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Welcome to Rockville – 2017

If you like your rock hot, sticky, sweet, Welcome to Rockville would have been the perfect place for you! World’s Loudest Month commenced, and the rock gods looked down on Jacksonville, Florida, and smiled! April 29th and 30th could be heard across the Sunshine State like a rock and roll explosion that enveloped the listeners in rapturous metal glory. It is the kick-off for the World’s Loudest Month and it lived up to its name. Legendary performers such as Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, A Perfect Circle’s Maynard James Keenan, and our friends in Mastodon and The Offspring played alongside soon-to-be legends like Starset, The Pretty Reckless, Pierce the Veil, and Highly Suspect for a weekend of sweet, sweet beautiful metal and rock music all in one place like the world had never seen before. Every time we go down there, we swear that the show just can’t get any better. Every single year, it’s like they scream, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” and they proceed to show us just how good it can get. 
On Saturday, April 29, Badflower and Charm and Fury totally blew us away with their sound and energy, kicking off the festival while kicking it into high gear. United Kingdom-based As Lions completely reigned over the crowd and left everyone in their “Aftermath.”

All That Remains’ Phil Labonte coaxed the crowd into a manic frenzy, demonstrating unwavering metal prowess whilst I Prevail proved that they are and forever will be, “stuck in your head.”

Starset brought their special blend of space metal = theatrical awesomeness to the stage, propelling the crowd into interstellar revelry with every star-crossed note emitted from Dustin Bate’s vocal chords. Highly Suspect, once again, completely blew the stage up with their raw, powerful lyrics and instrumental stylings that their fans have grown to know and love.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Taylor Momsen took her band, The Pretty Reckless, to the stage, and the crowd seemed to fall in love. It’s plain to see that the band is on a juggernaut right now, and their fan base cannot get enough of them. 
Claudio Sanchez’ raw emotion took over the Metropolitan Stage, as fans swooned over Coheed and Cambria’s primal performance. It is clear that their performance was a favorite among everyone in the crowd. Everyone was ready to “Hang on to the glory at my right hand” as they pushed right through any potential midday slog to keep up the rock! 

Matt McJunkins was the only member of A Perfect Circle that was able to sneak past the darkness of the set and into our lens, allowing us to grab a few quick and serene images. 

Mastodon proved once again why they are truly legends of the stage. After a seventeen-year career that is showing no signs of slowing down, their performance at Welcome to Rockville showcased the pure talent and raw lyrics that they are known for. It was a scorcher in Florida to be sure, and Mastadon’s heavy performance added to the heat already smothering the crowd. 
Matt McJunkins was the only member of A Perfect Circle that was able to sneak past the darkness of the set and into our lens, allowing us to grab a few quick and serene images. Their set was exactly what the crowd needed – Maynard James Keenan proved to the whole crowd, time and again, why he has more than earned the Rock God label so many have bestowed upon him. Their set was the last one we caught for the night, and we left exhausted, sweaty, and geared up for day two. 

 
It wasn’t long before the crowds flooded the gates for day two of what would assuredly be more sweaty, sticky fun in the sun. Nothing More brought their A-Game, and a new fun contraption they call the Scorpion’s Tail. If you haven’t seen it, you need to check it out! It really “stung” the crowd with its awesomeness. 
In This Moment, led by our constant girlcrush, Maria Brink, led the crowd singing along with her during their five-song set, capped off by crowd-favorite, “Whore.” Of Mice and Men left it all on the stage, led by Aaron Pauley, with their signature brand of metalcore. 

Defying the name of the band on stage, the crowd could not stand still during Motionless in White’s performance. Chris Cerulli held command of the crowd as only he can, and our photographer captured some incredible shots of their time on stage. 
 
French heavy metallers, Gojira, left a long-lasting impression on the Rockville crowd, as they ripped through an eight-song set the likes of which the crowd hadn’t heard up to that point. Three Days Grace showed no mercy to those in the pit, blazing their way through eleven songs, encompassing a good bit of their entire catalog. One thing is for sure, we don’t hate ANYTHING about them! 

 

Swedish death metal outfit, Amon Amarth, damn near burned the place down with the heat pouring off their guitars and drums. Something about these guys, we just love. From “Pursuit of Vikings” to “Twilight of the Gods,” no one was ready for their set to end.

We were more than pleased to see Papa Roach show up and show out. It has been way too long since we’ve seen them on stage, and they did not disappoint. Mixing up their setlist with some fan favorites from previous albums, their newest single, “Help,” and a cover of Blur’s “Song 2,” Jacoby Shaddix led the Papa Roach crew on stage with mastery that only someone with 24 years of experience in the crazy business of rock and roll can bring.  

In addition to kick ass music, festival organizers enhanced the experience with Gourmet Man Food, Monster Experience by Monster Energy drinks, the FYE Experience, Zippo Encore Experience, F*CK CANCER, Take Me Home Animal Rescue, and some of the best food trucks in the continent added to the fast-paced, eat while you rock atmosphere. With experiences such as Eat.Rock.Repeat, there is never a shortage of delicious things to eat at these festivals during World’s Loudest Month, and Welcome to Rockville most definitely pleased the tastebuds. 

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