Earthday Birthday 25 Review

Earthday Birthday 25 is One for the Ages

WJRR’s EDBD 25 Lineup Delivers Memorable Show

We’ve been raving about this year’s stacked Earthday Birthday show for several months here at RarasFarm, and this weekend we saw those expectations fully realized in a fantastic show at Central Florida Fairgrounds.  Shinedown, Three Days Grace and Bush delivered killer sets but the whole day was pretty damn good.

Before I dig into the music, kudos to 101.1 WJRR, Orlando’s rock station, and their Rick Everett who spearheads this event.  Three stages, 18 sets, myriad special attractions and not one hiccup.  This is a huge production with high quality rock music and our local radio station nailed it… again.

Earthday Birthday 25 Review
Gavin Rossdale of Bush singing from in the crowd.
The Music

The day featured quite a broad cross-section of rock music artists spread across the fairgrounds over 12 thunderous hours.  The music started with a Nirvana cover band, which I listened to outside the gates as we waited to meet up with our group.  As we waited in an impossibly long line, we were forced to miss Red and Dead Girls Academy – unfortunate because Red was one of my most anticipated acts on the schedule.

 Lipton Stage

The secondary stage was located at the lakefront amphitheater and offered up a diverse mix of music.  Starset was a total surprise, with a unique, space-aged vibe and Fozzy delivered their typical energetic, fun set of rock with Chris Jericho prancing all over the stage.

Powerman 5000 at EDBD

My favorite performance at the Lipton Stage was delivered by Powerman 5000 who dished out a heavy industrial set.  Their music was fun and kept the crowd moving, but I was just as impressed with their stage show – definitely one of the best of EDBD.

I also enjoyed the fact that the grounds in front of the stage were recently paved, which eliminates the possibility of a quagmire as we experienced in the past.

 Bud Light Stage

The lineup on the main stage was tremendous.  The gigantic temporary stage was set-up in a spacious open area that allowed plenty of room for the huge crowd.  I did not see attendance numbers, but EDBD 25 was the biggest turnout I have experienced.

Highlights included a dynamic set from longtime WJRR favorites Nonpoint, which was my first set of the day, and a powerful set from Seether later in the evening.

Once again, Gavin Rossdale and his mates from Bush were excellent.  They always deliver an incendiary set, typically featuring Rossdale racing around the stage and into the crowd, and this set was no different.

Three Days Grace offered up a sweet set and had the crowd thoroughly engaged all evening, and set closers Shinedown did not disappoint.  Brent Smith just dripped with charisma and he had the audience eating from his hand all night.  He sounded great, as did his band mates, and they delivered a priceless close to a magical day of rock music.

(We will have capsule band recaps of every act we saw in our article tomorrow)

Matt Walst of Three Days Grace at Earthday Birthday
Matt Walst of Three Days Grace at Earthday Birthday
The EDBD Experience

Earthday Birthday offers up so much more than solid rock ‘n roll, and this year was no exception.  I checked out the BMX stunt stage and caught a bit of the wrestling taking place on the grounds. Oh, and then there were camel rides and with the surprisingly nice weather, plenty of painted boobs.

I also took a quick tour through the art and craft booths near the Lipton Stage, as well as the merch booths throughout the property. Lots of god stuff. I only checked into the Chill Zone once, where I soaked up some sweet A/C and an equally sweet acoustic set from 10 Years.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Ok, I will leave it up to you where the boob painting fits in…

The Good: Early bird tickets.  4 for $100. Buy them early next year and trust that you will like the lineup.

More Good: The inflatable chairs.  Great idea, and it added a cool vibe to the atmosphere.

She said “Yes”

Even More Good: The WJRR staff – great hosts across all of the stages.  They were fun, but not over the top, and it seems we met every on air personality at some point.

The Bad:  The EDBD bucks required everywhere, and then not allowing tips with those bucks. I felt sorry for all of the servers, who were generally just awesome.

The Ugly:  We hit long lines entering the parking lots, and then waited 45 minutes to get into the venue.  That’s too long and seems like it should be an easy fix.

Bottom Line: After 25 years, Earthday Birthday has become an Orlando institution.  This year’s Silver Anniversary lineup promised to be one of the best ever, and it exceed expectations.  Looking forward to 25 more!

Rock On!






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