Louder than Life

The 3rd Annual, And Best Kick Ass Fest of 2016

Louder than Life

Champions Park
Louisville, KY 40206
October 1, 2, 2016

Photos And Review by ~James Urban

The third annual LOUDER THAN LIFE—held October 1 & 2 at Champions Park in Louisville—drew to a close with 50,000 in attendance over the two-day festival celebrating the region's culture and cuisine, and featuring award-winning bourbons and spirits, Gourmet Man Food, craft beer and some of the biggest names in rock music.

LOUDER THAN LIFE 2016 featured Slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold—headlining together for the first time ever—topping a mindblowing music lineup of over 35 bands on three stages, with performances from Disturbed, Korn, Slayer, The Cult, Ghost, Pierce The Veil and many more. On Saturday night, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick were joined onstage by Anthrax, Vinnie Paul (Hellyeah), Taylor Hawkins (Chevy Metal, Foo Fighters), Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters), and members of The Cult. On Sunday night, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor pulled double-duty, joining Korn onstage for the first time ever to perform the band’s new single “A Different World” before donning his mask for Slipknot’s thunderous festival-closing set.

LOUDER THAN LIFE celebrated the culture of Louisville and offered attendees a full day and night of experiences, including Bourbon World presented by the Louisville Courier-Journal, regional craft beer, over 40 vendors in the Gourmet Man Food village, the Jack Daniel’s Experience, band meet-and-greets and autograph signings hosted by Monster Energy, FYE, and The Music Experience, and much more. Attendees were able to have their festival t-shirts customized by New York rock fashion designer Christian Benner at the Christian Benner Experience. In the It’s Miller Time VIP Lounge, fans enjoyed a private bar and additional Gourmet Man Food options, seated viewing of the festival main stages, and a sports bar showing all the weekend’s college and NFL football action.

LOUDER THAN LIFE, which had an estimated economic impact of nearly $13 million on the Louisville area in 2015, continues to drive tourism to Louisville. Says Danny Wimmer Presents CEO, Danny Hayes, “This year marked the beginning of what we intend to be a broader inclusion of greater Louisville into the LOUDER THAN LIFE experience. Our focus is bringing tourism to this great city, and we want to make sure our fans get to see all that Louisville has to offer. We also want to make sure that local businesses benefit from our being here. This year we showcased Fourth Street Live! with official pre and afterparties. And our team particularly enjoyed a very special kickoff dinner at the Wine Studio at 610 Magnolia prepared by our favorite celebrity chef Edward Lee, and hosted by our dear friend, SiriusXM’s Shannon Gunz.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer comments, "Another strong year is in the books for Louder Than Life. Cheers to its return in 2017."

"Visiting for a festival or event is the number one driver for tourism in Louisville, and Louder Than Life, with its strong following, has benefited the city both culturally and economically,” says Karen Williams, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to welcoming back this premier destination festival for the fourth year next Fall.”

Day 1 Review

Welcome to day one of the 3rd Annual 2016 Louder Than Life hard rock and heavy metal music festival in Louisville, KY and for the third year I have the privilege to cover this event. Joining over 50,000 Metal and Rock fans, Champion Park is home once again to this festival showcasing thirty nine bands over the two days featured on three stages filling our ears and this beautiful park with hard and heavy music. The weather was a concern with cloudy skies and rain in the forecast for day one, but the day began without a hitch featuring the two man band named ‘68 on the with Loudmouth stage. Even with the questionable weather, fans didn’t waver as we all crowded the gates anticipating the beginning of day one and the weekend.

