2014 Uproar Festival ups the ante for coming years Sep21

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2014 Uproar Festival ups the ante for coming years

Ever since the announcement of the line-up for the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink fifth annual Uproar Festival, the hard rock faithful they will make a stop in their city.

With an all-star line-up consisting of industry heavyweights such as Godsmack, Seether, Skillet, Buckcherry, Pop Evil and Escape The Fate. Alongside up and coming bands like 3 Years Hollow, New Medicine, Within Reason, Sons Of Revelry, These Raven Skies and Tattered, it’s easy to see why this is a must see festival for any music lover.

After an impressive sets from Sons of Revelry, Within Reason and 3 Years Hollow, Escape the Fate made their return to Uproar and took the stage. The band proceeded to kick it into high gear, while railing up and energizing the crowd.

Escape the Fate played a short set that saw mainly crowd favorites and proceeded to empower the crowd song after song. It’s no surprise why the band is getting as popular as they are and their latest record, Ungrateful, has catapulted them to star status. It won’t be long before they’re headlining the festival.

Building on the momentum of the crowd Buckcherry took the stage and kicked this festival up another notch. Their AC/DC flavored brand of no-nonsense rock and roll was extremely well received by the crowd. Charismatic front man Josh Todd effortless commanded the crowd and it was undeniable that he was very comfortable with the stage and lyrics. That being said, he is extremely comfortable with the word “ fuck” by the end of the evening he had the crowd chanting “ Say fuck it” while proudly flashing middle fingers in the air. Even the title of the new album is“ Fuck”.

Buckcherry played a short snippet of the AC/DC classic “Big Balls,” which really got the crowd worked up, before pausing for Todd to ask, “How many crazy bitches do we have here tonight?” which triggered a thunderous response from all the ladies and the start of their monster smash “Crazy Bitch.” He finished the set out by playing “ All Night Long” much to all the ladies delight in just his leather pants.

The now rabid crowd was ready for more and Michigan based, melodic hard rockers Pop Evil delivered another dose of adrenaline in the form of a powerhouse set. The drummer Chachi Riot proceeded to rock out on his kit, as guitarists Dave Grahs and Nick Fuelling and bassist Matt DiRito prowled the stage like escaped lunatics.

Pop Evil’s Leigh Kakaty paused after “Deal With The Devil” to say, “Thanks everyone for coming, even you dude still flipping us off.” He went on to add, “I need everybody on the lawn to let me hear your voices and I need you all to jump for me,” before the closer “Trenches” and they did, losing their collective mind’s one final time.

Contemporary Christian crossovers Skillet took the stage next, while they may have been one of the lesser known bands on the bill that night, by the end of their dynamic, high energy set, they were also the band that left with the most new fans. Front man John Cooper is as charming as they come and he held the crowd in the palm of his hand as he dedicated “The Last Night” to a fan named Megan. She was so touched with the lyrics of this songs, she had them tattooed on her body.

Skillets tracks included “Hero” and “Awake and Alive” garnered massive responses from the audience and the stunning backing vocals, provided by Cooper’s guitarist wife Korey and drummer Jen Ledger, combined with the string section, that never stood still, added depth and lush layers to create a wall of sound that enveloped the fans in a sense of warmth and unity.

As the sun faded away, Cooper paused after “Comatose” to say, “Are you guys ready to go home? Are you ready for Godsmack? Do you feel like a Monster?” Signaling the beginning of their smash hit “Monster.” Fans were treated to a visual spectacle during it and closer “Rebirthing,” as smoke and pyrotechnics   bellowed out and various platforms elevated band members 50 feet into the air.

Some bands would be intimidated by or have a hard time following an amazing performance like that, but that is exactly the kind of thing Seether and Godsmack thrive on, driving them to always deliver a show of the highest caliber and this night was not an exception.  

Seether put on a show that featured a fourth touring member and included a lot of newer material. It was exactly what you’d expect from the South African group and took the party to another level.

Next, the intro music of AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock” that played during the Godsmack mini movie drove fans into a frenzy and when the curtain hit the floor, all hell broke loose.

Songs from Godsmack included “Straight Out Of Line” and “Awake” nearly incited a riot and the impassioned onlookers sang the intro to “Voodoo” so loudly that front man Sully Erna didn’t need to. He just stood there and grinned. A small miracle occurred during the song as well. A gentleman had been passed out on the lawn all day, suddenly sprang back to life and danced drunkenly to the sound of the music that just seemed to have awaken something inside of him.

Up next was one of the bands true highlights of their killer set, called the “Batalla De Los Tambores-” a drum-off between Sully Erna and drummer Shannon Larkin, in which a second drum kit rolled out from underneath the one on the riser and then they both spun around as the pair took turns trying to best the other amidst flurries of tribal grooves.

From there they launched into a medley of rock classics that included “Back In Black,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Black Dog” and “Tom Sawyer” that preceded “Whatever.” The song saw everyone singing out loudly “You better fucking go away” and found Erna tossing beers into the crowd during the extended jam, where he told jokes and called out everyone to mosh when the song kicked back in and just like before, they did as they were told and lost their minds.

All that was left, was the encore of “I Stand Alone” and as the song played, the confetti cannons blasted, the fireworks rained down and the legions of faithful fans took full advantage of their last chance to get crazy and made Erna proud.

-Eric Hunker

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