The title just about sums up the experience. Despite the fact that Warped Tour has been going on for twenty years, this was my first time attending. The lineup had a few acts I wanted to see, and I was happy to see some other bands as well.
With our Candlebox interview published today, we’ve finally dug through our huge backlog of Welcome To Rockville features. You can use this page to find all of our reviews, interviews and photo collections.
Myself and another RARAs Farm contributor were going to cover Welcome To Rockville 2016 (day two), but he had a last minute emergency, so I unexpectedly found myself with an extra media pass to Sunday’s event at the world’s loudest rock festival.
I am thrilled I got the call again this year to review the bands playing live at North Florida’s largest concert event – “Welcome To Rockville.”
This year, the line-up of bands was overwhelming with all of the local fan favorites playing – totally the coolest thing happening in North Florida. Many tours skip Jacksonville for Tampa and Orlando, but we still rock when we can, and fans have bought tickets to prove it, selling out this year’s event!
I got my assignment to review – “From Ashes to New” , a Lancaster Pennsylvania band that has been getting a lot of heat in the press.
There are six members in this band:
Matt Brandyberry (Vocals/Guitar/Keys/Programming) Chris Musser (Vocals) Dan Kecki (Guitar) Branden “Boo” Kreider (Guitar/Vocals)
Dan Kecki (Guitar) Garrett Russell (Bass, Boyish Good Looks) Tim D’onofrio (Drums)
These guys all started in different bands in the beginning, each band with different attitudes of music. Some of the bands were playing Metal, some were Alternative Metal and even Rap Metal. After band members came and went from the six bands, the remaining members formed a cool band, leveraging all of the music genres. Instantly the band clicked with each other and in 2013 the band was picked up by Better Noise Records.
Grant McFarland was the Producer who put the band on track, creating an epic masterpiece EP, that took the boys to the next level.
The band’s lead vocalist, programmer and creative mastermind Matt Brandyberry says this line up is the heart of the underground music scene in Lancaster Pa. Many fans have jumped on the bandwagon, and happily, are enjoying all the elements of music this band brings to the stage.
Each song on the new EP shows strong emotions – true heartfelt feelings – from being angry at the world to being blessed in every way. I was pleasantly surprised to hear what I have never heard before in Metal Music – inspiration.
The band’s new 4 track EP Downfall, has the coolest mix of contemporary metalcore crunch and soul-searching rap, breaking down hostile barriers in today’s music scene. In just the past few weeks – the new EP has garnered over a half a million hits – the band can hardly keep any in stock. Everyone was snapping up the CDs at the merchandise booth today – case after case of CDs are being bought up – one CD at a time.
Promoters of major tours with the likes of Hollywood Undead, and Music Festivals with major acts like Slipknot , Godsmack , Marilyn Manson , and many more – are ringing the management’s phone for this band to open for them on tour. It’s rare buzz, and it is exciting to see it happening. This band has a fresh new attitude of metal music that has all the elements of all the genres that we know and love. It’s like hearing six bands in one – not the same old song and dance that many bands get trapped into.
Well, tonight in Jacksonville Florida the band hits the stage at full speed – kicking out power riffs along with power vocals from both singers. Matt would sing in one genre style and Chris would sing in another style – in the same song – it was so cool to witness this live with 20,000 fans.
The songs were inspiring, not death and devil lyrics, but true feelings – words that have resonated with every listener in attendance. These guys are grounded in their beliefs, and it helps getting through life’s struggles by letting it out of your heart and soul with powerful songs like these.
Tonight the band is live in concert – here’s what is happening:
Tim is beating the drums as fast as he can and smoking the competition tonight with his ability to adapt to the ever changing tempos. He wears sunglasses and smiles to the ecstatic fans waving to him – and he is surely making plenty of new fans along the way. He was upbeat and happy to be a part of Welcome To Rockville and the fans will remember him and the band next time they tour through Florida. He was very nice to everyone and they could tell he was for real, putting his skills to work as one of the best drummers of the event. 4/4 time never sounded better!
Brandon was also excited to be here, playing his slick guitar with amps at full maximum level. He made many fans tonight cheer after every song. He moved on the stage so the fans could see him up close, never missing a lick. The attitude he shows means a lot to the 20,000 in attendance tonight. Playing a cool looking guitar, he looked the part – totally immersed into the music and the fans. The songs demanded attention to detail and he made sure the songs got it. He has fingers that move on the fretboard effortlessly. It also helps being young and good looking and the females were attentive to Brandon with smiles and sweat dripping off of them as they were jumping all night.
Chris has a two-sided look; a clean cut boy next door look, and an intensely powerful voice that reached across town as he belted out the songs. It was easy to see how mesmerizing he can be behind those scary white contacts and jamming with the band, singing his heart out. He showed professionalism with being the co-singer and knowing his role and timing with the music, not to over run Matt’s parts in the songs. This band should last forever with this type of energy and music styles they infuse into their music. This band is not out there with another gimmick – just straight up groovy metal jams!
Garrett held down the stage with his awesome bass playing – how does one change styles in mid song? He is already a seasoned pro despite looking like he is 18 years old! His constant pulling of the strings makes people jump up and down – boogie woogie metal is what i call it. I was so proud of this band tonight, seeing a different genre in metal – infused with rap lyrics – was something I would have never thought I’d like…I was wrong. The thousands in attendance with fists in the air were witnessing history. I am happy I was here to see it. This is what makes life good – great bands and always a new direction to be explored in music.
Dan also put in 110 percent – playing guitar riffs that snapped your neck. I couldn’t believe what these young new whipper snappers were able to pull off on stage musically. Dan put some cool moves onstage that excited the girls and the metal fans were coming in closer to see him packed like sardines at the stage. The mosh pit area was getting stirred up about 100 feet wide by 50 feet wide with fans in an instant frenzy, stomping the ground with their combat boots, pushing each other around the mosh area; it was surreal to say the least to watch it all unfold. The fans were very happy tonight. Dan waved at the crowd, and after the set, the crowd did not want the band to leave the stage. It ended all too soon, but everyone had a great time with the band in Jacksonville Florida !
It was great to see them live in concert – get ready for another tour coming soon. Also – make sure to get the bands new EP CD soon – You need fresh jams!
I will also release an interview with all 6 members from backstage in a few days – stay tuned to Rarasfarm.com. You don’t want to miss a single story – all of our writers are working hard to bring the news to the fans!
Here are a few band links – you’ll need them!
http://youtube.com/fromashestonew – Link to YouTube Video’s of the band – a must see
http://twitter.com/fromashestonew – Link to the Twitter Account to stay in touch with the band
http://www.fromashestonew.com/ – Band’s personal Website – sign up for emails
We had a blast at Rockville #2 in Jacksonville Florida with From Ashes to New – Matt has really done a great job with this band.
We hope to see these guys again soon on tour – this time the promoters might want to get a bigger venue – because the fans have spoken, With over a half million hits online over the band’s new EP in just a few weeks, this band is quickly climbing the heavy metal ladder!
Thanks to the management of Mad Mac Entertainment for the access. Rob McDermott and his hard working representatives made this show special, and all I can say is that they better get them boys ready for the future – it’s gonna be a great ride!
Also thanks to Rarasfarm.com – The World’s Leader in Rock n Roll Music News – you guys always have the best stories every month!
I’m Happyjack – reporting from Jacksonville Florida – your insider to the best in music news that fans like you want to hear about!
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Remember, I have the interviews being released soon – Stay Tuned for more – “From Ashes to New” !