Rockstar Disrupt Music Fest Delivers Disruptive Energy

Published on July 23, 2019

There’s a very good reason why so many of us turned to the music of SUM 41, The Used, Thrice, and Circa Survive during our angsty middle and high school years.

Rockstar Disrupt — the inaugural punk-rock festival that’s been touring North America since June — delivered a fierce reminder of that reason to the crowd at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA, this past weekend.

It turns out that the now “adulting” versions of us are in just as much need of a stick-it-to-society energy release as our teen counterparts were. And given their forceful performances this past Saturday, the lineup was just as fervent as they have ever been to lead the cause.

A big part of that was thanks to the enduring top-billed bands — The Used, Thrice, SUM 41, and Circa Survive — three of whom have dropped new albums in 2019, with Circa Survive coming off a new release last year.

Leading up to them were gritty, fun performances from Sleeping With Sirens, Andy Black, Four Year Strong, and Memphis May Fire, among others (see the full lineup).

Andy Black brought his Ohio-rock roots to life on his single “We Don’t Have To Dance,” even though the crowd was. Memphis May Fire was a fan favorite, firing off their top hits “The Old Me” and “Heavy Is The Weight.”

Sponsor Rockstar Energy Drink also made Memphis May Fire and most other artists available for poster signings and meet-and-greets. The festival had other sweet activities like cornhole, free energy drinks, and a food truck area.

Things really got going when Sleeping With Sirens stormed the stage — and it wasn’t just because everyone was hyped-up on Rockstars. Leader singer Kellin Quinn absolutely took the crowd with his vocals and stage energy. Their set started fast with “Kick Me” and culminated with the song that put them on the map about 10 years ago, endearingly titled “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn.”

The untamed energy (and powerful vocals) of Quinn and the rest of the band delivered a powerhouse open for the main acts.

SUM 41 actively tours, but hadn’t released new music for about three years until this month when they dropped “Order In Decline.” For a band that’s been rocking for over 20 years, it’s crazy how they’ve seemingly maintained the same level of spark and identity since back when they were first “in too deep.”

SUM 41 saved their notorious, nostalgic sing-along classics like “In Too Deep,” “Fat Lip,” and “Still Waiting” for last, but opened strong with “The Hell Song.” The pit crowd exploded each time.

The same can be said for The Used, who delivered a profanity-riddled set fit for disruption. Singer Bert McCracken called for middle fingers in the air during just about every song of their set, which included “The Taste of Ink,” “All That I’ve Got,” and “The Bird and the Worm.”

At one point, The Used began a cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” before McCracken quickly shut it down by proclaiming, “I [expletive] hate Oasis.”

Rockstar Disrupt is definitely aptly named for its ability to disrupt. Not because it immediately disrupts society or the “the man,” but because in a smaller sense it disrupts the daily grind, the glossy-eyed fatigue most people wake-up with during the week, and the notion that only pre-teens can hold angst.

Instead of carrying that weight and fatigue around, Rockstar Disrupt let everyone shed it on the floor — leaving us sweaty, euphoric, and reinvigorated. Bands brought huge energy to the stage and fans released theirs in turn.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Washington, Idaho, Chula Vista, Arizona, or New Mexico, definitely consider joining the mosh for those remaining dates. It’s going to literally rock.

Be sure to check out more event and entertainment news on Grit Daily.




Noah Staum is the West Coast Managing Editor at Grit Daily. He grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and has lived in four different countries. Across that span he’s learned Mandarin, adopted an adorable Shiba Inu, and worked for several major dating apps. Noah is based in Los Angeles, California, focusing his coverage on entertainment and entrepreneurship.

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