This year’s 101.1 WJRR Earthday Birthday was the most women-centric rock event I can remember, and the approach helped make it one of the best festivals I’ve experienced. We were treated to five female fronted bands, a key sponsor was breast health awareness non-profit organization Rock Pink, we had a chance to honor a local survivor, we saw plenty of Mel and LT, and of course, there were painted breasts celebrated everywhere.
Set times for WJRR’s Earthday Birthday 23 have been released. Kicking off with the National Anthem at the Rock Pink Stage at 11:15, we’re all in store for 12 hours of non-stop rock.
The line-up for Earthday Birthday has been announced, and it looks like Central Florida is in for another great day of rock ‘n roll at The Central Florida Fairgrounds – and if you act right away, you can see this great line-up for half price!
Smashing Day 1 at Welcome To Rockville
It’s the premiere hard rock event in the country, and yesterday, Welcome To Rockville thundered into Jacksonville for the first of two powerful days packed with explosive rock.
|Make sure you Like RARAsFarm’s Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter for rock music coverage.||Follow @rarasfarm|
Unfortunately for the local rock fans, they also had to endure a thunderous show from Mother Nature, but in the end the story was still all about the rock ‘n roll.
The key word for the 2015 version of Welcome To Rockville was “More.” More stages, more bands, more food trucks, more vendors, more space (a lot more space), more activities and more fans, and it all came together nicely.
For this year’s event, we were treated to four stages of music spread across the greatly expanded footprint. The set-up this year was perfect for the sound, with very little bleed over from one stage to the others. The Reverbnation and Jagermeister Stages were side by side and located in the shadows of Everbank Field, an entirely new area for 2015. In the slightly expanded original festival area, the Jack Daniels and Monster Energy Stages faced each other, but probably had an additional 100 feet or so of space, which came in handy for the headliners, Korn.
The first band we caught was Red Sun Rising, a quintet out of Akron, Ohio. they delivered an energetic entertaining set that proved to be one of the highlights of the day for us. They debuted “The Other Side,” the first single from their new album which will be released on June 9th. It’s a perfect fit for active rock radio stations that should be blasting through our speakers all summer. We chatted with the talented band after their set and will have the full interview on this site in the next few days.
We caught powerful sets from Sangre, Stars in Heaven and Sons Of Texas before the first alarm went off. Due to severe weather in the area, the crowd was asked to disperse back to their cars for about two hours while the storms cleared through the area. The organizers handled it well, and with calm, and did a nice thing when they opened the VIP areas under the overpass to all fans. It was a nice touch and the right thing to do.
Unfortunately, we missed a few bands due to the rain, including Fozzy, Hollywood Undead and Scott Weiland and The Walkabouts. But, we did get back underway in time to catch the full set from legendary progressive metal rockers Queensryche. With Todd La Torre manning the vocals in place of Geoff Tate, they sounded pristine and offered a great sampling of tracks from their fantastic thirty year career.
From there, we trekked across the field in time to hear the crowd chanting for Testament, a band I had never seen previously. And, they delivered a tremendous, fiery 30 minute set. All of the band members flew around the stage, constantly connecting with the crowd, defying their age as thirty year veterans of the heavy metal scene. Front man Chuck Billy stalked the stage constantly playing air guitar on his mic stand. It was a great surprise and the highlight of the day for me.
We then sat through another hour storm delay, but were excited to see that the festival was able to squeeze in a late performance from Halestorm who sounded great and dished out a fun and engaging set. We also saw Mike Muir and Suicidal Tendencies who dished out an equal serving of thrash metal and solid motivational life advice.
Marilyn Manson closed down the Jack Daniels Stage with an entertaining freak show. His mobscene sounded great, but the show seemed a little sloppy. I did, however enjoy his stories, particularly of the time he was arrested in Florida. From there, it was across the grounds to the fevered Monster Energy Stage, where Korn thundered through a set that had the remaining crowd headed to the streets extremely pleased with their fill of rock music.
It was a powerful ending to a turbulent day, but a day that ultimately was all about the rock ‘n roll, and a great way to kick off Rockville.
Make sure you Like our Facebook Page, as we will load photos from all of these bands, and a few others in the days to come, exclusively for our Facebook fans.
Six Bands Not To Miss at Welcome To Rockville
Still need a reason to go to the Rockville festival in Jacksonville this year? I’m sure you can come up with plenty of reasons not to, but I’m going to give you six reasons why you should.
|Make sure you Like RARAsFarm’s Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter for more Welcome To Rockville and rock music coverage.||Follow @rarasfarm|
Reason #6: Butcher Babies. These Los Angeles-based rockers’ high energy set will include new some new songs they just finished recording at the beginning of this month for their second album, as well as those that put them on tours opening for the likes of Marilyn Manson, as part of the lineup of Mayhem Fest, and currently touring with In This Moment.
