The Festival Newbie – Sonic Temple Day 3

Photo by Noah Royer

Hey it’s Noah. Your Sunday morning host on 93.9 X Indy’s Rock Station and I’m a Festival Newbie. As someone who has lived in the backwaters of the Midwest, I haven’t had the opportunity to go and see various concerts or festivals in my lifetime. So when I got the chance to cover Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival this past Memorial Day Weekend, I jumped on it faster than an Indy Car! This would be my very first rock festival, let alone my first music festival in general.

After two days of somewhat calm and craziness, Day 3 was probably the day I was the most intrigued of. Not only because of the groups playing (there were a lot of heavy hitters on Day 3), but because of how would my new method of sun protection work. Before we even got to the festival, which had a later start than the first two days, my friend Billy and I made a quick Target run for some supplies. Mainly some better sunscreen, some Aloe Vera for our sunburnt skin and a hat. Now this hat, was not the first choice I would’ve gone for but it got the job done. Plus, it gave me some John Hammond from Jurassic Park vibes and I really appreciated that. Especially when the festival was invaded by dinosaurs.

Day 3 was filled with many a great band, some that I didn’t think I would ever have the chance to see play live. But the ones that stood out the most to me were: Giovannie & The Hired Guns; Falling in Reverse; Rob Zombie; and the legendary KISS.

Giovannie and the Hired Guns are a niche, up and coming group that mixes the sounds of rock, country, and Latin hip-hop into their sound. We are actually playing their song Ramon Ayala on 93.9 X constantly, so if you haven’t heard them yet, you’re missing out. Probably the biggest highlight during their set for me, was when their bassist (I believe his name is Alex Trejo) pulled out a sousaphone, or a Tuba for you normies, and started blasting out the stadium rock hit and controversial Rock and Roll, Pt. 2. If you don’t know the controversy, just look up it’s writer Gary Glitter and you’ll find out why. But anyways, I’m sure when Gio and the Guns hit their stride, they will be taking over rock and latin hip-hop radios all over the country! So keep and eye out for these guys!

Later on in the day, Falling in Reverse took over the Temple Stage to roaring applause! These guys. HIT. HARD! Not only was the music great but the showmanship and crowd connection front man Ronnie Radke had was just amazing. He was hilarious too. Whether talking up the crowd or getting confused when the crowd gasped when someone was dropped crowd surfing (he couldn’t see the screen the surfer was being broadcasted on), this guy was great. Side note: not only did they start their set with the walkout music of AEW professional wrestler, and Radke’s girlfriend, Saraya, she actually appeared off stage! So that’s cool!

Next up from the Temple Stage was the horror rock legend, Rob Zombie! Now. I did enjoy this set. In parts. The music sounded great, the visuals were awesome, but the main setback for me was the hit or miss nature of Zombie’s voice. Some songs, he absolutely hit it out of the park (or stadium in this case). See our post from above. But other songs, he sounded like he was struggling a bit. When they started playing some tracks from his White Zombie days, I got hyped! But when Rob started to sing, it was either really good, or just alright. It felt like the crowd had to picked up most of the slack for Zombie because his backing band didn’t do much vocal support. It’s a shame, but I think the really drunk guy next to me had a blast!

Now who I consider the true headliner of the night: KISS! Oh my God. Just a little background on my experience with KISS. I used to love KISS when I was a young lad (Who am I kidding, I’m 26, I’m still a young lad), but the music just changed for me when I would find out about the over merchandising and the drama between the Ace and Peter side and the Gene and Paul side. I still think they should of sucked it up and played when they got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But! And that’s a very big BUT! They absolutely blew me away with their performance at Sonic Temple. They were one of the few bands I took my earplugs out for! Yes, I wore earplugs the majority of the time because I need my ears for work, sue me. The effects, the music, the stage set up. All of it was amazing! As someone who has never seen KISS live before, and as someone who can be a bit of a KISS detractor, I would see them again! In a heartbeat! They will be in town in November and I cannot wait! Probably my second favorite show of the weekend. Who’s number 1? You gotta wait and see!

Now you’re probably asking, what about this band or why didn’t you talk about this band? Don’t worry my friend, I will be posting a video blog in the coming week that will go into even further depth of all the shenanigans we got into!

Day 3 was an amazing ride. It had its ups and its downs. But it will hold a place in this rock and roll fans heart for a long time to come! But this blog series is still not done! One more day is left! And it’s gonna be a doozy!