Rock Allegiance is right around the corner – October 7th at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ and the adjacent waterfront park overlooking Philadelphia – and we’re gearing up to maybe, possibly, hopefully make the trip down from NYC to cover our first festival here at Soundboard Magazine, and that means we’ve got something of a rundown for you with the festival just over two months away. The lineup’s been announced – and it’s awesome – food and beer vendors have been announced, the festival map is out and the only thing not yet available is set times and which stage each band will be playing. Some of them are obvious main-stagers, some are obvious second-stagers, and we’ll make educated guesses for the rest.
Let’s start with everyone cares about most, the lineup:
Headlining this year’s Rock Allegiance are Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch (with or without Ivan Moody remains to be seen) and Marilyn Manson. Those three will obviously headline the main stage inside BB&T Pavilion, while the rest of the lineup – and we should note that the official festival poster says “more TBA” – consists of Halestorm, Mastodon, Gojira, In This Moment, August Burns Red, Beartooth, Starset, Greta Van Fleet, Radkey, Bleeker, Badflower, Ded, Black Map, He Is Legend and Biters. As currently constructed, and assuming the poster is accurate and more bands will be announced in the coming weeks, here’s our best guesses on where you can catch the action:
Rob Zombie – This is a no-brainer, he’ll either have the closing slot or be on right before the closer
Five Finger Death Punch – The other no-doubter, who closes the show will depend on whether Ivan Moody sticks with the band long enough to play the festival. It’s between FFDP and Rob Zombie
Marilyn Manson – The last of the trio of co-headliners, he’s been around forever and will obviously play the main stage
Halestorm – There’s no way they play anywhere other than the main stage at a festival, they’re too big to play second fiddle
Mastodon – Brent Hinds don’t play no second stage
*Dark horse pick for the main stage:
Gojira – they sold out most of their Magma tour and packed a couple thousand people into Terminal 5 here in NYC on closing night, so they could conceivably draw enough to play the main stage.
Gojira – It’s more likely they headline the second stage out in the waterfront park early so nobody misses the action on the main stage
In This Moment – If Gojira makes the main stage, Maria Brink and ITM will lock down the headline slot on the second stage
Steel Panther – They still have a nice following for a hair band, but they’ll play the second stage and have a ton of fun with it
August Burns Red – They’re too big to play the third stage
Beartooth – If Starset doesn’t play the second stage, Beartooth will open up there
Starset – The likely opener on the second stage, they draw enough that they can’t play the smaller third stage
*Dark horse pick for the second stage:
Greta Van Fleet – We reviewed their EP and checked them out live at a secret show here in NYC and they’re incredible. If they take off the way we think they will on their upcoming tour, they’ll open the second stage
Greta Van Fleet – They sound like Led Zeppelin, their drummer is like John Bonham reincarnated, and they’re selling out shows left and right on a tour that hasn’t even kicked off yet. They played a few dates with The Struts and are well-deserving of a slot on the second stage, but if they don’t get one, they’ll headline the third stage and you shouldn’t miss their set regardless of when and where it is
Radkey – We don’t really know much about them, but we do know any band this close to the bottom of the poster plays the third stage
Bleeker – Another band we’re not too familiar with, but the same principle applies
Badflower – This one’s a little questionable. They’re picking up popularity and fans everywhere they go, but they’re still not really big enough to play the second stage
Ded – Another band that could take off between now and the festival, it’s possible they move up to play closer to the third stage headline slot
Black Map – We don’t really know much about these guys, either, but we’d swing by the third stage to check them out
He Is Legend – We’ve been hearing a lot about He Is Legend, almost to the point that we’re surprised to see them listed this low on the lineup. Sadly, they’ll be stuck with a third-stage slot
Biters – We’re still trying to figure these guys out, they’ve been around for almost a decade but just released their debut EP in 2015. They’re not doing enough to garner more than an opening slot on the third stage
So those are our predictions for Rock Allegiance 2017, based on the currently-announced lineup. Of course, the poster may very well be accurate and we may see more bands announced, which would shift the dynamic and force some bands to move around a little, but we think this is pretty well set in stone. Ideally, I’d like to see Gojira open up on the main stage if for no reason other than it opens the door for Greta Van Fleet to play the second stage in front of a larger audience. Both bands deserve those slots, but we’ll see how things shake out closer to the festival.
Food and Drink:
As with any good festival, there will be no shortage of vendors at Rock Allegiance, offering up food and booze and probably some other stuff. Headlining the food menu is BB&T Pavilion staple Chickie’s & Pete’s, which is a bar/restuarant chain with locations in Philly and South Jersey and is known for their crab. At the venue, though, they serve up what they call Crab Fries, which are definitely not crab, along with Crab Pretzels, also not crab. The fries are legit and worth trying.
Also on the menu this year for Rock Allegiance are some of the following:
Baby Blues BBQ – ribs, etc
The Cow and The Curd – Wisconson-themed menu with cheese curds & brats
21st Amendment Brewery – San Francisco-based craft beers. Side note, they’ve been voted the best burger in SF.
Founders – IPA’s
Victory Brewing Company – Downingtown, PA’s best export and makers of some of the finest beers I’ve ever had.
There’s more food and drink, plus the Monster Energy Fan Experience and the F.Y.E Fan Experience, which you can check out at http://rockallegiance.com/ – it’s worth nothing the festival is close to sold out, with the only remaining tickets being GA lawn levels 2 & 3, so you should probably act now and get your tickets while they’re avaiable. Pavilion and VIP tickets are sold out, and that’s a shame because the VIP section is actually on board the U.S.S New Jersey battleship docked just outside the amphitheater in the Delaware River.
That’s all for our preview of Rock Allegiance 2017. The lineup is going to be insane and we’re pretty excited to hopefully make it down there this year.