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Uproar Festival 08-20-2010

Uproar Festival
August 20th, 2010
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Westfair Amphitheater

Parking was a breeze. Entry was a snap. This festival was running like a finely tuned machine. The vendors were set up at perfect locations and many of the 2nd stage bands were running their own merch booths. Even the autograph sessions with the bands were spaced out far enough apart as not to impede with the stage performances.

Jagermeister Stage;

Curbstone opened the day’s event with an amazing set. I’m still very new to this band but I enjoyed seeig them earlier this year when they opened for KORN and was expecting a great performance from our local Jagermeister band. They didn’t let us down. The crowd had a wonderful response to them and more than one tubetop wearing hollywood girl was singing along to their cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.

New Medicine followed and I have to admit I’m not that impressed with these 4 guys from Minneapolis. I want to support regional bands and it’s great when a band from the midwest breaks into the national touring circuit, but New Medicine sounds like every other alt-emo-rock band saturating the market today.

New Medicine’s so-so performance gave us the chance to stop by Halestorm’s merch booth and chat with the guys and girls before their set. Always down to Earth, they signed autographs for everyone who asked, even though their meet and greet was scheduled to happen before Hail The Villian took the stage.

And what about Hail The Villian? Lead singer Bryan Crouch did a great job maintaining the crowds attenention once he got it. Even though the band hails from Canada, the Uproar crowd forgave them. These four Canadians played a great selection off of their 2010 Roadrunner Records re-release of their 2008 Canadian debut, Population: Declining.

Airbourne took the stage next. Thier stage presence was great and they are more than capable musicians, but I couldn’t get over them sounding like a bastard love child of AC/DC and Queen. They played a decent enough slection from both of their albums, Runnin’ Wild and No Guts No Glory, but failed to get more than 1/3 of the crowd pumped enough to pay attention.

Up next on our schedule was the meet and greet with Stone Sour. I hate paying for autographs. I absolutely hate paying for autographs. Am I the only person who attends concerts and thinks it should be mandatory that the musicians should have to sign autographs (FOR FREE) for everyone who’s attending the show? I know each band wants to drum up albums sales, and Best Buy, who coordinated the autograph sessions, wants a piece of the pie too, but attempting to limit the autograph to the item that Best Buy is selling is bullshit. I’m not paying $10 for an album I already own just for the chance to meet a band that should be thanking me for supporting them so they can be playing a show?
Regardless, I paid the $10 for the pre-order of Stone Sour’s Audio Secrecy and waited in line. People were constantly reminded that there was a 1 item per person limit, but I guess the band makes the rules. Jim was first in line. I got a nod and a “Hey you” from him. Hopefully that meant he remembered me fromt he dozens and dozens of times I’ve photographed both Slipknot and Stone Sour. Or maybe Cristinia reminded him that I gave her a bunch of photos of him the last time Lacuna Coil played in Omaha. We stepped past security and I asked Jim to sign my autograph book. He wrote “STONE SOUR 2010,” signed the book and snatched the “say you’ll haunt me” cd book from my hand and signed it too. Ray was next and also signed my autograph book and the cd booklet. Their manager, a grumpy old man with a thick British accent, scolded me and said “One item per person.” As if I was a child, he taped me on the shoulder and demanded I put away the SYHM single and told me to just have them sign the book. Josh rolled his eyes at me and signed both items and shook my hand. Shawn was next and snatched the booklet away from me and signed both items. Mr Taylor was last in line. By this point their manager was harassing some girl with Stone Sour tattoos and payed no attention to my 2 items. Corey signed my autograph book and, while signing the CD, I asked him if he rememered me. “Sorry man, I don’t.” So, I reminded him that he and I used to peddle porn together. “Holy shit! It is you! How are you? I mean, how are you,” he asked? I replied that I was doing very well and asked about him. “I’m great,” he said and even told me that Gram was somewhere around and that she was doing very well also. “We should hang out afterwards,” he mentioned. I gave him my card. “You’ve got my number,” I replied.
I may have gotten two items signed by every member of Stone Sour but I’m still waiting for my phone call from Corey.

I had just enough time to snap some candids of Stone Sour’s signing before a thunderous uproar from the crowd heralded the return of HELLYEAH to Iowa. Hellyeah was just what the Doctor ordered. These 5 guys know how to put on a great show and really built their own energy on that of the crowd’s. Chad was pacing around like a caged animal, while Tom and Bob would stand at the front of the stage and taunt the crowd. Greg, who I suspect is the quiet one of the group, was relatively sationary during the show, but goddamn does this guy know how to play!
Chad warned the crowd that he was “sick and should probably see a doctor.” That wasn’t going to happen. “He’d only tell me to take some time off. That’s not going to happen. So if I get any of you fuckers sick, consider it my gift to you,” then introduced Cowboy Way. The guys tore through a 45 minute set comprised of tracks from their debut and sophomore releases and left no doubt that they are a here to raise hell (and get drunk). Chad even heckled a few people in the crowd who left during their set; saying, “If you’re not here to see Helyeah, then fuck you. We don’t need you.” The crowd unanimously agreed. It was before Alcohaulin Ass that Chad took the time to introduce the band and passed the mic over to Vinnie Paul. Today was Dimebag Darrell’s birthday and a moment of silence was given to a fallen hero that so many loved. They closed their set with the crowd-sing-a-long version of Alcohaulin Ass and left the stage with the crowd screaming.

