Louder Than Life at the Highland Festival Grounds in Louisville, KY

Louder Than Life, the world’s largest rock ‘n’ roll whiskey festival, welcomed 160,000 fans during its record-breaking four-day weekend.

One of the biggest music festivals expected of the season, Stronger than life presented by Danny Wimmer, ended this weekend bringing live music back to hard rock fans after a year without live gigs in Louisville, Kentucky. The heavy metal festival was held at the Highland Festival Grounds in Louisville, KY, sold out daily, even with a pandemic closing many tours. Crowds averaged 35,000 people per day. Metalhead age groups spanned a wide range, from old rockers to walking rock babies who gathered on this pilgrimage back to living metal. No obstacle stopped some of the most dedicated as the toughest hardcore in wheelchairs battled the gravel for a glimpse of the rock gods.

Some acts pulling out of Louder with Covid issues were quickly replaced at the last second. Ghost man withdrawn and was replaced by Suicidal tendencies with Tye Trujillo on bass now. His father, Robert Trujillo, is currently the bassist of Metallica and once was also the bassist of Suicidal Tendencies. Mudvayne canceled their appearance and tour due to lead singer Chad Gray, as well as some Covid contracting staff, and Break Benjamin escalated smoothly with songs such as “Dark“, “I Will Not Bow”, “So Cold” and “The Diary of Jane”.

Volbeat also had notable performance playing “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”, “Still Counting” and a Metallica cover “Don’t Tread on Me”. One group to keep on your radar is Grandson who sang it with “Blood in the Water”, a song against greed in politics. Korn was still feeling the effects of recovering from Covid with Jonathan Davis despite having to take breaks to sit on a throne while taking oxygen. Even exhausted, they performed “Falling Away From Me” and “Come Undone”, along with an excerpt from Queen’s “We Will Rock You”.

Kelly machine gun suffered throughout his set with hordes of Slipknot fans knocking down the bird and chanting “Slipknot” due to the feud he recently started. The other dominant groups were Disturbed, Jane’s addiction, and Seether who performed “Nobody Praying For Me”, “Rise Above This” and “Remedy”. The classic metal band Judas Priest went all out, even riding a motorbike on stage during their performance of “Hell Bent For Leather”. The dozens of denim jackets with metal back patches and studded tips only meant that the Metallica army was present and represented everywhere. Super fans from as far away as New York to see Metallica’s rare set for two nights. Friday night, the lights have gone out and the intro to “The Ecstasy of Gold” rolls in as a chilly September evening outside begins to satisfy the clapping music-hungry fans. Metallica opens with “Whiplash”, “Ride the Lightning” and “Havester of Sorrow”. “Fade to Black” halfway through their set brought the headbangers to a climax. Sunday night, Metallica closed the festival by playing 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 ending with this song from the Ride the lightning album. While we’re still at the forefront of the excitement of last weekend’s extravagance, we can already start planning for 2022. The festival will return on the weekend of September 22-25 and be held again at the Highland. Festival Grounds at the 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

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