Rockstar Disrupt Festival | Main Stage w/ Thrice, The Used, Sum 41, Circa Survive, and Atreyu | Photos + Review

Rockstar Disrupt Festival – Main Stage Review

Venue: Five Point Amphitheatre on 7/20/19

As the festival stage bands finished, they transformed the stage for the main bands. All five of the main stage bands had 45-minute sets, where they were truly able to showcase their talents with full on lighting and theatrics. Although all of the acts performed on one stage, they truly made it look and feel special for the main stage bands.

The first of the main stage bands up was Atreyu from Yorba Linda, California. Atreyu has been a staple in the metalcore scene for quite some time. Although they had a 3-year hiatus from 2011-2014, they have still released 7 truly incredible albums over their career. I personally got into Atreyu in 2010 when their song “Ravenous” was on the video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. Although they didn’t play Ravenous, the band prepared a 10-song set filled to the brim with fan favorite songs, including “Bleeding Mascara”, “Becoming The Bull”, and their infamous Bon Jovi cover of “You Give Love A Bad Name”. This five piece consists of vocalist Alex Varkatzas, drummer and co-lead vocalist Brandon Saller, guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel, and bassist Marc “Porter” McKnight. I had never seen Atreyu live before this date, but I had been listening to them for years. Although I had somewhat high expectations, Atreyu still blew my expectations out of the park. Their stage presence was amazing, with band members jumping off risers and truly using every inch of that stage. The band somehow sounded even better live than on album, which is difficult to do with a band that sounds as good as Atreyu does on album. I was blown away from the moment they hit the stage to the moment they left the stage!

SETLIST

  1. Our Time Is Now
  2. Right Side of the Bed
  3. Becoming The Bull
  4. Ex’s and Oh’s
  5. When Two Are One
  6. You Give Love A Bad Name (Bon Jovi Cover)
  7. Bleeding Mascara
  8. Falling Down
  9. House of Gold
  10. Blow

Up next was Circa Survive from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Circa Survive’s sound is best described as a mixture of post-hardcore and progressive rock. I first got into Circa Survive when their song “The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is the Dose” released on Rock Band in 2007. A big highlight moment of their set was when vocalist Anthony Green jumped on the barricade and embraced fans during the first song “Act Appalled” from their 2005 album Juturna. The band played a 9-song set, which showcased songs from their whole discography minus Violent Waves. The band really got into their set, grooving with every note and truly showcasing a set filled with emotion and raw energy. The rest of the band consists of guitarists Colin Frangicetto and Brendan Ekstrom, bassist Nick Beard, and drummer Steve Clifford. I will say that Anthony Green’s vocals sound raspier in person, which honestly added to the band’s sound. I was thoroughly impressed with their set and I’m stoked to have finally seen them after listening to them for so long.

SETLIST

  1. Act Appalled
  2. Rites of Investiture
  3. Child of the Desert
  4. The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is the Dose
  5. Holding Someone’s Hair Back
  6. In the Morning and Amazing…
  7. Lustration
  8. Stop the Fuckin’ Car
  9. Get Out

Sum 41 from Ontario, Canada was up next. Sum 41 is the perfect mixture of pop punk, punk rock, and post-hardcore. The sun went down just as their set was starting, which made the lighting truly stand out. For their set, Sum 41 prepared an 11-song set that showcased songs from a majority of their discography. They were extremely tight and very high energy. I thought the colored smoke cannons added to the experience and created some truly amazing moments to capture. This five piece consists of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Deryck Whibley, lead guitarist Dave Baksh, bassist Jason McCaslin, rhythm guitarist Tom Thacker, and drummer Frank Zummo. It was so cool to finally see Sum 41. Their songs “In Too Deep” and “Still Waiting” were staples in my childhood and were played in several movies and TV shows I watched so it was surreal to finally see them. Their stage presence was energetic and engaging. They truly slayed!

SETLIST

  1. The Hell Song
  2. Motivation
  3. Over My Head (Better Off Dead)
  4. We’re All To Blame
  5. Out For Blood
  6. Fake My Own Death
  7. Walking Disaster
  8. We Will Rock You (Queen Cover)
  9. In Too Deep
  10. Fat Lip
  11. Still Waiting

The Used from Orem, Utah was the second to last band to hit the stage. The Used was actually the second band in the post-hardcore genre, next to Escape the Fate, that truly helped me get into the scene as a whole. Their song “Blood On My Hands” was a staple in my middle school life and hearing them play it live was something I’ve waited to hear again for years. The Used started their set with an animation projected on a curtain with a dramatic curtain drop going into their first song “Take It Away”. Once the curtain dropped, it was a spectacle of a set, with LED screens behind the drummer, smoke machines, and the infamous heart hanging from the ceiling. They not only set the scene with special effects but with a setlist that matched the whole look and feel. This four piece consists of vocalist Bert McCracken, bassist Jeph Howard, drummer Dan Whitesides, and guitarist Joey Bradford. Bert McCracken was like a little kid on stage. He was living his’ extra life on that stage and his’ positive energy truly radiated throughout the entire Amphitheatre. The Used is one of the top bands in the genre and it is apparent as to why, they demolish any stage they step foot on. I cannot wait to see them again next time they’re out here!

