Rock’N Derby 2016: Day 1 –– Five Finger Death Punch, Parkway Drive, & Red Sun Rising conquer

The inaugural Rock’N Derby Festival made its way into upstate New York, where some rockin’ acts made their way to the small town of Schaghticoke. With barns filled with beer, wrestling rings, & VIP Meet and Greets, and even a stage in one of the largest barn. With 3 stages (Rock’n Stage, Derby Stage, & Upstate Concert Hall Arena Stage) it made for a full weekend of running around from stage to stage to catch the bands you want to see. Day one of Rock’N Derby definitely set the standards high for the rest of the weekend to come as Five Finger Death Punch, Parkway Drive, & Scott Stapp headlined day one of Rock’n Derby. “We’ve had our eyes set on this for a while,” concert promoter John D’Esposito of SLP Concerts said in reference to this weekend’s three-day Rock’n Derby extravaganza at the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds.

Schaghticoke, NY was filled with rock fans, for an entire weekend with the launch of Day one of Rock’n Derby which had almost everyone in the venue with 5 Finger Death Punch attire present rather it be a t-shirt, hoodie, wristband, etc. They were there and ready to mosh, headbang, and go crazy in what turned out to be a really nice and summer-like day!  The festival drew an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people each of its three days. Those fest-goers came from near and far, some even from far out of the NY state, to be a part of the action in Schaghticoke. I would say the only downfall of this festival had to be the conflicting set-times as some bands overlapped into others not allowing fans to see the full set of each band they wanted to; Other then that the festival was definitely a great success for everyone (Bands, Fans, Management Teams, etc).

Day One on the Derby Stage launched with Grand Rapids, MI’s own Pop Evil starting the festival off with a Fierce Rockin’ performance with a female drummer that is beyond belief incredible, that got the crowd moving as they piled into the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds for the first day of a killer lineup of artists/bands.  On the Rock’n Stage was Wild Throne who had surprisingly had quite an amount of fans in attendance watching as they put on a more unique vocal range heavy metal rock set. Continuing the day with heavy hitter bands like Lamb of God, Clutch, Wolfmother, Thy Art Is Murder, and more… Another band that really stuck out to us was Red Sun Rising who seemed to play a set full of mega rock hits that currently conquer the radio airwaves everywhere that plays rock music even on TV. If you weren’t a huge fan of Red Sun Rising when you entered the festival you definitely left a fan as their live show is something else, something you would want to see as its impactful with tons of energy from all of the members especially in frontman Mike Protich.

On the main stage known as the Derby Stage, Five Finger Death Punch headlined and burned down stage.  From their hit “Lift Me Up” to fan favorite “Burn MF” to one of their newer hits “Jekyll and Hyde” & “Got Your Six” the crowd was fired up and screaming all the lyrics as they moshed along and crowd surfed their way to the front. Their set was extraordinary with Frontman Ivan Moody and the gang constantly having smiles upon their faces and even singing “Happy Birthday” to a little girl named Danielle who just was turning 5 years old this weekend. Danielle also was on the barricade all day long day 1 with her mom (That is one rockin’ 5 year old). Closing out the Rock’n Stage was Parkway Drive an Australian band signed to Epitaph Records, who has been slaying the game in music and touring constantly with consistent sold out shows. Their heavy hitting setlist began with one of their hits titled “Destroyer” which was a perfect beginning to their set as they absolutely conquered the Rock’n Stage. As well as performing a fan favorite and radio conquering song titled “Vice Grip.” Closing out the Upstate Concert Hall Arena stage was Scott Stapp (Voice of CREED) who had a very sparse attendance as he played a full setlist of CREED’s classic hits. The Day ended with all of now tired rock fans leaving the fairgrounds to their campsites, and cars to go home or to their hotels and get ready and amped up for day 2 of the incredible festival.

About Andrew Wendowski

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