Reason #5: Halestorm. Who wouldn’t want to see Lizzy Hale? She and her troupe of talented musicians are currently on a massive tour, with dates all across America until this summer, when they will hop the pond for some shows in Europe in support of their latest release, Into the Wild Life, which will be available April 14th.
Reason #4: Breaking Benjamin. After dealing with some health and legal issues, frontman Benjamin Burnley has got his alternative act back on the road, and has put some time into the studio for a June album release. You will get to hear some of the new material, in addition to modern classics like “I Will Not Bow”, “The Diary of Jane”, and other crowd favorites.
Reason #3: Marilyn Manson. Twenty years after shaking up the music world, and inciting the fury of countless evangelists with Portrait of an American Family, Manson is touring promoting his latest masterpiece, The Pale Emperor. You won’t want to miss this shock rockers’ set filled with props, stunning visual effects, and live versions of the music you have loved for years.
Reason #2: The Pretty Reckless. TPR is touring with Halestorm, a perfect pairing of musical styles and female vocal performances that will captivate the audience and leave them wishing for more. Their latest, Going to Hell, is at the top of the Billboard charts, and they have scored back to back number one hits with “Heaven Knows” and “Messed Up World”, and the latest “Follow Me Down” is pure gold. You do not want to miss them!
The number one reason to go to Rockville this year, drumroll please… is Slipknot! Corey Taylor and his little group of miscreants are some of the hardest working people in the business, and their newest album, .5 the Gray Chapter, is among their best work to date. Slipknot is a perennial crowd favorite because of their interaction with their fans, and a powerful stage presence. Slipknot alone is worth seeing, and the number one reason to go, but honestly the lineup at Rockville is epic and you can see it here: http://welcometorockvillefestival.com/lineup/
Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future Welcome To Rockville updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂
As I looked back on the 2012 rock landscape and reviewed the year’s best rock music, I realized that I’ve definitely become more of an Indie Rock fan over the past few years. 2012 brought us lots of great Indie rock, but we also heard some rocking albums in the mainstream. You may see a few albums here that you’re not familiar with, but I implore you to check them out. You’ll open your ears to some killer new rock, and impress the hell out of your friends. (After each selection, you’ll find a link to check them out on iTunes as well as our recommendations if you just want to grab a few tracks off of each album).
So, here are the Farmer’s Dozens in reverse order. The two dozen best rock albums of the year:
Bonus Selection: Each farmer’s dozen comes with a bonus, so here are two: Grouplove, Never Trust a Happy Song and The Black Keys, El Camino. Both of these albums would be at the top of our 2012 list… if we had not already recognized them in 2011. Here’s our Top Rock Albums of 2011, to see what else we visionaries were thinking last year.
23. Lovedrug, Wild Blood – These Indie rockers out of Ohio are powered by Michael Sheppard’s unique voice and a nice Kickstarter campaign. Best tracks: “Premonition” and “Ladders.” Read our full review
21. Green River Ordinance, Under Fire – Great rock ‘n roll harmonies from this quintet out of Forth Worth. They offer up a diverse selection of tunes on another self-funded effort. Best tracks: “Dark Night” and “Lost in the World.” Read our full review
20. Mumford and Sons, Babel – A nice follow-up to their hugely successful 2009 release Sigh No More for these barrier-breaking folk rockers. Best tracks: “I Will Wait” and “The Boxer” (Simon and Garfunkel cover).
19, Dinosaur Jr., I Bet on Sky – The Massachusetts Alt-Rockers continue to put out solid Alt-Rock with their distinctive brand of guitar rock. Every song is good on this one. Best tracks: “Rude” and “Pierce the Morning Rain.”
18. Luke Dowler, Polarized – Dowler’s music offers raw vocals with an urgent passion, mixed with poignant lyrics about world affairs, relationships and deep personal faith: Good stuff from Big Sky Country. Best tracks: “Polarized” and “Gun.” Read our full review
17. Jack White, Blunderbuss – White breaks away from the shackles and structure of his former band mates in The White Stripes and Raconteurs and it works nicely. Best Tracks: “Love Interruption” and “Trash Tongue Talker.”
16. The Shins, Port of Morrow – Fantastic lyrics, beautiful harmonies and rock and roll that just oozes likability I just wish these New Mexico natives would put out album more often than every four years. Best tracks: “Simple Song” and “It’s Only Life.”
15. Muse, The 2nd Law – The band, built for stadium rock, took some chances on this, their sixth release. This stuff is nothing like what we’ve heard from them before, but it is intriguing and captivating. Best tracks: “Madness” and “Survival.”
14. The Gaslight Anthem, Handwritten – Talented New Jersey rockers who offer up their most polished record to date. Strong heart felt rock and roll with excellent lyrics. Best tracks” “Too Much Blood” and “45.” Read our full review
13. The Killers, Battle Born – Brandon Flowers and the band never disappoint. One of the year’s best produced albums and it shows the band moving in a more mature direction. Best tracks: Runaways” and “Miss Atomic Bomb.”
