Only one band in the history of the River City Rockfest can say it has performed at all four of San Antonio's Memorial Day weekend festivals. While it shouldn't come as a surprise that the artist in question is of the local variety, that feat took on added meaning this time around.
That's because the 2016 Rockfest, employing its most loaded lineup overall, also had the least contingent of local bands in its brief history. And that made The Heroine's performance a little more meaningful. Once again relegated to the third of the three main stages outside the AT&T Center, The Heroine nevertheless packed 'em in during its 4:45 p.m. set as part of the 11-hour "World's Loudest Month" extravaganza of heavy metal festivals around the nation that enjoyed its largest official attendance of the four years of "more than 27,800."
Fronted by the slingshot mic-stand prowess of the always energetic and fully bearded Lynnwood King, the veteran Alamo City outfit did its thing on a steamy afternoon fit for some holiday Rock N' Roll. When these eyes witnessed The Heroine at the 2015 South By Southwest during a 1 a.m. set at The Rooftop on 6th Street in Austin (coverage here), King, guitarists Jorge "The Kid" Luevano and David Arias, bassist Wes "Guhlie" Vargulish and drummer Johnny "Lightning" Martinez had added the services of an organist. These days, The Heroine has resumed as a quintet, shedding the keys while returning to a more hard-rocking sound on second-album tunes "Make You Move," "Rock N' Roll" and "Who Do You Love" plus mainstays from 2008 full-length debut Playing for Keeps in "Texas Star," "Hard-Working Man and "Nightrocker."
The Heroine has toured tirelessly for a decade, advancing to the finals of a 2008 Guitar Center contest that saw them perform on Hollywood's Sunset Strip in front of the members of Motley Crue to see who would open for them on that summer's Cruefest. Although The Heroine, one of six finalists out of thousands of entries, fell short to The Last Vegas, more touring and recording opportunities resulted. The Heroine has returned to the scene of those days this week by touring again in Southern California.
With Sixx A.M. performing several hundred feet away on the main stage, it's possible The Heroine caught up with Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx and reminded him of that shining moment in its career. Then again, given that King has often said Tommy Lee was the Motley member most receptive to his band back then, it's more likely The Heroine remained focused on the task at hand by giving Sixx a refresher -- and others a first-time look -- at the band on its biggest hometown stage.
As long as the River City Rockfest remains a constant, The Heroine is certain to remain a key ingredient of San Antonio's largest annual rock-exclusive festival. Bet on it. For keeps.
To watch a River City Rockfest interview with Hatebreed, click here. Click the appropriate links for festival coverage of headliners Disturbed plus Megadeth, Scorpions, Bullet For My Valentine, Sixx A.M., Hellyeah, DevilDriver, Avatar and Red Sun Rising and The Sword. Stay tuned for coverage of Sevendust, Hatebreed and Pop Evil.