Review and Photos By: Jordan Nathanson

April is the month we celebrate the planet Earth where we live and thrive. In Orlando, 101.1 WJRR throws a huge festival in celebration called Earth Day Birthday. Fourteen bands share two stages bringing the rock community in central Orlando together to sing, mosh, crowd surf and rock together. Each band brought something different to the festival. Opening with Thunderjack was a great way to send you back to the 80s with their classic rock sound. I would say if you were to close your eyes, you might have been able to pretend you were at an AC/DC concert. They covered a few AC/DC classics such as “Highway to Hell” and “Thunderstruck” which was great because all the adults could enjoy the festival as well. Next to play was Rivethead, who also had another classic rock feel. Though while their set was short, they killed it on set. Their energy was through the roof especially Laura, their bassist.

As mentioned, this festival brings the rock community together no matter the sub-genre that someone likes. Bluestones is a good example being a bit more mellow and modern sounding than the first two. Though their sound was mellow, this two-man band fit in quite nicely with the lineup. Eve to Adam brought the sound back up as well as the theatrical aspect by coming out in a straight jacket. It was truly a spectacle. Their sound was much heavier than the bands before giving them more of the post – grunge sound.

From classic rock to post – grunge, The Glorious Sons brought out the punk sound that we have come to love the past few years. I have not heard of the opening bands thus but The Glorious Sons quickly became one of my favorite so far with their energy and raw vocals. Since it is also later in the day at this point, they drew the largest crowd yet. Badflower, who followed after, may have had the most active crowd thus far. Another grunge punk sounding band, Badflower fans danced and sang along to all their songs. Their new single “Ghost” has blessed the radio leaving their mark on WJRR.

From grunge to modern rock, Rival Sons reminded me of The Black Keys. The vocals sound as if you took an 80s rock band vocalist and put them to a more modern sound. Both sounds complement each other very well. At this point, the sun is beating down on us and the crowd has gotten bigger as Atrayu takes the stage. Now, I personally haven’t listened to them in a long time, but the crowd went wild with mosh pits and crowd surfing. I know I got very excited when they played “Becoming the bull” because I know that one.  Also, the crowd went wild when they played their cover of “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi.

As the sun starts to set and the crowd becomes a little more unruly, Motionless In White took the stage with their alternative emo rock. The crowd was so diverse between the old and new generation of rock that I even saw young kids singing along in the crowd. Though their guitars and bass line had the ground shaking, following Motionless In White was P.O.D. They bring back the old school rap backed with heavy guitars and drums. Rap – metal is still alive a kicking! Following P.O.D was another alterative rock band known as Pop Evil. Amazing energy from both the band and the crowd considering we were starting to watch the sun set on our festivities. Pop Evil is another band in the line up that had a female member as a kick ass drummer and I think that is super important to remind everyone that girls can always rock. Closing the AMP stage was Underoath, another new age alternative emo rock band whose raw vocals shook the ground. The crowd’s energy was through the roof though they have been standing together forever in the sun. What a way to close out a stage.

Now that the sun finally set, time for the headliners to grace us with their music on the main stage (Bud Light Stage). Three Days Grace is a name that the rock community knows very well. Though with the change of singers a few years back, their sound and roots never changed. They still have raw lyrics that will shake you to the core and cut your emotions while making you want to dance the night away. Godsmack was the final band to play Earth Day Birthday. The crowd had tripled in size and has endured the hot sun, mosh pits, crowd surfing and flying objects just to make it to this moment. Godsmack graced us with guitars vibrating our souls and timeless songs that the entire crowd sang back to them. Thank you WJRR, for bringing the rock community together in celebration of Earth and Rock ‘n’ Roll every year for Earth Day Birthday. Hope to see you rockers there next year.

 

 

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