This year’s three-day lineup featured about fifty bands spread across the three Metropolitan Park stages. At events like this, it’s impossible to see every band, but I did manage to catch about 25 full sets and another dozen partial sets. For the most part, the music was great, but here is the best of the best…
Foo Fighters and Ozzy Headline Spectacular Weekend of Rock
2018 will go down as the year that Welcome To Rockville became a transcendent rock music festival – one of the premiere live music events in this country. It was a year where we saw the raucous festival add a third day, expand the venue size, greet record crowds, and deliver the most impressive lineup in their history. All of that, and they got the little things right, as well.
Florida’s Loudest Music Festival Just Kicked It Up A Notch
Over the past decade, hard rock fans in the Southeast have watched the steady growth and transformation of Jacksonville’s premiere rock event, Welcome To Rockville. This year, producer Danny Wimmer takes the festival to new heights, adding a third furious day of rock, and for the first time ever, adding an onsite camping option.
I remember when I was young and in love with music, I was the kid that was in my room in the cold winter months (and there were quite a few) sitting in front of my old school stereo with tape decks. Back then we didn’t have mp3 players or smartphones or even YouTube for that matter.
For anyone wondering why so many aging rock legends hobble back on stage to reunite for the one final, or “this time we really mean it” farewell tour, take a look at the cash they were able to stuff into their deep pockets. With nostalgic Baby Boomers more than willing to pull a few Franklins from their wallets to rekindle their early life memories, plenty of classic rock artists are cashing in.
As we leap into June, and the dog days of summer, I took a look at the best live acts on the road today. There were many killer rock acts to choose from, including a few bands we have not previously seen, but we decided to limit the list to a dozen acts that we can personally vouch for as guaranteed to deliver a great rock ‘n roll music experience.
Here you go – twelve bands from very different rock music genres, but all twelve linked together as the top dozen live rock artists touring this summer; a dozen bands who put on a fantastic show every time they hit the stage.
I list them here in alphabetical order, but every one of these acts delivers a killer show every night, and they are all absolutely worth seeing.
Dave Grohl is one of the most dynamic front men around, and he’s got one hell of a catalogue of songs to play. The Foo Fighters are playing a bunch of stadiums on this tour, but I’d recommend one of their more intimate arena stops if you can swing it
He just might be the best storyteller gracing the rock ‘n roll landscape today. Every show is a diverse, eclectic collection of wonderful songs from the punk rock icon turned rock ‘n roll troubadour. (Read our review)
Surely the most pop-infused artist on our list, but this talented couple dish out fun danceable rock music that is guaranteed to keep you moving. Matt Johnson on keys and drummer Kim Johnson are energetic, athletic, and fun to watch.
They’ve had a few big hits, but these talented Alt-rockers truly shine during their killer stage shows, and the spotlight shines brightest on charismatic frontman Tyler Glenn who is one of the best live performers on the rock landscape today.
Energetic Danish pop-punk that translates perfectly in their powerful live show. Acrobatic lead singer David Boyd flies around the stage, often sings from amidst the crowd and is guaranteed to deliver at least one headstand each show.
Industrial hard rock out of Texas with a very unique twist. This quartet does a lot of fun and dishes out unique stuff on stage, always delivering an entertaining and loud show. As an added bonus, they are touring with another great live act, Shinedown
One of the more mellow rock acts on the list, but the folksy Icelandic quintet always deliver a tight performance and sound perfect. Their unique blend of Indie rock is a joy to listen to and they pour out creative boy/girl rock onstage.
Sir Paul does not tour much, but when he does, it’s “Can’t Miss” rock personified. He is rock ‘n roll royalty, and in his 70’s, still delivers an amazing show every night. Three plus hours of engaging music from the greatest catalog ever and he still glides effortlessly through all of the offerings.
Three young brothers who know how to rock. They’ve got a unique garage rock sound tinted with clear punk stylings. This trio is uber-talented despite the fact their average age is under twenty. Catch them now while they are still playing smaller venues.
You may have heard of these young guns out of England? They’re celebrating 50+ years of touring together and still boast the same line-up that first appeared 40 years ago! These guys are timeless and still deliver a great rock ‘n roll experience every time they storm the stage.
This Virginia quartet work their asses off; touring constantly and pouring themselves into every show. Frontman Matt Santoro is a fantastic entertainer, paired with three other maniacs who love playing live. Their blend of dancey hard rock is a guaranteed good time for any rock music fan.
Hip hop meets alt-rock, and this duo have created a fantastic niche in the rock landscape. Aside from delivering catchy addictive music, these two guys fly around the stage and always deliver an engaging, interactive show.
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Heard Joey Ramones’ new release “New York City” the other day. It’s a cool tune reminiscent of late Ramones stuff, and I think we’ll see it become an anthem of sorts for the Big Apple – if it ever gets any airplay, and that’s a big “if.”. This one actually has the potential to be a hit. Interesting stuff considering Joey died more than 10 years ago. Heard it twice on Sirius XM’s, Little Steven’s Underground Garage in the past few days, but can’t find it on the web. If I recall correctly, this album has been tied up in legal proceedings for about five years. Sure, hope it sees the light of day.
Found a very cool live Foo Fighters song on Youtube. This one features the Foo’s drummer Taylor Hawkins getting behind the mike and stepping out in front of the band, while Roger Taylor slides into his seat behind the drums, and Brian May joins them on-stage for a cover of Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down.” It absolutely rocks, and would have made Freddie proud. Check it out here! I’ve seen the Foo Fighters a few times, and truly believe Taylor could someday front his own band similar to the leap Dave Grohl took after Nirvana.
My current favorite new tune is “Crystal Vases” by The Last Royals. They’re a new duo out of Brooklyn New York, and this first tune is a killer. If you live around Brooklyn, check them out at Pete’s Candy Store on July 25th. If you don’t live around New York, you are out of luck, as nothing else is planned at this time.