Saturday was the calmest day of Rockville weather wise, allowing the jampacked lineup to move forward without any delays. Saturday boasted a ton of big names on the lineup. Early in the afternoon Los Angeles’ Badflower took the stage. Badflower released their debut album, OK, I’m Sick earlier this year to huge praise not only critically, but more important from their fanbase. The album does an amazing job of discussing real life issues that people deal with, connecting them to their fans. The lead single “Ghost” is an emotional ballad that is incredible on the album, but does even more justice live as you can feel the emotion and energy in the performance. While the set was short due to the time slot, Josh Katz is almost otherworldly on stage, and had the crowd screaming along from the ground.
Shinedown notoriously put on a killer live show, and it feels like Shinedown is nearly always on tour. The band shows up at festivals and arenas constantly, but the show is always a great experience. I’ve seen Shinedown twice in a week’s time, and it’s no surprise why their fans are so dedicated. Not only does the music always hit, but frontman Brent’s ability to connect with the concertgoers every single night is really a sight to see. The set was shaken up from the last time we saw Shinedown, and reverted back to opening with “Sound of Madness,” arguably the best Shinedown song to kick off the night. After slowing the vibe down with their acoustic version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” they closed out with the first single off Attention Attention, “Devil.”
Almost like a toast to the nearing retirement Ozzy, Judas Priest kicked off their set by playing “War Pigs” prior to taking the stage. Judas Priest was just one of the stacked headliners to hit the stage on Saturday night. The band has been touring the globe on their Firepower Tour, and their addition to Rockville had people excited from the moment it was announced. The twelve song set opened with “Necromancer” from their latest album Firepower, but the show would span back throughout their career including old gems like “The Sentinel” and “Starbreaker.” Despite the oppressive Florida humidity, the band was decked out in their finest black studded leather as they ripped through the classic “Hell Bent For Leather.” The performance ended with the iconic “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight.”
Somehow there was still more to go Saturday night and the fans headed over to the Monster Energy Stage to end the night with Rob Zombie. Rob Zombie is a repeat headliner for the festival, but brought the intense energy, killer riffs, and awesome stage show the fans have come to expect. While not too much changes from tour to tour with Zombie, it always feels like it’s your first time seeing it all over again. Pounding through hits like “Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O.” and “Superbeast” in the first ten minutes, we knew it was going to be an incredible array of songs. The hour long set brought hit after hit from the past Zombie (both Rob and White) library that were being shouted along and danced to by every fan in attendance, closing out with “Dragula.”
(Rob Zombie / Judas Priest / Shinedown / The Cult / In This Moment / Skillet / Black Label Society / Tremonti / Badflower / Crobot)