Featured Image Courtesy of Festival Flyer
93.3 WMMR FM hosted their annual MMRBQ this past Saturday, May 21st. Despite the cold weather and pouring rain, fans filled the BB&T Pavilion for the sold out show, and most stuck it out for the full ten hours. Their dedication paid off as the audience got to witness eight outstanding performances, and nobody left disappointed. Below are the highlights from each set.
Soraia was hand-picked to represent Philly as the opening band, and they exceeded expectations. With shredding guitars and blazing vocals, the performance was captivating. Frontwoman ZouZou Mansour powerful vocals and impressive range caught the audience’s attention, and the group’s energetic stage presence kept all eyes on them. Soraia proved that Philly’s rock scene is thriving and represented our city with an unforgettable performance.
Red Sun Rising emerged with unmatched energy that carried throughout their set. From their opening song “Push” to the extended instrumentals of “Imitation,” the thrashing guitars and howling vocals shook the amphitheater, and the crowd loved it. Long-time and just-converted fans sang with equal might and enthusiasm, picking up the lyrics quickly and jumping along in the pit. Their closing track “Emotionless” left the audience shouting for more.
Wolfmother followed with an exceptional hard rock performance. The seemingly endless guitar solos highlighted the group’s sheer talent as well as the the complexity of their tracks. Vocalist Andrew Stockdale wailed with impressive range and force, holding out from their intro song “Victorious” to the end of their set. Wolfmother rightfully garnered the crowd’s interest with their nonstop rock ballads.
Collective Soul wrapped up the first half of the show with a solid performance and a high level of praise. Their setlist consisted of a range of tracks throughout their extensive discography, spanning more than two decades of hits and sounds. They bid farewell with one of their first and still most popular songs, “Shine,” getting the audience to its feet and singing with all they had. Collective Soul once again proved their relentless staying power and concluded the general admission portion of the shows with a standing ovation and enough crowd excitement to make it through the next half.
Sixx AM kicked off the second half of MMRBQ with a killer performance. Vocalist James Michael danced across the stage and got the whole audience involved with singing and fist-pumping. The group performed some of their most-known songs, including “Lies of the Beautiful People” and “Life is Beautiful,” and more recent tracks such as “When We Were Gods,” which featured a passionate duet with a backing vocalist. Sixx AM revved up the crowd with their rock and roll sound and stage presence, picking up the show on a high note.
3 Doors Down hit the stage next with a mix of nostalgic classics and new tracks. The group took the stage with a compelling performance of “Still Alive” off of their latest album Us and the Night, following with a crowd favorite “It’s Not My Time.” They continued to switch up old and new, keeping everyone engaged either in singing to hits or with introducing the crowd to new favorites with perfect execution. 3 Doors Down gave a solemn dedication to anyone who has served in the armed forces and their families with “Here Without You” and continued to raise morale with “Kryptonite” near the end of their set. Their performance was enough to keep the crowd excited both during and following their set despite the downpour.
Shinedown delivered a memorable performance, building crowd anticipation with lights shining on an empty stage as a throwback track blared through the speakers, only to crash through at its finish with “Asking For It.” The group plowed through hits with pounding drums and blazing guitars, only dialing back for calmer tracks such as their widely known “Second Chance.” The highlight of the set was the cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man,” with acoustic guitar solos and passionate vocals, both from vocalist Brent Smith and the audience given the floor for the chorus. Shinedown finished with an explosive performance of “Sound of Madness,” with raging instrumentals, screaming vocals, fist-pumping, and cheers to be heard from across the river.
Disturbed closed MMRBQ with a stellar set. The stage alone was mesmerizing, with changing backdrops, blinding lights, and flames shooting from half a dozen locations. However, no amount of chaos could overpower the group’s performance, with unstoppable guitars and pounding drums that could barely match the sheer force of David Draiman’s vocals. Disturbed performed a mix of tracks from their recent release Immortalized and their best hits, closing with one of their earliest yet still beloved “Down With the Sickness.” Fans illuminated the amphitheater every time Draiman sang the song’s title during “The Light,” creating a breathtaking sight. Most impressive though was their cover mashup, transitioning from Nine Inch Nail’s “Closer” to U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” The Who’s “Baba O’Riley“, and Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name,” keeping surprisingly true to the originals. Disturbed concluded this year’s MMRBQ with an energetic show full of surprises that made the rain and the wait well worth it.
Let us know what you thought of this year’s MMRBQ in the comments below!