The final day of the very first Orange Loop Rock Festival, and, believe me when I say, this was no reason to slow down. In fact, Sunday was the most jam-packed schedule of the entire weekend, with bands on the main stage and bands on the Beast Equipment Stage overlapping from 3:30 PM to 10:30 PM.
Orange Loop Rock Festival – Part Three
Words and photography: Shannon Wilk
It was impossible to catch all the amazing bands on this stacked lineup. Sunday morning saw the weather that caused the festival to be moved inside, but the storms outside weren’t the only thing that brought the thunder to Atlantic City.
Warming up the main stage were local band Second Skyn. Despite a late start, to no fault of their own, forcing the band to quickly adapt their set and soundcheck, these five guys put on a great rock show from the very first to the very last note. The band features Jesse Shar on vocals, Mark Monjoy and Zack Miranowic on guitars, Brain Jennings on bass and Tommy Spano holding down the drums.
Second up for the day was the man, the myth, the legend – John 5! The Orange Loop main stage was the sixth stop on this leg of his Sinner tour. Taking the stage at 4:25 PM, though you would never know, wearing a white and black mask paired with a curly white wig, a green guitar reminiscent of a lava lamp and a violin bow.
It appeared that many in the audience were unfamiliar with John 5, but once he took that stage, they were drawn in, intrigued by his every move. He brought a variety of antics throughout his set, including a guitar filled with strobe lights, a multi-coloured flashing mouthpiece which he threw into the crowd afterwards, several mask changes, a banjo, a ukulele and more.
His setlist included Season Of The Witch, 666, Crank It, and a medley of over ten iconic rock and Metal tunes. With every song, the audience, myself included, became more and more mesmerized by his performance. John 5 definitely stole the show.
After John 5 wrapped up his set, it was time for alt-rockers Puddle Of Mudd. Vocalist Wes Scantlin has quite the reputation in the scene throughout the past 15-20 years, and there was chatter about his condition backstage at the festival.
Despite this, the band came out and absolutely rocked every one of their songs, from Control to Psycho to the final song of their set and their most popular, Blurry. The fans were showing their love for the band with chants of I Love You Wes rumbling through the venue. Puddle of Mudd gained more than a few fans this night.
Next, I headed over to the Beast Equipment stage for one of my favourite acts from the ’80s, Texas rockers, Dangerous Toys. As the band was taking the stage, they made several light-hearted jokes about the lack of crowd at the beginning of their set.
Guitarist Scott Dalhover says, “welcome to open mic night”. After opening the show with Outlaw, Jason McMaster thinks back to the band’s early days, recalling the last time they played this far up north was back in 1994, opening for L.A. Guns, whom they were once again opening for this very night.
“The more things change,” McMaster said. Dangerous Toys ripped through many songs from their 1989 self-titled debut album that we all know and love. With four out of five original members, guitarist Paul Lidel, who has been in the band since 1994, laid down the classic riffs with ease and a smile through the whole set.
The combination of bassist Mike Watson and drummer Mark Geary make one fierce rhythm section, that’s for damn sure! As the set went on, the room filled, and the energy in the room could have fooled me for being that Dangerous Toys tour in 1994.
Jason McMaster’s vocals stand the test of time and have withstood impressively well through all the weathering years of touring. This was another band that was a favourite of the weekend, one which people talked about for days after.
The second to last headliner performing on the main stage were Hoobastank. Hitting the stage at 7:45 PM, packed with pent-up energy, these four guys let loose on stage and went wild. This was only the band’s second show of the year, but you would never know as they are a well-rehearsed, well-oiled rock n’ roll machine.
Coming all the way from California for just a 45-minute set, they made the most of it by throwing in all their most popular songs.
Just as Hoobastank were finishing up, L.A. Guns were lighting up the Beast Equipment stage just down the hall. L.A. Guns’ O.G.’s Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns have the right idea of getting fresh talent in their band with Ace Von Johnson on guitar and Johnny Martin on bass.
But it’s also awesome to see musicians that were loved back in the day make a comeback in another band. When I say this, I am referring to L.A. Guns’ newest addition, Shawn Duncan – former drummer of Odin. You know, that killer band from The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years?
Anyway, this brilliant, sleazy music collective brought the rock n’ roll attitude into this tiny club-like room for a totally rad eight-song set of all their greatest tunes.
Last but certainly not least, grunge LEGENDS, Stone Temple Pilots. You know them, you love them and damn, do they put on an amazing show.
Unlike many bands, these guys kicked off their set with one of their hits, Wicked Garden. But then again, they’ve got so many popular songs that the entire crowd was able to sing along to the majority of their set.
About a third of the way into their set, frontman Jeff Gutt stood on the front barricade giving fans an unforgettable experience of seeing one of the biggest bands of the ’90s. From Down to Plush to Interstate Love Song to Sex Type Thing, I was impressed beyond words.