The Zorn stage was filled with the talent of: Bishop Gunn, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Being as an Ocean, Sick Puppies, Chevy Metal and Cheap Trick. As the day began, the clouds and rain hung around getting us a little wet here and there, but fans and the bands prevailed. Bands on this stage are all new to this festival in 2016 culminating in the headliner on the stage, rock and roll hall of fame band the legendary Cheap Trick. As time came for Cheap Trick to go on stage me and my fellow photographers lined up next to the stage waiting to fill the pit and capture these legends on stage. As we were waiting and making our final adjustments members Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick were hanging out with Joey Belladona and Scott Ian of Anthrax. Being a big fan of both bands and their musical differences and similarities, it was just an awesome site to see them together like normal people and fans as we rarely see our favorite bands this way.

As Cheap Trick took the stage they wowed the crowd with their legendary musical library featuring hits like “I Want You to Want Me”, “Dream Police” and “Surrender”. These men have been on stage since the early 1970’s and haven’t lost anything musically or the desire to perform and play to a crowd.

The Loudmouth stage was manned with the likes of: ’68, Young Guns, Avatar, The Amity Affliction, Hellyeah, Pierce the Veil and Slayer. The members of the band ’68 opened the stage, the day, the festival and the weekend with a fast spirited set. The two member band sounded much louder and complete than they seem to be as only being made of two men. England’s Young Guns kept the momentum going keeping the fans and the music going. They were followed by the Swedish heavy metal circus known as Avatar. Dressed in circus garb, they really know how to play to the crowd and bring the metal with songs like “Hail the Apocalypse” and “Smells like a freak show”. Hellyeah came to the stage with one purpose and that was to rip your face off and that is just what they did. Throughout the set Chad Gray handled the crowd with his vocals and on stage enthusiasm. He and bassist Kyle Sanders started face to face and as they parted both were covered in blood as the bands song “Sangre Por Sangre” (Blood for Blood) filled the air as blood dripped down Gray’s face as he sang. The all mighty Slayer finished the night on the Loudmouth Stage in pure Slayer style and sound. A large curtain covered the stage as crosses and the Slayer logo danced across it colored in red and white taunting the crowd. As the curtain fell, Slayer broke into “Repentless” followed by “Chemical Warfare” and on through their 13 song set bringing the metal as only they can.

The Monster Energy stage South was filled with some hard rock and heavy metal top acts: Twelve Foot Ninja, Neck Deep, I Prevail, Motionless in White, Anthrax, The Cult and Avenged Sevenfold. As Twelve Foot Ninjas set began their funky macabre sound they began the rock for the first day setting a precedence for this stage for the remaining acts to follow. Neck Deep and I Prevail both had solid sets continuing to work the crowd into a frenzy as the day went on. Motionless in White hit the stage and lead singer Chris Motionless thanked the festival and the crowd for following them from the small stage on the inaugural year of LtL to the main stage on this the 3rd year of the festival. MIW brought their catalog of goth metal to the fans with hits like “Break the cycle” and “Reincarnate”, meeting expectations of the fans singing along and banging their collective head. Legendary thrash metal band Anthrax took the stage and continued to assault the crowd with classic tracks “Caught in a Mosh” and “Got the Time”. Bands like Anthrax are still rocking after all these years and they leave it on the stage every night when they are done. The Cult came to the stage and delighted fans with a 10 song best of set that kept the crowd young and old alike singing and grooving. Day one headliner Avenged Sevenfold took the stage playing hits like “Nightmare”, “Shepherd of fire” and “Hail to the king”, bringing the crowd to a fevered pitch and then half way through the set the music stopped. Red emergency lights made their way through the sea of fans to care for a member in the crowd that had gotten injured and when they were taken care of A7X continued the music. Large video screens at the back of the stage featured the individual band members making them seem even larger than life. After A7X finished their set fans were so hyped that they left on such a high that sleep will allude as they prepare for Day 2.

Day one ended with a great finish to cloudy wet day for the bands, fans and vendors. For the third year Louder than Life brought great food, great attractions and great music to Champion Park near downtown Louisville, KY. If you missed this year’s festival start planning now and do not miss it next year! Bring your musical love, a big appetite and some comfortable shoes.

