Show Review: Welcome To Rockville 2017
After 20+ hours under a blazing sun, a treacherous trip down I-95 and a much needed, long, hot shower, I’m back from Welcome To Rockville 2017 and counting down the days until the most powerful rock show in Florida (hopefully) makes its triumphant 2018 return. Oh, if you’re counting along, it’s only 261 more days.
White lights, strange city, mad music all around
Midnight street magic – crazy people crazy
This year’s rendition of the show that kicks off the World’s Loudest Month had some great moments, but unlike in years past, there were some rough patches, too. But, let’s focus on the positives, including the incendiary set from rock legends Def Leppard that wrapped up the event.
My favorite aspect of any big festival is he ability to discover compelling new music. At Welcome To Rockville, most of those impressive newer bands played on Saturday. Check out my Three Rockville Gems piece for my thoughts on Goodbye June, Royal Republic and Frank Carter, and Liz Pena’s thoughts on Bands Who Impressed.
As Saturday progressed, we were all treated to a parade of superb bands: Highly Suspect, Coheed and Cambria, A Perfect Circle and Day 1 standouts, The Offspring and Soundgarden. The latter are longtime veterans who delivered pristine sets on the Monster Energy Stage to close the night.
Sunday got off to a nice start with a solid set from Rival Sons and a fantastic, explosive set from Nothing More. There were a few hours of mediocrity before a tremendous stretch featuring Three Days Grace, Seether, Papa Roach and Chevelle. And then, Def Leppard kicked it up a notch. The legendary rockers delivered a long hit-filled set that left the exhausted crowd perfectly sated.
Make sure you check back soon for our Welcome To Rockville 2017 Band Spotlights for a deeper look at many of the bands and a slew of killer band photos, which can be found here: Rarasfarm Welcome to Rockville Photo Albums.
Speaking of the exhausted crowd, these metal heads were awesome – to the bands and to their fellow fans. There were numerous mosh pits throughout the weekend and very few participants who were being overly aggressive. And, there were waves of crowd surfers across both days, and there was a wonderful spirit of community, highlighted by young kids, a few grandparents, and one rocker in a wheelchair. Beautiful, memorable moments.
And, a huge shout out to event security. They handled the crowd surfing wonderfully as they worked their collective asses off with near constant smiles. And, more than a few of them were dancing and singing along to the music as they scanned the crowd for issues.
Aside from the music, there were plenty of other things to do at Welcome To Rockville 2017. There were a slew of creative vendors, every type of food imaginable, meet and greets galore and some cool sponsored giveaways.
I don’t smoke/chew so I skipped the many trailers and giveaways from the horde of those brands which dotted the festival grounds. Is chew really that popular these days? I did enjoy a few trips to the Monster Energy Trailer and was happy to scoop a cool Jack Daniels T-Shirt and souvenir photo after enjoying a tasty JD and Coke.
My biggest disappointment was the shade situation for VIP near the stages. There wasn’t any VIP near the Metropolitan Stage, and the only shade near the Monster Stage was directly at the bar. Plenty of room for improvement for VIP attendees next year. There was a killer VIP set-up in the center of the complex,but it was far from any stages.
All told, the positive experiences dwarfed anything negative, and the event was an absolute blast.
Looking forward to Welcome To Rockville 2018… 260 days…
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