SETLIST

  1. Take It Away
  2. The Bird and the Worm
  3. Listening
  4. All That I’ve Got
  5. I Caught Fire
  6. Wonderwall (Oasis Cover)
  7. Buried Myself Alive
  8. The Taste of Ink
  9. Blood On My Hands
  10. Pretty Handsome Awkward
  11. A Box Full of Sharp Objects

Closing out the night was Thrice who were playing their hometown in Irvine, CA. This band has accumulated a large arsenal of music over their 20-year career, releasing 10 albums over that time. They showcased songs from several of those releases in their 11-song set. Thrice’s sound can best be described as a mixture of post-hardcore, progressive metal, experimental rock, and alternative rock. Their set was very atmospheric, with very colorful lighting and smoke to match. This four piece consists of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dustin Kensrue, lead guitarist Teppei Teranishi, bassist Eddie Breckenridge, and drummer Riley Breckenridge. I was not only impressed by their musical talents, but their whole aesthetics and stage presentation made their performance into a full on spectacle. There is no doubt why Thrice is still one of the biggest bands in the scene. They leave everything out on the stage and blew me away. I actually wound up ordering 4 of their CDs after watching their set. I was thoroughly impressed by Thrice and they were a perfect way to close out the Rockstar Disrupt Festival.

SETLIST

  1. Yellow Belly
  2. The Artist In The Ambulance
  3. Only Us
  4. Under a Killing Moon
  5. Just Breathe
  6. Of Dust and Nations
  7. In Exile
  8. Deeper Wells
  9. Beggars
  10. Black Honey
  11. The Earth Will Shake

The Rockstar Disrupt Festival was an amazing festival that gave the best of both worlds, a festival vibe and an amphitheater vibe all in one. I was so happy to check so many bands off my bucketlist to photograph all in one day. The bands truly went above and beyond and so did Rockstar for putting this whole festival together. I cannot wait to attend again next year! Thank you for creating a new tradition!

Thrice | The Used | Sum 41 | Circa Survive | Atreyu

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Rockstar Disrupt Festival | Festival Stage w/ Sleeping With Sirens, Andy Black, Four Year Strong, Memphis May Fire, and Juliet Simms | Photos + Review

Rockstar Disrupt Festival – Festival Stage

Venue: Five Point Amphitheatre on 7/20/19

Entering into the amphitheater and seeing a familiar layout, it felt like a return to form for me. I went to the Vans Warped Tour yearly with my Dad from 2011 – 2018 so seeing the Five Point Amphitheater with merch tents and a Rockstar booth, I felt like a new tradition starting that still held close ties to the previous one. The Rockstar Disrupt Festival had two tiers of bands: the festival stage bands and the main stage bands. On my date, however, all of the bands played on the same stage. So, the festival stage bands were treated like Kings and Queens for a day.

I unfortunately missed Hyro the Hero, due to a family emergency, but arrived just in time to catch Juliet Simms. Juliet Simms was in a few bands but really hit it big once she competed on the reality competition show “The Voice” where she placed second. Since then, she has garnered a large following, especially in the Warped Tour and alternative scenes, which lead to her signing to Sumerian Records in 2019. She has released 3 albums over her career, which she showcased in her 6-song set. Juliet pleasantly surprised me with her stage presence and vocal style. I would describe her musical style as a mixture of alternative rock, indie rock, and pop rock. Her vocals are very raspy, and I was thoroughly impressed. I was slightly getting some Janis Joplin vibes. Her backing band consisted of drummer Lindsay Martin, guitarist Evan Potter, and bassist Justus Dixon. Juliet put her heart on that stage, and I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.

SETLIST

  1. 100 Little Deaths
  2. Say Hello
  3. Trouble Finds You
  4. Take Me
  5. Wild Child
  6. Bad Love

Next up was Memphis May Fire from Denton, Texas. Memphis May Fire is one of the first bands I got into when I was getting more into metalcore. When I found out that I would finally be photographing them, I was ecstatic to say the least. Memphis May Fire brought out songs from five of their six albums for their set, showcasing how diverse of a band they are. I personally got to photograph them during one of my favorite songs in their entire discography “Prove Me Right” from their 2012 release “Challenger”, which is still the bands bestselling record to date, reaching 16 on the top 200 Billboard Charts. Memphis May Fire would best be described as on the border between metalcore and post-hardcore, with some songs more on the hard rock side. The current lineup consists of vocalist Matty Mullens, lead guitarist Kellen McGregor, bassist Cory Elder, drummer Jake Garland, and touring rhythm guitarist Samuel Penner. Not only does Memphis May Fire truly slay in terms of sound, their stage presence was insane. I always love seeing Memphis May Fire and am so glad I finally got the chance to photograph them!

