4 am the alarm is going off , it was finally here time to head to Orlando Florida for the 26th annual Earth day Birthday festival put on by WJRR 101.1 Orlando’s Rock station. Packed up cameras and memory cards and started my 3.5hr trek to central Florida , the weather called for mid 90’s so I went comfortable light colored shorts and shirt. Plenty of funds for water to stay hydrated as well.
Arrived at the Mid Florida Fair grounds around 9 a.m. found a parking spot then off to will call with my ID and letter of approval to pick up my ticket into the show and photo pass for the days festivities. I had covered other big festivals in both north Florida and central Florida , but this was my very first Earth day Birthday and I was excited for the day to begin.
Some of the bands on the bill I had seen before and some I was new to either way the line up was great. A gentle man by the name of Chris Jiles started off the day on the Bud Light stage with our National anthem then it was time for some loud in your face music.
First up was Thunder Jack a spot on AC/DC tribute band , these guys had the energy and look of the band it self and had every one rocking from the first song. Then it was off to the Amp stage for Rivet Head a 3 piece band that I had not heard of in the past but must have been a well known local as every one in the front knew the songs. Next up was Blue Stones from Canada , for just 2 guys these guys rocked and were quite enjoyable to watch. Eve to Adam was next , I had just covered this band not that long ago in Tallahassee and was looking forward to seeing them again , front man Taki was drug on stage in a leather straight jacket. Onto Glorious Sons , this band took me back to covering the Wanee festival I really dug their vibe and stage presence. Time to grab some water and food and get ready for the next band , It was a hot one by this time of the day and a lot of people were feeling the effects of the heat.
Bad Flower was up next another band I was not familiar with but holy wow what a performance , it left me wanting more. Gotta keep moving onto the Bud Light stage again for Rival Sons soul , funk and rock and roll wrapped up into one band keeps you moving and interested. Getting on into the day now seeing bands that I’m familiar with but haven’t seen in a while so it was great to hear new material live. Atreyu played with intense energy as they took to the stage with front man Alex taking to the rails and leaning into the fans to give them the most of their experience with the band. Motionless in white , a lot of the people in front had parked in their spots just to be up close for when they went on, always full of energy these guys are a band that if you haven’t seen yet you need to make plans to see.
The sun is setting as we make our way back over to the AMP stage , 5 bands to go and the Mid Florida Fairgrounds are at near capacity as P.O.D. takes to the stage , if you’ve seen these guys in the past you already know the energy they bring to every show and today was no different. Time for more water then Pop Evil , a band that I’ve known for a long time, though i had yet to see them with Haley on drums , it’s always a pleasure to see this band perform.
The days almost done , by now some people are passed out in the fields and some are just as hyped up as they were when they arrived , either way the show will go on and that it did. It was time for Underoath to headline and close out the AMP stage in only the fashion that they can do, every time I’ve seen this band , About 7 times now , they give it 200% and get the same from their fans. Onto The main event you could say the last two bands of the day Three Days Grace With former My Darkest Days front man on Vocals came on to a deafening roar of the crowd with a big smile on his face , My first time seeing them live and it was honestly worth every moment . After a small change over it was time for what every one was waiting for .. who else but GODSMACK. Sully took t the stage with his band and at that time all was right in Orlando with everyone on their feet not one body was still as the band gave their all for an hour and half.
It was a great day , long and hot but over all Earth Day Birthday 26 was a success and was enjoyable for both the young and the old in attendance.
Full photo galleries soon at Local Musicians Media.