Three Days Grace works to fire up Rock USA

The past few years have been good to Rock USA, the rock side of the the highly successful Country USA festival in Oshkosh, WI. The nice weather continued to treat us well, temperatures dipping below 70 for a nice cool night of rock. While the elements played nice, it seems the festival suffered from a smaller crowd this year. A less diverse lineup contributed to the lack of excitement and mismanagement of general admission and VIP amplified the bare white VIP seats for many of the opening acts.

It’s clear it’s about the money to Rock USA. Parking costs are high, you have to pay for a “safety band” if you walk to the site, and there’s even a fee for the drinking wristband.

Bright white plastic chairs line the VIP areas from the stage to the soundboard – an area that should be tightly packed with general admission fans. Bands hack away at the lack of fans earlier in the day. With many of the VIP fans there only for the final two acts, general admission fans can’t get up close to see the earlier bands play. Essentially, these bands play for fans watching 75 yards away over a sea of empty seats.

The lineup proved troublesome even on opening night. Fans bailed as the Seether finished their set, opening for Three Days Grace. The fans that were left were dead in the water. Vocalist Matt Walst powered through it, but it was hard to get Rock USA fans going.

The hour long set didn’t please the already bored fans, and being the child of Country USA you’d think Rock USA would apply their success to the opposite genre. Rock USA will continue into the weekend with Rob Zombie, Korn, and Five Finger Death Punch.

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