Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Trivium, Hellyeah + More Rock Rise Above Fest in Maine
Rocking for a cause is something Seether know a lot about. Their Rise Above Fest was born in 2012 and made its triumphant return to New England again this year on May 10 at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, Maine. The festival, the brainchild of Seether frontman Shaun Morgan, aims to raise funding and more importantly, awareness about suicide– something that Morgan has a deeply personal connection with after the loss of his brother Eugene in 2007.
The Seether song ‘Rise Above This’ drives the theme for everything the festival stands for, spreading a message of hope and awareness — both of heart and mind. Much of that help will come from SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), the organization benefiting from the money raised by the show.
As Rise Above Fest continues to evolve, more and more bands are getting involved, making for quite a show. Kicking off early in the day, fans who made it to the show early were treated to sidestage sets from an eclectic mix of local talent and up and comers in the form of: Kyng, Devour the Day, Leaving Eden, Dead Season and Uncle Jack.
As the more than 6,000 fans filed in, the mainstage action kicked off with a few local contenders in the form of Supermachine and Muckler’s Circle before Black Stone Cherry hit the stage. The band just dropped their latest offering titled ‘Magic Mountain’ and introduced it to the crowd opening up with their first single ‘Me and Mary Jane.’ Mixing ’70s flair with classic Southern rock, Black Stone Cherry continue to carve out their niche in the landscape of mainstream rock.
With an eclectic mix of acts, metal band Trivium hit the stage next. In stark contrast to Black Stone Cherry, Trivium shredded through their set with precision and speed. Hellyeah were up next, boasting a lineup of Vinnie Paul on drums and Chad Gray on vocals. Living up to the showmanship that comes along with their name, and Hellyeah delivered.
It was then time for Seether to perform. The band tends to do all their talking through the music and this night was no different. Seether cruised through their moody, grunge-tinged set, playing hit after hit with a few surprises along the way. During their performance of ‘Rise Above This,’ Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates joined them for the potent song, helping spread the message of the day the best way they know how — performing a song that everyone can connect with.
Avenged Sevenfold closed out the night in perfect fashion — pyro, bombastic energy and screaming guitars. The band did take time to reflect on the day, though, noting that they are familiar with the pain of loss having suffered the passing of their friend and bandmate Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan in 2009.
It’s safe to say the 2014 Rise Above Fest was a success — providing awareness for an epidemic that hits home with many against a day-long musical backdrop of hard rock with a message.
Check out some of our photos from the festival below and visit SAVE to donate to the cause. Also, be sure to check out the Rise Above auction, where you could bid on some cool music-related items that will also benefit SAVE.
Photos from the 2014 Rise Above Festival:
Black Stone Cherry:
Devour the Day: