Fort Rock Music Festival
Fort Meyers, FL
April 26, 2014
Review and photos by Ryan Hackland
Thousands of people flocked to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers for what may have been the biggest concert event of their lives. Monster Energy’s Fort Rock Music Festival featuring Rob Zombie, The Pretty Reckless, Seether, Korn, and Five Finger Death Punch.
As I walked across the sun scorched field surrounded by food, souvenir tents and thousands of fellow concert goers, I was in awe. This was the closest I would ever get to experiencing Woodstock. I approached the stage where The Pretty Reckless was performing “Cold Blooded.” As I listened to the guitarists and Taylor Momsen’s vocals, I found It hard to believe this was the same Taylor Momsen that had played Sindy Lou Who in the live action adaptation of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000). As they began to play “Going to Hell” I was blown away and took pride in seeing a former child star that didn’t have to twerk to please her fans.
The next stop on my Fort Rock crusade was to the main stage to watch Seether, Five Finger Death Punch, Korn and the living legend himself, Rob Zombie. Seether took the stage and opened up with “Rise above this.” Followed” by “Fine Again;” However, it was when they played “Fake It,” And “Remedy” that I was head banging with the crowd in nostalgic euphoria.
After Seether left the stage, Five Finger Death Punch took it about 45 minutes later. This is when things got interesting. I decided to test my, (dare I say) mettle, and enter the mosh pit as the band played “Under and Over it.” Adrenaline was pumping through my veins as I charged into the circle and was pushed from one side of the pit to the other. Despite colliding with people twice my size, for that brief moment, I was fearless. After leaving the pit I took my place in the crowd to watch lead singer Ivan give a speech about how some bands come to the Fort Rock Music Festival and get so caught up in how famous they are that they forget what made them famous. He concluded his speech with “Not You! Not us! Not ever!”
Once Five Finger Death Punch left the stage, the last two acts to perform were Korn and Rob Zombie. While Korn’s instrumental audio quality was phenomenal it overshadowed John Davis’s vocals. None of this stopped me, from freaking out to “I’m coming Undone” or “Freak on a leash.”
Last but not least was the legendary Rob Zombie. Rob is the kind of musician that puts hardcore rock and old black and white horror films together in such perfect harmony. This performance was amazing as his back drop consisted of portraits of the Wolf-Man, Frankenstein, and Dracula. Rob and the band were mind-blowing. While Rob’s stage presence and the guitarist’s skill were both incredible, the show lacked the theatrical and animatronics aspect that Rob is known for. Be that as it may, “House of a “Thousand corpses,” “Thunderkiss 65,” and “Living Dead Girl” were amazing to hear live. The band saved the best for last and ended the night playing “Dragula” one of their most kick ass songs. As I raised my fist and head banged like a pro, I felt humbled at being able to experience all of these phenomenal artists and wondered if I would ever experience anything like it ever again. But as Rob thanked the audience and not a single fist in the crowd was left un-raised.
I knew that both the artists and the fans who worship them would cherish this event forever.