posted on August 21, 2012 12:25
The 2012 version of the Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival rolled into town on Sunday for it's opening weekend at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Featuring a lineup packed full of 15 bands spread over 3 stages and featuring some of the best rock bands in the industry today. Black t-shirts were the outfit of choice for the strong crowd gathered for a day of loud music, rock horns and cold beer on a perfect afternoon in St. Louis.
With the festival type setting, 2 side stages were set up to alternate acts during the afternoon featuring up and coming names such as Candlelight Red, Redlight King and Deuce playing alongside veteran bands such as In This Moment and P.O.D.. The set from metal act In This Moment surely had people talking as their over the top stage show and the always interesting costume choices for frontwoman Maria Brink seem to go over the top each and every time out. A studious set from San Diego based P.O.D. closed out the side stages although it must be mentioned that their set at Pointfest earlier this Summer seemed to have a touch more energy.
With the side stages complete, it was time to wade through a sea of interesting outfit choices and bad decisions to venture to the main stage for the headliners of the evening. Las Vegas hard rock band Adelita's Way kicked the main stage off with a bang as they tend to do. Their 30 minute 6-song set really set the tone for the evening hours and they most certainly have the energy each and every time out. Strong and full versions of "Sick" and "Invincible" had the venue moving in the afternoon sun and was a perfect kick-off to the main stage.
The high octane show of Papa Roach was up next firing out of the gate with the big guitars of "Burn" to kick off their set with plenty of energy. Despite having lost his voice, front man Jacoby Shaddix soldiered through the 11-song set quipping "I lost my fucking voice, but I didn't want to cancel the fucking show. I'm gonna do the best I can!!" which elicited a huge cheer. It was unfortunate to see one of the best frontmen in rock hampered by voice issues as you could tell it was bothering him during the show. Despite that, everyone gets their money's worth from a Papa Roach show as they delivered old favorites such as "Lifeline" (which Jacoby sang from the seats) and "Kick In The Teeth" along with some new material from their forthcoming album 'The Connection' due out in October. An interesting dub-step style intro led PR into their final song of the night with the classic "Last Resort" that saw the entire venue singing/screaming along in unison. With that, the band thanked their throngs of supporters and left the stage.
Veteran rock outfit Staind was up next and they NEVER disappoint live. With a simple setup, the 4 piece band made their way to the stage to thunderous applause before firing out of the gate with huge sound for their 50 minute set. Big songs like "Paper Wings", "Spleen" and "Eyes Wide Open" certainly delivered a heavy dose of rock and showed the extreme variance of frontman Aaron Lewis who is most certainly one of the most talented names touring today. From country to rock to metal, he can sing it all....and make it all sound phenomenal. A rare mid-set version of the Staind classic "Mudshovel" was surely a highlight that saw the pit going a little more crazy than usual. The stellar and crunchy sounds of "For You" echoed through the venue as Lewis prowled the stage armed with nothing more than his voice and a cigarette. At one point Lewis said "I wrote this one about a truck" before breaking into a simple and stellar version of the Staind favorite "It's Been Awhile" which heard the entire venue singing in a very cool moment. The set closed with only Lewis and guitarist Mike Mushok remaining on stage for a simple and stunning version of "Something To Remind You" off of the band's self titled 2011 release. Each and every time I see this band I am amazed by the variance of their catalog and stage show. They deliver each and every time.
As darkness began to overtake the venue, it was time for Godsmack to blow out of the gate with an 11 song, hour long set. After a huge intro, frontman Sully Erna and his band did a stellar job and put on one of the best shows of the evening. Songs like "Cryin' Like A Bitch", "Straight Out of Line" and "Awake" had the venue up and screaming. Spot on vocals and tight guitars were the rule for Godsmack and they most surely delivered. Sully displayed his amazing percussion skills on an absolutely on fire version of the instrumental track "Batalla de los Tambores" which led directly into the Godsmack hit "Whatever" featuring a HUGE crowd scream along prompting the frontman to scream "This is live fucking music man. I want to remember this crowd at the end of this tour." The huge sound of "I Stand Alone" closed out the set as the crowd roared with approval.
With the stage set, it was time for the main event of the evening as headliners Shinedown took the stage to a thunderous ovation and enough explosions and pyro to make Poison proud. The huge guitars and slamming drums of "The Sound of Madness" kicked off the 12 song, 60 minute set perfectly. In front of a multi-tiered stage backed by LED screens, the band delivered hammering sounds early and often. The Shinedown B-Side "Diamond Eyes" and "If You Only Knew" were early highlights as well as an explosive version of "Devour" featuring Maria Brink of In This Moment helping frontman Brent Smith on vocals. Pulling a good variance of material from their vast catalog, Shinedown brought out a few tracks from their recent release 'Amaryllis' next. A fantastic version of the piano backed "I'll Follow You" and the new track "Unity" worked the crowd into a lather as the set reached the halfway mark.
Up next was one of the best songs of the night as the band brought it down a notch with one of their signature songs in "45" which was greeted by explosive cheers. The new Shinedown radio smash "Bully" was spot on soon followed by frontman Smith and guitarist Zach Myers taking to a stage above the soundboard for an always strong cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd 's classic "Simple Man" which saw the venue become a sea of lighters and cell phones as the crowd sang the chorus note for note. Definitely one of the best moments of the night. The band closed out the set with more huge pyro and "Fly From The Inside" as they thanked their fans and left the stage to a monstrous ovation and closed the show. I have had the opportunity to see Shinedown on many occasions and this was probably the best set I have seen from them. From perfect vocals, tight guitars, great song selection and huge production, they are most assuredly on top of their game right now.
All in all, the Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival was just what you would hope it would be. A great day of talented bands and loud rock music that most surely will leave your ears ringing for days to come. Don't miss the Rockstar Energy UPROAR festival as it travels the country for 30 more dates through September, you will most definitely not be disappointed.
Get more info on the tour by checking out their website HERE.
Check out past interviews and reviews in the archive by clicking HERE.
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