Day 2 of Welcome to Rockville kicked off with performances by Texas Hippie Coalition, Glorious Sons and From Ashes to New. Avatar brought the weirdness back to Jacksonville opening up with “For the Swarm” and closing with their popular song “Smells Like a Freak Show”. The Sick Puppies performed a solid set playing their hits “War” and “You’re Going Down” with new vocalist, Bryan Scott. Memphis May Fire also delivered a hard hitting set on the Metropolitan Stage.
The highlight of the afternoon was the mystical band that hails from Sweden, Ghost. Papa Emeritus III was definitely one of the most entertaining lead singers of the day. He and his “Nameless Ghouls” performed songs off their new album Meliora such as “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” and “Cirice” as well as their classics “Stand by Him” and “Year Zero”. It is easy to see why they won the Grammy twice for Best Hard Rock/Metal album with their melodic guitars and unique stage presence. It is nice to see this talented band become more mainstream. The only complaint was that their set was too short, but the band promised to come back for a longer show. And inside.
The bands Cypress Hill, Anthrax and Lamb of God all gave hard hitting performances despite the sweltering Florida heat. A Day to Remember opened up with fan favorite “Downfall of Us All” and kept the crowd jumping for the entire set. This band never seems to disappoint always giving an energetic performance to the delight of their long time fans. Classic thrash metal band Megadeth closed out the afternoon and the Metropolitan Stage with hits “Sweating Bullets” and “Holy Wars. The Punishment Due”. Since classic rock band ZZ Top canceled, the closing bands Five Finger Death Punch and Rob Zombie were able to extend their playing time. Headliner Rob Zombie dazzled the crowd with his over the top stage set and his performance of newly released single “Everyone’s Fucking in a UFO”. Of course no Rob Zombie show would be complete without “Living Dead Girl” and White Zombie classic “Thunder Kiss 65”. He closed out the final night of Rockville with an encore performance of “Dragula”.
With the Welcome to Rockville festival getting bigger and heavier each year, the diverse crowds keep growing with it. The continued growth of this festival is a sure thing and its draw is sure to put Jacksonville back on the map for big name shows. This year’s Welcome to Rockville was a huge success with a variety of different bands and a lot different things to do This is a festival that should not be missed.
Review by Jessica Morano