Spring Fling 2019 with headliners A Day To Remember and Incubus and Buckcherry
May 31 and June 1
Riverfront Festival Park
Spring Fling has grown from a one night small show featuring three bands to a two day large festival. Central Illinois has been plagued this spring with neverending rains. It had been so long with rain every day that the surrounding farmland sat unplanted. So going to an outdoor show is a gamble. In this day and age, no one wants to sit outside in the rain possibly getting their phone wet and being wet for hours on end. The weather could not have been more perfect. The temperature was in the seventies and it ranged from cloudy to sunny the entire festival. The music was heavy on local bands. Peoria, who is known for local artists like Dan Fogelberg and Mudvayne. There has been a market for hard rock in the area supported by one of the largest radio stations of 105.7 the X Rocks.
Friday night featured headliners A Day To Remember. The opening bands were locals 3AM Project from Peoria, Illinois are an independent band with a heavy rock sound. They had a solid set with dedicated fans from the area. Burden of The Sky is a local alt-metal band from Bloomington, Illinois. They released their debut album independently called Cinis ad Cinis (Ashes to Ashes). You can listen to it here. Burden of The Sky Website
Next up were heavy hitters, Memphis May Fire a metalcore band from Nashville, Tennessee. The band is a Warped Tour veteran and their sound has evolved over the years. Their newest album, Broken, is “both a perfect distillation of everything the band has achieved creatively, with the group’s signature passion and diversity, and a bold leap into the future”. Their singles, “The Old Me” and “Heavy Is The Weight” resonates with listeners who may be going through the same questions about being better people. While their new music has a certain radio quality, there is still a breakdown for the old fans who need to let go in the pit.
Asking Alexandria is the next huge band graced the stage of the first night of Spring Fling 2019. Asking Alexandria is now considering themselves a rock band and their sound has made a distinguishable turn to more radio hits. The band is from York, England. They parted from their original singer, Danny Worsnop in 2015 when Worsnop left to work with his rock band, We Are Harlot. The band recruited singer, Denis Stoff, who toured with them extensively. Then in 2016, Danny Worsnop, rejoined the band. They have release an eponymous album that contains more introspective songs such as “Alone In A Room” and “Into The Fire” with a theme about reflecting and becoming better people. Danny Worsnop was sporting a hat, t-shirt and sweat pants and commented about being tired from a 30 show tour they just come off of. He apologized for looking homeless but the band performed well.
A Day To Remember (ADTR) is a post-hardcore band from Ocala, Florida. Post-hardcore is screaming and melodic singing with punk roots. The band has built up success since their formation in 2003. They put on one of the best live shows of any band. A Day To Remember has interactive fan participation. They usually have crowd surfing galore, beach balls, a t-shirt cannon launching t-shirts to not just the front of the crowd but the far reaches. The first night of Spring Fling 2019 in Peoria was no exception to the amazing show that ADTR puts on but the set list was brief. One of the best moments of the show was the crowd singing along to “Sometime You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail” off of their album Common Courtesy. The band was embroiled in a dispute with their record label and going through a lawsuit when the album was released. The lyrics on that album relate back to their battle so it must be so rewarding to hear the lyrics back from the crowd.
“I reserve my right to feel uncomfortable reserve my right to be afraid
I make mistakes and I am humbled every step of the way
I want to be a better person I wanna know the master plan
Cast your stones, cast your judgement, you don’t make me who I am”
The encore consisted of their acoustic song “If It Means a Lot To You” and their staple song “The Downfall of Us All”
Day 2 of Spring Fling started early with a pre-party stage beginning with local bands, Cole Hollow, Dark Lit Sky, and Beyond Threshold. Opening for the headliners, Buckcherry, was their tour mates, Joyous Wolf. Joyous Wolf is from Orange County, California and they are bringing back good rock n’roll. Their guitarist, Blake Allard may look very familiar as he stars in a Verizon commercial about talking with his dad before shows. The vocalist, Nick Reese, is a tireless, spirited performer who starts their set by doing forward flips and does not slow down from there. Their music is self-destribed as alternative. I am reminded of Mother Love Bone in their sound. You can see my interview with Nick Reese, here:
Joyous Wolf Interview
You should see the band live. I can describe their show to you and you can watch all the video clips you want but nothing is like seeing them live.
Joyous Wolf Website
Peoria favorites, Buckcherry headlined the early show. Buckcherry has been a band for twenty years. Their hits span a lifetime that started with “Lit Up” and “Crazy Bitch”. Did you know their name is a play on Chuck Berry? The band just released their eighth studio album called Warpaint. The album contains some ballads and a cover of “Head Like A Hole”. While the band has changed their lineup over the years, the founder and vocalist Josh Todd remains. He reminded us during the show to “Live with passion. Do what you love because you only do this shit once!” There is always a good time when Buckcherry performs. Everyone loves their realness and no bullshit attitude.
You can pick up their latest album on tour or at their website: Buckcherry
The main stage started with local favorites, Autumn Rove. They have been gaining fans with their no-nonsense alternative rock. The band, Spirit Animal, was next. I had never even heard of them before. I must say at first I was not exactly sure what I was listening to and then as they went on. I could not help but dance along. I especially liked their songs”The Truth” and “Painkiller”. Their music was somewhere between the Eighties and Vance Joy. They sell their t-shirts and they made a point to make sure not to call one yellow because it is banana fucking cream.
The Glorious Sons were the next opening band. The band comes from Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Their hit S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun) is burning up the airwaves. A song about being down on your luck. Everyone can relate to the bad luck anthem.
Badflower is a rock band from Los Angeles, California. They released their debut album OK, I’M SICK on February 22, 2019. Their singles “Ghost” and “Heroin” have been met with rave reviews. Their songs are haunting and ethereal. “Ghost” is about self-harm and “Heroin” is about a relationship that is bad for you. Badflower reminds me of a medicated Highly Suspect. The physical similarities between Badflower vocalist Josh Katz and Highly Suspect vocalist Johnny Stevens further confuse the two bands. However Badflower is making their own way and their songs resonate with fans. Katz did some crowd surfing Saturday night.
The headliner, Incubus, has been around since 1991. The alternative rockers also hail from California. Best known for their hits of “Drive”, “Pardon Me”, and “Wish You Were Here”. “Drive” is the soundtrack to so many peoples lives. The band’s success is partially due to the god-like beauty of vocalist, Brandon Boyd. He had been voted as one of the ‘hottest guys in rock’. He writes and also paints lending to the sensitive art guy who captivates us all. Tonight the music captivated the fans. They had a large stage set with three L.E.D. screens with scenes from sunsets and oceans in the background. Most of the band stayed in the shadows during the show with the spotlight on Brandon. The band has had the same line up since 2003. Founding members Brandon Boyd, guitarist Mike Einziger and drummer José Pasillas II are joined by turntablist Chris Kilmore and bassist Ben Kenney. The band is working on new music this year and the fans are looking forward to hearing new music. The night could not have been more perfect. The weather was fantastic. The music sounded great.
We are looking forward to Spring Fling 2020.