By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa
Venue: Amelie Arena, Tampa–98 Rockfest–April 20, 2018
The end of April is always a big time for festivals in Florida and one of the most anticipated in Tampa Bay is the 98 Rockfest which is held at the Amelie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning (which is currently in the NHL Playoffs). The 98 Rockfest held its 10 Anniversary concert on April 20, 2018 with a lineup that totally satisfied the attending crowd: Shinedown, Three Days Grace, Seether, Fozzy, Starset, 10 Years, Powerman 5000, Red, and more!
The festivities started out on the patio area in the afternoon in which bands played a free concert in the sweltering heat. The main event started at 6 p.m. and was held inside the arena, which was a nice reprieve from the heat—and a great way to kick off a rock ‘n’ roll weekend. Some of the bands actually headed to Orlando the following day for the WJJR’s Earthday Birthday concert, which Rock At Night also covered.
Although photographers typically only shoot photos of the first three songs of each band, I could tell it was one hell of an evening. I could hear the music through the waiting room and it totally rocked. Here is a quick synopsis for Rock At Night readers:
First up inside the Amelie Arena was Fozzy, lead by WWE wrestler Chris Jericho. The 30-minute set started with the “Judas” with its heavy groove, then “Drinkin with Jesus”, followed by “Burn Me Out” which got the whole band jumping. I noticed a couple of cute little girls on stage (his daughters?) wearing “Fozzy” t-shirts were having a ball jumping. Fozzy was the perfect band to start off the evening and I thoroughly enjoyed its high energy and rocking (yet danceable) grooves. Way to go!
SETLIST: Judas, Drinkin’ with Jesus, Burn Me Out, Painless, Spider in My Mouth, Lights Go Out, Sandpaper
Next up was Starset, who appeared on a very dark smoky stage wearing spacesuits with neon-lit helmets. It was a photographer’s nightmare since barely any white lights appeared but the performance and music were intriguing. The band plays sort of electro-rock with the addition of a violinist and cellist. The music is melodic, with a futuristic, sci-fi feel and interesting to watch live.
SETLIST: Satellite, Frequency, Telescope, Carnivore, Telepathic, Monster, Ricochet, Bringing It Down, My Demons
By now the arena was thoroughly packed and the crowd was brought to a full boil by the time Seether appeared on stage. The crowd was head bopping and mouthing the lyrics to “Gasoline” and “Rise Above This”. I was really digging the grungy, heavy metal and hated to leave the pit area!
SETLIST: Gasoline, Rise Above This, Words as Weapons, Nobody Praying for Me, Betray and Degrade, Country Song, Fine Again, Fake It, Let You Down, Remedy
By the time the evening passed quickly after much social media posting of photos and an evening of great energy and music. This may have been my favorite 98 Rockfest since the mood was almost electric in the arena. The crowd was totally into Three Days Grace, which started out with the infectious “The Mountain” which is from their recent album Outsider. Lead singer Matt Walst was on fire, prancing around the stage, and sneering as he sang. Possibly my favorite song “I Am Machine” was next and everybody—I mean everybody—was singing along. Really, really great alt-metal and grungy music—and so many hits!!
SETLIST: The Mountain, I Am Machine, Break, Pain, Infra-Red, Home, Painkiller, Animal I Have Become, Never Too Late, I Hate Everything About You, Riot
Finally, 98 Rockfest alumna Shinedown hit the stage after a white sheet dropped to reveal smoke, lasers, and quite an elaborate stage set up with walking ramps. The band members were wearing bandana masks around their faces which they eventually removed. I noticed lead singer Brent Smith was particularly slender since the last time I saw him. He was wearing an olive colored jumpsuit, Doc Martens, and almost had an SS military or futuristic vibe.
Shinedown is one of my favorite live band’s to watch and photograph—just so much energy between Brent Smith’s fist pumping and dancing, Zach Meyers (Guitar) and Eric Bass (bass) leaping and spinning, and Barry Kerch’s hair flying and killer drumming. A perfect way to end a memorable 10th anniversary of the 98 Rockfest.
**Shinedown’s new album ATTENTION ATTENTION is being released on May 4th and you can read Rock At Night’s review HERE:
SETLIST: Sound of Madness, Bully, Cut the Cord, How Did You Love, I’ll Follow You, Fly From the Inside, State of My Head, If You Only Knew, Enemies, 45, Unity, Second Chance, Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom), Simple Man, DEVIL.
In Order of Appearance
Three Days Grace
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