Apollo Theater

By Samantha Fetzner


BELVIDERE – Live music may have officially found a new home in Boone County. After operating for several years as a private party location, the Apollo Theater at 104 N. State in Belvidere is now operating as a full-service concert venue.

The venue opened its doors to the concert scene in mid 2015 and has been steadily providing the area with live music ever since. The Apollo kept their momentum going with a metal genre show over Labor Day weekend.

Headlining artists were Mushroomhead and Hed PE and they performed to a packed house on Sunday, Sept 6. The show, which Apollo put on in conjunction with Ardent Entertainment, went off without a hitch.

The sight in front of the Apollo was far different than a typical day in downtown Belvidere. The sidewalk was lined with fans eagerly waiting for doors to open around 5 p.m. that evening.

Once the Apollo doors were officially open, music kicked off quickly with local band Bareknuckle Bullseye starting the night. Their short but energetic set helped set the tone for the rest of the evening and being from the area, they had their show of support from fans as well.

They were followed by Scare Don’t Fear, a rap/rock collaboration out of Rhode Island. Their set was about 30 minutes long, the highlight of which was a cover of an Eminem song where the two vocalists joined forces in the crowd to belt out the tune.

The energy in the Apollo was palpable as it got later into the evening. UnSaid Fate, a female-lead rock quartet out of Cleveland was the most melodic band of the evening. Featuring a guest spot by Tommy Church, of Mushroomhead, filling in on guitar, they were eager to please the ever-growing crowd.

Lead singer Jackie LaPonza’s enthusiasm paired with Church’s crowd enticing gestures helped generate a few off hand mosh-pit moments.  When UnSaid Fate left the stage, the crowd packed in closer to the stage in anticipation of the first major name of the night- Hed PE.

Hed PE, a rap/metal outfit that’s been playing for 21 years, immediately brought a new level of life to the crowd. Their 11 song set featured long-time favorites such as ‘Blackout’ and spanned through their whole discography.

Their front-man, who goes by the name Jahred, thanked the crowd for their support before they threw in their own rendition of a few classic Bob Marley tunes mashed into one.

By the time their set was over, there was not one fan near the front of the venue who wasn’t sweating and bopping their head to the music.

Closing out the night were the biggest drawing band- Mushroomhead. Hailing from Cleveland and consisting of nine different members, all masked and donning costumes for the occasion, the crowd screamed at the top of their lungs as the guys entered the stage. This may have been their first time in Belvidere, but the band used to play the former Bar 3 in Rockford before it was closed down, so they had an excellent turnout at the Apollo.

Celebrating their 22nd year as a band, their chemistry was evident in their stage presence alone. Between the fascination with the two sets of water drums being played and the various ensembles each member wore, all eyes were focused to the stage during their set. They opened with songs off their newest record and saved the oldies for last, spanning 13 regular songs and 2 encore performances.

As they closed their set and tossed their used picks and sticks toward the center of the venue, the crowd continued to roar in appreciation. While that particular show may have ended, the feeling of excitement will likely continue to propel the Apollo in their future concert endeavors for years to come.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.