Tale of Two Days At Welcome To Rockville 2015

Welcome to Rockville
April 25 & 26, 2015
Jacksonville, FL

      Welcome to Rockville kicks off the world’s loudest month in Rock and ends with Rockfest in Kansas City, MO on May 30. Featuring 47 bands over 4 stages, this year’s Rockville changed the stage setup. As fans walked in, they had a choice to see bands on the 2 side stages next to each other before checking out the main stages, which were opposite each other across Metropolitan Park. This changed allowed for 5,000+ extra fans to enjoy each day and by the festival selling out, proved to be a winning formula.
Day 1 proved challenging for everyone, with storms predicted throughout the day held to be true. The festival was stopped twice with rain, lighting, and even a tornado touching down several miles away. The festival organizers should be applauded for staying ahead of the full onslaught of rain that fell during the two stoppages, allowing fans to head back into their cars as soon as drops of rains were felt and for those parked too far, allowing them to take cover under the overpasses.
Marilyn Manson at Welcome to Rockville 4-25-15 (5)Before the first rain came, Like a Storm and Nonpoint proved they belonged on the Jack Daniel’s Main Stage by tearing it up. Over on the side stages, World Gone brought their horror metal to open the festival. Before Halestorm had a chance to come on, the skies opened for a 2nd time but that did not stop them from doing their set for fans once the storm passed over.
Marilyn Manson closed out the Jack Daniel’s stage. Even with parts of the field turned into mud pits could not stop the fans from moshing and bringing a surreal scene to a Manson set. Korn closed out the night by preforming their self-titled debut album in its entirety. Even after 20 years, Korn sound better than ever.
Day 2 proved to be the complete opposite of Day 1, with highs in the 90’s and the sun beating down. New band, From Ashes to New, opened day 2. The grounds were empty as fans waited to get in but before they could finish their first song, fans swarmed to the stage to check out their set. The surprise band over at the main stage were Nothing More – a band that has been flying up the charts and touring nonstop for over a year now, has paid off with a blistering set.
Festival favorites Motionless in White, In This Moment and Butcher Babies proved why they were asked back, with fans packed in tight, crowd surfers and exploding mosh pits easily became one of the highlights of Rockville.
After years on hiatus, Breaking Benjamin are back and fans could not be more pleased as they sang along to every song. By late afternoon, fans were hard-pressed to decide what stage to attend as all the bands were worthy of closing out a festival. The main stages became a running field as Slash & Myles KennedySlipknot at Welcome to Rockville 4-26-15 (14) tore into greatest hits, sprinkled with GnR hits. 15 minutes before their set ended, Papa Roach started their set on the other main stage. Papa Roach always put on a great show but tonight they were hitting on all cylinders and Jacoby Shadixx looked great as he has been clean and sober for over 2 years.
Godsmack closed out the Jack Daniel’s Main stage with a set that fans will be talking about for years. The band walked out with a swagger, which not many other bands could pull off. Tonight they came to own Rockville and they did. Sully Erna walked on stage with his sunglasses, baseball cap and black Gibson slung low on his body as he screamed out “SHOT!” They tore into Generation Day from their latest album, 1000hp.
The last band of Rockville to play was Slipknot. Talk about a way to end a festival. Slipknot released their 5th album, .5: The Gray Chapter, last October. Alessandro Venturella on bass and Jay Weinberg on drums are not officially in, but Weinberg proved to be a beast behind the kit. They opened with Sarcastrophe off the new album and blazed thru a selection of songs throughout their 14 song set.
Welcome to Rockville has raised the bar high for the upcoming festival and year-after-year produce a great event to make Jacksonville, FL proud to call home. Review by: Peter Lizano

DAY 1:

Marilyn Manson
Like a Storm
Sons of Texas
World Gone
Stars in Stereo

DAY 2:

Papa Roach
Slash ft. Myles and the Conspirators
Butcher Babies
From Ashes to New
In Flames
In This Moment
Motionless in White
Nothing More
We Are Harlot