The time has finally come, after months of announcing bands and artists one by one, the festival worlds newest heavyweight has released a full lineup minus three special guests who have yet to be revealed to the public. Even without those three being announced quite yet, this festival is likely to be the best rock/metal festival of the year. With four whole days of rock, there is not a rocker in the world that will not be able to find something that they love there. Here is the official lineup from Blue Ridge Rock:
Right off the bat, we can see that they spent their budget on more popular names for the undercard of each day and not so much headliners which I believe is a smart move, younger bands that are going to be the future upper-card and headliners. Huge name headliners often require a lot of money for performance and this is a fan driven experience so it can be less expensive for passes as well.
Thursday: A very strong start to the weekend, we see really impressive names early on such as, Slaves (post-hardcore) and Chelsea Grin (deathcore). These two artists will bring their respective genres to the stage for attention from thousands and thousands of concert deprived rockers. My sleeper pick for best band of Thursday is easily, Spiritbox. These somewhat new comers from Canada are taking metalcore in a new direction that is beautifully haunting due to the vocals of Courtney LaPlante. Hardcore legends Hatebreed are going to bring a beatdown style of empowering hardcore to the festival, an excellent choice for a day filled with such variety. Skillet begins the top line of performances which will be a somewhat decent performance, nothing new from them in awhile so, there should be plenty of classics to be played. Halestorm is a consist at almost every rock festival these days and for good reason, they kill it every set they play. The Ghost Inside having made their return to the stage just about a year ago, are ready to bring their present metalcore sound to make the mosh pits huge. A Day To Remember is well on their way to be the future headliners of festivals, rightfully so, no one does music quite like these guys do. Breaking Benjamin ends the night, playing their only festival of the year. One of the better live bands out there in the rock world today, a perfect choice to end Thursday.
Friday: Taking the stage in the first half of the day, Tallah shows the festival the latest genre fusion, Nu-metalcore. D.R.U.G.S, Crown The Empire, and Knocked Loose are the three most exciting names on the second line from the bottom for Friday, D.R.U.G.S (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows) made their triumphant return or at least tried to last year, so they will be welcomed with open arms. Atreyu is fresh off an album release which will bring new songs to their setlist, Motionless In White is looking to get some new material released this year, and they are going all out for live performances lately. I Prevail is playing their only show of the entire year at Blue Ridge, they will be as impressive as they always are, likely to be a crowd favorite for the weekend. Rise Against, Limp Bizkit, and Rob Zombie all have the ability and popularity to be headliners for that night, so Friday will be a treat for everyone. Rob Zombie is definitely the safe headliner choice, but the other two are perfect to go on right before him.
Saturday: Consistently strong throughout the whole day, the day starts off with two severely underrated deathcore bands in Spite and Brand Of Sacrifice, nothing better to start off a festival day then with disgusting gutteral vocals and head-pounding breakdowns that will leave you trying to catch your breath. Punk/metal fusion pioneers, Corrosion Of Conformity are making an appearance, that set will definitely be one to check out if the opportunity arises. Badflower, Avatar, and Wage War are all growing into fan favorites and draw much attention when on festival stages, each band has something very unique about them that makes their live shows very memorable and enjoyable. The only truly notable names on the line right before the top are Beartooth, Trivium, and Body Count. Beartooth and Trivium bringing to different styles of metal and rock that is almost universally enjoyed and Body Count is of course, the metal band from LA formed by Ice-T. Lamb Of God and Megadeth making another stop in their co-headliner tour, of course going on one after another. Ending the night in a disappointing way with Five Finger Death Punch, that is all there really is to say about that.
Sunday: Today is the go home day, have to make sure it is a good one. To start, we have Currents and Fit For A King who are metalcore powerhouses that will for sure wake up everyone who is tired. More metalcore bands to highlight on the line above are August Burns Red and Ice Nine Kills, both bands having been around the block a few times are getting very popular in recent months. One of the coolest acts to watch all weekend is without a doubt, Rev Run of Run-DMC. We then have a mystery artist after The HU, Underøath, Killswitch Engage, Mastodon, and Gojira all coming on one after the other is a ton of very heavy music which is not a bad thing. Again, it is the last day, have to give these people their moneys worth. Papa Roach is performing the entirety of their album ‘Infest‘ along with other hits, we have after that a special guest headliner that is filling in for a band that pulled, whoever that is will be an exciting choice. To send everyone home. Shinedown is going to finish the weekend off in a more rock driven choice rather than metal which is a good move, still plenty of songs to bang your head to but maybe not opening up too many mosh pits.
This festival is for the people, they can expect so many different things to be attracted to besides the stages, food, fun, and even a club experience that will feature, Ludacris, Lil Jon, and another guest yet to be announced. On top of that, the entire weekend is being hosted by none other than your friendly neighborhood psychopath Steve-O from Jackass. Hopefully, he’ll bring some friends and do some crazy stunts for the crowd.
More information and what little passes are left can be found here:https://blueridgerockfest.com/