This year’s Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival joined forces with KISW’s Pain In The Grass to bring ten ROCK bands to Whiteriver Amphitheater. Local teen, Amanda Hardy opened as the winner of the festival’s “Battle of the Bands.” It’s easy to see why she won. Hardy owns the stage, with her sleek stature, killer vocals, and bad-ass guitar skills. Her performance got the night’s music off to a great start.
Nine more bands played their respective sets, back-to-back on two separate stages, main stage and another smaller one just inside the main gates. Most bands had “meet and greets” with fans, signing memorabilia and posing for photos. All bands seemed enthusiastic on stage, and performed as expected. However, every event has its issues, some great, some small. For instance, Buckcherry‘s set time was exactly when the sun appears between the top and bottom of the amphitheater roof and lawn horizon line. This meant they performed with the full heat of the sun directly on stage. If you’re familiar with their latest EP release, they probably didn’t care. No major catastrophes were evident, until Theory of a Deadman took the stage. Unfortunately, they lost all vocals for the beginning of the set. Mixed “boos,” and “We can’t hear you,” were shouted from the crowd. Without any vocals, the only thing fans could hear was the amplified bass. Once fixed, by the middle of song three, everyone was up on their feet, cheering on for the rest of their set.
Because of the layout of the festival, most fans found that being able to see all the bands was a bit of a trek. But many made it happen until it came to seeking out their perfect spots for the headliners, Rob Zombie and Godsmack, both at the main stage. Zombie (and band) came out in full costumes, and put on a fun show. Flipping his dreads, jumping from stage riser to riser, he kept fans entertained, bringing them to their feet, shouting, and engaging them throughout the performance.
Godsmack wanted to have their set begin with a “big reveal,” with a large white curtain covering the stage. Prior to the band taking the stage, a compilation video was projected upon it with a backing track to AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock,” bringing some in the crowd to shake their heads, sing along, and even wonder who they were actually there to see. Once the sheet dropped (with much difficulty), Godsmack came out, rocked the stage, and brought the heat into their set with fire flames on stage, bursting throughout songs, at just the right music beats. A stimulating light show ensued, and the band performed older songs from their catalog, and some off their latest release, 1000hp. Unfortunately, due to festival time restrictions, their set was way too short to play enough to suit the crowd. They definitely could have rocked all night long.
Editor’s note: Mocha Charlie came away with some killer photos of each performance. Check them out in the slideshows below.
Full line up: