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Louder Than Life triumphant in Louisville
Champions Park : Louisville, Kentucky : October 1 & 2, 2016
|Out Of The Blue
Publications Association, LLC
Louisville—known for the Kentucky Derby (Churchill Downs), Whiskey (Urban Bourbon Ally), and the Louisville
Slugger Factory (Museum Row)—can add the annual Louder Than Life festival weekend (Champions Park) to the
city’s list of defining traditional accolades.
Rock ‘n roll and metal lovers gathered for the third consecutive year to headbang, mosh, crowd surf and proudly wave
those horns in front of the side-by-side Monster Energy and Loudmouth stages and the solo Zorn Stage.
Under cloudy skies with periods of warm sunshine, the music kicked off around 11 a.m. each day and featured
performances that catered to rock fans of all generations, providing a balanced diverse lineup in terms of rock and
metal subgenres, with newcomers and legends—from UK pop-punk rockers Neck Deep and hardcore rock crowd-
drawers Pierce The Veil, to iconic thrash metal band Slayer and rock-and-roll hall of famers Cheap Trick. Each night
ended with headlining artists that appeal to both younger and older rockers alike: Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot.
Between rocking out during approximately 11-hours of consecutive live music both days, attendees paused to indulge
in gourmet food options from a plethora of innovative food trucks that lined the festival grounds alongside tents that
occupied craft brews, one of a kind bourbon beverage options and artist inspired drinks which included Iron Maiden’s
Trooper and Motorhead Shiraz.
This year animals were featured as the Take Me Home Pet Rescue was set up to promote pet rescues and adoption;
Shannon Gunz from SiriusXM Radio was onsite throughout the weekend with her rescue Milly The Metal Dog. Festival
goers also visited the Fuck Cancer tent and clothing by rock fashion designer Christian Benner.
Festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents and organizers take feedback seriously. This year and last year, fans had
plenty of port-a-pots available to avoid long lines and surrounding residents were accommodated from previous years
of noise complaints by crews enforcing a limited decibel output as well as consideration of parking by use of
Australia’s Twelve Foot Ninja brought the funky metal grooves with energetic reggae vibes, the set included tracks
from the band’s latest, Outlier.
Young Guns ended their set with a massive sing along to “Bones.”
Gothenburg, Sweden’s Avatar opened their set with wide smiling vocalist Johannes Eckerstrom marching on stage
beside two assistants who opened a smoke-filled box which contained the remaining band members. Without a doubt,
Avatar woke up the audience and heavy crowd surfing began during “Hail The Apocalypse.”
Nonstop crowd surfing during hard-hitting performances by I Prevail, The Amity Affliction, Parkway Drive and
Motionless In White.
Sick Puppies were on fire with vocalist Bryan Scott, bassist Emma Anzai and drummer Mark Goodwin. The band’s
onstage energy was contagious. In May they released their first album with new vocalist Bryan Scott titled Fury,
featuring singles “Stick To Your Guns” and “Where Do I Begin.”
Hellyeah vocalist Chad Gray stated the importance of the metal community/family and metal’s non-discriminating
welcoming arms. The band performed “Blood For Blood,” “Moth,” “Human,” their cover of Phil Collins’ “I Don’t Care
Anymore” and other tracks from their recent Undeniable release.
Anthrax engrossed fans with the incredible energy between bassist Frank Bello and vocalist Joey Belladonna,
performing songs which included “Got The Time” and “Breathing Lightning.”
Chevy Metal rock cover band featuring Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins performed David Bowie’s “Ziggy
Stardust,” Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak,” Billy Squier’s “The Stroke,” “Under Pressure” and many more as band members’
kids danced side stage.
Laid back goth vibes, but solid sets: Distinguished English band The Cult (released new album Hidden City earlier
this year) and recent Metal Performance Grammy winners (“Cirice”) Ghost, from Sweden.
Guitarist Rick Nielsen greeted and hugged Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna off stage before Cheap Trick’s set.
Avenged Sevenfold kept Champions Park packed through the end of day one with performances of "Nightmare,"
"Hail To The King," "Bat Country" and many other tracks from the band's headlining catalog.
Adelitas Way vocalist Rick DeJesus smiled at fans during performances of “Sick,” “Bad Reputation” and others while
the crowd sang along to the solid set.
Trivium opened with “Strife” and the crowd responded with circle pits; the band is in the last round of their Silence
In The Snow Tour.
Swedish power metal group Sabaton is a crowd favorite with the band’s pounding ‘going to battle’ live energy.
Sabaton opened with “Ghost Division” and closed with “Primo Victoria.”
Requested by vocalist Benji Webbe of Skindred on stage during “Warning,” fans took off their shirts and whipped
them around in the air.
Pop Evil vocalist Leigh Kakaty and bassist Matt DiRito paused to do 22 pushups on stage while fans counted along
to recognize Mission 22; an organization committed to ending American veteran suicides, numbering 20 every day.
Despite initial sound issues, Zakk Sabbath ruled the Zorn Stage with the three-piece band’s Sabbath covers
(including “War Pigs,” “Fairies Wear Boots”). Zakk Wylde joined the crowd for close up guitar solos.
Sevendust never fail to impress, the powerful set included “Pieces,” “Decay” and the crowd pounding, adrenaline
fueled “Face to Face.”
Alter Bridge returned to Louder Than Life (from 2014) with roaring cheers. Myles Kennedy’s unmatchable vocals
and shredding solos by guitarist Mark Tremonti highlighted song performances that included “Isolation” and
“Come To Life.”
Corey Taylor joined Jonathan Davis onstage to perform the live debut of “A Different World” from Korn’s upcoming
album The Serenity of Suffering, releasing Oct. 21. Korn delivered a flawless performance making everything look
effortless, songs included: “Shoots and Ladders,” “Blind,” and “Here To Stay.”
Disturbed brought the pyro and a medley of cover songs “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (U2),
“Baba O’Riley” (The Who), and crowd roaring “Killing In The Name” (Rage Against The Machine). A stand-out set
with Draiman’s powerful vocals and all the members connecting with the audience.
Despite extensive touring this summer, Slipknot did not seem exhausted; the band delivered a crushing performance
to close the weekend. A security guard commented, “Now, this is a show!” A band in which theatrics and musicianship
go hand in hand, without overshadowing each other. The extensive setlist included: “The Negative One,” “Eyeless,”
“Before I Forget,” “Killpop,” “Duality,” “Psychosocial,” “Wait and Bleed,” “Spit It Out,” and “The Devil in I.”
For a third year, Louder Than Life successfully brought together thousands of respectful, friendly rockers and
metalheads to make memories and connect for two days of unforgettable rock and metal, complimented by
Louisville’s trademark food and bourbon. The anticipation for Louder Than Life 2017 has already begun.
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