A sold-out pavilion and packed lawn on August 20, 2019, indicated that rock & roll is not dead in Indiana! Fans turned out in droves to see KoRn, Alice in Chains, Underoath, and FEVER 333 at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center. The lineup was an interesting combination of relatively different styles of rock with somewhat different fan bases, but it all worked well together.
Rapcore openers FEVER 333 started the evening with a dramatic and incredibly high energy performance. Lead singer Jason Aalon Butler seemed to have just too much energy to contain, abandoning the stage at one point to venture to the back of the pavilion. Once there, he grabbed a big box of plastic cups and shoved it onto his head. I’m pretty sure it was in impromptu move, and everyone loved it! Guitarist Stephen Harrison and drummer Aric Improta also gave extremely energetic performances. Known for their activism, FEVER 333 encouraged the crowd to honor all the people who made America great.
Grammy-nominated metalcore rockers Underoath were next, and they also put on a kickass set featuring songs from . With six members in the band, it was sometimes hard to know who to watch – they were all putting everything they had into the show. Frontman Spencer Chamberlain did a great job of egging on the audience, encouraging them to jump, sing along, and mosh. Chris Dudley was a madman in action – I’ve never seen another keyboardist/synth artist put so much energy into a performance! Drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie’s hair and sticks seemed to be flying almost faster than the eye could see.
Iconic grunge artists Alice in Chains performed at a much slower pace than the first two acts, but their show was dramatic and flawless. Frontman William DuVall commanded the audience’s attention not by jumping and shouting, but by singing with great intensity. Although his eyes were shaded by sunglasses, I swear I could feel his gaze piercing my soul. Although songs from their latest album, Rainier Fog, were received warmly, the older AiC songs such as Would? and Man in the Box got the most love from the fans. When the band closed with Rooster, I actually got chills watching DuVall’s expressive face – it was almost as though I was deep in a jungle in Vietnam, along with Jerry Cantrell’s father. The rest of the crowd loved it, too, and clamored for an encore. Although that didn’t happen, drummer Sean Kinney took the mic for a confession of sorts, saying he had stolen a golf cart and driven it into the pond the last time AiC was at Ruoff Home Mortgage Center, adding he had gotten into a “shitload of trouble” for it. The crowd roared their approval as he exited the stage.