Godsmack Brings The Heat To WJRR’s Earthday Birthday 28 in Orlando Florida, April 23, 2022

 

 

It’s only been a little more than 6 months since WJRR‘s Earthday Birthday 27 blasted Orlando and now EDBD 28 was back at its old stomping grounds, the Orlando Amphitheater. Today’s monstrous lineup included 23 bands and artists that would be alternating between 4 stages before Godsmack provided what promised to be an epic finale. With beautiful weather on tap, the fans started showing up early. When I arrived at 9:45 long lines had already formed at the entrance. This was going to be a marathon of a day that was sure to test our endurance, but All Music Magazine was up for the challenge. 

 

 

Crowd Shots

 

The Acoustic Stage:

The only indoor stage of the day was The Acoustic Stage. These scaled down performances ran between 15 to 30 minutes and gave fans any opportunity to see the performers in a different setting. After singing the National Anthem on the Byrd Stage, Nick Hildyard hurried back to start things off at The Acoustic Stage. Orlando’s Blaine The Mono and Leaving Haven also entertained fans who were able to get a break from the sun and heat.

 

Nick Hildyard

 

Blaine The Mono:

Randi Stickles – Vocals

Eric Joseph – Guitar/Backup Vocals

Chris Culverwell – Bass/Backup Vocals

Clifton Garner – Drums

 

Leaving Haven:

Mike Strippoli – Guitar

Kent Lefebvre – Lead Vocals
 

 

 

 

Even The Odd Stage:

The Even The Odd stage was located at the northwest portion of the venue, directly next to the Turn It Up Stage. Fans had plenty to do as they maneuvered from stage to stage as there were dozens of vendors and activities to watch or participate in. The Even The Odd Stage hosted an array of exciting artists including Toxsick, whose spiked mohawk survived the Florida heat despite being from Minnesota. The two lovely ladies that accompanied him seemed to be enjoying the sun. Another band of northerners that weren’t slowed by the temps were Michigan natives Frame 42. Powered by a duo of female vocalists, Frame 42 left their mark on EDBD 28. The Convalescence is always a fun band to watch. After all, who doesn’t love good music, war paint and a lot of flying hair. Circa Arcana, Farewell To Fear and Kirra all had inspired performances that had the crowd on their feet and rockin’. 

 

Toxsick: Rock, Metal, Reggae & Rap artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota    11:40-1200 Even The Odd Stage

Toxsick:

Jake Crooks (Toxsick) – Vocals

Haley Jane (Hazey) – DJ

 

 

 

Circa Arcana: Metal band from El Paso, Texas     12:00-12:30 Even The Odd Stage

Circa Arcana:

Johny Serna – Guitar

Frankie Loya – Drums

Ben Reyes – Bass

Kevin Cangas – Vocals

 

 

 

Frame 42: Rock band from Michigan    1:00-1:25 Even The Odd Stage

Frame 42:

Ava Morris – Vocals/Keyboards

Arianna Smith – Vocals

Brock Morris – Bass

Lucas Jacobs – Drums

Michael Farmer – Lead Guitar

Ben Dalgleish – Rhythm Guitar  

 

 

 

Kirra: Hard Rock band from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma    2:55-3:40 Even The Odd Stage

Kirra:

Gabriel Parson – Vocals

Daxton Page – Guitar/Backup Vox

Ryne McNeill – Bass/Backup Vox

Zach Stafford – Drums

 

 

 

The Convalescence: Symphonic Metalcore/Deathcore band from Toledo, Ohio     4:35-5:20 Even The Odd Stage

The Convalescence:

Keith Wampler – Vocals

Toby Wright Guitars

Zac Lunsford Guitars

Ronald Buckley Bass

Charles Webber Drums

Katie McCrimmon Keyboards, Vocals

 

 

 

Farewell To Fear: Metal band from Everywhere, USA       6:10-6:55 Even The Odd Stage

Farewell To Fear:

Mike Craig – Vocals

Tommy Gibbons – Guitars, Vocals

Bill Staley – Guitars

Jimmy Adams – Drums

Jeremy Sevens – Bass

 

 

 

The Turn It Up Stage:

The Turn It Up Stage was named in honor of Tom “Turn it up Tom” Heal who was instrumental in previous EDBD productions. Unfortunately, Tom passed away earlier this year. The Turn It Up Stage could have easily been the main stage considering some of the powerhouse bands that were slated to grace its stage. Lilith Czar started things off and due to some technical difficulties had to shorten their set by 2 songs. After telling some jokes and signing a fan’s shirt the show was back on and the band delivered an outstanding performance. Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry was one of the highlights of the day and their unique blend of Southern and hard rock gave the fans a show that will not be forgotten. Speaking of blends, Jelly Roll’s set was a fusion of hip-hop, country, and country rap. Jelly Roll, Jason DeFord, writes and sings from the heart and he took time to bring a young fan on stage to sing with him. Ice Nine Kills brought their horror show to Orlando and the the fans ate it up. Complete with a knife wielding clown, an axe induced beheading and a psycho-esque shower stabbing, the band, fronted by singer Spencer Charnas, had one of the day’s most memorable performances.

