This summer’s concert events were rocking and rolling all night from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Here are some highlights and reviews of the shows.On Memorial Day Weekend, 93.3 WMMR sponsored the WMMR BBQ at the Susquehanna Bank Center to kick start the summer.
This year had a lineup featuring Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Three Days Grace, Fuel, and Skillet along with two local bands Automatic Fire and Dive. Christian rockers, Skillet arrived on stage with a bang, as they literally had smoke cannons erupt on stage which got the crowd right into it. Fuel’s set was much better than last time they toured because they reunited with their original singer, Brent Scallions.
The crowd welcomed him back in true rock style with a nice, big, mosh pit to their song “Untitled.”
Three Days Grace took the stage next, performing all the favorites accompanied by bright lights, pyrotechnics, and a solid sound. Alice in Chains put on a stellar performance playing a mixture of songs from their old and new cds. They are returning for another tour with the Deftones and Mastodon in September. Stone Temple Pilots closed with a spectacular show that incorporated a big screen in the back.
They used a big, bright light set to focus on lead singer Scott Weiland as he swayed back and forth getting a feel for his lyrics. The fans sang and swayed along with Scott. One of the most memorable points of the show was towards the end of their set when they brought out Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell for one of the last songs.
On June 19th Baltimore Radio Station 98Rock hosted the annual M3Festival. This concert is a little different because it celebrates hair bands from the 1980’s. It is a one day event showcasing lots of bands on two separate stages. Featured artists included L.A. Guns, Trixter, Jet Boy, Winger, Warrent, Kix, Cinderella, Vince Neil, and The Scorpions. The sets were short, about an hour each band, then longer for the Scorpions.
The bands played great and the singers sounded really good as they kept the 80’s alive. Cinderella looked and sounded exactly like their CDs and videos. Lead singer Tom Keiffer looked like he was going to pass out from the raw emotion he poured into each song coupled with the crippling temperatures near 100.
They clearly stole the show! Vince Neil rocked the stage next. Although he was promoting his solo CD, he played mostly Motley Crue songs. He had some technical difficulties with his, mic but stayed upbeat and never stopped the show. His set was a crowd pleaser with the everyone singing along to all the Motley Crue favorites.
The Scorpions closed the festival with an intense, long set. Unfortunately ,Klaus Meine, the lead singer, had the flu. He apologized to the crowd yet he was still able to hit most of the notes. Towards the end of their set Wince Neil joined The Scorpions for a song. At the end of the concert their singer Klaus Meine announced that they will be done touring after this tour.
July concerts included The Warped Tour, Iron Maiden with Dream Theatre, The Cool Tour, Mayhemfest, The Carnival of Madness Tour, and Tom Petty. The Warped Tour was just as good as last year.
Some of the bands that were well received by the crowds battling 97 degree heat were Andrew W.K., Suicide Silence, Four Year Strong, Enter Shikari, The Casualties, The Revrend Peytons Big Band and Sum 41. Four Year Strong and Suicide Silence were full of energy and got the crowd hyper for the rest of the day.
The Casualties rocked the place and whipped the crowd into a frenzy proving that punk is not dead! The Revrend Peyton and His Band took the stage next.
At first glance they seemed out of place on the Warped Tour lineup since Peyton’s wife took her place on stage playing the washboard. However, they were good musically and really engaged the audience. They were hilarious and they even got the crowd dosey doeing in the pit!
They proved to be a welcome addition to the Warped Tour lineup. The crowd bum rushed a small area in front of the stage as Sum 41 took the stage playing a mixture of old and new songs. They put on a great show. Warped Tour offered a good selection of bands, several versions of punk bands and the surprisingly engaging Revrend Peyton.
Final Frontier Tour with Iron Maiden and Dream Theatre was held at the PNC Center in Holmdel, NJ. Dream Theatre didn’t play many songs because their songs are really long but they did put on a terrific show. The seats were unusually full for an opening band, so you could tell Dream Theatre was a fan favorite. Iron Maiden took the stage. Bruce Dickenson still has an unbelievable range and sounded great.
