Louder Than Life, the world’s largest rock ‘n’ roll whiskey festival, welcomed 160,000 fans during their record-setting four-day weekend.
One of the season’s biggest anticipated four-day music festival, Louder Than Life presented by Danny Wimmer, wrapped up this weekend bringing live music back to hard rock fans after a year without live concerts in Louisville, Kentucky. The heavy metal festival was held at the Highland Festival Grounds in Louisville, KY with everyday selling out, even with a pandemic closing numerous tours. Crowds averaged as high as 35,000 a day. The metal-heads age groups covered a wide range from old rockers to just walking rock babies that gathered for this pilgrimage back to live metal. No obstacle stopping some of the most devoted as the hardest of hardcore in wheelchairs struggled the gravel to get a glimpse of the rock gods.
Some acts pulling out of Louder with Covid concerns were quickly replaced at the last second. Ghostemane pulled out and was replaced by Suicidal Tendencies with Tye Trujillo on bass now. His Dad, Robert Trujillo, is currently the bass player for Metallica and once also was the bass player for Suicidal Tendencies. Mudvayne canceled their appearance and tour due to lead singer Chad Gray, as well as some staff members contracting Covid, and Breaking Benjamin stepped up flawlessly killing it with songs such as “Dark,” “I Will Not Bow,” “So Cold,” and “The Diary of Jane.”Volbeat also had a notable performance as they played “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown,” “Still Counting,” and a Metallica cover “Don’t Tread on Me.” A band to keep on your radar is Grandson who belted it out with “Blood in the Water,” a song against the greed in politics. Korn was still feeling the effects of recovering from Covid with Jonathan Davis pushing through despite having to take breaks to sit on a throne while taking oxygen. Even exhausted, they played “Falling Away From Me,” and “Come Undone,” with a sample of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Machine Gun Kelly suffered through his set with hordes of Slipknot fans flipping the bird and chanting “Slipknot” due to the feud he recently started. Other groups that dominated were Disturbed, Jane’s Addiction, and Seether who performed “Nobody Praying For Me,” “Rise Above This,” and “Remedy.” The classic metal group Judas Priest pulled out all the stops, even driving a motorcycle on stage during their performance of “Hell Bent For Leather.” The scores of jean jackets with metal band back patches and studded spikes only meant the Metallica army was present and representing from all over. Some super fans traveling in from as far as New York to catch the rare Metallica set for two nights. Friday night, the lights dimmed, and “The Ecstasy of Gold” intro projects as a cool September evening outside starts to satisfy the music hungry fans cheering. Metallica opening with “Whiplash,” “Ride the Lightning,” and “Harvester of Sorrow.” “Fade to Black” midway through their set brought headbangers to a neck-break climax. Sunday night, Metallica closed out the festival by performing the 30th anniversary of The Black Album in its entirety but in reverse order. The encore left classic fans satisfied with “Creeping Death,” the first time closing with this song from the Ride the Lightning album. While we are still riding high on the excitement of last weekend’s extravaganza, we can already start planning for 2022. The festival will return the weekend of September 22-25, and will once again be held at the Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center. Tickets are available for just $10 down for a limited time, so get yours here while you can.
Photos provided by Louder Than Life