Rockstar Energy Disrupt Festival:

Review By: Jordan Nathanson

Festival season is in full swing here in the US. The sun is shining, the sky is clear, and Rockstar Energy Disrupt Festival is taking over going cross country. Bands and fans come together to celebrate the summer by moshing, crowd surfing, and screaming the lyrics as loud as they possibly can. On the June 26th, 2019, Tampa, Florida was blessed with hosting the festival at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater. Two stages, eleven bands, one amazing time. Opening the side stage and the festival was Hyro the Hero. They were absolutely amazing and so fully of energy. In fact, Hyro decided to jump in and start a mosh pit during his own set. What I liked about Hyro the Hero the most, besides him climbing up on the speakers and jumping off and jumping on to his guitar player, was that his music was different than the other bands. It was more rapcore than alternative rock. Kind of like Old School Linkin Park. A great way to kick off the Festival. Following behind Hyro the Hero was Juliet Simms. Her sound, to me, was like close to country rock which is not a bad thing at all. Her raw vocals gave off a Joan Jett vibe fitting in perfectly at a rock concert. Each member of the band radiated energy as they played to the ever-growing crowd. The classic rock vibe really made room for the modern alternative pop punk music of Trophy Eyes from Australia. This is one of my favorite bands and my second time seeing them on a larger scale instead of a small club. They have great stage presences though I wish they’re vocals were a little louder because I could not hear John Floreani very well. However, I could hear the crowd singing back the lyrics to “You Can Count on Me” including myself. What I love most about their music is the upbeat guitars and heart pounding drums and some pretty deep lyrics put to them. Keeping in the alternative rock/pop punk genre, Four Year Strong takes the stage with their sick guitar riffs and heavy bass lines. The mosh pits never stop between both Trophy Eyes and Four Year Strong. This is another band that I have seen numerous times and every time I see them; I can always feel the passion they have for their fans and their music. They have so much fun playing their hearts out on stage. As the crowd gets bigger, so do the pits and the energy from both the bands and crowds grow. Andy Black follows up after Four Year Strong, bringing in heavy guitars and beautiful lyrics as he sings to the ever-growing crowd. I have never seen Andy Black or heard his own solo stuff but I loved every moment of his set. Black Veil Brides is one of my favorite bands, but his solo career is something completely different than his band. He had the crowd dancing and singing back to him as he ran about the stage. His cover of “Dancing with Myself”, originally performed by Billy Idol was perfection. Sleeping With Sirens has always been a band that I have loved so seeing them again was just absolutely amazing. Their music has always had a special place in my heart so being able to sing along with a crowd brought joy to my little heart. The band always has amazing energy, showing the crowd that they still have a passion for what they do and the fans that have been with them since the beginning. I loved getting to hear their new music live because I always find concerts a great way to learn about new songs form your favorite band or even learn about a new band that soon becomes your favorite.

Moving on from the second stage to the main stage, the crowd has found their way either in to the pit or in to the shaded general admission seats to continue the festival. To kick off the main stage, Memphis May Fire brought heavy bass lines and heart pounding drums to the stage. I, personally, think they were the heaviest band here and a great choice to open the main stage. The raw vocals were heard crystal clear and you can see the fans losing their minds. The Story so Far was next, keeping the energy alive. The crowd itself was not only singing but moshing and crowd surfing their way to the stage. They may not move as much as the other bands, but you can still feel the positive energy they have when they play. It radiates off every member of the band, including lead singer Parker Cannon, who never let the smile fad from his face as he sang along with the crowd. Circa Survive was nothing like I thought they would be. I have heard their name before but never herd them till today. They are now one of my new favorite bands! I could tell they had a lot of fans at the festival just by looking at their tattoos and noticing that they have their band logo tattooed on them. Right off the bat, lead singer Anthony Green jumps straight in to the crowd! The love and energy never died as Thirce takes the stage. Same thing with Circa Survive, I have never heard of them before but I added them to my playlist on Pandora after this festival. The crowd was so wild that somehow there were two people who made it to the stage and stage dived back into the crowd driving security insane trying to find them. Their music is not as heavy as I expected to be, which was awesome. They had great harmonies that blended well with a heavy bass line and rhythmic guitar riffs. Ten amazing bands warmed up the crowd between two stages, getting them to move, mosh, jump and have a good time. All of that lead to the moment of a huge while sheet dropping in front of the main stage creating anticipation as we all wait for The Used to grace us with their presences. The last time I got to see The Used was 103.1 The Buzz Bake Sale in 2007. Twelve years later, I made my way to the barricade and waited for the sheet to drop. Once it dropped, my heart skipped a few beats as I screamed the lyrics back to them as they opened with “Take It Away”. What I loved the most is that you can see that even after 20 years of being a band, they still love their fans and they still love what they do. In fact, lead singer Bert McCracken stopped in the middle of “Taste of Ink” just to address a fight that broke out and waited till it was taken care of to continue to make sure everyone is having a good time and is respectful. Between each song, Bert had a poem to share that were just as power and emotional as their music. As a whole, The Rockstar Energy Disrupt Festival was a huge success, Despite the Florida heat, fans stayed all day having the time of their lives and loving each and every band that played. Highly recommend checking out The Rockstar Energy Disrupt Festival next year when it comes to your town.

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