12. Neon Trees, Picture Show – Everybody talked about “Everybody Talks,” but this album was much more than one hit. Tyler Glenn is a future superstar and highlights his broad talent throughout the band’s third album. Best tracks: “I am the DJ” and “Everybody Talks.”
11. Django Django, Django Django – Hip, cool, groovy, rock ‘n roll with an oddly familiar feel considering this is the band’s debut. Mixes the best of the sixties, eighties and modern times. Best tracks: Default” and “WOR.”
10. Metric, Synthetica – From the opening lines of “Artificial Nocturne,” where Emily Haines offers “I’m just as fucked up as they say,” this album demands your attention. Some deep introspective tracks disguised as excellent pop rock songs. Best tracks: “Youth Without Youth” and “Breathing Underwater.”
9. Thousand Foot Krutch, The End is Where We Begin – The songs are positive Christian rock but these guys don’t slam you over the head with their beliefs. It’s solid, active rock music that any hard rock fan will enjoy. A very diverse selection from a band returning to their Indie roots. Best tracks: “War of Change” and “All I Need to Know.” Read our full review
8. The Wallflowers, Glad All Over – Jacob Dylan continues to evolve as a musician and has never sounded better than he does now. Excellent music with soulful vocals on a selection of tracks guaranteed to grow on you with each listen. Best tracks: “It’s a Dream” and “Reboot the Mission.”
7. The Drowning Men, All of the Unknown – They’re back with their second full-length album release, their first on Flogging Molly’s Borstal Beats label, which builds on the success of their fantastic debut album Beheading of the Songbird, and shows the talented quintet continuing to grow. These Indie rockers remind me a bit of the layered harmonies of Arcade Fire, with a clear West Coast U.S. bent. Best Tracks: “A Fool’s Campaign” and “Lost in a Lullaby.” Read our full review
6. Green Day, ‘¡Uno!‘ – Billie Joe Armstrong needs to be recognized as the prolific rock songwriter he is. He and his longtime band mates never fail to put out good music and this is another prime example. A great fresh punk/pop sound from our favorite So Cal trio. They released three good albums this year, this one was the best of the bunch. Best tracks: “Oh Love” and “Let Yourself Go.”
5. Fun., Some Nights – So much more than “We Are Young.” This masterfully produced album is a great vehicle for the talented vocal stylings of Nate Ruess and is packed with memorable addicting ditties. Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost round out the trio and lend their voices to create impressive harmonies throughout. On Some Nights, Fun. has developed a unique sound and carved a nice niche in today’s Alt-Rock landscape. Best tracks: Why Am I the One” and “Carry On.” Read our full review
4. Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal. This talented Icelandic band has taken advantage of the revitalized interest in folksy rock courtesy of Mumford and Sons, but have kicked it up a notch. Great, fun rock songs with amazing boy/girl vocals and meaningful lyrics; as well as a few tracks that are strictly fantasy adventures like the addictive “From Finner.” Best tracks: “Mountain Sound” and “Little Talks,”
3. River City Extension, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger – The second release from this talented octet out of New Jersey is a musical and lyrical journey well worth a listen. It’s a folk rock/Americana album packed with original sounds and with each listen a different track stands out. Joe Michelini, the band’s singer and guitarist is the primary songwriter and he takes us through a varied collection of memories. He offers: “Half of this record is love songs, and the other half is ‘I’m sorry that I fucked up’ songs,” and he writes about both in a compelling way. Best tracks: “Glastonbury” and “Ballad of Oregon.” Read our full review
2. Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball – I had just about written off the sage of the Garden State, but this is one of Springsteen’s best efforts in years. The music is superb, and the lyrics even better. It’s a bitter, but honest look at what Corporate Greed and idiot politicians have done to his country, and Springsteen pulls it off by surrounded the words with excellent music At times, he evokes memories of the E Street Band’s greatest anthems, at other times he has us heading down an entirely new path, such as the Celtic rock feel in the fantastic “Death of My Hometown.” Best other tracks: “We Take Care of Our Own” and “Wrecking Ball.”
1. Shinedown, Amaryllis – I loved “Bully” the moment I heard it and was pleasantly surprised to hear the excellent diversity on the rest of the album. It’s aggressive, powerful, passionate rock that’s impossible to put down. The Jacksonville based band has only put out four albums in their decade plus together, and each one has gotten just a little bit better. Rolling Stone hated the album, which in itself is proof that it’s mainstream rock for the masses. Amaryllis is one of the best hard rock albums in years and it’s packed with great songs. Best tracks: “Unity” and “I’m Not Alright.”
There you have it – the best rock albums of 2012, according to me. Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section.