The musicians also sounded great. Unfortunately the majority of songs they played were from their newer albums, Benjamin Brag and Brave New World. The audience was clearly disappointed since many haven’t seen Iron Maiden perform before, and it was a letdown when they didn’t play fan favorites such as, Run to the Hills, Wasted Years, Aces High, and Can I Play with Madness. However they did play Number of the Beast, prompting Eddie to make an appearance and sending the crowd into delighted chaos! Overall, Iron Maiden put on a good show that would have been great if they had included more fan favorites.
Next up was The Cool Tour featuring As I Lay Dying with supporting bands Underoath, Between the Buried and Me, Bless the Fall, The Acacia Strain, Architects,Cancer Bats and War of Ages. This was one concert that didn’t live up to the hype. Although As I Lay Dying was good, the only supporting acts that were worth seeing were Between the Buried and Me, The Acacia Strains, and War of Ages.
The next day was Mayhemfest. This annual concert usually has a terrific line up and this year was no exception. The silver star stage offered Norma Jean,Winds of Plaque, Atreyu, 3 Inches of Blood and In This Moment.
The Jagermeister stage was where the party began in the morning with the solid metal lineup of local band Beyond the Scar, followed by Shadows Fall Chimaira and Hate Breed.
After the adrenaline rush of that line up, the attention focused inside on the main stage showcasing the incredible lineup of Five Funger Death Punch, Lamb of God, Rob Zombie and Korn.
Rob Zombie’s stage setup was insane! It looked like you were part of one of his movies and with their newest addition to the band Mr. Joey Jordinson (drummer for Slipknot) Zombie really stole the show! Korn closed the night and they put on a solid set including all the classics.
The following week was the Carnival of Madness Tour featuring Shinedown, Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, Seven Dust and Ten Years. This was held at the Festival Pier in Penn’s Landing in Philly. Puddle of Mudd did a good job but threw in a cover of AC/DC’s T.N.T which was different, but just alright.
When Chevelle took the stage the energy was high and everyone was enjoying their music until lead singer/guitarist, Pete Loeffler, announced that this will be the last time we will see Chevelle live because , “after 10 years it’s time to stop”. Shinedown closed out the sho
w with a fantastic set. Each song was terrific especially when they covered Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man. Overall, this was a fantastic show.
The following week the Wachovia center hosted Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Buddy Guy opened for him. He is great musician and song writer.
This 74 year old surprised the audience by breaking into a Jimi Hendrix medley and an Eric Clapton medley, complete with performing the guitar solo with his teeth!
Tom Petty came on next with the Heartbreakers and they owned the night! Original members, drummer Stan Lynch and Bassist Ron Blair, were back with the band.
They rocked the arena! He played for two hours and played most of his hits including, Breakdown, Don’t Come Around Here No Mo
re, Refugee, Free Fallin and closed with American Girl. He also played a few songs from the new CD. According to fellow concert goers who had seen him in the 1980s he sounds as good as ever.
No wonder he still sells out arenas for two nights in a row!
As the summer drifted into August, the concerts kept continuing. August began with Green Day, and ended with The American Carnage Tour and Ozzfest. Green Day started off this month of shows and wow what a show!
I never saw a band that can hold their own on a stage for two hours and fifty minutes. I’ve always been a fan of Green Day so I was really excited to see them live and they were great! They played just about every one of their songs including American Idiot. They stayed energized through their final encore song. It was a great show with fans packed throughout the venue and lawn.
The American Carnage Tour featuring Slayer, Megadeth and Testament was an awesome concert. This wasn’t just an average show, Megadeth and Slayer were both celebrating the 20 year Anniversary of their albums “Rust in Peace” (Megadeth) and “Seasons in the Abyss’ (Slayer) so they decided to play those albums start to finish and add in other classics to their set. All three bands were amazing!
The concert that closed out the summer was Ozzfest.
Despite the rain and the tornado warning, the show was great! Ozzy sounded better than ever, but Motley Crue owned the show!
They were fantastic, especially when they did their cover of the Beatles Helter Skelter. Rob Halford performed all solo material but still sounded good. Devil Driver was awesome.
The best bands on the second stage were Skeleton Witch and Drowning Pool.
Sadly, Black Label Society couldn’t play due to rain/tornado warning but it was still a fantastic day and this was a fantastic summer for shows.
Rick Jackson can be reached at RJ689070@wcupa.edu.