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Rock and Roll will never die: Rockstar Energy: Uproar Festival proves this as they tour the United States. On August 28, 2012 the tour made a stop in Scranton, Pennsylvania at the Toyota Pavilion on Montage Mountain to thrill audiences.
This year’s festival is the third Uproar. The festival began with an idea by John Reese when he couldn’t find enough bands to fit his Taste of Chaos Tour. Other creators include Perry Lavoisne from Live Nation and John Oakes, Ryan Harlacher and Darryl Eaton of the Creative Artists Agency. The festival honors hard rock and heavy metal music. Child Find of America, Inc. was the charity of the festival; fans could make donations directly or through raffles.
The tour featured 14 bands. Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, and the upcoming Adelitas Way were the headlining bands, playing on the main stage during the event. Papa Roach, who was also supposed to headline, canceled the remainder of the tour after only five dates because lead singer Jacoby Shaddix needed surgery to remove a nodule on his vocal cord. An assortment of other up and coming bands performed on the side stages for the concert’s early attendees.
Adelitas Way played hits like “Sick” and “Invicible,” drawing in a crowd with an excellent guitar solo and flawless performance. They interacted with the crowd, recieving screams and cheers surpassing what was expected of the first headlining band. They got the crowd fired up for the next performance by Staind.
Staind played a set that kept the crowd on their feet. They mixed in the popular, more mellow songs of “Outside” and “It’s Been a While” with the lesser known but pumping “Mudshovel.” Lead singer Aaron Lewis took the chance to prepare the audience for Godsmack and Shinedown, but appeared disappointed when the crowd didn’t cheer as loud for his own band’s remaining songs. Avid listeners made it known through whistles and outcries that Staind would definitely be missed when they stepped off the stage.
Godsmack, while they did not perform last, recieved the highest audience approval. They played an extended set, featuring favorites like “Cryin’ like a Bitch” and “Straight Out of Line.” Erna promised that if Scranton could scream louder than anyone else, he would tell the next venue (in Saratoga Springs, New York) that no one could beat PA. And while the audience gladly accepted the challenge, they could only hope he would live up to what he said.
Shinedown put on the most spectacular show out of all of them. They were the only band to feature an impressive show of pyrotechnics, with fireworkers exploding over the band and jets of flame shooting over the audience. They opened with the classic “Sound of Madness,” playing other songs like “Second Chance.” Maria Brink of In This Moment guest performed during “Devour” to add her astounding voice to Brent Smith’s, to the extreme pleasure of the fans. During the acoustic performance of “Simple Man,” Shinedown even went into the audience and played between the rows of seats, giving those without pit tickets to see them up close.
But for all of the music, fans did not need to choose who to listen to. Opening bands played on two adjacent stages, the Jagermeister Stage and the Ernie Ball stage. As soon as one band completed a set, the next one began on the other stage. Two major names this year were In This Moment, featuring lead singer Maria Brink with killer vocals, and the popular P.O.D., who will be releasing their eighth album later this year. Redlight King, a new band who has not yet reached their fame, drew a massive crowd for playing so early in the day. Other bands include 2011 battle of the bands winner Mindset Evolution, and current Battle of the Bands winner True Becoming. The main stage did not open until the opening bands and autograph opportunities were completed.
Fans could also partake in a number of activities besides the music. The Best Buy tent sponored an album signing of the majority of the bands. Fans bought the latest cd and had the opportunity to shake hands with each of the band members while they recieved autographs. It was a dissapointment to most Godsmack fans (in fact, Best Buy sold out of Godsmack albums) that lead singer Sully Erna didn’t make it to the signing with the rest of the band.
Free Rockstar Energy Drinks of assorted flavors were handed out in the Rockstar Energy Tent, placed directly across from the two side stages. It was a relaxing atmosphere despite the music, where people got revved up and ready for the next act. Jagermeister set up their own tent nearby, but didn’t (for obvious reasons) offer any free drinks.
This year’s event was sponsored by Truth, an organization commited to revealing the business tactics of tobacco companies and repeating the horrors of smoking. At this festival, they held small contests for prizes and gave out awareness brochures and stickers.
Official event merchandise was available throughout all parts of the show. Individual vendors also set up their shops to sell clothing, glassware, and jewelry, among other things. Fans had the chance to shop around for a while before the main stage opened, all while enjoying a variety of food and drinks.
Overall Uproar was a spectacular event, despite missing Papa Roach. The continuous music, the opportunity to meet the bands, and the various other tents and vendors perfected the high-energy, high-excitement atmosphere. The bands shined, proving that Rock and Roll will never die.
As Smith put it, pausing between songs to address an adoring crowd, “Rock and Roll is not a music genre, it’s a way of life.”
Image Courtesy of RockstarUPROAR