Rockfest presents Art of Dying, Black Stone Cherry, Buckcherry, and Shinedown
With its 19th annual music festival, Rockfest proved once again why it’s one of the best music festivals put on year after year in the heart of the Wisconsin Cadott. Each year, running 4 days – Thursday to Sunday – they bring out the biggest and best bands in Rock. Unlike other festivals, all the bands play full sets that can range from 1 to 2 hours; this is done by having just 5 to 6 bands play a day. Rockfest averages about 20,000 to 25,000 fans a day and offers camping grounds and RV hookup to allow fans from all over the country to come.
As I made my way in, Art of Dying was playing on the stage. AOD has been on a roll lately, touring nonstop and making fans where ever they play. Playing on the main stage allowed them to open up their setlist and play for over 1 hour. Jonny and the boys were on fire today and being this was their last stop before taking a break from touring, they gave their all. This is a band every rock fan should go and see play.
Something new to Rockfest that was not there last year was a catwalk stage that allowed the bands to come close to the fans in VIP as well as the general admission to take pics from the closed off middle section.
Up next were the boys from Kentucky – Black Stone Cherry. If you’ve never seen BSC live, you’re missing out on one of the best live bands. From the start, it is full steam ahead and high energy, with Ben Wells on guitar flying all over the stage. Chris Robertson has a great voice that has hints of Molly Hatchet and plays a killer guitar. Add to the mix a sick bass line from Jon Lawhon and the wild man on drums, John Fred Young. Even with high temps, BSC got down and shook Rockfest to its knees. They played songs like Blind Man, Soulcreek, Blame it on the Boom-Boom and ending the night with, Lonely Train. Be sure to catch BSC as they will be touring all summer and fall.
Rockfest continued in the mood to pop everyone’s cherry by having Buckcherry up next.
Buckcherry kept the energy up with their party anthem about sex, drugs, and Rock & Roll. Josh Todd is a very charismatic front man and seems to just get stronger as the night goes on. Playing songs, Rescue Me, All Night Long, Lit Up, and Slammin‘, gave the Rockfest crowd a party. The ones in the VIP section were able to form a line to take pictures for a few minutes of their rock idols. The band sounded tight and finished the set with the classic, Crazy Bitch and the encore of, For the Movies which sounded just as good when it came out and glad to see this was added and Onset.
Buckcherry has plans to release a new album at the end of the year or early 2013.
The headliner for the first night was Shinedown. After playing a few years ago in the same spot BSC played today, showed how much this band has grown in a few years as they headline, as well as headlining the Uproar Tour in August and September.
Music Tour Reviews got a chance to sit down with Guitarist, Zach Myers to talk about Uproar, Setlists, Amaryllis and influences.
With a packed VIP section and about 17,000 fans out in the lawn, the light dimmed and the opening notes to Sound of Madness, followed by Diamond Eyes, Enemies and If You Only Knew. Bass player, Eric Bass played the piano on the next song they been adding to their set – I’ll Follow You, which sounded great. Brent Smith’s voice was in fine form as he sang, Devour and Nowhere Kids. At one point, I was able to watch Barry Kerch destroying his drums on stage. Being able to see him in action other than being in front was a site to see. They ended the set with Adrenaline and 45, which the crowd sang along to.
They came out for an encore of an amazing version of Simple Man; that had Brent and Zach teasing the crowd. They sang and played other songs like, She Talks to Angels, chords from Led Zeppelin and Nirvana before playing Simple Man. 20,000 plus voices singing as one was breathtaking and left everyone in such good spirits. The night ended with Second Chance and Fly From the Inside.
With a start like this for a first night comes to show what a great festival Rockfest is and Shinedown came to Cadott, WI and gave fans the show of a lifetime and many talking late into the night at the campgrounds of what their favorite moment was.
Zach Myers of Shinedown Interview:
Gear used for this shoot can be rented at www.cameralensrentals.com?adid=pl
Canon EOS 7D body
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 II IS USM Lens
Review & Photos by Peter Lizano