SETLIST

  1. The Old Me
  2. Prove Me Right
  3. Carry On
  4. No Ordinary Love
  5. Heavy Is The Weight
  6. Vices
  7. The Sinner

The next band up was Four Year Strong from Worcester, Massachusetts. Their sound is commonly referred to as “Easycore”, as they mix pop punk with post-hardcore and melodic hardcore. Coming on after Memphis May Fire would be hard for many bands to top. But, despite not moving to much, no one could deny Four Year Strong’s sound was truly amazing that day. They played four songs from their 2010 album “Enemy of the World”, which is still their bestselling album to date. Along with those four songs, they played two songs from their 2015 self-titled album “Four Year Strong”, two songs from their 2007 album “Rise or Die Trying”, and one from their 2014 EP “Go Down In History”. This band has had a long history in the scene, and the reason for their popularity is shown through their catchy music with riff-heavy melodic verses and choruses mixed with breakdowns. I have lived for Four Year Strong for years and am so glad to see them still going strong.

SETLIST

  1. Maniac (R.O.D.)
  2. Go Down In History
  3. Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
  4. What the Hell is a Gigawatt?
  5. Who Cares?
  6. Find My Way Back
  7. It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now
  8. We All Float Down Here
  9. Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)

Andy Black came up to the stage next. Andy Black is also known as Andy Biersack or as his previous stage name “Andy Six”. I used to listen to his band Black Veil Brides almost religiously, but even though I don’t listen to them anymore, I was looking forward to seeing what he had to offer in a solo performance. While Black Veil Brides’ sound centers around hard rock and heavy metal, Andy’s solo music is a good mixture of alternative rock, pop rock, and synth pop. Andy played a 7-song setlist, showcasing songs from his’ two albums “The Ghost of Ohio”, which was released in 2019 via Republic Records, and “The Shadow Side” which was released in 2016 via Republic Records. He also played a Billy Idol cover, which was pretty cool to hear. During the first song of his’ set, Andy went into the crowd and hi fived a bunch of the crowd members. It was cool to see him interacting with fans and truly engaging with the crowd. The support band behind him consists of drummer Sage Webber, bassist Niles Gibbs, and guitarist Lonny Eagleton. Although I am not the biggest Andy Black fan in the world, I was still thoroughly impressed by his’ showmanship and his musical style!

SETLIST

  1. Ribcage
  2. They Don’t Need To Understand
  3. Stay Alive
  4. Westwood Road
  5. Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol Cover)
  6. Ghost of Ohio
  7. We Don’t Have To Dance

Closing out the Festival Stage was Sleeping With Sirens from Orlando, Florida. Sleeping With Sirens, like Memphis May Fire, was one of the first bands I got into in the scene. I fell in love with their post-hardcore style and unique vocals courtesy of Kellin Quinn. The rest of this very talented band consists of drummer Gabe Barham, guitarists Jack Fowler and Nick Martin, and bassist Justin Hills. The band played a 7-song set, filled with fan favorites and 2 songs off their upcoming album “How It Feels To Be Lost”, which will be released via Sumerian Records on September 6th, 2019. One thing Sleeping With Sirens delivers consistently is a stellar performance. They are extremely tight as a band and are extremely high energy. They utilize every inch of the stage and truly slay. Sleeping With Sirens also delivers on sounding even better live. They are already stellar on record, but that unbeatable energy drives each song further and engraves that live experience into the brains of their viewers. It truly brought me back to how I felt when I first discovered their music years and years back. I loved their set and believe they were the perfect band to close out the festival stage.

SETLIST

  1. Kick Me
  2. Do It Now, Remember It Later
  3. Leave It All Behind
  4. Better Off Dead
  5. Break Me Down
  6. If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn
  7. If You Can’t Hang

The festival stage bands on the Rockstar Disrupt Festival showcased a variety of bands of many different styles that meshed beautifully. It truly set the stage for the main stage bands to come. I was truly excited to see bands like Sleeping With Sirens and Memphis May Fire again, and to finally photograph them, so it was a dream come true.

Sleeping With Sirens | Andy Black | Four Year Strong | Memphis May Fire | Juliet Simms

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Broadside

Emarosa

Set It Off

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Seaway

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Guccihighwaters

Chapel

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Super Whatevr

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