As much as this town’s faux-aesthete hipster set wants to complain and make a case for how much we deserve to book whatever hype-o-sphere conquering indie band of the moment, River City Rockfest knows how to keep SA real. For its second year, the festival has booked an impressive array of (contemporary?) hard rock acts sure to drive our shred-worshipping community to totally macho tears of appreciation. From big-name bands to local scene standouts, here are the acts we’re most stoked to catch on Saturday.
Straight up: I have love for Kid Rock. Even when I don’t totally go for what he’s selling, I appreciate his ability to borrow, sometimes very successfully, from whatever sound he wants: rap, metal, rap-metal, butt rock and country. Right now, of course, Detroit’s Robert James Ritchie is in the middle of a country-tinged, Hank Williams Jr.-indebted southern rock phase. While we can expect him to lean heavily on his most recent releases, Born Free (2010) and Rebel Soul (2012), there’s little doubt that fans will be treated to a “bawitaba da bang a dang diggy diggy,” sing along.
After recently turning in some very shaky work with his electronic project ††† (Crosses), Deftones’ lead man Chino Moreno is back with his original band. Moreno recently reported to Spin that the influential act is at work on a new album, so River City fans wouldn’t be crazy to hope for a tentative sneak peek at the group’s first album since 2012’s Koi No Yokan. Always a Saytown favorite, Deftones are at their best live, when their tumultuous, churning nu-metal songs can be fully appreciated for their raw power and surprising finesse.
Active since 1999, these slowly-softening, South African alt-metal heads are no strangers to the other SA’s hard rock aficionados. With each of the band’s six albums, including Isolate & Medicate released early this month, Seether has become increasingly interested in diversifying its approach with atmospheric flourishes and acoustic guitar. These obvious grunge worshippers can still bring the aggression, but the group’s live show is now a matured mixture of intense moments and lighter-waving ops.
Lonely Horse, Donella Drive, Lynwood King and the Revival
Yeah, we’re mentioning SA desert-sun-rockers Lonely Horse again. Get over it. They’ll sound fucking awesome at the AT&T Center because they sound fucking awesome anywhere. Also worth catching on the local tip: the kinetic and funky indie rock of Donella Drive (who are dropping an EP called Castellations on Saturday, to boot) and the classic blues rock of Lynwood King (of the Heroine, also on the bill).
All in all, River City Rockfest looks like an ideal chance to get out all of your pent-up aggression before the summer months come to drive you into sweat-soaked conniptions.
River City Rockfest
12pm Sat, May 24
1 AT&T Center