On July 3rd the Rockstar Energy Disrupt Music Festival made its way to Echo Beach which made for a hot and sweaty day filled with rock music.
The first band we were able to catch was Trophy Eyes. Having heard about them before but never really listening to them I was curious to see how they would be live. When it comes to finding new music, I think the best way is to discover bands at festivals like this and to watch them live, after all this is what they must do best. Trophy Eyes opened up with songs from their newest album; “Friday Forever”, Followed by “Something Bigger Than This”. Frontman John Floreani along with the rest of the band knew how to get the crowd pumped up considering it was still quite early on for the festival. From the very first song of the set, it was easy to see that Trophy Eyes had many dedicated fans that knew all the words. Trophy Eyes played a number of songs some of which included “Hurt”, “Lavender Bay”, and they closed out their set with fan favourite “You Can Count on Me”. Overall I would have to say that Trophy Eyes definitely have a new fan, not only did they win me over with their catchy songs but with their stage presence as well.
The next three bands (Memphis May Fire, Four Year Strong, Sleeping with Sirens) are ones that I have seen MANY times whether it was at Warped Tour, opening for other bands or at their own headlining shows these bands are some of my favourites to see live. As always all three bands had incredible stage performance with a ton of energy. Every time I see these bands play it’s like I’m watching them for the first time. With the nature of festivals, I know that set times tend to run a bit short and that it is hard for the bands to fit all the songs they would like to within the allotted time. However, all three of these bands decided to play a majority of their hit songs which I thought was a good call. Even though I have seen them countless times there was probably a big chunk of people who haven’t and seeing them play the best of the best could both satisfy older fans, and make new fans.
Now mid-way into the festival, it was time for the “Main Stage” bands to begin. Having switched venues just a few days before the festival there was no real main stage, now all the bands were playing at Echo Beach instead of the Budweiser Stage. Now there was definitely pro’s and con’s to this switch, Con’s being that there was very little if any shade at all and there was nowhere to sit or lounge other than in the middle of the crowd or under the 10 trees that this venue has. Pro’s were that everyone was “General Admission” meaning they could crowd surf, Mosh and choose to see the band from whatever sightline they prefered.
I remember when this festival first got announced I was surprised to see that they choose amphitheatre type venues to host this festival. There were many people complaining that they “can’t mosh in seats” especially considering the type of music all of these bands play. Though once the tour began it was obvious to see why they chose amphitheatres; it was due to the production levels of the main stage acts. From the props to the lights it would be hard to pull this off on a portable stage that is set up and taken down in one day. I am happy that here in Toronto we have such venue as Echo Beach that can accommodate larger outdoor production shows.
Atreyu was a band I was actually looking forward to seeing live for the first time. From the moment the band walked on stage causing the crowd to go wild I had a feeling that this would be a good set. Opening up with “The Time is Now”, followed by fan favourites “Right Side of The Bed”, “Becoming The Bull” and “Ex’s and Oh’s” had everyone headbanging and singing along song after song. Now I know I said that the other bands had good stage presence but if I’m being honest Atreyu was for sure in the top three of the day. All of the band members never missed a beat when it came to giving it all they got. Growing up I had listened to a couple of songs here and there but I never actually “followed” them, though after seeing them at Disrupt I will for sure go back and listen to more of their songs and hopefully see them live again soon!
It was finally time for the band most people have been waiting for THE USED! Their setlist could not have gotten off to a better start. The opening song “Take It Away” immediately brought back memories to the very beginning of their 2004 release, In Love and Death. It was a perfect way to let the crowd know that they are at a The Used concert and that they are about to experience one of the best concerts of their lives. The energy from both the crowd and band was absolutely incredible, especially with lead vocalist Bert McCracken moving and jumping around the stage for practically every song. However, it wasn’t until the band played “Listening”, when the moshing really began. Sure, Bert may have asked for a circle pit, but instead, the crowd gave him much more than that. The band played plenty of songs from their first three albums, including classics like “The Bird and The Worm”, and “Pretty Handsome Awkward” the night ended off with “All that I’ve Got.”