MOLINE -- Heavy guitar riffs, unintelligible vocals and a driving drum beat cascaded from the sky and swirled through downtown Saturday, but there wasn't a band in sight.
That's because they were on the roof. Well, the top level of the MetroLink parking garage, but close enough.
It was the first annual Quad City Rockfest organized by the iWireless Center, Rascals and 97X, and nearly 2,500 descended on downtown Moline for the fun.
The afternoon began on top of the parking garage and after a few hours and a few bands, the party moved inside of the iWireless Center.
"We wanted to make it almost like a throwback, '80s type of party," said Kenny Bailey, an event organizer and Rascals owner.
Organizers loaded the bill with QC area bands such as Eleven Fifty Two and Modality, this year's 97xposure contest winner, to mix local sounds with national acts.
"(We) wanted to bring local music more to the forefront of the area," he said.
And the nearly 2,500 people in attendance were eating it up.
Karen Duyvejonck, of Rock Island, and her friends were having a girls' night, they said. The group of them congregated in a shady spot on top of the parking garage, laughing, dancing and carrying on.
"We're '80s ladies," Ms. Duyvejonck said.
They also were enjoying the local bands in the mix, too.
"These kids sound pretty good," she said, gesturing to Eleven Fifty Two, who was entertaining on stage.
The group was excited to see Firehouse, Night Ranger and others as the night went on.
It just takes us back to our childhood," said Tammy Lemaire, of Moline.
Ms. Duyvejonck agreed, and said Jon Bon Jovi said it best when he said certain songs can be "a time stamp of a memory."
Plenty of other attendees felt the same.
Connie Rohde, of Clinton, was gearing up to hear her all-time favorite band, Firehouse. Singer "CJ's voice is amazing," she said.
Ms. Rohde said she had the chance to meet the band members once years ago when she was working at a rock bar in Clinton. "I got to drive them to the airport in my van" after a show, she said. "I'll never forget that."
Her friend Bill Kramer, of Clinton, felt the nostalgia, too. "I grew up in the '80s," he said. Saturday night he was "going back to what I grew up on."
While fest goers such as these came for the '80s and warmed up with the locals, many came for the locals and stayed for the '80s bands. Chrissy Mulvania, of LeClaire, and Grant Engels, of Rock Island, came to see Eleven Fifty Two, but were settling into the seats of the iWireless Center for the night.
Eleven Fifty Two is "the best," Mr. Engels said, adding that he has seen the band about a hundred times.
"(We) totally support the local music scene," Ms. Mulvania added.
The two love rock music, they said, and they enjoyed being in the open air on the rooftop.
Outside, festival goers congregated around food and drink tents, huddled in the shade and nodded their heads to the music. Families and people of all ages wandered atop the parking garage, and as 6 p.m. neared, they began to slowly trickle across the street for part two.
Music filled the iWireless Center, and dozens of groups of people quickly carried drinks and snacks to their seats, nodding their heads to the rhythm as they went.