Uproar Festival caps off festival season
by Reggie Edwards
The summer has been loaded with star-studded festivals and tours. Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion, Welcome to Rockville, Warped Tour, Mayhem Festival, Mass Chaos (Staind and Godsmack with Halestorm), Honda Civic Tour (Linkin Park and Incubus), The Tour (KISS and Motley Crue) all rocked our faces off this summer.
It wasn’t done there, though; Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival closed out the summer concert trek with yet another huge lineup, and we had a chance to catch the Indianapolis stop of the tour.
If you like mainstream radio rock, like I do, you would be in heaven at this year’s Uproar Festival. With a lineup featuring Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Adelitas Way, P.O.D., Redlight King, Fozzy, Deuce, Candlelight Red, Mindset Evolution and more.
The day started with some smaller bands and one local band. Each was solid, but I wasn’t really blown away at all. They just sounded generic to me.
Deuce took the stage in mid afternoon and immediately rocked the house. He kicked off the set with “Nine Lives,” a cover of Hollywood Undead’s “Undead,” which he wrote back in the days he kicked it with the Hollywood rap group.
His set consisted of what you’d expect from Deuce- a lot of rock/rap songs with explicit lyrics about partying and sex.
Redlight King were up next on the Ernie Ball stage and they offered a change of pace from Deuce and the other bands who’d played so far. Up to this point, there’d been some heavier rock and Redlight King play a bit of a, I don’t wanna say softer rock, but it’s more of a smoother rock and it was a great change of pace on the day.
I especially liked their acoustic second verse of “Old Man,” talk about a great touch.
Fozzy is the band I was looking forward to the most on the day. I grew up a big wrestling fan and I love Chris Jericho’s singing, so I was pretty amped to catch em.
They definitely didn’t disappoint me one bit. They rocked the stage, had fun, moved the crowd, and sounded great doing it- that’s the epitome of a metal band.
They started with their fan-favorite, “Boom,” and straight into “On Fire,” from their latest release, Murdered Love.
The So-Cal rockers played a plethora of hits and favorites (including “Southtown” from Fundamental Elements), “Alive,” “Youth of the Nation,” and “Set it Off.”
One thing I found interesting was when they left the stage by singing the chorus to Sublime’s “What I Got.” A lot of people may have found this puzzling but I sat down and thought about it for awhile and realized a lot of P.O.D.’s music has a reggae foundation on top of the hardcore and metal tones; plus their Christian faith is built around love, so it makes sense.
That was just the set we needed going into the Main Stage, where Adelitas Way kicked off the headlining action.
Just like their last few performances, they played a high-energy set and gave the fans a taste of their biggest songs. Frontman Rick DeJesus ran around stage, jumped, crowd surfed and everything he always does to get the crowd hyped up. They did everything they needed to do to open up the Main Stage, which is why they’re always a quick pick to play the Main Stage- they give the crowd everything they need to fuel the adrenaline for the evening.
Up next we had Staind, featuring a newly-beard-less Aaron Lewis. Staind has never sounded better when I’ve seen them. They sounded so good I had a hard time understanding why they were the second lot on the headlining stage, even though Papa Roach pulled out, leaving three headliners.
Up next- Godsmack, one of my all-time favorites to see live. They started with the giant white curtain covering the stage. AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” blared over the PA as live Godsmack footage and it was on!
They absolutely rocked the stage and the drum battle between Shannon Larkin and Sully Erna is always the highlight of the night.
Finally, to cap off the night, we had Shinedown, a headliner at most of the festivals this year so it was no surprise when they were announced as the headliner at Uproar Festival.
Their setlist was no different from the rest of the year but what was different was the aura of the performance. With their elaborate backdrop mixed with their pyrotechnics, they almost had a theatrical effect to the show. It was really cool.
From “Sound of Madness” to “Simple Man” (sorry, Lynyrd Skynyrd fans, I think Shinedown did a better version- just see it live and you’ll have goosebumps),” to the finale of “Fly From the Inside,” this was one amazing performance- especially with the fireworks going off in the background.
Here’s the only criticism I have about the Indianapolis date of Uproar Festival- Uproar Festival is typically a radio concert tour, which is absolutely fine, and that means each stop is put on by that city’s local rock station. Indianapolis’ X103 tags themselves “Indy’s Rock Station,” which would be great if they actually played rock.
It just pisses me off, as it should any fan of rock and metal music when a radio station claims to be a rock station and plays bands such as Fun, Neon Trees, Gotye, Awolnation, Of Monsters and Men and other pop “rock” musical regurgitation. That, my friends, is not rock. It’s not even close.
Then on Sundays, they bring in a DANCE DJ!? What the hell!?
If you’re a radio station and you spin that “music” on a regular basis, how dare you insult the people who actually like rock and metal by bringing in the biggest bands in the industry and call yourselves a rock station. Don’t be a pathetic sell-out of a radio station.
In spite of the joke of a rock station promoting the Indianapolis pit stop, Uproar Festival 2012 is a success of a festival and the best way to end the festival season.
The festival was run well, organized spectacularly and I can’t emphasize enough how refreshing it was to be able to see full sets of every band. At most festivals, the set times clash and overlap so you only get to see part of a band or have to pick and choose. Not at Uproar, though; props are deserved by the Uproar Festival promoters.
To hear interviews with the Uproar Festival artists, click below:
P.O.D. Interview with Sonny Sandoval
Fozzy Interview with Chris Jericho