Local rockers can always count on KUPD to ring in the summer with UFest, coaxing thousands to spend one last day in the sun before temps (theoretically) hit triple digits. This year, the high-energy festival's lineup is packed with hard-hitting acts that have new music in the mix, and a few regulars on the touring circuit. Headliners Godsmack, Staind, and Chevelle are marquee names in the world of metal and hard rock, but the real surprise is the quality of the so-called "lesser names" featured on the bill: Janus mixes metal with electro and auxiliary percussion, and Aranda has toured with everyone from The All-American Rejects to Halestorm. Good ol' grunge and even art rock (whatever that is) have a place at this music fest: The Veer Union, Cavo, and Hurt offer up a range of influences, mixing sounds as unexpected as gospel and as intricate as any of the prog-rock excursions of Mudvayne or Tool. The varied lineup speaks to the changing and evolving state of hard rock music — it's not just for the angry mooks anymore. Which isn't to say things won't get plenty wild. Just make sure to bring your black T-shirt and sunscreen.
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