Alice In Chains
Coheed And Cambria
Zippo Encore Stage
The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show
The Dead Daisies
Middle Class Rut
The 4th annual Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival landed out at the Darien Lake PAC Sunday. The weather couldn’t have been better as an enjoyable day of music and fun in the sun was enjoyed by all. Considering this was only the third date on the tour, things seemed to go smoothly with the change over of bands.
The day began with act Cry To The Blind out of Rochester, NY, who won a regional contest and were selected to get things underway. Their short but energetic set lead me to believe that we will hear from them again in the future.
The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show was up next. No there is nobody named Chuck in the band but there is Ryan Johnson (Vocals/Guitar), David Steifel (Bass) and Shad Teems (Drums). The band played a fast paced set that featured “Never” and “Overdue” with the latter from the band’s latest release entitled Temporary Fix.
The Dead Daisies name may not be familiar to many however some of the members should be. Lead vocalist Jon Stevens once fronted INXS and Noiseworks. Guitarist Richard Fortus currently plays in Guns ‘N’ Roses and he has played in Thin Lizzy. Bassist Marco Mendoza has had a few stints with Thin Lizzy and also played in Whitesnake for a bit. Guns ‘N’ Roses Keyboardist Dizzy Reed was also on hand as were guitarist David Lowy and drummer Alex Carapetis.
The band’s all too brief set featured Stevens in a leg cast on a stool, as he broke his leg prior to the tour starting while on a recent fishing trip. The band closed out their set with a rousing cover of the Beatles “Helter Skelter”.
Plagued by technical problems from the start Middle Class Rut vocalist/guitarist Zach Lopez at one point half jokingly asked if someone can come down to tune his guitar. The band has grown to five from the last time we saw Lopez and drummer Sean Stockham perform at The Rapids Theatre opening for Chevelle.
Despite the early trouble the band regrouped and were able to play a respectable set featuring “Aunt Betty” from their recently released album Pick Up Your Head. The band also played favorites “Busy Bein’ Born” and the closer “Alive Or Dead”.
Taking the stage next were the New Politics who originally hailed from Denmark. Earlier this year they opened for Fall Out Boy and earned some rave reviews. Singer David Boyd, guitarist Soren Hansen and drummer Louis Vecchio definitely give their all when performing. Boyd is known for standing on his head at some point during each show.
The band saved their two best known songs for the end in the band’s latest single “Harlem” and from their first album “Yeah Yeah Yeah”. Expect to hear more from this band in the near future.
Closing out the second stage were Walking Papers, a new band featuring Jeff Angell on vocals and guitar. The band also features a few prominent names in bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Barrett Martin. Of course McKagan is known for playing in GNR during their heyday as well as playing with Velvet Revolver, while Martin is known for drumming with Screaming Trees and Mad Season. Rounding out the band was keyboardist Benjamin Anderson.
Easily the best performance from the second stage which made many people wonder why they didn’t get to perform on the main stage over Circa Survive. The band played several tracks from their self-titled debut including “The Whole World’s Watching” and a riveting “Two Tickets And A Room”.
Sometimes the placement of bands on festivals leaves one scratching their head. Such was the case with Circa Survive. How they landed a slot on the main stage is perplexing as this reviewer feels they were the band who was the least appealing. Lead singer Anthony Green said it was a dream come true to play on the same bill as Alice In Chains and Jane’s Addiction. He should hold on to those memories as it will more than likely become the bands career highlight.
Following Circa Survive, Coheed and Cambria was a breath of fresh air as Claudio Sanchez and Company delivered an amazing set and sounded brilliant as they tore through a fast paced forty minute set. The band has been hard to categorize due to the different elements they bring forth. Their songs have ranged from progressive rock, punk, pop, metal and even post-hardcore.
The diversity of this band also help add to the overall festival instead of having all the same type bands which helped draw more interest. Rounding out their brief set with “Welcome Home”, the band delivered a set that surely helped them win a few new fans over.
Jane’s Addiction stole the whole show as their one hour set left the crowd begging for more. The lineup featured original members singer Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins. Bassist Chris Chaney completed the lineup.
Farrell always a visionary, is credited for creating the infamous Lollapalooza Festival and still has a hand in the annual festival now held at Grant Park, in Chicago. The band had quite the visual show which left the stage dark for much of the set. Farrell used two females who were featured in different capacities throughout the affair giving the show a flare and making it stand apart from all the other bands.
The band did not rely on just the hits and songs that received a ton of airplay to round out their set. No instead the band played a set that was heavy on their two biggest releases Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo habitual. “Been Caught Stealing”, “Stop!” and encore “Summertime Rolls” were the songs that went over the best.
Headliners Alice In Chains were given all the fancy lights and stage props to close out the evening. Despite a poor sound mix early on, it was cleaned up to decent by mid set.
Guitarist Jerry Cantrell is the leader of the band as he and drummer Sean Kinney are the last remaining members who have been around from the beginning. Joining them were longtime bassist Mike Inez and singer, guitarist William DuVall.
Kinney’s bass drum featured big initials LSMS in dedication to their former bandmates vocalist Layne Staley and bassist Mike Starr both of whom had passed away.
Highlights from the band’s set included “No Excuses”, “Man In The Box” and “Would?” DuVall did an admirable job on the older material for which he was not a part of. It can be very trying for anyone to take over for a lead singer but a legend like Layne Staley it is near impossible. It was uncanny how DuVall seemed to resemble rocker Lenny Kravitz in his mannerism and guitar playing.
Overall the fourth annual Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival provided an adventurous experience, where fans can experience meeting bands, getting autographs and seeing some bands that normally they may not get the chance to see. Let’s do it again next year, shall we?
Selected Set Lists
Alice In Chains
Check My Brain
Man in the Box
It Ain’t Like That
Love, Hate, Love
Down in a Hole
Ain’t No Right
Ted, Just Admit It…
Been Caught Stealing
Coheed And Cambria
Keeping the Blade
Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant
A Favor House Atlantic
Goodnight, Fair Lady
Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood and Burial)
Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher
The New Politics
Just Like Me
Tonight You’re Perfect
Yeah Yeah Yeah
The Dead Daisies
It’s Gonna Take Time
Lock N Load
Miles In Front Of Me
Special thanks to Kristine Ashton-Magnuson from Ashton-Magnuson Media for all her help and hard work!