We Want Rock and Roll
Welcome to Rockville rolled with the punches this year producing yet another 3-day heart stopping, chest thumping, festival that will yet again go down in history for Jacksonville, Florida (Freakville to the locals). Despite the threatening conditions, Welcome to Rockville brought in artists that have their roots or produced great music in the Jacksonville area and Florida as well as some of the biggest names in rock to showcase not just their classic favorites, but brand new music which had the crowd abuzz all weekend and beyond.
Brought to you by Danny Wimmer Presents, Welcome to Rockville is Danny Wimmer’s baby and the festival that starts it all every year. With bands asking to be a part of the show year after year. People are traveling from overseas and across the country to see this year’s lineup which included Rockville favorites and crowd pleasers Korn and Rob Zombie as headliners as well as the first timers Tool. Other heavy hitters included Evanescence, Shinedown, Icubus, Chevelle, Judas Priest, and Bring Me the Horizon. Supporting acts including Flogging Molly, The Cult, Papa Roach, Tom Morello, and In This Moment.
Day by day breakdown:
Friday: Rain and lightning on the First Coast being monitored by the National Hurricane Center completely ended Killswitch Engage’s set and postponed activities for at least an hour. After a whole lot of confusion and thousands of concert goers refusal to leave, the show picked back up with an incredibly rousing performance by Flogging Molly. Chevelle then went on to redeem themselves after previous year’s subpar performances. Evanescence went on to glorious intracloud lightning. Amy Lee wearing a backless dressed inspired by the Nintendo Switch shared the story of how they wrote most of The Open Door in Jacksonville Beach. Closing the night was Korn, a crowd pleaser and fan favorite with all the classics we come to expect by their performances.
Saturday: In This Moment gave a theatrical performance that unfortunately was riddled with audio issues. While fans of the band stilled loved it, those where were on the fence seemed hesitant to support or participate. Skillet, a much anticipated band, gave it their all during their show. Shinedown, hometown heroes to Jacksonville, gave it a full 120% with pyrotechnics galore. Finally Rob Zombie, the twin of evil himself, put on a rousing show, spoiling the crowd with new music and teasing them with their favorite classics.
Sunday: Rockvillians woke up to Weather Advisories due to strike shortly after the gates were set to be open. Gates were delayed an hour and then delayed with no plan released to the public putting the entire show on the edges of their seats. After rumored damage to set pieces and the need for stagehands and staff to reset, the doors were opened at 3:30 and the crowd went nuts when they found out that the mayor of Jacksonville, Lenny Curry, had pulled through, extending the curfew until midnight. This allowed many of the bands who had not cancelled to still go on and play. Kicking off the show was up and comer YUNGBLUD who startled the crowd with his genre bending music and gender bending outfit. In a quiet corner of the park, Zippo Sessions, acoustic sets sponsored by Zippo and hosted by Sirius XM’s Octane host Jose Mangin allowed some of the cancelled bands including Shvpes to perform to an intimate crowd of about 100. The Interrupters claimed Jacksonville as their family as the only punk/ska band on the bill. Papa Roach and Incubus delivered classic performances that hit just the right spot every time they’re seen. Bring Me the Horizon, another band from out of country brought the heat, but left many non-fans wondering if they were supposed to like them or not. Closing down the whole event – Tool. Rarely seen on tour in previous years, not only did Tool give us exactly the performance expected (a live art piece not to worship the artist, but the art), also delivered into the mind of Jacksonville, two brand new songs after thirteen years of anticipation.
Jordan Elizabeth Marsh; Independent Writer (New York)
Nicholas Carmichael; Photographer
Coverage brought to you by
Zippo Sessions at Welcome to Rockville brought us an amazing acoustic set by Fever 333!