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  • Garrett Stroup

Welcome to Rockville Parties Hard


The second day of Rockville kicked off and brought in record-breaking crowds topping over 90,000, marking this the biggest year yet. Saturday boasted a wide range of genres for fans at the festival including the classic 90's alt of Stone Temple Pilots, to the rap and rock fusion of Hollywood Undead, to the heavy metal monsters Avenged Sevenfold.

We took Saturday to check out some of the festival offerings around the camp including the Ferris wheel sitting opposite the main stage, The Music Experience, and the F.Y.E. Fan Experience. Who wouldn't love to catch a band performing from way up in the air, seeing the massive crowds of people below! The Music Experience offers a unique area geared towards, well, gear. The interactive exhibit includes amps and instruments to try out. F.Y.E. Fan Experiences are always at the top of my list to check out as you never know who is going to be doing meet and greets!

The Wild!

Jacksonville's own Yashira opened the day up on the River Stage; and these guys were warmly welcomed by their home community. The metal band released their debut album, Shrine, in April of 2018. They have been performing sold out shows since the release, so these guys were no strangers on the stage at Rockville.

The Wild! hail from British Columbia, but their music is more reminiscent of down and dirty rock and roll blues straight out of the South. These guys easily could be the performers at the local biker bar where every night ends with a bottle smashed over somebody's head. The fast-paced southern charmed rock gets you moving instantly, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to dance or to fight someone while it's playing. I'm conflicted and I like it. “We are The Wild! and we are fucking crazy,” they state. And hey, at least they embody that raw sense of self. The set kicked off with "Roadhouse" off of their 2015 release GxDxWxB and continued with "Best in the West" and "Six hundred Sixty Six" off of Wild at Heart. The band is heading out on a European tour in suppose of Rose Tattoo in early June.

Palaye Royale

The self proclaimed “fasion-art rock band” Palaye Royale have been popping up on my desk nonstop this year. First on tour with Pop Evil, followed by the Worlds Loudest Month festival circuit, and most recently on a string of shows with Stone Sour. The trio have been gaining commercial success since early 2014 where they were the first unsigned act to compete in and win MTV's “Musical March Madness.” You may have even heard their song on TV as Samsung handpicked the song “Get Higher” for a Galaxy Note commercial. The band is indie in every sense of the word, they are involved in not only the music writing, but they also producing their music videos, and even handle their own social media. On stage they definitely hold an intriguing persona that we haven't seen the likes of since My Chemical Romance. The relation is definitely there, as Palaye Royale frequently incorporates a cover of "Teenagers" into the set. The trio (who happen to be brothers) stalked onto the stage with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. Sebastian Danzig (vocals) was nice enough to, “Thank you [the crowd] for sweating your balls off with us today!”The band is set to release their sophomore album Boom Boom Room (Side B) later this year.

Butcher Babies

Metal Queens Heidi and Carla of Butcher Babies growled through “Lilith” sending the fans into a frenzy. They ran onto the stage, immediately kicking in to the music, and head banging furiously with hair flying in every direction. The crowd surfers were flying in rapidly from each direction as both front ladies connected with the fans. Butcher Babies do always know how to commandeer a stage and a crowd. During “Headspin” the pit widened taking up a good portion of the sea of people stacked in front of the stage to see their set. Heidi and Carla both jumped down from the stage and headed to the barricades, getting up close and personal with the front-line fans. While the female fronted bands may have been few and far between during the weekend, these ladies reminded Rockville just how badass woman in the metal community are.

The Undisputed King of Partying Himself, Andrew W.K. closed out the River Stage on Saturday night. Andrew donned his typical party attire of a white top and white pants, but lacked the signature bloody face we all have come to know and love. After stepping away from the music scene and focusing on television and motivational speaking for the better part of five years, he returned to the music scene with a new album entitled You're Not Alone this past March. The album holds a new dynamic in the world of Andrew W.K. incorporating slower paces and a few ballads on You're Not Alone. The crowd started chanting “Party! Party!” while awaiting, and he brought it - coming to the stage and kicking into “Music is Worth Living For," an upbeat track from the latest release. The girls in the crowd went wild when he dedicated “She is Beautiful” to them all, and then segued into “Tear It Up” which he exclaimed was about tearing up your fears and throwing them into the abyss. Andrew W.K. ended the night with the epic “Party Hard” as the crowd screamed and moshed along.

Andrew W.K.

Interviews with Palaye Royale, Asking Alexandria, Butcher Babies, and Andrew W.K. still to come!

Andrew W.K.

Butcher Babies