Friday, September 14, 2012

A Rainy Uproar Stop In Bristow, Virginia Still Manages To Rock The Fans

The Rockstar Uproar Festival is typically one of the last big concert packages of the summer. Where the Mayhem Festival focuses on bands more of the metal genre (with some exceptions), the Uproar leans more towards the rock/hard rock genre. The show pulled into Bristow, VA to the Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheatre on September 2. This beautiful venue is located a roughly thirty miles away from Washington, DC and is sometimes listed as DC on a lot of tour schedules. The bands even referred to the crowd as DC on and off throughout the day.

At first, it seemed as if Mother Nature was not in the mood to rock that day as the skies opened and the rain began to pour. My guess is that Hurricane Isaac must be a fan of easy listening music as he was the blame for all the rain pounded the area. It made for a very difficult road-trip there and a very muddy parking lot coming into the venue. I think many people were deciding to wait out the storm at home as the crowd was slow coming into the venue after the gates opened.

One of the first bands that we saw perform was Mindset Evolution. The band won the grand prize on the 2011 Ernie Ball Music Man Battle of the Bands which included a spot to play on the next year’s Uproar Festival. The guys definitely made the most of their opportunity last year and continue to win fans over this year with a great, high energy performance. Redlight King received a very favorable response from the crowd that was beginning to grow as the rain was finally letting up. These guys have had several songs all over the radio including “Old Man” and the hugely popular “Bullet in my Hand”.

Up next was a red-hot band with a lot of momentum going into the Uproar tour. In This Moment took the stage to deliver songs from their new album Blood, which debuted at #15 and had huge first week sales. Maria Brink and the boys delivered a tight five song set which closed with their song “Blood”. There was more stage props incorporated into the show making it more theatrical, which was a nice touch. Maria did not venture out into the crowd this time to start her circle pit, which was a disappointment for some. It was a bitter sweet day as this was the last day that In This Moment performed as they were only invited to perform on half of the tour. On a positive note, they definitely had the biggest crowd for both of the side stages that day.

Speaking of momentum, Fozzy was another band coming into the tour with a lot of momentum. Their newest album Sins and Bones also saw a huge first week and it definitely had the guys pumped up. Lead singer and WWE Superstar Chris Jericho definitely has the charisma to front a band of any genre. They also had a tight, thirty minute set that featured selection off the new album including the popular single “Sandpaper”, even though M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold was nowhere to be found. The band sounded great and was very animated; they were definitely having a blast on-stage.

P.O.D., touring in support of their latest album Murdered Love, could be considered by many in attendance as the “elder statesmen” of the tour. These guys have been doing what they do for twenty years, but you wouldn’t know it once they hit that stage. They headlined and closed the side stages were one of the best performances of the day. Lead singer Sonny Sandoval knows how to get a crowd fired up. At one point, he even walked out on top of the crowd as they help him up. “Youth of the Nation” and “Alive” drove the crowd into a frenzy. These guys were certainly one of the highlights of the day.

The main stage was now open as Adelita’s Way kicked off things. Rick DeJesus and the boys had the shortest time on the main stage, but still had to make as big as an impact as the headliners. It was tight set that was heavy on selections from their sophomore album Home School Valedictorian. “Invincible”, “Hurt” and their latest hit “Criticize” all went over well with the crowd. It would have been nice to see their set time expanded to be able to include a couple of more song as they were well deserving of more stage time.

Staind were up next as Aaron Lewis and his band mates took the stage to a near packed amphitheater. Staind has that unique ability to deliver a very emotional power ballad and then press the pedal to the floor and crank out a hard rocker. “Right here”, “Something to Remind me”, “Now” and “It’s Been Awhile” were all present and accounted for. As always, the band sounded great, but I just wish they would chug an energy drink before hitting the stage. Rockstar was the tour sponsor, so there were plenty of drinks to be found. I just find their stage show to be a little boring at times.

Godsmack was up next and I was curious to see the reaction that they would receive. The house lights went down and a pre-recorded video began to air of various Godsmack footage accompanied by AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock”. This certainly got the crowd fired up and the band hit the stage hungry and ready to deliver. The band sounded tight and cranked out the hits one after another. “”Whatever”, “Voodoo” and “I Walk Alone” were all included. I was a little surprised that their cover of “Rocky Mountain Way” off of their latest album wasn’t included.

The drum war between Sully Erna and drummer Shannon Larkin was included this time around which the crowd approved with their horns raised high in approval. I saw Godsmack on Mayhem last year and comparing the two shows, it seems that they were more of an Uproar band. They definitely received a more favorable reception from this crowd and the audience participation seemed to favor the Uproar crowd as well.

Only one band was left to close the day and that was Shinedown. Brent Smith and his band of musicians have been touring like madmen since the release of their latest and highly successful album Amaryllis. The boys have added a ton of pyro to the show and for the most part, it works for them. Shinedown have definitely had their share of radio hits and just about all of them were featured in their set. “Second Chance”, “If You Only Knew”, “Bully” and “Unity” were all on-board as well as “The Sound of Madness” and “45”.

One surprise, depending on how much you read on-line, in their set was when they brought out Maria Brink of In This Moment to perform “Devour” with them. It was a great performance and watching Brent and Maria together it was very apparent they were having a blast. Another great point was when Brent, along with guitarist Zach Myers, went out into the audience and performed “Simple Man” acoustically. This was a great touch to the already powerful performance delivered by these two guys. Shinedown proved to all in attendance why they were headlining this tour.

Overall, the 2012 Uproar show was a great event, even though it ended the same way it started: with pouring rain. You take that chance with an outdoor show as the weather is an element that none of us can control. It was full day of great music, free Slurpees and free Rockstar Energy Drinks. There many happy fans who got the chance to meet their favorite band and get their autograph too. Even though Papa Roach had to pull out due to Jacoby’s throat problems, it still gets a major two thumbs up this year. Here’s to an even bigger and better 2013 show!

No comments: