The Sword
The Sword performing during the River City Rockfest at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas on May 29, 2016, with John D. Cronise, Kyle Shutt, Bryan Richie, and Santiago Vela III.
Not to be confused with the Canadian heavy metal band from the late '80s simply named Sword, the Sword are a retro-metal four-piece hailing from -- of all places -- the singer/songwriter oasis of Austin, Texas. First conceived in 2003, the Sword really hit their stride about a year later, when founding vocalist and guitarist J.D. Cronise joined forces with guitarist Kyle Shutt, bassist Bryan Richie, and drummer Trivett Wingo, and made a much raved-about appearance at Austin's famed SXSW festival. National touring stints with everyone from Clutch to indie rock darlings ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead followed, and by mid-2005, the Sword had been picked up by New York-based indie label Kemado Records, with their much anticipated debut album, Age of Winters, appearing early the next year. Before completing their second album, they contributed two songs (one original and one Led Zeppelin cover) to a split 12" EP with Swedish heavy rockers Witchcraft in November 2007. Gods of the Earth arrived in spring 2008. Changing their muse from fantasy to science fiction, the Sword released Warp Riders in 2010, a concept album featuring an original narrative written by the band.

In 2012 they came back from their sci-fi journey with their fourth full-length, Apocryphon, which blended the fantasy elements of their earlier work with a more far-out, metaphysical vibe. The band further tweaked its sound for 2015's High Country, eschewing some of the heavier doom metal tendencies of prior outings for a more streamlined, Southern hard rock feel. Low Country, a companion LP that saw the band further strip back its sound and deliver new acoustic versions of the songs from High Country, followed in 2016. (Source: AllMusic)
The fourth annual Bud Light River City Rockfest was held over Memorial Day weekend and had over 27,800 in attendance. This surpasses last year's attendance of 26,000 and 23,000 and 14,000 the previous years. The festival had four stages.

Fan Duel Stage
Lynnwood King & The Revival, Mud River, Donella Drive, The Heroine, Wild Throne

AA Best Bail Bonds Stage
Red Sun Rising, Devildriver, Texas Hippie Coalition, The Sword, Hatebreed, P.O.D., Sevendust

Bud Light Stage
Avatar, Pop Evil, Hellyeah, Sixx:AM, Bullet For My Valentine, Megadeth, Scorpions, Disturbed

In addition, the festival included the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow that had three performances throughout the day.

The Sword contact:
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen:
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