By Dan Garcia Photographer Published May 04, 2024 at 9:56 AM

If it's been awhile since you last rocked out at a concert, 102.9 The HOG's third annual HOG Fest at Fiserv Forum – with this year’s headliner, Staind – was the perfect occasion to dive back into the live music scene. With the "It's Been Awhile" rock giants leading a lineup that including fellow powerhouse acts like I Prevail and Asking Alexandria, this festival promised, and delivered, an electrifying night of music. 

Here’s why missing HOG Fest 2024 might just be a rock fan's biggest regret of the year. 

1. Staind's stellar return 


Staind’s return to Cream City, having last performed in Milwaukee at the AmFam Amp last August, was more than just a rock set; it was a journey for their Wisconsin fans. They played a robust set featuring new tracks like "Lowest in Me," "Better Days" and "Here and Now" from their latest album, "Confessions of the Fallen." Their evolution was on full display, proving that Staind has not only returned to Milwaukee but has also reached new artistic heights in the time between. 

2. A prevailing presence 

I PrevailX

I Prevail took to the stage with a presence so commanding they could've easily been mistaken for the headliner. Although temporarily without vocalist Brian Burkheiser due to a recent medical procedure, their set included explosive tracks like "Breaking Down" and "Bow Down," showcasing their trademark blend of heavy metalcore with melodic choruses. The performance was a high-energy display that proved their mettle as a force in modern rock, captivating new fans and satisfying long-time followers alike. 

But despite their catalog of fan favorites performed on Friday night, it was their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” that rocked the hardest. 

3. You couldn’t ask for a better opener 

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English rock band Asking Alexandria delivered a performance that was both visually and sonically compelling. Their standout performance of the set, "Dark Void," was performed with such passion and precision that it became a highlight of the entire evening. Their ability to blend intense rock with electronic influences played great with the Fiserv Forum audience, creating a darkly elegant atmosphere that lingered long after their set ended. 

4. A forum for rock 

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Fiserv Forum, known for its state-of-the-art facilities, offered an unparalleled concert experience on Friday night. Its acoustics are designed to amplify every guitar riff and drum beat perfectly, making every performance resonate beautifully. The layout of the venue ensured that every seat offered a great view, making each ticket worth more than its price. 

5. Perfect set lengths 


Each band was given just the right amount of time to showcase a broad spectrum of their music, especially the evening's final three bands. This careful planning and lineup curated by The HOG ensured that the evening maintained a smooth flow and kept the audience engaged from start to finish, with each performance building on the last to create a crescendo of rock music excellence. Whether you were a fan of Asking Alexandria, I Prevail or Staind – or just of rock music in general – you left the show satisfied.

6. The cherry on top 


The climax of the night was undoubtedly Staind’s encore. Aaron Lewis's vocals on "It's Been Awhile" followed by the gritty riffs of "Mudshovel" was a masterclass in live performance. The encore wasn’t just a nostalgic sing-along; it was a demonstration of the band's lasting influence and mastery over their craft, leaving the audience in awe and wanting more.