On Saturday May 16th, I went to the annual MMRBQ concert at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey with my close friend. For those that are not from the Philadelphia area, WMMR is a local rock radio station that created this event a few years ago. This annual event typically features eight bands in an all day concert and there are some giveaways and barbeque food. The atmosphere feels very much like a fair. Headlining this year, was Cold Roses, Rival Sons, Pretty Reckless, Halestorm, Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Stone Temple Pilots and Slash performing with Myles Kennedy. It was a solid lineup this year and I had a blast even though I skipped out on the last two sets. My friend and I at that point saw the bands that we liked.
There were definitely some big highlights from this concert. The best performances were by Pretty Reckless and Breaking Benjamin. They were very loud and I definitely could feel the music. That is what is great about any rock concert, the feeling you get when the volume of the band physically shakes you inside out. My ears certainly were not the same for the next day after hearing these sets. Pretty Reckless was great at interacting with the crowd and sought the crowd’s help in finishing lyrics. The crowd’s energy spiked during these parts, which was very exciting.
Breaking Benjamin was similar in its strategy with the crowd but took it a step further. They respected the crowd and even sprayed the pit crowd because they understood we were sweating twice as much as they were. The band talked a lot and even dedicated a song to the armed forces, which was very classy. Even classier, they stopped a fight in the pit from getting out of hand. The coolest thing they did was when they covered Nirvana and also performed a guitar solo that mimicked the Star Wars Empire music theme. That part was just amazing!
I honestly was disappointed that my favorite band, Rival Sons had to cut their set short. They were on the stage for about 20 minutes but I did realize something was wrong because the lead singer, Jay Buchanan, could not hit high notes. He really lost his voice and he even said he’s got nothing left. He said hopefully they will come back to the area soon. Rival Sons have been touring relentlessly over the past year since releasing Great Western Valkyrie, maybe this was just exhaustion catching up to him. I was still positive, however, and enjoyed what they did happen to perform. I even commented on their Facebook page and said that I enjoyed the performance and its okay that Jay lost his voice because that means he rocked out the right way. It does seem to happen to many singers and maybe rest and possibly a surgical treatment would help him overcome this issue.
The staff at the venue were fantastic and very helpful. They were attentive with me especially, rolling in with my wheelchair. They opened doors and moved chairs out of the way for me without having to ask. The only negative thing about the venue was the prices of the food. My friend and I got a beer, a soda and crab fries which totaled around $30. It was originally $50 because he ordered a large beer and quickly changed that order. I expected the prices to be high but it was ridiculous that a regular beer was $12.50. Safe to say we ordered a pizza after leaving the concert. Overall, I had a great time and I would definitely go again next year.