The first day of Rocklahoma is already in the history books. It was a great day filled with good music, great showmanship, mud and oppressive heat.
I underestimated just how tired I would be covering this festival. Me and my crew left our Tulsa hotel for Rocklahoma around 11 yesterday morning. We had to eat and commute and we got lost so we didn't even enter Rocklahoma until 1 p.m. Checking into the media tent was a nightmare because all the workers (and there are tons of them!) were confused. After this, Heather, Eric and myself all had to get wristbands, which was also a debacle.
David Henzerling and I chatted for a follow-up interview. David wasn't playing, but he was at Rocklahoma to support his good friends in the Greg Leon Invasion and to have a good time.
Event organizers planned an interview session with each band (with the exception of Poison, who were forced to cancel). During these interview sessions, reporters could take pictures and ask the bands anything.
Did I mention it was hot yesterday? I'm not sure if flesh can actually melt, but I think at one point I was disintegrating. Thank goodness for hats and 70 SPF sun block. I am proud to report that neither myself nor Eric or Heather are burned (yet, at least!).
As the day wore on, Rocklahoma fans were treated to some great performances. (Tramp's) White Lion were very good. A journalist asked Mike Tramp about the Vito Bratta situation. As you can imagine, this didn't go over so well and it got Mike a little riled up. The band played their most famous song and ended with their cover of "Radar Love."
Slaughter was absolutely amazing. Mark Slaughter ran through the crowd, talked to fans, and still proved that he can hit high notes when necessary. He dumped a bottle of water over his head after the first song, and kept doing so. I figure he was afraid he would pass out on stage from heat. Slaughter played all their hits, including "Fly to the Angels" and "Up All Night." By this time the crowd was good and drunk, which made for some great people watching.
Heather and I went to the press call for RATT, which we missed because it was moved without warning and we decided to wait for Poison. During this time, Eric took pictures of Quiet Riot. The band closed their set with "Metal Health."
Time for the pit and RATT! If you've ever taken photos in the pit area of a concert, you know it can be a little intense, but Rocklahoma is over the top. Standing beside Eric with our average digital camera were photographers from Metal Edge, Rolling Stone and Spin Magazines. They were all very nice and didn't shove us out of the way. Good thing because I'm very competitive and Heather is worse than me in that department.
You might recall I recently reviewed the Cincinnati stop of the RATT/Poison tour. RATT is changing up their set, while staying true to the fan favorites. RATT played "Wanted Man," "Lay It Down," "Back for More," and dug deep for "Walkin' the Dog." They closed their set with "Round and Round."
After a lengthy set change it was time for headliners Poison. I was supposed to have a one on one interview with Bret Michaels last night, but that was cancelled at 11:30. The band was dealing with some major travel delays which meant no press conference. Poison took the stage just before midnight and played a set that looked like this:
Look What the Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Ride the Wind
I Won't Forget You
What I Like About You
C.C. DeVille Solo
I Hate Every Bone in Your Body (But Mine)
Something to Believe In
Can't You See
Your Mama Don't Dance
I Need to Know
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Talk Dirty to Me
Nothing But a Good Time
During "Something to Believe In," Bret Michaels and Company invited local military on stage and it was pretty emotional toward the end as the enlisted men and women sang with their glam heroes. At the end of the song, the crowd starting cheering "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" This made Bret and C.C. smile. Despite the heat and exhaustion, it was a pretty great day. The crowd swelled just before RATT and I would estimate at least 35,000 people were in attendance, but I've heard figures as high as 60,000.It's 9:30 a.m. Time to get dressed, pack up and do it all over again.