Rockstar Energy Drink Disrupt Festival Fiddler's Green Amphitheater Greenwood Village, Colorado 7/17/2019
Author and Photographer: Jonathan Stark (Stark Raving Mad Photography LLC)
Rockstar Energy Drink puts on a killer festival and gets some big names into the roundup of performances. You’ll recognize the names of many: like Sum 41, The Used, Circa Survive, Atreyu, Four Year Strong, Juliet Simms and Sleeping With Sirens. I knew who I was excited to see: Hyro the Hero, Memphis May Fire and Thrice. This festival did not disappoint, and I found a few new bands to listen to as I’m sure many in attendance did as well.
Citra started out the day as the winner of the Denver Battle of the Bands. They had the local faithful singing along and bobbing their heads. Moments after Citra cleared the stage, Hyro the Hero exploded to life. Like a shot from an A.E.D to the hearts of those who arrived when gates opened, those lucky enough to be in attendance were rewarded with a jolt of electricity rocketing out from the stage. Hyro, the lead man on the mic, had some high-flying shenanigans. I told one fan that I hadn’t seen jumping like that since my time at N.A.S.A.
Juliet Simms was a surprise to me. She did an excellent job playing to the audience. She played and sang with a lot of feeling and a tinge of cloudy skies. Speaking of feeling, I was feeling Lindsay Martin’s drumming. What a fantastically expressive drummer.
Memphis May Fire was up next. Love those guys; everything was on point. It was an absolutely outstanding performance from “Heavy is the Weight” to “The Sinner.” Every note made me want to start a pit of my own. (Honestly, I tried, but was justly shut down by security. The staff did a great job and served with a smile.) Did you know that Matty Mullins’ vocal prowess and harmony is as flawless as his hair? Well, it is. Kellen and Cory’s stringed majesty was seamless and of course, Jake Garland was phenomenal on the drums.
Four Year Strong was the capstone to the front half of the festival. They are such a strong mainstay and are both entertaining and professional. For some reason I felt that we should have been listening to them on a beach in Florida. It could have been the hats and glasses. Anyone else feel that way?
Sleeping with Sirens started the second course. They were very energetic and got the five o’ clock crowd into the show. There was a bunch of movement on stage and they left it all behind.
Atreyu were a total surprise for me. I both love and hate the fact that I had never listened to Atreyu prior to hearing them perform on this tour. Around two decades of excellent music to their credit gives me and you a ton of listening enjoyment. A commanding stage presence and musical proficiency exemplified what I was experiencing. With such a vast cannon of music to choose from, they played through one stellar song after another. Vocally this band excels. From Alex Varkatzas’ unclean vocals to the contrasting crisp, clean sound of Brandon Saller’s coming from behind the drum kit… my word, what a combo.
The Used was another band that surprised me. They owned the stage and the crowd. Also having almost two decades of experience under their belt, it showed. Their stage setup was outstanding. It was very impressive how quickly the Rockstar crew was able to set up and tear down each band’s stage.
Thrice is one act I’d been waiting to see live for quite some time. They were amazing and well worth the wait. Dustin Kensrue’s stage presence, vocal ability and musical talent are more than stellar. Eddie, Riley and Teppei formed the cohesive unit with Dustin, moving from song to song as one. From “Artist in the Ambulance” and “Only Us” to “Under a Killing Moon” and “Deeper Wells,” the lights and sounds of Thrice provided a sensory satisfaction akin to the first time you saw “Life of Pi.”
The capstone of the evening took place when Sum 41 took the stage. Playing a litany of hits from their seven albums spanning almost two decades, Sum 41 set the crowd ablaze. The photo pit, pit and amphitheater went crazy. What an exciting performance they brought to attendees. The crowd was with them until the last.
Big thank you to Rockstar Energy Drink for putting this festival together and thank you to Big Picture Media for all of your assistance. I hope you enjoy the accompanying gallery of shots from the festival and thank you for reading.
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