It is Welcome To Rockville Day Two, the sun is up, and we are ready to rumble. With such a jam-packed schedule of absolute class Heavy Metal acts, there is so much to look forward to that one feels like a child in a candy store when presented with a pick ‘n mix.
Words: Dany Jones
First on the list is the new sensation Diamante. Just like a diamond, singer Azzura Bovelli is glistening in her skin-tight glittery catsuit, shining bright in the sunlight and perfectly matching the stunning axe that is hard to miss in the guitarist’s hands.
Following a promising entrance with Ghost Myself and despite a flawless performance from a technical standpoint, sadly, the set soon falls rather flat.
The Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris might probably be the most exciting moment for this band, luckily things pick up pretty quickly with DED, who ensure to work the entire perimeter of the stage while literally roaring at the audience. They scream, shout, jump in turns, and certainly make a great job at offering a memorable break.
Meanwhile, by the time they are done and the changeover is complete, the pit has absolutely packed for Sevendust, and the anticipation is now truly tangible.
Sirius FM and Octane celebrity Metal ambassador Jose Mangin has been engaged for this entire weekend to introduce the bands.
A long-term fan and supporter of Sevendust and renowned for his incredible high energy and zest for life, Jose jumps on stage, picks up the mic and starts inciting the audience into chanting “Sevendust has arrived” by screaming at the top of their lungs.
The band then emerge from the grounds and quickly unleash into a succession of heavy loads just like hot cakes spitting fresh from the oven. Morgan Rose’s relentless beat provides the perfect backing to a wall of heavy distortion and phat riffs, while Lajon’s gut-wrenching vocals fill up the sky, and the fans are truly putty in their hands.
Lajon then commands a break and wants to explain that today marks the end of their tour. He says that this is totally on a whim, as he chooses to dedicate the next song to his late little brother.
There is no doubt that the Atlanta rockers have just delivered a blazing set. However, with Shine, it is hard to keep a dry eye in the house.
As Sevendust exit, the sky has gotten darker, and with the ominous clouds comes the first announcement that Megadeth are unable to play and that Ministry will move high up on the bill.
It feels indeed like a huge loss. However, certain things can’t be helped, and the show must go on. At least the Ministry fans out there can rejoice in the fact that they are now able to enjoy an extended set. Little do they know that the set will be halted abruptly on the most awaited song N.W.O.
We opt for the best oven-baked pizza in the house, courtesy of a vendor in the VIP area, to then follow the huge noise coming from the Rockvillian Stage.
RED have now started their set and embark on explosive action throughout, with twin trampolines at the fore and band members flying all over the stage.
These guys certainly know how to entertain, and they indeed know how to surprise. A massive cheer lifts up in the air when they reveal the two amazing guests who have been invited to duet, respectively Keith Wallen of Breaking Benjamin singing on Sever and Brian ‘Head’ Welch of KORN playing guitar on Death Of Me.
What a fantastic treat, and what an utterly incredible ending.
We just about manage to catch the last of Seether due to scheduling conflicts when we hear another warning: the weather has taken a turn for the worse. Heavy rain and lightning storms are fast approaching, and this time we are told to evacuate. We then get a further update that this will be it for the day, that the whole event has been called off and that we should immediately seek shelter.
By this point, confusion, shock and utter disbelief set in when we finally come to the realisation of what is happening.
The cancellations come thick and fast. The long-awaited headliners, the ones that people have travelled a great distance for, will not be allowed to perform. KORN, Breaking Benjamin, Skillet, and so many more. Every name called feels like a fresh kick in the stomach, each one a little bit harder, and the anti-climax is truly indescribable.
As we go back to our cars, one last thought springs to mind. How lucky of Keith Wallen and Brian Welch to at least have gotten their five mins on stage while both their respective bands have come all this way in vain.
Friday, May 20
Space Zebra Stage
10:30 PM – KORN
8:35 PM – Megadeth
6:50 PM – Ministry
5:25 PM – Baroness
4:10 PM – Blacktop Mojo
3:00 PM – Diamante
9:30 PM – Breaking Benjamin
7:40 PM – Seether
6:05 PM – Skillet
4:45 PM – Sevendust
3:35 PM – DED
2:25 PM – Giovanni And The Riders
8:30 PM – Underoath
7:00 PM – Red
5:35 PM – Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
4:05 PM – Stick To Your Guns
2:55 PM – Death Tour
1:50 PM – Archetypes Collide
7:40 PM – We Came As Romans
6:10 PM – Whitechapel
4:50 PM – Mike’s Dead
3:35 PM – Extinction A.D.
2:25 PM – Young Other
1:20 PM – As You Were