I’m waking up this morning feeling exhausted. I’m sun burnt, my voice is raspy and my muscles are sore. All signs of an excellent weekend.
The last day of Rock the Shores had me biking my way there again. I got in earlier to the grounds and was impressed by how much of the mess from last night had been cleared up. No plastic cups on the ground to be seen. An excellent job by the clean up crew, I am sure it’s no easy task.
Reignwolf started off the festival. An unbelievable opening act, if the bands at Rock the Shores were given awards Riegnwolf would have won ‘most talked about performance.’
Wandering through the crowds of people you could hear endless conversations on how amazing his show was.
He started his show off solo playing both guitar and drums however, turning your back to the stage you’d think there was a full band backing him. He had two other band members join him later but I don’t think he needed them. With or without the band Reignwolf produced the same caliber of rock. To say he’s an insanely talented blues rock musician doesn’t even begin to cover how mind meltingly awesome his set was.
If Reignwolf gets the award for ‘most talked about’ about Vince Vaccaro would win ‘cutest moment on stage’ for when he took time to introduce his Grandmother to the crowd noting that this was the first time she had ever seen him perform. D’awe.
Next up was Awolnation, I had the pleasure to speak to frontman Aaron Bruno backstage before his set.
“I try not to think about much,” said Bruno when asked what goes through his mind before a show. “I try to just stay calm because a lot of stuff is out of your control at a live show... I try to reflect on the journey taken to get to this place... I take a moment to myself to give thanks to being able to play in front of people who actually care”
He is surprisingly soft spoken, calm and gentle for someone who’s music is arguably the opposite of those three things.
The music word is not a new place for Bruno, Awolnation has been around since 2009 and before that he played in other bands such as; Under the Influence of Giants, Hometown Hero and Insurgence. Bruno admits that now has been the best time for his Awolnation fame.
“Had this all happened to me when I was younger I might not have been able to handle it as good, so its kept me humble to take this long to get to this place”
I joked with him that if his high school band, The Ice Monkeys, had become famous he might have forever changed the fate of The Arctic Monkeys, or at least their name.
He smiled and told me he still had The Ice Monkeys original cassette tape they had recorded on a karaoke machine “It had two mics, so we would record the band with one mic and then I would sing directly into the other mic and it just sounds like acid, it’s just very terrible.”
So, maybe The Ice Monkeys were never really a threat.
Before our interview ended Bruno let me know that he is involved in multiple projects right now with multiple groups and that fans of his can look forward to hearing those collaborations before the next Awolnation record.
The performance Awolnation gave was astounding, it would win the award for most amped up participatory crowd.
Following Awolnation was Mother Mother, I don’t know who made the executive decision to have these two bands play back to back, but it was an excellent choice.
Mother Mother is one of those bands I often forget has 4 albums and can now fill a set list with their most beloved tracks, this didn’t stop them from performing a couple covers, such as Gouge Away by The Pixies as they did at last years Rifflandia festival and a cover of In Bloom by Nirvana.
Second to last for the night was Sam Roberts who came out to complete his set from last year that got cut short due to lightning. The crowd started to thin at this point, either from people starting to head home or because putting a band like The Sam Roberts Band on after Awolnation and Mother Mother is kind of odd.
Finally, closing the festival was Weezer. The fact that they have been making music since I was in Kindergarten and are still so widely known by almost every age group is amazing. There set was just hit after hit, and even though it was a Sunday and even though some of us had work in the morning we stuck it out to sing (more likely yell) along to every song.
Rock the Shores improved immensely from their first year and will hopefully only get better in years to come.
Review by Clorisa Simpson