Taste of Madison is a two-day annual tradition in Madison, Wisconsin. Each year, food vendors from around the area fill the streets surrounding the state capitol. In addition to the delicious food options available, local radio stations (94.1 WJJO, 106.7 The Resistance, Today's Q106, and 93.1 Jamz) sponsor separate music stages and provide free entertainment throughout the weekend.
94.1 WJJO, the local hard rock radio station, did a fantastic job this year choosing a solid lineup for both days. Saturday's lineup consisted of Foo Foo Dolls, The Black Moods, Wilson, Red, and Nonpoint and Sunday consisted of Hot Carl, Crobot, New Years Day, Royal Bliss, and P.O.D.
Foo Foo Dolls are a Wisconsin based 90's cover band. The guys in Foo Foo Dolls set the new standard for what a cover band should be. In addition to playing hits known by the crowd, the bands sound was spot on for each song and at times made you question who was performing the song.
The Black Moods, a trio from Tempe, Arizona, have been around for a while but started gaining traction with their radio hit Bella Donna. The Black Moods have a sound unlike anyone else performing at Taste of Madison this year, which makes them stand out even more than theirs. The best way to describe their sound is raw and uncut, taking you back to what seems like the roots of rock and roll.
Up next to hit the stage was Wilson. In the last year, Wilson has made a stop in Madison a few times, and each time their performances are excellent. Since Wilson's previous show in Madison, guitarist/vocalist Kyle Landry had parted ways with the band. Wilson is always a fun band to see, and the guys always bring the party with them to the stage. Even being a member short, Wilson's set packed a punch and filled the street in front of the stage.
When Red took the stage, to say the crowd roared would be an understatement. The energy given off by Red was unmatched by anyone else throughout the day, but unfortunately, technical issues came about early in the set. During the first song, Anthony's guitars were inaudible by the band as well as the crowd. Red continued playing minus Anthony on the guitar up until the middle of the second song at which point the band, except for vocalist Michael Barnes, walked off stage. Michael continued the second song, acapella. After a short breather, the other members of the band retook the stage, and the rest of the set continued as planned.
Feed the Machine
Death of Me
From the Ashes
Mystery of You
The Evening Hate
Breathe Into Me
The final performance of the day was from Florida based band, Nonpoint. Nonpoint was easily the most anticipated set of day one. Nonpoint and JJO have always shared a special relationship, and in turn, Nonpoint has played many shows sponsored by the radio station. This performance is also very special to the band as this will be guitarist BC Kochmit's last show as a touring member of Nonpoint. BC had released a statement in early August stating that he will be stepping down as a touring member of the hand. BC will continue to be a part of the writing and recording processes.
Having seen Nonpoint perform live multiple times, I can honestly say this was one of the bands best performances to date. As always, everyone had an insane amount of energy and stage presence. Being Nonpoint's last show with BC, it was a very emotional time for both band members, friends, family, and fans; however, everyone, including BC, put in every ounce of energy and effort into their performance.
Dodge Your Destiny
Wheel Against Will
Chaos and Earthquakes
Alive and Kicking
In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins cover)
Bullet with a Name
What a Day
Hot Carl, a local band from Green Bay, Wisconsin who dub themselves a party rock band were the first performance of day two. Hot Carl is a high energy group who love to have fun on stage, and that's clear by their performance.
Second to make their appearance on stage was Crobot. Crobot has a unique style of music, and it was a refreshing change of pace. Crobot also just released their new album Motherbrain. Check out the review by Inside the Setlist's Haylee Roebuck HERE. If you've never seen Crobot live, do yourself a favor. The entire bands energy throughout their entire set
New Years Day had a Madison tour date announced earlier this spring but unfortunately had to cancel due to scheduling conflicts. It was a pleasant surprise to see these guys on the lineup. Vocalist Ash Costello's voice is incredible, and if you haven't had the chance to hear her sing live; you're missing out. The entire band had incredible interactions with the crowd, and they pumped the audience up for the remaining acts of the day.
New Years Day's Setlist:
Come for Me
Kill or Be Killed
I'm About to Break You
Royal Bliss is another band similar to Nonpoint that has had a good relationship with JJO for years. Having been around since 1997, Royal Bliss has been able to gain a keen fan following. Fans, both young and old, filled the audience emphasizing that Taste of Madison is a family-friendly event and that Royal Bliss caters to a wide age range. Throughout their entire performance, the band was at peak energy and maintained constant interaction with the crowd.
Royal Bliss's Setlist:
Hard and Loud
We Did Nothing Wrong
Devil With Angel Eyes
I Was Drunk
San Diego, CA natives P.O.D. were last to perform and wrap up day two of Taste of Madison. P.O.D. has been around for 27 years and still maintain the founding members in their lineup. Classified as nu-metal, P.O.D. adds a unique sound to their music, combining a feel of hip hop and rock music. If you have ever seen P.O.D. live, you know first hand that their stage presence and energy output are unlike anyone else. Their performance was no exception.
Rock the Party (Off the Hook)
Always Southern California
Rockin' With the Best
Youth of the Nation
Without Jah, Nothin'
Listening for the Silence
94.1 JJO did an incredible job putting together such a great lineup and a huge shout out to all the artists and behind the scenes work that went into making this free to the public event amazing. In addition to Taste of Madison being open to the public, proceeds from the event are donated to many different nonprofits in the area. We at Inside the Setlist cannot wait to see what 2020 will bring to Taste of Madison.