The Food Truck and Rock Carnival is an annual event that began in 2015 that captivated thousands of headbangers at First Energy Park on Sept. 30 until Oct. 2 in Lakewood, N.J. despite less than perfect weather conditions.
Student Cecelia Henry, a senior economics and finance major, said the event was “awesomely fun” even with the rain.
“I was especially excited for Twisted Sister. They didn’t disappoint,” Henry said.
The event was sponsored by WRAT 95.9 and WDHA 105.5 and founded by John D’Esposito in effort to expose Rock N Roll music to a new generation and promote a family bond between rising rockers and veterans of the respected genre.
To satisfy this ambition, the energy was nothing short of spectacular and included clowns, amusement rides, food trucks, and of course, enough denim and leather to recreate the glorified 70’s and 80’s metal scenes.
Unfortunately, on Friday night, rain cancelled all but three shows. However, the night still spiraled into debauchery as notorious rock groups, Clutch and Blue Oyster Cult, took the stage in preparation for the original shock rocker and headliner, Alice Cooper.
“Even after a delay, Clutch stuck around and decided to go play their set. They played hard, and they killed it,” event photographer Keith Perks said.
As the rain thickened, the events followed in suit with raunchiness. Saturday incorporated sets from Texas Hippie Coalition, Zebra, Ace Frehley, Overkill, Jackyl, Daughtry, among others and wrapped up with Twisted Sister on their last area appearance on their tour.
Valerie Suto, a senior graphic design major, was in attendance for the event and Twister Sister’s set.
“Being able to see one of the most legendary rock bands perform for the last time in their home area was amazing. My parents saw Twisted Sister playing in New Jersey bars as they started out, and I got to see them end. It was one of my best music experiences,” Suto said.
Sunday concluded the event with Four by Fate, Trixter, Bullet Boys, The Used, Life of Agony, Sebastian Bach and Tom Keifer.
Rob De Luca of Sebastian Bach said, “I really had a great time. It was a fun day all around.”
Doro and Halestorm unintentionally split the crowd attendance as Doro went on an hour late due to technical difficulties causing her show to coincide with Halestorm’s. The irregularities acted as a platform for the perfect female powerhouse as the two rock divas took to their stages.
Luca Princiotta of Doro said the carnival was a “cool experience” and noted that Doro performed a “great show.”
“We went on a bit late because we had some monitor problems, but we tried to ignore everything and keep on doing our job. I think the crowd liked it and I’m glad people stayed watching our show even though it was delayed,” Princiotta said. “Overall, we had lots of fun, we were happy, and fans were happy.”
Katherine Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org