BANGOR, Maine — The first show of the Machias Savings Bank concert series started off with a bang — a big, loud, powerful bang.
The Rise Above Fest, a daylong concert of metal bands from all over the country, rocked the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion from noon until nearly midnight, with bands ranging from Maine’s own Dead Season and Uncle Jack to headliners including Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Hellyeah and festival organizers Seether.
“I love both Seether and Avenged Sevenfold, so when I heard about this concert, we had to get tickets,” said Kyle Dupuis, who drove with his girlfriend and best friend from Moncton, New Brunswick, to attend the festival. “I wouldn’t have missed this for anything.”
The day started out a bit on the rainy side, but much to concert-goers delight, by 3 p.m., the skies had cleared up and a balmy, sunny day was enjoyed by all. Balmy and sunny, and totally metal.
From 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., regional bands rocked two smaller stages, bringing a smaller but devoted crowd to the Waterfront. At 4 p.m., the headliners began, starting with New Hampshire-based rockers Supermachine, Massachusetts thrash metal band Muckler’s Circle and Kentucky stoner metal band Black Stone Cherry. Platinum-selling metal band Trivium took the stage around 6 p.m., followed by Hellyeah, a metal supergroup featuring former members of Mudvayne, Pantera and Nothingface.
Seether and Avenged Sevenfold closed out the night. Seether, formed in South Africa in the late 1990s, organized the Rise Above Fest, as a fundraiser for SAVE — Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, an organization that helps youth and adults that are at risk for suicide, as well as raising awareness of the fact that suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people in the U.S.
It is a topic Seether front man Shaun Morgan feels strongly about, having lost a brother to suicide in 2007.
“I wanted to take this awful thing, this national problem, as well as honor the memory of my brother, and turn it into something positive,” said Morgan in an interview with the Bangor Daily News last week.
The band spent the weekend in Bangor, meeting fans at Bull Moose Music on Friday afternoon and later, eating dinner at Blaze in downtown Bangor.
Avenged Sevenfold closed out the night in explosive style, with a stage set with a giant skeleton, massive video screens and lots of pyrotechnics. Their blend of classic heavy metal and hard rock has brought them legions of fans worldwide.
Though this is the first concert of the season, the next show isn’t until May 29, when country legend Tim McGraw will take the stage.
For more information, visit waterfrontconcerts.com.