Hellyeah;
Hellyeah, Goddamn, Cowboy Way, Doesn’t Matter, Hell Of A Time, You Wouldn’t Know, Stampede, Alcohaulin Ass

Main Stage;

Halestorm wasted no time ripping into It’s Not You. In fact, Hellyeah hadn’t been off stage for more than a few minutes before Lzzy’s crystal clear voice cut through the humid air and ushered in their time on stage. Arejay, as always, was a sight to see. He is one of the, if not the most energetic drummer I’ve ever seen. I can only imagine how this young man will turn out in 10 years. Lzzy, who chopped off most of her brunette locks and highlighted her hair purple, was wearing a gorgeous original dress from Katie Swanson of KMS Couture; http://www.karmaclothingdesigns.com.
Josh and Joe have continued to grow as musicians since the first time I saw them back in 2006 and have a certain heir of confidence about them that pulls you into Halestorm’s live set. Even though their setlist was exactly the same as when they played Rockfest earlier this summer, Familiar Taste Of Poison found Lzzy pouring a glass of red wine during the song’s first verse and tossing the glass into the crowd when the entire band kicked in. I Get Off closed their too short set and had an amazing effect on the crowd, even inciting a moshpit.

Halestorm;
It’s Not You, What Were You Expecting, Dirty Work, Familiar Taste Of Poison, (drums), Nothing To Do With Love, I Get Off

I swear, the moshing started before Stone Sour even took the stage. There was a group that started a circle pit as soon as Stone Sour’s banner was hoisted across the back of the stage. Thoughts and murmurs of Paul Gray’s death still lingered and more than one person I spoke with wondered if Stone Sour would be honoring Paul’s memory in some way. It didn’t take us long to find out. One by one the band native to Iowa made their way to the stage. Josh was wearing a black jersey with the #2 emblazed on a red and white background. I even caught a glimpse of Cristina Scabbia, lead singer of Lacuna Coil and Jim Root’s long time girlfriend. Our boys wasted no time shredding through Mission Statement, a track off of their soon to be released 3rd album. It’s always risky opening with a new track, but the fans didn’t mind hearing the new material.
Their approval continued during Reborn and into Made Of Scars. It was during Made Of Scars that I finally noticed Shawn had the number 2 on his bass guitar. Was he playing one of Paul’s old Bass? Say You’ll Haunt Me, the first single off of Audio Secrecy, followed and took the tone of their set down a notch. During Come What(ever) May, Corey took us “back to the dark days of George W. Bush.” This was enough to incite another circle pit on the concrete in from of the amphitheater. Your God continued to build on the momentum of Come What(ever) May and brought the crowd to a boiling point. Stone Sour took it down a step for Through Glass, just what the ladies wanted and gave the guys just enough time to catch their breathes before kicking into another new track, Digital. Hell & Consequences and the Grammy nominated 30/30-150 closed out their all too short set.
My only question; Why didn’t they play anything off of their debut album?

Stone Sour;
Mission Statement, Reborn, Made Of Scars, Say You’ll Haunt Me, Come What(ever) May, Your God, Through Glass, Digital, Hell & Consequences, 30/30-150

How metal are Avenged Sevenfold? They opened their set by hanging on of their stage hands. You’ve really got to fuck up for your bosses to publically execute you in front of 6000 screaming fans. But seriously, what a way to open the band’s hour long set! Their blistering set opened with the title track from their current release, and set the crowd into a feavered frenzy. The corpse still swung limply while M. Shadows called out, “It’s your fucking nightmare.” Pulsating lights and an enormous amount of pyro filled their set and added to the grim stage set. How often do you see a show where the band’s backdrop is a dilapitated European castle? There was a point during God Hates Us where I was certain the band’s pyro had set the stage on fire, but someone just cranked up the smoke machine.
Shadow’s took the time to remind us all how much The Rev would be missed, which was met with thunderous approval from a sea of screaming fans and dedicated tonight’s set to him. A7X put on an amazing performance. They choose the perfect mix of tracks for their set, playing selections off of each of their albums. Before Almost Easy, Shadows introduced the band and made it a special point to acknowledge Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, who will be drumming for A7X during the Uproar Festival, for joining the band on this tour. Even though the crowd was chanting in unison, “One more song,” A7X left the stage continuing to thank the crowd for their support.

Avenged Sevenfold;
nightmare, critical acclaim, welcome to the family, beast and the harlot, buried alive, so far away, afterlife, god hates us, unholy confessions, almost easy

Even this early into the tour, the stage hands had their job down to a precise science. In no time at all Avenged Seven Fold’s castle was taken down and Disturbed’s was set in it’s place.
Disturbed’s back drop was comprised of seven vertical LCD screens and a horizontal screen running either side of Mike Wengren’s drum kit. The pyro was intense through out the entire set. The videos played on the screen, ranging from morbid hospital hallways to room engulfed in flame, played through the band’s hour and fifteen minute set. Disturbed did an astonishing job selecting tracks from their entire catalogue and the fan’s reaction to new songs like Asylum was just as cacophonous as when the band burst through a medley of their early work.
Seeing David and the boys in 2010 makes me very proud to have seen them back in 2000. In the past 10 years I’ve watched this band, which I still consider to be from the midwest, grow and become a musical juggernaut. Whether it’s Uproar, Ozzfest, or Music As A Weapon, Disturbed knows how to put on one helluva show.

Disturbed;
remnants, asylum, the game, prayer, liberate, land of confusion, inside the fire, stricken, fear/meaningof life/numb/voices, another way to die, stupify, ten thousand fists, down with the sickness, indestructable

The 2010 inception of Uproar gives me hope for the 2011 installment. Of all the festival type concerts I’ve been too, Uproar really had their shit together and worked like a well oiled machine. Having Rockstar Energy Drink as a sponsor of the event is a brilliant idea. No one went thirsty but the lines at the bathroom were Hell.

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