Louder than Life
The 2nd Annual, And Best Kick Ass Fest of 2015
Louder than Life
2050 River Rd.
Louisville, KY 40206
October 3, 4, 2015
Photos and Review by ~James Urban
Louisville’s LOUDER THAN LIFE wrapped its second year with a sold-out crowd of over 50,000 in attendance for the October 3 and 4 destination festival which celebrates the region’s award-winning bourbons and spirits, craft beer, Gourmet Man Food, and celebrity chefs, along with a powerful rock music lineup at Champions Park near downtown Louisville. Over 70% of festival attendees traveled from outside the Louisville area and over 350 media outlets were on-hand to cover the second annual event, coming from around the U.S. and as far as away as the U.K., The Netherlands and Turkey.
Saturday, October 3:
Lineup: Rob Zombie, Godsmack, Chevelle, Bring Me The Horizon, Seether, Of Mice & Men, Sevendust, Hollywood Undead, Atreyu, Tremonti, Issues, 10 Years, Butcher Babies, Starset, Beartooth, Art of Dying, Turbowolf, Dorothy, Jelly Roll, Cilver, Romantic Rebel, Raveneye
I would like to start this review with a big thank you to Full Metal Rock dot com for my first year of covering hard rock and heavy metal concerts and festivals all over Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky for this publication. I have worked with Tim, Eric, Kat and most recently Maggie on covering many bands, live shows, interviews and album reviews learning and sharing a lot with these great men and women. I look forward to many more years of shows, bands and the fans that read and share our coverage.
Welcome to day one of the sold out 2015 Louder than Life hard rock and heavy metal music festival in Louisville, KY and for the second year I have the privilege to cover this event. Champion Park is home, once again, to this festival showcasing twenty three bands a day over four stages filling our ears and this beautiful park with hard and heavy music. The weather was a concern for day one and did set back the start times till 1:20pm when the Butcher Babies kicked the day off on the Monster main North stage. As the weather was in question, the fans didn’t waver as we all crowded the gates anticipating the beginning to the day and the weekend.
The Monster Energy stage East was filled with the talent of: Raveneye, Red Sun Rising, Starset, Tremonti, Sevendust, and Chevelle. As the day began, the clouds and rain hung around and gave us a late start causing Raveneye to miss their time to perform. Red Sun Rising and Starset started the day warming up the East stage for the fans and the following acts. When the band Tremonti took the stage, Mark Tremonti, adorned with one of his prototype PRS guitars, rocked the set with songs including “Cauterize”, “Radical Change” and “Decay”. Sevendust had an amazing set playing to the crowd and worked them with hits like “Black”, “Shine” and “Denial”. Lead singer Lajon Witherspoon showed his singing ability as well as his appreciation for his band and the fans that braved the weather to rock out with them. Chevelle concluded the day on the East stage with a great rocking set including “Send the pain below”, “The Clincher”, “The Red” and a very sophisticated light show exciting the fans through the whole set.
The Monster Energy stage North was manned with the likes of: Jelly Roll, Butcher Babies, Saint Asonia, Atreyu, Seether, and Godsmack. The first act of the day was the incredible Butcher Babies and as they took the stage Heidi and Carla ran onto the stage followed by the band as they broke into “The Monster Ball”. These two front women have voices that transcend their small stature and fill metal fans with the growling lyrics that only these two can deliver. Next on the stage was Saint Asonia, a new super group formed by members of Staind, 3 Days Grace, Finger 11 and Eye Empire. With their songs “Better Place”, “Fairy Tale” coupled with Three Days Grace cover “I Hate Everything About You” and Staind cover “Mudshovel” the fans simply ate up this electric set. Atreyu had a great set exciting the crowd with “Long Live”, “Becoming the Bull” and “We two are one” along with a great active show. Seether’s set included “Words as Weapons”, “Same Damn Life” and “Save Today”, as lead singer Shaun Morgan sang with all of his heart with every note and every word he gave his all. Godsmack was the headliner of the North stage and they brought it all as they have the last two times I have seen them. Sully Erna is such a dynamic singer and front man and he is backed by amazing musicians Tony Rombola on guitar and Robbie Merrill on bass as the light show and big screen completed the musical attack. Shannon Larkin is an incredible drummer with his energetic drumming and colorful expressions as he plays he becomes his instrument. As they play fan favorites like “1000hp”, “Awake”, “Cryin like a Bitch” and “Voodoo” the band plays flawlessly as every voice sings along word for word cheering and crowd surfing across the sold out masses in attendance. Towards the end of their set, the drums move and rotate and a second drum set emerges and Sully saddles up for dueling drums with Larkin. These two great musicians match note for note and song for song playing their songs as well as others from AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Queen ending the set showcasing the versatility and range of this band and its members.
