Uproar: Godsmack, Staind, Hellyeah, and More @ Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
While Friday's Desert Uprising brought a wealth of debauchery, pyro, and sweat-drenched goths, metallers, emos, hipsters, well, damn, just about every type of rocker you can think of, Saturday's Uproar turned out a crowd that much more party rock oriented. Think more Avenged Sevenfold-bandana-wearing, shirtless meatheads, rather than long-haired, black-clad revelers.
See more photos in the full Uproar slideshow. I mean, with a line-up like Godsmack, Fozzy, and Attika 7 (a band fronted by a porn star, no less), and Hellyeah, who hopped on after In This Moment backed out (although there's no way that Maria Brink's sexiness could be topped by anyone in that band), the majority of those in the crowd was there to party.
The day stayed consistently around 100-degrees, but there was a cool breeze swinging through Ashley Furniture Homestore Pavilion that kept everyone cool. Santa Clarita-based band A Story Beneath, the Battle of the Bands winner, kicked off the day and had a solid performance with a surprisingly amount of fans present at the Ernie Ball Stage. Other bands to catch on that stage included Mindset Evolution, Redlight King, Deuce and the always popular P.O.D, who I've seen a couple times and always seem to satisfy fans. But the other secondary stage, the Jagermeister Stage, had just as a heavy lineup to prepare fans for the headliners that evening. Uncrowned and Candlelight Red didn't seem to have the same excitement as the other two bands on that stage, Fozzy and Attika 7, who really kept the entertainment going.
After P.O.D. closed out the Ernie Ball stage, most concert-goers wandered over the main stage, stopping to grab $11 beers and browse the festival marketplace which was hard not to explore. From glass pipes (whose strength was shown by the vendor grabbing one and chucking it repeatedly on the ground) and trashy marijuana- and whiskey-related t-shirts, to cute boutique clothing for girls and skull-laden jewelry, there was just about anything a rocker could ever want, or need. For this personal rocker, stopping by the Dimebag Hardware booth and meeting Dimebag's widow Rita Haney was a particular highlight.
On the main stage, Adelitas Way impressed me a lot. I had heard of them before, but never seen them in action. First off, they were younger than I thought they'd be. They also promptly proceeded to impress me with their spot-on sound, and perfected guitar and drum work. Even though this band was the first on the mainstage and there was a long list to go through before the end of the show, tons of fans had gathered and were headbanging and going nuts to this act. As Hellyeah's set drew nearer, the pit started to fill with anxious rockers, most of them itching for a chance to catch Vinnie Paul on drums is what I would guess from the array of "CFH" (Pantera's namesake "Cowboys From Hell") tattoos and shirts sported in the front row. Now, I've seen this band several times before, and they never cease to disappoint. Comprised of the members from Mudvayne, Nothingface, Damageplan, and Pantera, they have tailored their craft and know exactly what the crowd wants from them. They played such favorites as "Alcohaulin' Ass," "You Wouldn't Know," and "Band of Brothers," with a set list that spanned their grungey, Southern metal-inspired three albums well. Vinnie Paul threw about eight drumsticks into the crowd, and vocalist Chad Gray's, tall mohawk-ish hairdo, wide eyelined eyes and constant hocking of loogies made for some interesting fan interaction in the front rows.
The cool part of Uproar was the vast range of fans that showed up. Clearly, this lineup features bands whose music spans several decades. There was everyone from toddlers running around in little Hellyeah tees to 50-something-year-olds there to rock out to the music they grew up listening to.
Staind's set was comprised of so many fan favorites that I couldn't actually believe that have kept them in their set list over all these years. I must admit, Staind's "Mudshovel" is a song that introduced me to hard rock 15 years ago, and I still love to rock out to it. But there were also a lot of slower songs on the list, like "So Far Away" and "It's Been Awhile." It also provoked a lot of hammered girls to start blubbering away to many confused boyfriends and security guards. Aaron Lewis still has great vocals, and the band's set was mostly accented by a great light show.
Godsmack was one of the real highlights of the evening for me, and not just because they pulled out some great covers like Pantera's "This Love"--although I would've loved to heard their new cover of "Rocky Mountain Way."
There were, of course, a couple positive and negative elements that pointed to the fact that this band has withstood the test of time, like the general lack of movement on stage. While they have talent and great theatrics, the fact that the members didn't move around too much was definitely noticeable, though it ultimately didn't really matter. Godsmack really did win the fans' hearts it seemed, and after their dynamic set ended, the show could have very well ended, too. The bodies moved in the audience constantly and there wasn't a song played that wasn't a hit, particularly jams like "Voodoo" (of course) and "I Stand Alone." Sully Erna's skills are as sharp as ever, and the outrageous battle of the drums between Sully Erna and Shannon Larkin were a testament as to why this band has remained relevant for more than 20 years.
That being said, there wasn't a lot to say about Shinedown. Are they really metal? I mean, I guess they've got some killer grooves and some doublebass drum that rocks the house, but the musicians' personas get in the way of the music. The guitarist permanently had a pompous look on his face and applauded his own music after every song, but I guess he was entertaining the group of young girls directly below him in the pit. Plus, the lead singer's pants are waaay too tight, but I guess the reverberating bass guitar through the speaks that literally made my lungs bounce in my chest made up for that.
The highlight of their set was a rendition of "Simple Man" that actually had some people putting up lighters -- but I wouldn't go that far.
Read on for setlists and notes.
Shinedown Set List: Sound of Madness Diamond Eyes Enemies If You Only Knew Devour I'll Follow You Unite 45 Bully Simple Man Second Chance Fly From the Inside
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Godsmack Set List: The Enemy Keep Away Crying' Like a Bitch Straight Out of Line Awake Re-Align Speak Voodoo Batalla This Love I Stand Alone
Critics Notebook: What and Where: Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival at Ashley Homestore Pavilion When: Saturday, September 29th Who: Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Hellyeah, and a wealth of other acts Heard in the Crowd: (Gangly, young, tattooed guy walking up to a girl actually working at the pavilion) "Excuse me, have you ever been with a guy with just one really big leg?" (The girl pauses, confused.) "Um...you're really not my type, buddy. Did you think I'd go for that, just because I'm a ginger?" Random Notebook Dump: I think Hellyeah's set would've worked out better on the Desert Uprising bill, and Godsmack made me want to bust out my dusty records at home to dance around to "Cryin' Like a Bitch" and "Voodoo" til the sun came up.