 

The Turn It Up Stage was not about to slow things down as Motionless In White hit the stage with a ferocity yet to be seen. Painted faces and tactical gear were the attire as MIW started things off with their 2014 hit “Reincarnate.” At one point, lead vocalist Chris Motionless leaped from the stage and ran into the crowd, shaking hands and high fiving as he went. The set included a cover of the Killers‘ “Somebody Told Me” and their new release “Cyberhex.” The last band to perform on the Turn It Up Stage was Thrice. The California rockers delivered an 8-song set that included a cover of The Beatles‘ “Helter Skelter.”

 

Lilith Czar: Rock band from Tampa, Florida      12:30-1:00 Turn It Up Stage

Lilith Czar:

Lilith Czar: Lead Vocals

Lindsay Martin: Drums

Justus Dixon: Bass, Synths

Evan Potter: Guitar

 

 

Black Stone Cherry: Rock band from Edmonton, Kentucky     1:25-1:55    Turn It Up Stage

Black Stone Cherry:

Chris Robertson – Lead vocals/Guitar

Ben Wells – Guitar/Backing Vocals

John Fred Young – Drums/Percussion/Piano/Backing Vocals

Steve Jewell – Bass/Backing Vocals

 

 

Jelly Roll: Hip-Hop/ Rock artist from Nashville, Tennessee      2:15-2:45    Turn It Up Stage

 

 

 

Ice Nine Kills: Metal/Rock band from Boston, Massachusetts      3:50-4:25  Turn It Up Stage

Ice Nine Kills:

Spencer Charnas – Vocals/Keyboards

Ricky Armellino – Guitar/Vocals

Joe Occhiuti — Bass/Keyboards/Vocals

Dan Sugarman — Guitar/Vocals

Patrick Galante – Drums

Chris Kelly — Guitar/Vocals

 

 

Motionless In White: Metal/Rock band from Scranton, Pennsylvania    5:25-6:00 Turn It Up Stage

Motionless In White:

Chris “Motionless” Cerulli – Lead Vocals

Ryan Sitkowski – Lead Guitar

Ricky “Horror” Olson – Rhythm Guitar

Vinny Mauro – Drums

Justin Morrow – Bass/Backing Vocals

 

 

Thrice: Rock band from Irvine, California     7:20-7:55  Turn It Up Stage

Thrice:

Dustin Kensrue – Vocals/Guitar

Teppei Teranishi – Guitar/Vocals

Eddie Breckenridge – Bass/Vocals

Riley Breckenridge – Drums

 

 

 

Byrd Stage:

The Byrd Stage, aka The Main Stage, named after newly retired Linda Byrd, hosted some impressive talent and the 1st to christen it was Primal Crue, a Central Florida Motley Crue tribute band. Fellow O-towners, Soulswitch and Fame On Fire, were up next and both had dynamic sets. Songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Ayron Jones took over along with his crew of charismatic and captivating bandmates. Their performance was full throttle from the very start and the fans appreciated every second. Keeping with the Florida theme, Ocala headbangers Wage War stormed the stage and launched an all-out assault on the senses with a blistering 12-song set. The pit was raging and the fans were ready for whatever else the night had in store.

 

With only 3 bands left, it was time for The Black Veil Brides. There was no shortage of black leather as the band gave the fans everything they wanted and more. Frontman Andy Black had the crowd in the palm of his hand while the rest of the Brides controlled the tempo of the frenzied yet satisfying set. At 8:00 the lights went out and House of Pain’sJump Around” blared through the venue. As the intro concluded, Canadian rockers Three Days Grace made their appearance and then proceeded to unleash a bevy of hits to the hyped-up crowd. With Brad Walst on bass and his younger brother Matt belting out vocals, the band the band lit it up. Songs like “I Hate Everything About You” and “Let’s Start A Riot” were high points of the set. 

