by Ian Storck
For years, 95 WIIL Rock has been at the forefront of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin rock radio. Hosting live events, studio sessions and exclusive interviews, WIIL rock has been a major stop for many popular rock groups, and Midwest rock show staples. For the 30th anniversary they put together a lineup of fan favorites that, despite any setbacks thrown at them, made for an exciting day of live, hard rock.
The afternoon saw the first set of bands take to the second stage along the massive open lawn of the Lake County Fairgrounds. Lilith Czar, Through Fire, Royal Bliss, and Saliva started the day strong. Lilith Czar and Through Fire’s sets were short, but packed enough of a punch to get the crowd into the festivities of the day.
Fan favorites Royal Bliss tour through the area quite often, and have received huge support from 95 WIIL Rock over the years. They really got the crowd involved and singing along to most of their tracks. Saliva’s set kept the energy going, with a longer set mixing new tracks and older hits.
As the sun began to set, the crowd made their way to the other end of the field, towards the main stage for Jackyl, Jelly Roll, and Shinedown, the final three acts of the night. Falling In Reverse was originally slated for the spot before Shinedown, but was forced to pull off the night before due to lost equipment. After a moderate wait between acts, Jackyl took the stage, revitalizing the crowd with their southern rock, energetic presence, and chainsaw antics.
Jelly Roll was a bit of an outlier on the card, being the only rapper, however his country, rock and Motown influenced sound ended up blending in with the overall atmosphere nicely, and he received massive support from the crowd, which he even mentioned he was taken aback by. He was an incredibly humble and pleasant performer, inviting a young fan, and a fan who was fighting cancer to come meet him backstage after his set.
Shinedown also commended the support of 95 WIIL Rock on their career over the years, as they are currently celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band. As the overcast skies during the day had held off from being anything other than slightly cold, the night took a turn as the rain began to pour. Despite this, the crowd wasn’t going to miss out on Shinedown’s fiery set, a mix of their greatest hits alongside support for their latest album Planet Zero.
Check out 95 WIIL Rock and keep an eye out for Rock Fest 2023 announcements!