2016 Rock’n Derby

2016 Rock’n Derby – Upstate NY

Back in May, a huge three-day (rock) music festival was held in upstate New York – The Rock’n Derby Festival.

Hoboken Photographer Jay Rubinstein of 7th Sign Photography attended on behalf of Hoboken411 – and tells (and shows) you what you missed!

2016 Rock N Derby - 2016 Rock'n Derby

All-American Rock Festival!

What’s more American than baseball, hotdogs and apple pie? A Demolition derby, cold PBR’s and Rock and Roll.

From the same group of people who brought you last year’s Food Truck Rock Carnival in Clark, New Jersey comes this year’s Rock’n Derby that took place just outside Albany New York on the Schaghticoke fairgrounds. A fun filled three-day weekend music festival with three stages of high energy rock & roll, wrestling & down & dirty demolition derby.

Sod farms, cows & the locals might never be the same but I can say one thing, fun was had by all. Anticipation was in the air as people waited to enter the fairgrounds to see their favorite bands, eat their favorite carnival foods & consume their favorite beverages. There is always something about seeing live bands outside as the sun sets that just puts you into a happy go lucky mood especially in today’s cell phone internet driven world we live in.

Friday’s Rock’n Derby festivities began in the early evening as the black shirts of the young & old spectators rolled in. Bands such as Pop Evil, Clutch, Scott Stapp kicked off the night and ended with a fury as Lamb of God, Corrosion of Conformity & Five Finger Death Punch riled up the crowd as they drank their PBR’s setting the stage for what was to come Sat & Sun.

Chatting with people at our hotel breakfast Sat morning I quickly discovered that people came from near (local) & far (Ohio & Cali) for this event all because they love music….I also discovered that the hotel workers have never been this busy before.

Saturday’s bands would be both a mix of new hard rock acts and veteran’s mainstays on the scene. I was introduced to some real power driven music which I knew was out there but have never seen live such as bands Miss May I & Memphis May Fire. By far the most entertaining band on Sat. was Avatar, whom are from Sweden, not only rocked but had a spectacular stage presence as well, a must see live!

Later in the evening Lizzy Hale of Halestorm rocked the massive crowd with her power driven vocals and melodic rock tone to all their enjoyment. Disappointments for Saturday’s agenda included Sebastian Bach (sounded like how he looked) and Extreme, who was up against Halestorm and the later took most of the crowd with them.

Finishing up the night was the always amazing band to see live, Anthrax. They not only sounded great, played super tight but had a rowdy mosh pit almost the entire set, who could ask for a better Saturday evening.

Sunday, the final day was by far the most anticipated with almost every act being of worldwide caliber. It began on a sour note as Like a Storm cancelled as their tour bus had “issues” and they were no shows however it rolled on from there with smiles.

Florida based hard rock band Trivium set the tone followed by the always great Sevendust.

By far the hit of Sunday was the Grammy award winning band Ghost. Their stage presence, costumes and music could only be outdone by the temporary high winds and light rain which only added to the quality of their performance. Another staple on the music festival scene was Sixx:Am which is comprised of Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), DJ Ashba, Dustin Steinke & James Michael whom rocked the crowd with hits as “life is Beautiful & Lies of the Beautiful People.”

Winding out the the final night of the Rock’n Derby was Megadeth, who had a moment of silence for their very current passing that morning of their former drummer, a truly somber realistic moment only to be followed by some amazing emotional hard core music. The weekend closed with the ever so popular Shinedown and they will never let you down and as always, they sounded amazing only to leave you with that lasting impression to carry you through the upcoming week.

As I reflected about the weekend on my 3-hour drive back to Hoboken I was able to connect & share some spectacular moments with some of my amazing concert photographer friends, chat with musicians that sometimes seem out of touch but in reality are very human and cherish the moments had as you should always live life to the fullest and take advantage of each and every moment as you only live once.

Thank you all that made this event possible to attend, it is greatly appreciated.

If you missed out this time around, another fun filled three-day festival will be taking place in Lakewood, NJ Sept. 30th – Oct 2nd. http://therockcarnival.com/

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