Rockstar Uproar Festival 2011

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Rockstar Uproar festival is back for another year, and Chip Tamplin and Kaitlin Follmer were on hand again this year to check it out. Below are Chip’s impressions and both of their photos from the show.

Art of Dying:

Despite never seeing Art of Dying before today, I was pleasantly surprised by them. Were they amazing? Definitely not. Were they entertaining? Definitely. Vocalist Jonny Hetherington had a great voice and solid stage presence while the rest of the band weren’t overly energetic on stage.

Aside from ending with their signature song “Die Trying”, another great song was their slow song “Best I Can”. Horribly out of place for this show, especially when they were trying to win over the rowdy side stage crowd, but I personally loved the song and thoroughly enjoyed it. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Art of Dying and would definitely check them out again.

Vocals: 8
Crowd Response: 7
Overall Sound: 8.5
Band Activity: 8
Overall Rating: 8

Setlist:

1. Straight Across My Mind
2. Get Thru This
3. Best I Can
4. Whole World’s Crazy
5. Die Trying

Hell or Highwater:

Being a huge Atreyu fan, I was most excited to check out Hell or Highwater – the band fronted by Atreyu drummer Brandon Saller. Hell or Highwater also features guitarists Matt Pauling & Neal Tiemann, bassist Joey Bradford and drummer Kyle Peek.

After an initial listen to their debut album, Begin Again, I felt a little disappointed. But after seeing roughly half of the CD performed live, I can safely say I’m a fan now. The CD has a lot of heart and Saller clearly personifies that. It was a joy hearing songs “Hail Mary!” and “Go Alone” live. While I won’t be making a jump from Atreyu to HoH, I can definitely say I’m content just hearing Saller’s voice until Atreyu put out new material.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9

Black Tide:

It has been several years since I last saw/covered Black Tide. Back then guitarist/vocalist Gabriel Garcia and bassist Zakk Sandler still had long hair like their other two band mates so, needless to say, I was pretty shocked when the band came on stage – I thought they’d had member changes that I hadn’t heard about.

Though I’ve always enjoyed them live, I’ve never really been that big of a fan of Black Tide. The band has great musicianship, especially for a band so young, but they were just never really my cup of tea. They had a lot of energy on stage and I definitely enjoyed the material they played from their newest album Post Mortem.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Warriors of Time
2. Bury Me
3. Let it Out
4. Honest Eyes
5. That Fire

Sevendust:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sevendust live without covering them, but boy do I always enjoy them. Over the years there have been several bands I’ve covered as many times as Sevendust, but I’ve never enjoyed any of them as much.

Vocalist Lajon Witherspoon and the rest of Sevendust are a force to be reckoned with on stage. They’ve given 110% day in and day out for almost two decades and they show no signs of slowing down. Unfortunately they were only on the side stage so their allotted time left a lot to be desired, but they still melted faces as the second stage headliners before they were done. I know this wasn’t the last I’ll be seeing of Sevendust in the coming weeks/months/years and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. Splinter
2. Strong Arm Broken
3. Forever
4. Pieces
5. The End is Coming
6. Face to Face

Escape the Fate:

There’s been a civil war within the ETF camp for years between those who prefer replacement vocalist Craig Mabbitt and original vocalist Ronnie Radke. I personally prefer Radke and his contributions to the band, but I do enjoy Craig too.

Their set and set list left a lot to be desired. The band has the best energy out of the last few times I’ve seen them, but I still felt let down. The vocals for the main stage were pretty garbled for the first few bands which I think was a major contributing factor for my disappointment with ETF, but even so that spark just wasn’t there with them this time.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Choose Your Fate
2. 10 Miles Wide
3. Issues
4. Gorgeous Nightmare
5. Liars and Monsters
6. Day of Wreckoning
7. This War is Ours
8. The Aftermath (G3)

Bullet for my Valentine:

I love Bullet for my Valentine…on CD. As I’ve said in recent reviews, I just can’t enjoy them live. They never sound bad, but I just don’t get excited for them like the first few times I saw them. Perhaps it’s the mediocre set lists or their lack of energy on stage (at least from guitarists Michael Paget and Matt Tuck), but whatever the case is I’ve lost a lot of my love for Bullet live.

I will always enjoy them on CD, but some life needs to get injected into their live performances or they might be lost on me forever.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Fever
2. Pleasure and Pain
3. Waking the Demon
4. The Last Fight
5. Tears Don’t Fall
6. Scream Aim Fire
7. Alone

Seether:

Good God, Seether, where to even begin? Aside from Staind, Seether is the band that you can rely on to be insanely boring every time you see them. Most of the time Seether have sounded great but never did anything on stage short of some minor swaying back and forth, but for this show they didn’t even sound very good.

Vocalist and guitarist Shaun Morgan was harder to understand than ever before both through mumbling the words to the songs and the quality of his microphone. I will say that I was very pleased by their set list, thought most of it was lost in mediocre vocals. Seether needs to step it up. Big time.

Vocals: 6
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 5
Overall Rating: 8

Setlist:

1. Gasoline
2. Fine Again
3. Broken
4. The Gift
5. Tonight
6. Country Song
7. Fake It
8. The Remedy

Three Days Grace:

I’ve always liked Three Days Grace. They’ve always had a great ability to blend energy with talent on stage. Recently there’s been a trend, especially with some of the earlier bands at this show, where you’ve either got quality sound or solid energy, and not always both. Three Days Grace is definitely an exception to this.

Vocalist Adam Gontier is a fantastic front man, has so much energy on stage and a knack for singing with that semi-raspy voice without losing his voice like most vocalists with the same style. I think my highlight of their set was the inclusion of “I Don’t Care”, which is probably my favorite song of his, not to mention my favorite Apocalyptica song. Overall, one of the best performances I’ve seen of theirs, definitely impressed.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 8.5
Overall Rating: 9

Setlist:

1. The Good Life
2. Break
3. Pain
4. (I Hate) Everything About You
5. World So Cold
6. Home
7. I Don’t Care [Apocalyptica Cover]
8. Never Too Late
9. Riot
10. Animal I Have Become

Avenged Sevenfold:

I think the only word to describe Avenged Sevenfold’s set would be: WOW. I’ve covered A7x at least four times in the last year and was growing tired of not only the same set list but the same stage set up. But this show was drastically different. Not only was the set list for each show chosen directly by their fans but their stage set up was completely revamped.

The set list showed a return of a few “classics” including “Chapter Four” and “Second Heartbeat” which hadn’t seen the light of day since 2009 and 2008, respectively. If that wasn’t cause enough for celebration, you could see the joy in the band members’ eyes as well as the smiles on their faces throughout the entire set, which was a welcome change. It was especially evident on guitarists Synyster Gates, who I hadn’t seen smile in a live show environment since the death of The Rev.

This was the first set where I truly believed they’d arrived at a point where they could truly headline shows like these. It was a well deserved show not only for the fans, but for the band.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. Nightmare
2. Beast and the Harlot
3. Welcome to the Family
4. Second Heartbeart
5. Afterlife
6. Buried Alive
7. So Far Away
8. Chapter Four
9. A Little Piece of Heaven
10. Bat Country
11. Unholy Confessions

Chip’s Photos (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

 

Kaitlin’s Photos (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

Leave a Reply