Day 2 Review

Band Line up:

Slipknot, Disturbed, Korn Clutch, Ghost, Alter Bridge, Skillet, Zakk Sabbath, Seven Dust, Pop Evil, KYNG, Parkway Drive, Trivium, Sabaton, Skindred, Crobot, Adelitas Way, Smashing Satellites, Them Evils

Welcome to day two of the 3rd Annual 2016 Louder Than Life hard rock and heavy metal music festival in Louisville, KY and for the third year I have the privilege to cover this event. As we recover from day one the weather recovered as well with no rain in the forecast for this metal Sunday. The final day brings three of the biggest heavy bands today to end the weekend and festival with Korn, Disturbed and Slipknot.

The Zorn stage was filled with the talent of: Them Evils, Smashing Satellites, Sabaton, Kyng, Zakk Sabbath and Clutch. All the bands on this stage are new comers to the Louisville festival and brought a lot of excitement along with them. Swedish power metal band Sabaton, with their heavy melodic sound and camo inspired attire engaged the crowd with every song. Kyng, heavy metal trio, brought the metal with a hard and heavy set featuring songs like “Burn the Serum” and “Breathe in the Water”. If you have a Black Sabbath cover band who better the lead the charge than legendary guitarist and Ozzy Osborne lead axe man Zakk Wylde. Wylde brings his unique sound to pay tribute to the original metal band with great success. Clutch finished the day and the weekend for this stage with their patented funk metal sound thrilling fans with “X-Ray Visions” and “Spacegrass”. Behind lead singer Neil Fallon’s big voice was clutches heavy sound wrapped in a funk vibe thrilling fans and ending the Zorn Stage on a high note.

The Loudmouth stage was manned with the likes of: Adelitas Way, Trivium, Pop Evil, Skillet, Ghost and Disturbed. Adelitas Way began the day with a great set, treating fans to songs like “Sick” and “Criticize” delivered by their dynamic lead singer Rick DeJesus. Next up was Trivium which always has an entertaining set as Matt Heafy always comes out and engages the crowd working them into a frenzy. With fast and heavy songs “Strife” and “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation” beginning their set, the music and the energy continued the day’s enjoyment. Fan favorite Pop Evil hit the stage returning after being absent from the 2015 festival to cheers and screams from waiting fans. Hayley Cramer was introduced to most of us as the new drummer for the band and she killed it showing her skills to us all. This was my first time seeing the Swedish metal band Ghost and after the amazing set I am ready to see them again. All the members except lead singer Papa Emeritus III wear matching metal masks and are referred to as nameless ghouls, however they are very true musicians. They are a band and a visual experience to behold if they are on tour near you, don’t hesitate to get out and see them. The headliner of the Loudmouth stage is the incredible Disturbed and they came with their music and a stage full of fire. As they began the final set on this stage we could feel the incredible heat from the pyrotechnics that filled the entire stage. Playing songs from their incredible catalog new and old they thrilled us all with such hits as, “Ten Thousand Fists”, “Stupify” and the iconic remake “The Sound of Silence”. Vocalist David Draiman is an incredible singer and front man that stays in control of the songs and the crowd with his demeanor and command of his stage. The heavy melodic metal, the fire, and the incredible music make them one of the top bands in the world and a band you just simply must see when they come to your town.

