Rockfest presents Adelitas Way, Sevendust, and Papa Roach
With its 19th annual music festival, Rockfest proved once again why it’s one of the best music festivals 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.
Today was my last day at Rockfest before I headed home and to miss the last day of music on Sunday when 80’s Hairbands bands Firehouse, Lita Ford, Sebastian Bach, Poison, and Def Leppard were to play. I got a chance to check out 5 great bands; this review will feature only 3 bands, since Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden only allowed 2 photographers to cover them, which included our very own, Kyle Henson.
With Iron Maiden playing, the crowd was made up of their fans and the line for their merch booth was packed for over 8 hours selling items.
Opening the show was Adelitas Way, a band that has been touring hard off their last album, High School Valedictorian. All the touring has paid off to make this a band that comes in, kicks ass and give the fans what they want. Being the only band on tonight’s bill with just 2 albums to their name, they had a lot to prove and sure enough, they did. Opening the set with The Collapse, Scream, and Dirty Little Things, singer, Rick DeJesus has really come into his own with his powerhouse vocals and energy. Robert Zakaryan has taken his role of lead guitar to another level which has allowed Keith Wallen on Rhythm and Derek Johnston on bass to fill in the gaps as Zakaryan goes off on crazy riffs and solos. Drummer, Tre Stafford provides the pocket for the band to just all sound solid.
Playing their new single, Alive showed the lighter side to Adelitas Way before going back to rocking with Cage the Beast, Criticize, Sick and finishing their set with crowd mover, Invincible. Be sure you check them out on the upcoming Uproar tour on the Main Stage.
Sevendust took the stage next and brought back the old school rock that would present the rest of the day. Some of the members, including, Clint Lowery and Morgan Rose were doing their side project, Call Me No One while being on break, as well as John Connolly and Vince Hornsby have been doing their thing with the band, Projected.
Making sure the crowded warmed up quickly, they opened with, Inside; that got the heads banging in the crowd, followed up by Denial, Bitch, Black, and Driven. You could not tell they just got back to touring as they sounded very tight and put on a hell of a show. Lajon Witherspoon is one of the best front men in rock and has been for over 15 years – his personality shines through and grabs a hold of you.
Playing for over an hour and a 15 song setlist that included Waffle, Splinter, Praise and one of the best songs, Angel’s Son that allowed the crowd to sing with Lajon. Connolly showed he can still rock out with the best of them as he jumped high in the air while and not missing a note. Sevendust will always be a favorite with rock fans and would love to see them one day in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, once they figured out how to vote in real bands deserving of it. They ended the night with Pieces, The End is Coming, and the blistering, Face to Face that left the crowd on their feet cheering loudly showing their love for a band that has become family and never putting on a bad show.
Following Sevendust was Papa Roach, who will be on the next Uproar tour and will be releasing a new album, The Connection on Oct 2nd. Papa Roach always puts on a good show and tonight they did it again, opening with Getting Away With Murder, To Be Loved, and Burn. Jacoby Shaddix came out to the front of the crowd and sang with them, took pictures with him and gave hugs. Jerry Horton sounded great and his new, slicked back hair look gave him a punk rocker edge to him. Providing the backbeat and bass were Tobin Esperance and Tony Palermo. Papa Roach has always been one of those bands that can wake any crowd up and get them into it. Today they did not need much effort but when Jacoby came back out into the crowd, this time all the way in the back to sing to the fans, the place lit up. Playing hits like Between Angels and Insects, the sing along classic Forever, Kick in the Teeth, Scars and during Lifeline, Jacoby split his pants. When the song ended he told the crowd he was so turned on by the crowd, he split his pants with excitement.
They played their new single, Still Swingin, which sounded kick ass, as well as Hollywood Whore. During Dead Cell, Jacoby stopped the song and said they could not continue it and asked the crowd for a moment of silence for the shooting at the movie theater in Colorado. They ended their set with Last Resort which had the whole crowd singing at the top of their lungs. What seemed like just an hour and 12 ½ songs, everyone was hoping for an encore and another few songs but to no avail.
The rest of the night would be filled with classic rock & metal from Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden.
Once again, Rockfest 2012 proved they have one of the best festivals in the Midwest and a huge thank you to Jill Brenner who handled everything so professionally. Can’t wait till next year.
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