I went to the UPROAR festival this past weekend. All I can say is “It was AWESOME”. The line-up was strong featuring Alice In Chains and Jane’s Addiction as main headliners, but the festival also had a long list of great talent to play as well. Four headlining acts would play the main stage inside the Sleep Country Amphitheater and two small outdoor stages were built in the parking lot for numerous other bands to also play. The festival promised to give you a full day of rock n’ roll and they sure kept that promise. Doors opened at 2pm sharp and soon after the guitars and amps came to life. Local favorites, Witchburn from Seattle kicked things off strong. Their heavy rock sound easily won over the rock hardcore’s braving the mid day heat. I personally love this band and was glad they were able to be part of the festival. Other great bands to follow would include Windowpane, Charming Liars, Beware of Darkness, Mindset Evolution, and Middle Class Rut. These bands were all new to me, but each band in their own impressed, rocked the stage and helped make the outdoor festival a solid show. One of the musicians I was looking forward to seeing was the always intense, Danko Jones. This guy is pure rock n roll intensity on stage and made one of the more fun, rocking’ acts. He joked with the crowd throughout his set, but made no jokes while played his songs. This guy gave it everything he had and delivered one powerful set. I also was really looking forward to seeing Walking Papers, which features Duff McKagen (GNR), but there was one act before them to go, The Dead Daisies. I had seen their name listed, but didn’t know much of the band. However when they came out, I sure KNEW the band members. WHOA! The band is made up of current Guns N Roses members Richard Fortus (guitars). Frank Ferrer (drums) and Dizzy Reed (keyboards). To round out this all star line-up was Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Nugent on bass), David Lowy (guitar) and fronted by Jon Stevens (INXS). Oh my freaking God these guys killed it! The blistering heat was no match for the cold chills I got from their songs at times. Their songs hit me hard fueled by classic rock sounds, blues and even some southern rock. The whole band was simply on fire and was without a doubt one of the best performances of the day. To close the “outdoor” portion of the festival was the band, Walking Papers. Without even hearing a track on their cd, I bought their cd a while ago when I first heard Duff McKagen played on it. He is a musician you can always count on for making great rock n roll songs and he also proved once again that statement is true. Along with Duff (bass) are Jeff Angell (lead vocals, guitar) Benjamin Anderson (keyboards) and Barrett Martin – (drums), these guys combined made for a sonic powerhouse of a cd. I love their self titled cd and in concert their songs sounded even heavier. It was great to see them play as I have been looking forward to it for a while. As a cool bonus Richard Fortus of GNR came back out and jammed with the guys as well. Sadly the “outdoor” portion came to a close. Rock fans had already been given a solid day of rock n roll and we hadn’t even gone inside the amphitheater yet. It was time to recharge and get ready for the next round. I didn’t know too much about Circa Survive and Coheed and Cambria, but enjoyed both of their sets. The next act would be Jane’s Addiction. This is one band I have always liked, but somehow have missed live. Tonight I would finally cross that off the bucket list. With members Perry Farrell (lead vocals), Dave Navarro (lead guitar), Stephen Perkins (drums) and Chris Chaney (bass), Jane’s Addiction was super cool. They sound great on record, but live they shined. Dave Navarro for one was simply amazing on guitar. To close this great day of rock was Alice In Chains. These guys were one of the key players in the Grunge scene and showed why they mattered so much then. Their songs are fueled by heavy guitar parts ala Jerry Cantrell. So when you add in that combined vocal sound of Jerry’s voice with William DuVall (vocals), you get that classic Alice In Chains sound. Their set topped off an exhausting tour de force of rock.
I thought the bands I saw were all great. I would easily pay to see them on their own and some I already have numerous times. To have this much talent on one bill was a real treat for this rock fan. I thank the people at Rockstar Energy Drinks, Zippo Lighters, Coldcock Whisky and UPROAR for putting shows like this together. The outdoor stages for one made me feel like I was at the clubs. It was intimate and exciting. It was also very cool how the musicians made time for the fans signing cds, taking pictures and so on. It was back to basics, pure and simple. UPROAR was simply a festival that gave every rock fan what they wanted and this rock fan was well satisfied that day. Same time next year? I’m there!
Here are some photo samples….