The Monster Energy stage South was filled with some hard rock and heavy metal top acts: Crobot, Skindred, Parkway Drive, Sevendust, Alter Bridge, Korn and Slipknot. When Crobot comes to the stage they are always a crowd pleaser with their brand of heavy rocking funk. With the unique stage presents of lead singer Brandon Yeagley and the accompanying musical stylings of bassist Jake Figueroa, this band is one to catch live. Bringing the heavy rocking reggae sound all the way from south wales, Skindred took the stage behind lead singer Benji Webbe. The distinctive sounds of these first two bands show that rock, metal, reggae and funk are all cut from the same cloth and that large festivals like this bring musical fans together. Australian metalcore band Parkway Drive came to the stage to rock the fans and to keep the energy growing with each passing song. With heavy songs in their set like “Crushed” and “Carrion”, fans were not disappointed and the band continued the metal assault. Sevendust returned for their second LtL festival and the crowd responded to this year’s offering with songs that included “Pieces”, “Hero” and “Decay”. Lead singer Lajon Witherspoon with his commanding voice led them through each verse of the songs as the band rocked the fans with the heavy backing beats. Orlando’s own Alter Bridge approached the fans when Mark Tremonti’s guitar rang out followed by the bass and drums of Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips leading into Miles Kennedy’s voice breaking the set open with their song “Come to Life”. A very hard rocking set filled with masterful guitar work by Tremonti and Kennedy’s reverb vocal stylings reminiscent of the great Stevie Nicks. Song after song and riff after riff, the boys in Alter Bridge took the music and energy to the next level with catalog selections “Farther Than the Sun”, “Addicted to Pain” and new addition “Show Me a Leader”. First to the stage for Korns set was drummer Ray Luzier followed by Fieldy eyeing the crowd and holding his bass in his ominous upwards position ready to strike. This heavy rhythm section started pounding out notes as guitarists Head and Munkey made their way out followed by vocalist Jonathan Davis and as he grabbed his mic stand the head banging began. Out of the gate Korn started the show with the hard hitting song, ”Right Now” followed by “Here to Stay” and then the first single off their newest album “Rotting in Vain”. It was leaked early in the week before the festival that Korn would perform their song “A Different World” that features Slipknot front man Corey Taylor and to the amazement of the crowd we were treated to this collaboration. Hit after hit this was an amazing set and as always a top act when they are on stage and trilling fans with the metal that is Korn.

Slipknot is a musical juggernaut that is always a spectacle to behold, but seeing the show live adds a whole other dimension to the experience. Hearing the music and lyrics along with feeling the heavy beats in your chest and up from the ground through your feet just encapsulates the experience. Corey Taylor commands the stage and the attention of every eye on him and with the bands mega hits “Duality”, “The Negative One” and “Psychosocial” leaving the audience captivated. With Chris Fehn and Shawn Crahan on their rotating percussive lifts and the massive video screen covering the back of the stage, your eyes weren’t sure where to focus. Guitar bosses Jim Root and Mick Thomson filled the air with their wailing riffs and intense fret work musically feeding each song to the crowd. The thundering rhythm section of bassist Alessandro Venturella and drummer Jay Weinberg round out the massive sound and chest rattling musical thunder. Through the entire set fans were on their feet and using every inch of their bodies and the festival grounds to enjoy and appreciate this heavy incredible music.

Day two ended with a great finish to an incredible weekend of music, food and drink. For the third year Louder than Life brought great food, great attractions and great music to Champion Park near downtown Louisville, KY. If you missed this year’s festival start planning now and do not miss it next year! Start Planning now for next year hotels and the area will fill up fast with all of us that have been to this festival. Hope to see yall next year.

Favorite 'FMR' Moments: Experiencing the calibration of Korn with Corey Taylor \m/ \m/

Weekend Line Ups Recap:

Saturday, October 1:

Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, The Cult, The Pretty Reckless, Pierce The Veil, Cheap Trick, Chevy Metal, Anthrax, Motionless In White, Hellyeah, Sick Puppies, The Amity Affliction, Avatar, Neck Deep, Young Guns, Being As An Ocean, ‘68, Twelve Foot Ninja, Dinosaur Pile Up.

Sunday, October 2:

Slipknot, Disturbed, Korn, Ghost, Alter Bridge, Clutch, Biffy Clyro, Pop Evil, Skillet, Sevendust, Zakk Sabbath, Parkway Drive, Trivium, KYNG, Skindred, Adelitas Way, Crobot, Sabaton, Smashing Satellites.

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