The Monster Energy stage South was filled with some hard rock and heavy metal top acts: Art of Dying, Trivium, Beartooth, Hollywood Undead, Bring Me the Horizon, and Rob Zombie. Trivium started out with a great set and worked the crowd up with songs like “Silence in the Snow”, “Down from the Sky” and “Strife” setting the tone for this stage. Lead singer Matt Heafy brought the crowd to life through the cold, wet atmosphere that had settled in around us. Ohio born Beartooth followed on stage with a very sound set playing songs “The Lines”, “I have a problem” and “Body Bag” behind the intense stage presence of lead singer Caleb Shomo. Next to the stage was Hollywood Undead, bringing their brand of rap rock covered with their various masks and many great voices. The set was very active and featured songs like “Undead”, “Comin in Hot” and “Day of the Dead” to name a few. Bring me the Horizon hit the stage behind lead singer Oliver Sykes to the screams and cheers from their fans. Playing songs “Happy Song”, “The House of Wolves” and Blessed with a Curse” fans experienced a second wind from the day of music and came alive to the tunes of BMTH. The set was very solid and the group’s musicians are quite accomplished for their relatively young age. This is what the fans really needed to finish strong on this first day of hard heavy music, gourmet man food and Kentucky bourbon.
Rob Zombie headlined the first night on the Monster Energy South stage as he started the set with the Grand Funk Railroad cover “We’re an American Band”, adorned with his star spangled fringe jacket. Backed by the classic monster themed backdrop with Frankenstein, Wolfman and King Kong, is a sight to see along with the dramatic stage lighting that this show has become known for. This band is filled with amazing musicians to accompany the lyrics, atmosphere and voice of the one and only Rob Zombie. John 5 fills the venue with the sounds from his masterfully handled guitar and his large stage presence adds to his legendary performances. Piggy D and Ginger Fish complete the melodic evil sounds through their pounding rhythm section by beating each and every note through the ground and into everyone’s chest. The set was truly amazing filled with new and old Zombie favorites and a couple of very memorable covers that brought everyone to their feet cheering and singing in turn. Seeing Rob Zombie sing and dance to James Browns’ cover “Get Up (I feel like a Sex Machine)” shows his love for great artists, their music and honoring where he and his sound came from. The set is always thrilling and complete with fan favorite super hits “Superbeast”, “Living Dead Girl”, “Meet the Creeper” and “Dragula”. Rob Zombie is always a great show and with its great musicians and the man himself, Rob Zombie, this is a show that you should not miss.
Day one ended with a great finish to a cold, wet and muddy day for the bands, fans and vendors. For the second year Louder than Life brought great food, great attractions and great music to Champion Park near downtown Louisville, KY. If you missed this festival do not miss it next year!
Rob Zombie SETLIST:
We're an American Band
(Grand Funk Railroad cover)
Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine
(James Brown cover)
Living Dead Girl
Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown
More Human Than Human
(White Zombie song)
Meet the Creeper
Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga
Thunder Kiss '65
(White Zombie song) (with Guitar Solo and Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop")
Favorite 'FMR' Moments: Rob Zombie performing James Browns “Get Up” (I feel like a sex machine). The true die hard fans that filled this park even though it was cold and wet. \m/ \m/
Rob Zombie is:
Rob Zombie - Vocals
John 5 - Guitar
Piggy D - Bass
Ginger Fish- Drums
Sunday, October 4:
Lineup: Z.Z. Top, Shinedown, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Slash Featuring Miles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Breaking Benjamin, Three Doors Down, Black Stone Cherry, Collective Soul, Skid Row, Hinder, 10 Years, Nothing More, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, We are Harlot, The Color Morale, Whiskey Myers, Goodbye Jane, We came as Romans, Turbowolf, Flaw, Glorious Sons, All Them Witches
Welcome to day two of the sold out 2015 Louder than Life hard rock and heavy metal music festival taking place again in Champion Park near downtown Louisville, KY. This is the second and final day of the 2nd annual music festival and it is building quite a following with its mix of music, gourmet man food, Kentucky bourbon and WWE NXT Wrestling. Other additions this year were: the festival layout adding an extra stage, a ferris wheel overlooking the two main stages and a large piece of art in the form of a man/bull that heated up the night by spewing fireballs into the sky.
The Monster Energy stage East was filled with the talent of: Goodbye June, We are Harlot, Kentucky Headhunters, Skid Row, Three Doors Down, Lynyrd Skynyrd. We are Harlot had some issues with their tour bus so they missed their time slot, but when they arrived organizers made some adjustments and had them close out the Jägermeister stage. Skid Row filled their set with classics like “18 and Life”, “Monkey Business” and “Youth gone wild” reminiscent of their debut album and songs from the 90’s. Lynyrd Skynyrd headlined the East stage to an extremely large crowd wanting to see these rock and roll legends live and in person. As the lights dimmed and the guitars rang out, cheers and screams filled the air as the crowd went wild. Playing iconic songs like “Saturday Night Special”, “Gimme Three Steps” and “Sweet Home Alabama” could only be topped by the encore of “Free Bird”. This was an incredible set and proved that Lynyrd Skynyrd is a true legendary band that can back their reputation up with a stellar performance.
