Welcome to Rockville, Florida

By on May 6, 2013

Barry Stock, Three Days Grace (photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jacksonville, Fla.–A stellar lineup featuring different genres of hard rock and heavy metal music played on multiple stages at Metropolitan Park next to Everbank Field.  April in Florida is perfect timing for this type of outdoor event, and the weather didn’t let us down.

The Florida sunshine was in full force the entire weekend, yet a nice breeze from the St. John’s River kept things tolerable during the day and really cooled things off in the evening.   Metropolitan Park was packed and Monster Energy, the event organizers, provided plenty of shaded areas, water, good food, and clean restrooms for its guests.  VIP packages were available, which offered a VIP entrance to the venue, access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service, premium viewing of the Monster Main Stage, seated area with shade for dining and private restroom facilities.

Headlining Saturday night’s lineup was Alice in Chains, but I felt from talking to the concert goers that there wasn’t one band that was truly headlining. Saturday’s lineup was loaded with great bands. From Halestorm, featuring Lzzy Hale, Las Vegas’ Otherwise with the Patrick brothers, the sexy spookiness of In This Moment’s Maria Brink, and crushing it once again, Stone Sour.  Stone Sour’s set consisted of their hits “Bother,” “Gone Sovereign,” and ended with “30/30 150.”  Stone Sour’s rendition of Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave” was phenomenal.  I’ve heard this song covered many times throughout the years and, in my opinion, this rendition was the tops. Vocalist, Corey Taylor, sang and Stone Sour played every note like it was their own and I’m sure that Stone Sour‘s performance would have made the Sabbath boys proud.

Corey Taylor, Stone Sour (photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

On the drums for Stone Sour, Roy Mayorga (photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Bullet for My Valentine proved that they deserved to be on the big stage with their high-energy performance featuring  hits ”Riot,” “Temper Temper,” and “Scream Aim Fire.” And, for one of the highlights of the day, Lzzy Hale joined Bullet for My Valentine onstage during “Dirty Little Secret.”

Matthew Tuck, Bullet for My Valentine (photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jason James, Bullet for My Valentine (photo by Travis Failey/ RSEN)

Speaking of Lzzy Hale and Halestorm, two words, “killed it.”  Opening with SiriusXM Octane’s Big ‘Uns Countdown recent  number one “Freak Like Me,” Halestorm crushed through hit after hit with “I Get Off”  “Love Bites” “Rock Show,” and “I Miss the Misery.”  The band also covered the classic DIO track, “Straight Through The Heart,” which got a huge reaction from the crowd. If you haven’t seen this band live and think that Lzzy is just a great studio vocalist, get out there and see them at a venue near you. Lzzy Hale is the top female vocalist in the business today and many other high end bands and performers are retaining her talents to collaborate on their own songs, live and in the studio. Drummer, Arajay Hale, (yes, he’s her brother), performed a monster drum solo and I’m not usually a fan of drum solos as I believe they are very cliché.

Lzzy Hale with Halestorm (photo by Travis Failey/ RSEN)

Halestorm Killed It” with Lzzy Hale and Arajay on the drums (photo by Travis Failey/ RSEN)

Saturday could have been labeled “song writers and hit makers day” because Papa Roach and Three Days Grace also played the East and West Monster Energy Stages.  Papa Roach played eleven songs, including their recent hits “Burn” and “Where do the Angels Go” along with hits from some of their earlier releases, including “Getting Away with Murder,”  “Scars,” and “Last Resort.”  Jacobby Shaddix and the guys owned the stage and worked the crowd like the veteran band that they are.

Getting Away with Murder – Jacoby Shadixx PAPA ROACH (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Neil Sanderson, Three Days Grace (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Directly after Papa Roach, Three Days Grace took the stage. To say that Three Days Grace is a hitmaker would be an understatement.  Every song that Three Days Grace played was recognizable and the crowd knew the words to every line. Opening with “Chalk Outline” and continuing with “Just Like You” and “Pain” and closing out their set with “Animal I Have Become” and “Riot,” Three Days Grace showed that they haven’t skipped a beat with the departure of their long-time lead singer, Adam Gontier.  Adam Gontier’s temporary replacement is Matt Walst, formerly of My Darkest Days, and brother of bassist Brad Walst.  While no one can replace Adam Gontier, Matt Walst proved that he can handle the duties as Three Days Grace’s frontman.

Three Days Grace – Matt Walst, formerly of My Darkest Days (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Before Alice in Chains closed out Saturday night, Limp Bizkit and Fred Durst made their return to Jacksonville.  Fred Durst and Wes Borland looked right at home and the crowd loved every minute of Limp Bizkit’s set. Wes Borland performed in an awesome costume, which could only be described as a rock-n- roll version of “The Predator.”

Wes Borland, Limp Bizkit (Photo by Joey Pye)

“Show Me What You Got”   Fred Durst LIMP BIZKIT (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Limp Bizkit opened with “Show Me What You Got” and followed up with a cover of RATM’s “Killing in the Name Of,” and The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” and incorporating their hits “Rearranged” and “Nookie” and closed with George Michaels’ “Faith.”  Some fans said that Limp Bizkit put on their favorite performance of the day.  One thing is for sure, Limp Bizkit is ready to tour again in front of big crowds at festivals across the U.S. this summer.

The night concluded with an epic performance by Alice in Chains. They played all the hits from their previous albums along with their most recent hit “Hollow” off their new release, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. Jerry Cantrell and William Duvall did a great job handling the band’s vocalist duties after the passing of Alice in Chains’ former vocalist, Layne Staley. You don’t realize how many hits Alice in Chains has had until you see them play live. “Angry Chair,” “Rooster and “Man In A Box” were just a few of the thirteen tracks that were played Saturday night.  Alice in Chains ended their set with “Would,” which closed out an unbelievable day of great performances by some of today’s hottest bands.

William Duvall,  Alice in Chains (Photo by Joey Pye)

Maria Brink, In This Moment (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Travis Johnson, In This Moment (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)



Adrian Patrick and Vassilios Metropoulos (foreground) OTHERWISE (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

















The Jacksonville fans were flying (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Looks like someone on stage is stealing her heart (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

The crowd was off the hook, “ROCKVILLE!” (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Adrian Patrick, OTHERWISE (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Sunday’s lineup included twenty-six bands, including Nonpoint, Nothing More, Steel Panther, Filter, Hollywood Undead, Device, Shinedown, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.                                                               http://www.welcometorockvillefestival.com/

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