Louder Than Life is more than a festival, it is a haven where people from all around the country gather together for one very important reason: to celebrate rock. The celebration kicked off with a bang in the morning as bands began to take the stage. Amongst a sea of people, gourmet man-food, and activities, rock music combusted into the air, creating a beautiful sonic boom that could be felt and heard from one side of Champions Park to the other. ’68 and lead signer Josh Scogin (ex-Chariot) opened the day, providing further energy to an already amped crowd. Louder Than Life was off to a meteoric start and that would only amplify as the day continued on as bands like The Amity Affliction, Anthrax, Chevy Metal, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold and more would take the stage. We had the immense pleasure of covering Louder Than Life as well as photographing the wonderful acts of the Zorn Stage. Check out their high octane performances below. Make sure you check each one of these bands out. One of the beauties of festivals is that you are exposed to new bands and new music. As long as you keep an open-mind and give new bands a chance, you very well could walk away at the end of the day with a new favorite.

Dinosaur Pile-Up

Holy, Nirvana flashback. With their mood, sound, and stage presence, Dinosaur Pile-Up’s set served as Louder Than Life’s ultimate grunge experience. Lead, Matt Bigland, called out to festival goers, “We came all the way from the UK for this. Put those hands up,” which raised some hands and giggles from the crowd. Each song from “11:11” to “Might As Well” added another layer of emotion to their performance. It was great to see a band so reminiscent of the Seattle grunge scene added on to the line-up, because it’s a sound that should be celebrated, especially since Dinosaur Pile-Up do it so well. Very rarely do you see three members suspended amongst the stage feeling every note and word of their music anymore. It was extremely refreshing to see Dinosaur Pile-Up carrying on such a timeless and beloved era with their own modern twist.

Being As An Ocean

We had the opportunity to see Being As An Ocean two days in a row. Once on the This Could Be Heartbreak tour with Hundredth and The Amity Affliction, and the second time on Day 1 of Louder Than Life. Being As An Ocean offer an experience that is tangible, not just visual as lead Joel Quartuccio jumps off the stage and straight into the crowd. It was entertaining to watch the security guards look around at one another puzzled as to what was happening. It was, as always, a set that could be felt rather than just heard.

Sick Puppies

Sick Puppies hit the stage with a ton of energy along with their new frontman, Bryan Scott, who was noticeably itching to get out there and perform. Throughout the course of the set, it was clear that he was intent on pouring his own soul and heart into the songs. There’s a serious grit and power to his voice, but it also has the ability to be crystal clear and gentle, especially within his higher register. Bassist Emma Anzai ran around the stage with the power of a hurricane. After seeing her play live, it became very clear that she is a straight-up badass. All in all, Sick Puppies live performance at Louder Than Life was full of power, confidence, and vitality.

Chevy Metal

Chevy Metal may be a cover band, but they are a damn good one. One that kicks every wedding band’s ass. Naturally, as it does consist of two members of the Foo Fighters, Chris Shiflett and Taylor Hawkins. Even Taylor Hawkins claims that they have the best setlist out of any other band, because they are the best songs of other well-renowned bands. The thing about Chevy Metal is that you can tell they are having fun as they fill each of their sets with witty banter and their facial expressions are priceless, especially Taylor Hawkins’ as always. Watching Chris and Taylor perform in any capacity is inspiring; A true display of musicianship. Wiley Hodgden, bassist and singer of both Chevy Metal and The Birds of Satan, has a voice that is reminiscent of classic 70’s metal like that of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. The combination of all of these things creates the ultimate cover band experience. So much so that you forget you are listening to a cover band.

The concerts sadly came to an end as Avenged Sevenfold took the stage. Their performance served as the grand finale of an intense, loud, and extremely fun day at Louder Than Life. We gave the neighbors across the river something complain about, but we gave ourselves something to celebrate about. I’d say that makes it a success.

What bands did you go see on Day 1 of Louder Than Life? Share your experiences and favorites of the day with us in the comments.