The Monster Energy stage North was manned with the likes of: Whiskey Myers, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, 10 Years, Collective Soul, Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown. Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown brought a lot of energy to the stage as they worked the fans into a frenzy with their early afternoon set. This band is filled with great musicians and a front man that play the crowd as well as his guitar. When the band 10 Years came to the stage a well-dressed Jesse Hasek, lead singer of the band, dressed in a white suit and white cowboy hat, lead fans into the song “From Birth to Burial”. Their set was fast and loud and a fan favorite on the day. Collective Soul gave a great performance with fan favorites, “Gel”, “Contagious” and “Heavy” to name a few. Breaking Benjamin is a great live act with great music and an incredible fan following singing every word of every song. Big hits like “I will not Bow” and “Blown Away” fill the air with fan voices merging with the band to create an incredible experience. Last on the Monster Energy North Stage was Shinedown with a big powerful performance that really had the crowd in awe. With songs like “I’ll follow you”, “Enemies” and “Second Chance”, Shinedown gave fans not only good music but also things to think about. The biggest hit of the night was their song “Unity” which singer Brent Smith opened up to the crowd and implored each one in attendance to unite in our world and bring peace to our nation starting with us.
The Monster Energy stage South was truly filled with hard rock and heavy metal top acts: The Color Morale, Nothing More, Hinder, Black Stone Cherry, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, ZZ Top. Jonny Hawkins of Nothing More has a familiar on stage presence wearing no shirt and no shoes but he brings plenty of musical service. The band works in conjunction with each other and at one time 3 members Hawkins, bassists Daniel Oliver and guitarist Mark Vollelunga converge on Oliver’s bass to create a sound that is all their own. As the bass was strapped to an apprentice center stage the three played the bass simultaneously with pics, fingers and even drum sticks. Up next was Hinder and they had a great set including “Use Me”, “Up all Night” and “Intoxicated” playing to the crowd and delivering great music. The band sounds as good as they always have and the fans let them know it. Black Stone Cherry played a great set and the fans really responded to “Me and Mary Jane” the first song on their amazing set. This heavy rocking southern style every man rock and roll band really clicks with their fans and plays some incredible music. Chris Robertson’s vocals add a bit of his Kentucky influence coupled with his bluesy guitar feel that adds to the band’s sound. Other band member’s guitarist Ben Wells, bassist Jon Lawhon and drummer John Fred Young really know how to bring the hard fast and heavy music to complement their vocalist. This is a complete band and they seem to be heading in the right direction. Slash’s project with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators was amazing as always with the guitar legend leading the way as he does on stage. Top hat and his golden Les Paul coupled with Myles Kennedy’s vocals with the other members of the band rocking the set, the fans went crazy and loved what they heard. Performing new songs and also pulling from the GNR catalog, Myles really pulls off the iconic songs making most fans wish for the Guns and Roses reunion to happen.
Z.Z. Top was the headliner of the second night and the closer to an amazing weekend of Music, Food, Drink and Fun. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard make up this legendary band that has spanned over 4 decades and one of the most recognizable bands in music. With the jumbo video screens playing 80’s MTV music videos “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Gimme All Your Lovin”, the boys from Texas brought us all back to a simpler time when the visual medium dominated basic cable. Other big hits like “Got Me Under Pressure”, “Cheap Sunglasses” and “Legs” brought everyone young and old to their feet to sing along with the band. These icons of rock and roll haven’t lost anything over their career since the 70’s and is truly a top act to see live and in person.
The second annual Louder than Life rock and metal music festival was a resounding success braving the rain, mud, clouds and sun to deliver another incredible weekend. If you have not checked out this festival you need to do yourself a favor and plan for Louder than Life 3 happening fall of 2016. Check out http://www.louderthanlifefestival.com to plan your adventure and follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/louderthanlifefestival for all your festival needs including line ups, attractions, schedules and local accommodations. Plan early and don’t miss this amazing festival and a chance to party with 50,000+ of your newest rock and roll friends.
Z.Z. Top SETLIST:
Got Me Under Pressure
Waitin' for the Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Gimme All Your Lovin'
I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
I Gotsta Get Paid
(The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
(with My Head's in Mississippi tease)
Sharp Dressed Man
La Grange / Sloppy Drunk Jam
Favorite 'FMR' Moments: Seeing rock and roll legends Lynyrd Skynrd live and sounding as incredible as they ever did on vinyl or CD. Also seeing the legendary trio ZZ Top playing hits from their 40 year old musical career. \m/ \m/
Z.Z. Top is:
Billy F Gibbons - Bass
Dusty Hill - Guitar
Frank Beard - Drums
All Photos - Click Image - Below
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