day/night before.

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Jonny Hawkins Nothing More (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

There was a different “buzz” in the park, as some fans who might have been reserved the day before were ready to have fun and get their money’s worth. Sunday’s lineup was filled with more modern rock and metal acts, highlighted by Papa Roach, Slash and the Conspirators, Godsmack, and the much anticipated closing set by Slipknot. An added bonus for the day was the early announcement of the special guest act in San Antonio’s Nothing More. Live was originally scheduled to play in this spot, but for reasons unknown, the switch was made.

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Daniel Oliver Nothing More (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

This was Nothing More’s last stop on their first world tour, and they looked no worse for wear. They opened with the controversial “Christ Copyright” and broke out the “bassinator” after their recent hit single “Jenny .” The “bassinator” is the swinging bass rig that has been a staple in their shows since I was turned onto them two years ago while opening up for Adrenaline Mob. Since then, they have been on a fast track to commercial success, and it’s been fun to watch. Sometimes nice guys do finish first and it has happened for Nothing More. Their legions of fans, a number of their songs are being played in mass rotation ,not only Sirius/ XM Octane Radio, but also on terrestrial rock stations across the country. Nothing More completed their set with the multi-percussion monster in “Salem” and their biggest hit to date, “This is the Time.”

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Heidi Shepherd Butcher Babies (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

With Motionless in White playing across the park, and the Butcher Babies with Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd crossing over on the side stages, we would only be able to catch partial sets from each band. Like Nothing More, these two bands have been touring non-stop since the Mayhem Tour in 2012. From small dimly lit clubs to the music festival circuit year in and year out, Motionless in White and the Butcher Babies are both road warriors. Both bands have grown and matured over the last couple years and it shows on stage. Chris Motionless has developed a stage presence that is nothing short of dynamic and the Butcher Babies are not just a band of pretty faces.

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Chris Motionless MIW (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

Motionless in White got the biggest pop from the crowd when they performed their biggest hit to date “A.M.E.R.I.C.A.” and when Heidi and Carla went into the crowd to join their thrashing fans, we weren’t sure that the fans would let them get back to the stage.

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Carla Harvey Butcher Babies (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

In This Moment and Maria Brink moved up from the side stage to the main stage this year but someone with a familiar name would be playing on the Jagermeister side stage. Mark Tremonti, formerly of Creed and still with Alter Bridge, is out on tour with his own band in Tremonti. The sound of Tremonti is edgier than his previous work with impressive guitar skills and vocals. Playing “You Waste Your Time,” from their debut and the single “Another Heart,” from their upcoming June 9th release Cauterize, Tremonti blends aggressive guitar with a perfect mix of melodic vocals and meaningful lyrics. A few pits broke during the set and as the day wore on the security guards and their crew had their hands full. Not only was the moshing in full effect throughout the day and night but the amount crowd surfing was incredible. The security guys earned their money and they do an unbelievably difficult job. People of all shapes and sizes are now going up to surf with unpredictable results. The police and the medical staff saw several cases of heat exhaustion, intoxication, broken bones, seizures and other medical conditions, which were dealt with promptly and professionally.

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Mark Tremonti (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

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There were also great food trucks, beverage stations, and other attractions this year like “Tequila World,” Crazy Dave’s Music Experience, and new in 2015, the RISK interactive graffiti art installation, and a ferris wheel , which offered a unique view of the festival. Band signings were available throughout the day and even included Corey Taylor from Slipknot.

Ferris Wheel

(Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

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(Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

As with any multi-stage festival, it is unfortunate that you just can’t see every band on the schedule unless you are the Flash. This means that some great performances would have to be missed. Due to some crossover on Sunday, we would miss some of the heavier bands like In Flames, Hatebreed and All That Remains. We would also miss The Pretty Reckless, but I was told after their set “if you’ve seen them perform before, there isn’t a need to see them again.”

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As the sun started to go down on Metropolitan Park, a black hatted man and his trademark Gibson and Marshall stack arrived on the Jack Daniels’ main stage. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators played a set of new and classic hits from his catalogue. Opening with “You’re A Lie” then directly into the Guns and Rose’s classic “Nightrain,” Slash and Myles took the crowd on a journey through Slash’s career. Slash’s solo hit “Anastasia” got the crowd singing and it was a perfect lead in to “Sweet Child of Mine.” The ten-song set would conclude with “Slither” by Velvet Revolver and with an encore of “Paradise City.”

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Slash (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)


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Myles & Slash (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

As the sold out Rockville crowd bounced from stage to stage and hit-makers Papa Roach played on the far stage, it was evident looking throughout the crowd that there were many younger kids than in previous years. Adults are turning their kids onto their music and creating the next generation of metalheads. Hopefully they will teach them how to mosh the correct way and appreciate a great American rock band like Godsmack. Godsmack is a band that walks the fine line between rock and metal with powerful guitars and vocals while mixing in intricate drum arrangements from Shannon Larkin.

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Sully Erna Godsmack (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

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Shannon Larkin GodSmack (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

Out in support of the recent release in 1000 HP, Godsmack hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down and tonight wouldn’t prove differently. Godsmack’s 12-song setlist included: “Straight Out Of Line,” “Voodoo,” and “1000 HP.” Throw in the duel drum battle between Larkin and Erna, along with the extreme use of pyrotechnics throughout their set, and you walk away from a Godsmack show almost exhausted from sight and sound intoxication.

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Sully Erna Godsmack (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

After Godsmack concluded their performances on the Jack Daniels Main Stage, everyone in Metropolitan park traveled to the Monster Energy Main Stage for the conclusion to the 5th Annual Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville Festival for Slipknot.

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Corey Taylor Slipknot (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

As Slipknot’s crew was setting up their elaborate stage show, there was a eerie calm before the Slipknot storm. The mood switched when “For Those About to Rock” came on by AC/DC. The energy level and the look of anticipation for the upcoming set was palpable and when Slipknot dropped the curtain, once again the ground shook as if earthquake was happening. Yes: tornados and earthquakes, all in one weekend.


Jim Root (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

Donning their trademark masks and touring in support of their release, .5: The Grey Chapter, Slipknot performed a 14-song set full of fan favorites and deep cuts to satisfy the maggots new and old. Amongst them was the opener “Sarcastrophe,” “Pyscosocial,” and one of this year’s staples on Sirius/XM’s Big ‘Uns, “The Devil in I.”


Mick Thomson (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

With the dual tom drums on sizzorjacks and multiple pyrotechnic displays, Slipknot not only provided an intense musical performance, but a stage show that cannot be rivaled, even by the forefathers of this brand of stage imagery. Even if you don’t enjoy their music, a Slipknot show should be experienced by everyone at least once in their lives, and Slipknot was the perfect band to end this year’s metal music festival.

Ghost Motionless in White

Ghost Motionless in White (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

The 2015 Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville Festival was, without a doubt, a weekend to remember. A big hand goes out to all that were involved in the promoting and organizing of the event. From a great pre-party on Friday night at the Landing, to the police and EMS, park staff who provided safety at all costs during an extreme weather event, to the final song on Sunday night, many people behind the scenes should be thanked. The park staff, security, the EMTs and the City of Jacksonville, should all take pride in what was accomplished during this challenging weekend. As 40,000 plus attended and celebrated the music that they love, the metal community stood once again as the family that I cherish and know it to be.

For our coverage of Day 1

For more information on Welcome to Rockville and other locations for the Worlds Loudest Month check out

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(Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

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(Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

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Jonny Hawkins Nothing More (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

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Slash (Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)

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(Photo: Travis Failey RSEN)



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