Rocklahoma continues and - thanks to the heat - the mud is finally drying. This isn't to say the grounds are not a mess, - because they still are - and the smell of drying mud in an open field next to some port-a-potties is pretty darn disgusting. I'm not sure the festival has enough port-a-potties to handle the load...many look like they haven't been serviced. Considering the heat...well, you get the idea.
The Friday Rocklahoma line-up looks like this:
XYZ, Armored Saint, Kingdom Come, Living Colour, Night Ranger, Extreme and Triumph. Of these bands, I was most interested in Extreme - but Armored Saint blew everyone out of the water. I didn't watch XYZ, but my husband did take pictures. Some of my friends who were down front for XYZ say they were great! Many seemed shocked that such an early band could pull out a tight performance. Of course, if those same people had seen Armored Saint I'm sure they would agree with me that they owned the Rocklahoma main stage.
Armored Saint performed "March of the Saints," Delirious Nomad," "Reign of Fire," "Creepy Feelings," "Tribal Dance," "Last Train Home," "Symbol of Salvation," "Mad House," and "Can U Deliver." Hearing these songs live is the true essence of Metal. There wasn't any filler, any worthless stage banter...no crap. The sound was great, the band seemed tight and John Bush was running around like a mad man! When I looked around, I did notice the venue was pretty empty but I suppose that is because of the early time slot.
After Armored Saint the heat was pretty oppressive, so I took refuge inside a tent for awhile. Back out into the heat I went for Kingdom Come. I was not impressed. Ok, so I'm not a huge Kingdom Come fan but I will give any band a chance to impress. So, the Germans flew all the way to America to stand in a hot mud pit and I figure "This is going to be good." Nope. To my knowledge, the band's most famous song is "Get It On," but they played this mid-way through the set, and I swear everyone was sitting down, talking, using their cell phones...Singer Lenny Wolf kept tuning his guitar "because of the humidity." My husband asked me if that meant every other band was just playing out of tune. I snorted. My traveling partner and regular Bring Back Glam! commenter Christian snorted. The people behind me may have also snorted!
Living Colour performed after Kingdom Come. I'm not sure if the sound was mixed exactly right, but I have to say that this is a very talented band of musicians. Finally some dancing music! By the time Living Colour performed it was peak dinner hour, but the venue still looked decently full. When Living Colour played "Cult of Personality" it was like Rocklahoma had once again come alive. Of course, the songs went over better than the stage banter. At one point singer Corey Glover said "...and Barack Obama will be the next president!" This was met with a few boos and then silence. I swear, it was eerily quiet for a rock festival. I, however, yelled my support.
I recently interviewed Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger so I was most looking forward to their performance. Here's what they played:
This Boy Needs to Rock
Sing Me Away
You're Gonna Hear From Me
Rock in America
Coming of Age (Damn Yankees)
Touch of Madness
Eddie's Comin' Out Tonight
When You Close Your Eyes
Don't Tell Me You Love Me
Now, if any band came close to Armored Saint, it's Night Ranger. It doesn't hurt that the band has two badass singers, or that everyone in the audience knew every word to every song. The highlight for me was the Damn Yankees cover - totally unexpected. Makes me wish I was seeing a Damn Yankees reunion this weekend. Good stuff.
So, Extreme have the
honor challenge of following Night Ranger and they fell flat. Man, they were bad. I didn't see it happen, but my husband was in the photo pit and he swears he saw Gary Cherone walk into a camera man - get pissed - then slam his mic on stage and walk off. This must have been a quick exchange, because Extreme did play a full set...although it was quite delayed. Anyway, they played a bunch of new crap songs and everyone sat down. They didn't play "Get the Funk Out" or "Pronograffiti." They did play "Kid Ego," "It's a Monster," "More than Words," "Am I Ever Gonna Change," "Hole Hearted..." and "Communication Breakdown." Yep, they ended with a cover song. Now, Nuno Bettencourt is one hell of a guitarist. In fact, he's one of the best of the genre...but that doesn't mean he should play six or seven minute solos at a festival show. When he sat down with his guitar and just started playing, the people around me went nuts -- and not in a good way. They were screaming "Nobody cares!" "Playing the fucking song, already!" and "I'm bored!" Guess what? I was bored too. Little did I know my boredom was going to get a lot worse.
Triumph was booked a very long time ago as a headliner. I went to their delayed press conference...only to learn they were excited to play America again. The best part of the press conference was hearing why they were late: apparently their limo driver was pulled over for expired tags, speeding...and more. They arrived in a limo so I have no idea if they switched drivers, switched cars, or hitched a ride with a rich Tulsa resident...but they did make it to the fest safely.
So, I was expecting a massive laser show as everyone was hyping the fact that Triumph brought their own lights. Well, hell - I have an itty bitty book light - does that make me special too? Anyway, they played a lot of really long songs including "Lay It On the Line," "Allied Forces," "Rocky Mountain Way," "Blinding Light Show," "Hold On" and "Magic Power." They played more but I left. I was seriously having trouble staying awake and there were more interesting things to do over in a friend's camp area. The addition of a cover tune baffled me, but I have to admit it was a high point of the set. At least everyone could sing the words and people actually stood for a few minutes. The mass exodus during Triumph was pretty brutal. Looking into the crowd, you could see massive spaces of empty seats. I will say hearing "Magic Power" live was cool enough, but I just don't think Triumph was the right band for the crowd at Rocklahoma.