2017’s Monster Energy Fort Rock Festival Recap

Written By: CoentheButcher

Fort Rock, the biggest rock festival in southwest Florida celebrated their 4th year of bringing the noise to Fort Myers in 2017. The lineup was nothing short of spectacular. Headliners such as Def Leppard and Soundgarden gave rockers of all ages plenty to look forward to. Although this festival is still fairly new, it attracts concert goers of all walks of life. Many attendees enjoy the venue being so close to the beach, making the trek to south Florida even sweeter.


Saturday had a face melting start. The weather was brutal but so was Beartooth. This band brought the overheated crowd back to life. People were exhausted from the sun early but with Caleb Shomoon on stage screaming his soul out, it was hard for fans not to participate. Security was on top of keeping the rail birds cool by intermediately spraying folks down with a water hose or cold bottles of water. 


Motionless in White took the stage with an ever so dark and fun stage show including a mysterious axe wielding female who later threw Halloween candy to the crowd. Chris Motionless came on stage in his to die for vinyl pants, how he could stand them in the record-breaking Florida temperatures that day we will never know. The band performed songs from their soon to be released album “Graveyard Shift” for Fort Rockers. Their reactions were more than the band could have asked for. 


In This Moment provided a spectacular stage show with a new routine of outfits sure to make the crowd swoon just as her voice does. Afterwards the crowd patiently awaited Of Mice & Men with their new lead vocalist Aaron Pauley. He had a bit of mic trouble during the beginning of their set. Overall, he overcame the technical difficulty and enjoyed his time with the crowd. 


During the set of Seether, there was a scary moment. A set of panel lights fell completely over, barely missing bass guitarist Dale Stewart. A group of individuals tried lifting the heavy equipment but it was impossible. It has been said that the lights were not properly secured which allowed the wind to push them over. Although the incident could have ended tragically, it thankfully did not. The show went on. 


The first night of headliners were ones of great talent. Chevelle has somewhat of a hypnotizing way about them. They intend to make you feel their music. Making each song one to remember. As their time came to an end, the mood immediately changed. It was time for 80’s legends Def Leppard. Whether you are a fan or not, there is absolutely no way to keep your body from moving when the notes of “Rock of Ages” or “Pour Some Sugar on Me” begin. The lights, the sound, all blended gracefully together as night one came to a close.


Sunday had a lot to live up to after a mind-blowing abundance of bands the day before. A 90’s kids dream is a great way to describe the layout. True rock and roll souls were taking the stage. New blood bands such as Starset, I Prevail, and The Pretty Reckless wowed. Their sounds are all so different but all were so intriguing. 


From across the parking lot or right up front, the sound of California rocker Dexter Holland’s first word was blissful. If you can’t get down to hits from The Offspring, you may not be human! All members played incredibly. Holland’s voice was as fresh as the day “Come Out and Play” hit the ears of punks around the world in 1994. 


Next up that evening, A Perfect Circle. The band has an overwhelmingly loyal fan base. Many were in attendance. All readied themselves for Maynard Keenan to sweep them into the night. Their stage presence was breathtaking. Everyone was in the ‘Perfect’ mind set for what they received from such an iconic band. 


The final headliner put on a stellar show. It is truly absurd to believe that someone could sound more soulful than Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell. The talent from every member oozes from their instruments.

They enjoyed every second playing for so many fans and the fans were just grateful to be there. 


The overall atmosphere at Fort Rock is amazing. The two stages make it easy to watch every single band without missing a note. As the festival grows, so do the number of music loving rockers. Thinking about attending won’t be good enough for long. Make the journey near or far to have the experience of a life time! 

About Side Stage Magazine 2815 Articles
Side Stage Magazine, providing you all the latest in music news, reviews, and interviews.