JJO Bandcamp in Madison, WI
Every year, radio station JJO puts on Bandcamp and have been doing so since 2004. Bandcamp has hosted some of the biggest names in rock and has become a tradition for WI fans. This year has not been an easy year for radio festivals to book big bands, but JJO was able to get Korn to headline and 16 bands that rock and some up and coming bands. With this review we are going to highlight some of the bands that stood out the most from this great day of music.
Bandcamp is setup with two stages, Main Stage & Side stage – once one stage is done, the music shifts to the other stage so the music is nonstop. Both stages are also separated by a barricade for fans over 21 on one side and under 21 on the other. There are plenty of food vendors, areas to refill your water bottles. There was never a line for port potties with the amount available. Fans of all ages seemed to be having a great time.
Nigel Dupree, son of Jesse James Dupree and lead singer for Jackyl, came out with his band; all young guys playing rock. It took a few songs to warm up but once he did, he came on strong and had the crowd going. With the crowd cheering him on, he went over his set time causing the festival to be delayed by 15 minutes, but no one else seemed to care. For the last song, Jesse James Dupree came out to sing with his son and even jumped into fans arms as he crowd surfed singing the set out.
New band, Otherwise played an amazing set with lots of energy; this is one band that will be hearing a lot from, with their debut album, True Love Never Dies climbing the charts. Most new bands have a hard time connecting with fans but Otherwise had no issues with that and played a blistering set of rock. They ended the set with the powerful song, Soldiers and you can check them out as they will be on tour with My Darkest Days.
Eye Empire, a band formed from bands, Dark New Day and Submersed, have been making a mark on the music scene. While still new to many fans, they quickly have created an intense following of fans. Singer, Donald Carpenter talks about how the fans are, what they have that keep them going on the road. While many bands only talk this talk, EE walk it. They just released a double CD Impact which contains their first album, Moment of Impact, along with unreleased songs, acoustic and live songs. They opened with Ignite (Moment of Impact), which is one of the best songs that features clean vocals to go along with dirty to create a song that I am shocked has not gotten more airplay. Guitarist, B.C. Kochmit is a mad man on the 6 strings and one of the best guitar players to come along in a while. On Bass is Corey Lowery, whose brother Clint with Sevendust and his sideband Call Me No One, were playing on the same stage later in the day. Rounding out the band on drums is Ryan Bennett. Carpenter is a very charismatic front man and displays confidence of years on the road.
As soon as EE finished their first song, Bandcamp was ready to get their moshing on, with songs like Bull In a China Shop, Idiot, Victim (of the System). They ended the set with, I Pray and as the day wore on, you could hear several people say that EE stole the show. Be sure to check them out on tour http://www.eyeempire.com/home
Call Me No One came on next and having close ties to Eye Empire with Clint & Corey being brothers, both bands are even touring together. CMNO is Clint Lowery on guitar & vocals, Morgan Rose on drums and from Sevendust, Rek Mohr from Hurt and Alan Price from Souls Harbor and Shinedown acoustic tour guitarist. They just released their album, Last Parade and could be one of the best albums of 2012. While half the crowd was unsure who was coming on stage, they saw them walk out and just tear into The World Is Dead, Hillbilly and War Song. Any fan of Sevendust knows Clint has a great voice and it’s nice to hear it outside of Sevendust. With the duel guitar attack, these guys play full-speed-ahead-rock and Price playing on a PRS guitar, shredding away was a pleasant surprise. Playing songs from the album Hillbilly, War Song, All’s Well and Thunderbird had a much harder sound live and got the crowd banging their heads.
They ended their set with their single, Biggest Fan and Last Parade; would be great to see them do a full tour next time.
On the side stage, the chants of SLAVES ON DOPE became louder and louder. Slaves on Dope have been around since the 90’s before breaking up and now reconnecting once again to record a new album, Over the Influence. With a worked up crowd, singer Jason Rockman came on and knocked everyone’s socks off. The rest of the group is made up of Kevin Jardine on guitars, Sebastien Ducap on Bass and Peter Tzaferis on drums. These guys are all about having fun while playing and was refreshing to see. At one point, a half-naked lady came out with a hula hoop to perform on stage with the guys. This band does not take itself so serious and just play hard, fun music to mosh along to. This was proven when Rockman came close to my camera to give me the middle finger as he smiled.
Have to give it up to JJO radio for putting these guys on the bill as it was one of the best performances of the day.
Bobaflex have been a favorite of Bandcamp for a few years now and each time they come on, you walk away wondering why these guys are not playing bigger venues. Their music is tight, infectious and hard rock, playing songs like Chemical Valley, Dangerous, Vampire, and Rise.
Bury Me With My Guns On sounded great and the crowd shouted along, Hey!!!!!!!!! This was followed by an anthem for all bands on the road trying to make it, Home. They also played the Simon & Garfunkel, Sound of Silence which took a moment to recognize. They ended the set with Better Than Me, and Pretty Razors with the underlining lyrics about cutting.
The night ended with Taproot, Nonpoint who always put on a hell of a show, Hurt and the headliner, Korn.
If you have never been to JJO Bandcamp, make sure you check it out next year.
Huge thanks to Randy Hawke and JJO for all their help.
Review & Photos by Peter Lizano