Texas’ biggest Memorial Day Weekend party, the fifth annual River City Rockfest, takes place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

On this humid and extremely hot day, a record crowd of 27,950 exceeds all previous festivals. The festival has a larger footprint then previous years that allows for a second main stage to accommodate the larger crowd and provide better viewing opportunities. River City Rockfest has always been over Memorial Day weekend, but takes place on Saturday this year instead of Sunday, allowing fans an extra day to recover from the full 11 hour music performances.
 
British heavy metal legends Def Leppard headline the festival along with Godsmack, The Offspring, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, The Pretty Reckless, Nothing More, Taking Back Sunday, Buckcherry, In Flames, Black Stone Cherry, Rival Sons, Norma Jean, Fozzy, Dorothy, Kyng, Badflower, Wage War, The HeroineGoodbye June, and School of Rock.
 
In addition to all of the music performances, Beyond The Canvas performs body painting and the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow returns to the festival to perform three shows throughout the day. Billed as the “Greatest Show in Hell,” Hellzapoppin puts on a show that includes fire eating, acrobatic stunts, sword swallowing, and human oddities and curiosities.
 
Frontman, Bryce “The Govna” Graves, starts the show with fire eating and breathing. He returns to entertain the crowd inserting a screwdriver with a condom up and through his nostrils and swallowing a string which he later pulls out of the corner of his eye. 
 
Hermee juggles butcher knives while balancing on a rolling platform, and ends his performance holding up a “Fuck Yeah!” sign. Erik Sprague, better known as The Lizard Man, entertains the crowd with his 700 hours of tattoos that cover his full body, along with sharpened teeth, subdermal implants, and a forked tongue.
 
Local San Antonio band, The Heroine, starts the festival and is the only band to play at all five years of the River City Rockfest. There are only around 10 people in the audience when they take the stage, but that number quickly increased to 700 – 800 by the end of the third song. Another native San Antonio band, Nothing More, was added late to the festival and puts on a very energetic show. Frontman Jonny Hawkins takes charge of the stage first playing drums then running all over the stage with the excitement of the fans. Wearing his usual attire of jeans, no shirt, and no shoes, he looks like Jim Morrison from The Doors.
 
Chris Jericho leads the group Fozzy and they return to San Antonio after 3 years, although Chris was just in San Antonio last January for a WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Royal Rumble match. He sings his new song “Judas” to a very energetic crowd. Taylor Momsen, who was a former actress with notable roles as Jenny Humphrey in the television series “Gossip Girl” and Cindy Lou Who in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” movie, is the singer for The Pretty Reckless. They start their set with “Follow Me Down,” “Oh My God,” and “Hangman,” and end with “Take Me Down” and “Like a Stone”.
 
The announcer asks everyone to raise their hands and chant as lead singer Jacoby Shaddix makes his way to the stage. The band plays “Between Angels and Insects,” “She Loves Me Not,” and “Crooked Teeth” before finishing with “Born for Greatness” and “Getting Away With Murder”. The crowd is excited to see Godsmack who has not played in San Antonio for 5 years. They start with “The Enemy,” “Keep Away,” “Straight Out of Line,” and continue with “Batalla de los Tambores” (drum battle), and end with “Whatever” and “I Stand Alone”. Def Leppard finishes off the night with the classics “Foolin’,” “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak,” “Rock of Ages,” and ends with “Photograph”.

River City Rockfest
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Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow
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Event Date: 27-May-2017