How can you top an unforgettable end to a three day Welcome to Rockville festival in 2018 when Ozzy gave us one hell of a send-off? You take the anticipation of thousands of Tool fans who are busting at the seams waiting for the new album to release, and you give them more of a tease by making Tool the final headliner in this year’s Welcome to Rockville Festival, that’s how. We all heard the rumors that Tool was going to debut two new songs (‘Descending’ and ‘Invincible’) during Welcome to Rockville, and they delivered with this history-making moment that fans have not stopped sharing and talking about, whether they were present to witness it or not.
I’m also pretty sure fans are talking about how the thunder and rain had us all evacuated from the park on Friday and waiting to hear when we were even going to enter the Metropolitan Park on Sunday. The mayor certainly appealed to all the fans by extending the sets and letting us all carry the party, middle fingers to the sky shouting “F the rain!” with only a few bands (Dorothy, Glorious Sons and other openers) being sacrificed to the Gods.
Despite the rain, performances from Evanescence, Rob Zombie, Korn, Incubus, Papa Roach, Judas Priest , Bring Me The Horizon, Killswitch Engage , Chevelle, In this Moment, Meshuggah, Tom Morello (Prophets of Rage, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), Skillet and others still gave us one hell of a show and one hell of a good time.
There were some noticeable differences this year and some are things to consider for next year. Fans really appreciated the extra time given to migrate from the Metropolitan Stage to the Monster Energy Main stage, where the festivals headliners were performing usually one after the next. The third stage, the River Stage, still gave the option to watch bands that were specifically interest related to fans. Also giving fans options to get to know new bands they hadn’t seen or heard of before. This is always a nice option during the day portion of the festival. Something new and exciting this year were the Zippo Lighters hosted the Zippo Sessions with Jose Mangin from SiriusXM Octane. The sessions gave fans opportunities to sit up close and personal and get pics and autographs with bands like Fever333, Badflower and other Welcome to Rockville artists throughout the weekend. A theme carried over from the last few years have been in regard to the lack of VIP accommodations in the VIP area, and also distance from stages. Fans are hoping that if they pay for VIP, they should feel like a VIP. So, if anything, the festival should consider making it worth the money. And as always, no complaints on food and drinks, but do be prepared to stop at an ATM and stock up on cash before the festival, because your favorite festival food and drinks aren’t cheap.
So, did Welcome to Rockville 2019 deliver? I would say: yes, definitely delivered! 2020 Welcome to Rockville, I say to you: Good luck topping this year, you’ll need it! See you next year!
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY ISABEL UZCATEGUI OF ORIGINATE DESIGNS PHOTOGRAPHY