 

At 9:30 the large curtain covering the stage was transformed into a projection screen. Mix Master Mike of The Beastie Boys proceeded to dish out a mash up of hits. The curtain dropped and revealed a 2nd curtain bearing the Godsmack logo. Several seconds and one explosion later, the curtain fell and Godsmack emerged from the shadows and began with “I Stand Alone.” Vocalist Sully Erna grabbed a guitar for the band’s performance of “1000hp,” a performance that saw continuous plumes of fire billowing up from the stage. Drummer Shannon Larkin was in full on beast-mode while guitarist Tony Rombola and bassist Robbie Merrill gave an unwavering and powerful display of their masterful skills. The fans were treated to all their favorites including “Keep Away” and Voodoo.” For the band’s encore Sully traded in the guitar for a piano and then delivered an emotional and powerful rendition of “Under Your Scars.”

 

Primal Crue: Motley Crue tribute band from Orlando, Florida  12:00-12:25    Byrd Stage

Primal Crue:

Bill Hamilton – Vince – Vocals

Thomas Ray Neeley – Nikki – Bass

Chris Angleberger – Mick – Guitar

Jette Decker – Tommy – Drums

 

 

Soulswitch: Metal/Rock band from Orlando, Florida    1:00-1:20  Byrd Stage

Soulswitch:

Jimmy Kwong – Guitar

Matt Larson – Bass

Paul Mahoney – Vocals

Don Cadman – Drums

Colby Berger – Guitar

Supa Dave – Touring Bass Player

 

 

Fame On Fire: Metal/Rock band from Orlando, Florida   1:55-2:15    Byrd Stage

Fame On Fire:

Bryan Kuznitz – Vocals

Blake Saul – Guitar

Paul Spirou – Bass

Alex Roman – Drums

 

 

Ayron Jones: Rock/Hip-Hop/Soul band from Seattle Washington    2:55-3:40   Byrd Stage

Ayron Jones:

Ayron Jones – Vocals/Guitar

Matthew Jacquette – Guitar

Bobby Jimmi Big Sexy – Drums

Bob Lovelace – Bass

 

 

Wage War: Metal/Rock band from Ocala, Florida     4:35-5:20   Byrd Stage

Wage War:

Briton Bond – Vocals

Seth Blake – Guitar

Cody Quistad – Clean Vocalist/Vocals

Chris Gaylord – Bass

Stephen Kluesener – Drums

 

 

 

Black Veil Brides: Metal/Rock band from Hollywood, California       6:10-7:10   Byrd Stage

Black Veil Brides:

Andy Biersack – Vocals/Keyboards

Jinxx – Guitar/Violin/Vocals

Jake Pitts – Guitar

Christian “CC” Coma – Drums

Kyle LeBlanc– Bass/Vocals

 

 

Three Days Grace: Rock band from Ontario, Canada    8:00-9:00    Byrd Stage

Three Days Grace:

Matt Walst – Vocals

Barry Stock – Guitar

Brad Walst – Bass

Neil Sanderson – Drums/Percussion/Keyboards

 

 

Godsmack: Metal/Rock band from Lawrence, Massachusetts    9:30-11:00    Byrd Stage

Godsmack:

Sully Erna – Guitar/Vocals

Robbie Merrill – Bass

Tony Rombola – Guitar

Shannon Larkin – Drums

 

 

 

12 Hours later and another Earthday Birthday was in the books. The event was well organized and really had something for everyone. All of the bands and performers were fantastic so please take the time to follow them on social media (links below). After attending a festival of this caliber, it leaves you wondering what can possibly top it. Hmmmm, EDBD 29? See ya next year!

 

Images by Chris Pamatian and Mark Horan

 

 

 

Follow Nick Hildyard Online: 

  

Follow Blaine The Mono Online:

Follow Leaving Haven Online:

 

Follow Toxsick Online:

Follow Circa Arcana Online:

 

Follow Frame 42 Online:

Follow Living Dead Girl Online:

Follow The Convalescence Online:

Follow Kirra Online:

Follow Farewell To Fear Online:

Follow Primal Crue Online:

   

Follow SoulSwitch Online:

 

Follow Fame On Fire Online:

Follow Ayron Jones Online:

Follow Lilith Czar Online:

Follow Wage War Online:

Follow Jelly Roll Online:

Follow Black Stone Cherry Online:

Follow Motionless In White Online:

Follow Ice Nine Kills Online:

Follow Thrice Online:

Follow Black Veil Brides Online:

Follow Three Days Grace Online:

Follow Godsmack Online:

I've had a love for photography since I was young. Whether it was a Polaroid or a Kodak 110, I was always the kid with the camera. My love of music goes back even further. Nothing beats being at a show when those lights go down and the crowd goes nuts.

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