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Rocklahoma 2008 - Sunday

DSC_1157.JPGRocklahoma 2008 is in the history books, and this remains true: Kix were the best band at the festival...but Tesla gave them a run for their "funny" money.

Bands set to perform on the final day of Rocklahoma included Axe, Zebra, UFO, Steelheart, Ace Frehley, Tesla and Queensryche. Lynam also got to play in a makeshift side stage.

I didn't see Axe and only half saw Zebra, so I can't really pass judgement there. UFO was a band I was least interested in watching, but I have to admit they were quite good. UFO performed "Mother Mary," "When Daylight Goes to Town," "Hard Being Me," "This Kids," "Only You Can Rock Me," "Baby Blue," "Too Hot to Handle," "Lights Out," "Love to Love" and "Rock Bottom." Christian was riled that UFO didn't play "Doctor, Doctor" but the band probably ran out of time: "Rock Bottom" seemed to go on forever and a day. Phil Mogg's stage banter was actually funny and provided a nice detraction from the heat. Happily, the band sounded tight.

Steelheart were great - and the crowd was quite sizable for them. Lead singer Milli road in on a motorcycle and then proceeded to wail the entire set. During "I'll Never Let You Go,"  Milli went into the crowd to sing and take photos with fans. The band closed with "Blood Pollution" from the movie Rock Star. Steelheart was out of time by this point but fans kept chanting "One more song!" It was definitely a few minutes before anyone could tell if the band would be allowed back on stage. In the end, they were not.

I had no desire to watch Ace Frehley because I don't like Frehley's Comet but it turns out Ace did mostly KISS songs during his set. He and his band performed "Shout It Out Loud," "Duece" and "Cold Gin." The crowd reaction was very good for Ace and it seemed like most people were happily singing along to the KISS tunes. I'm not sure who the members of Ace's backing band are, but it should be noted that they handle a lot of the singing duties.

Lynam was able to perform on a *tiny* make-shift side stage in one of the beer tents. The band made the best of things, and a small crowd of die hards stood in a mud pit to support the southern band. Lynam's set wasn't very long because they were trying to get done before Tesla, but they did perform "Tanis," "Better" and a cover of "We're Not Gonna Take It." I'm very happy they were allowed to perform in spite of the storm. Now, more people know of one of my favorite bands.

DSC_1353.JPGNow, Tesla. I think the crowd was at its largest all weekend in preparation for Tesla. The lawn seemed heavily populated, and many of the seats seemed crammed. Tesla performed "Comin' At You Live," "Into the Now," "Gettin' Better," "Hang Tough," "Mama's Fool," "Heaven's Trail," "Love Song," "Little Suzi," "Signs," "Man Out of Time" and "Modern Day Cowboy."  From the second the band hit the stage, Tesla gave an over-the-top, high energy performance. Moreover, the crowd actually seem excited. This isn't to say that other bands failed to excite, rather, Tesla impressed. Rocklahoma was my first time seeing Tesla live, and I didn't know what to expect. I'd heard that Jeff Keith's voice was shot - but this is not the case! By the time Tesla was done, people were demanding more songs. I heard people around me say "Tesla should have closed." I agree.

Queensryche had the responsibility of closing the festival. Last year, Queensryche were a late add and they performed a greatest hits set. This year, they performed Operation: Mindcrime in full. This was my first time seeing the stage production of "Mindcrime" and I'll admit it was very good and interesting - but totally not the right fit for a rock festival. When it's time for Mary to shoot herself, people behind me were screaming "Do it!" "Do it!" That's never a good thing. Still, the band sounded good and Geoff Tate seems to really love musical theatre. I'm not sure how many people followed the story to the conclusion, but the reward was a few of Queensryche's best known songs including "Empire," "Jet City Woman" and "Silent Lucidity."

DSC_1447.JPGI'll note here that I was impressed Rocklahoma officials cleaned up the VIP tent so quickly. By Sunday morning, all the water was gone from Saturday's storm and it seemed like the massive amounts of mud on the concrete floor had been washed away. Also, props to the person who quickly erected the small side stages so all the bands could play. The conditions were not ideal, but the show continued as scheduled.  


Reader Comments (18)

Glad to hear Tesla impressed you. They have been one of my favorite bands for a long time, as they always put on a great live show.

Rumors about Jeff's voice are just that....rumors.

Jeff was sick for a few weeks of their tour earlier this year, and when the band did that VH1 special. He pushed through the shows, and his voice was straining. Some people thought he was done.

I saw them last September, and his voice was perfect.

He was a little more rough when he hit Cincinnati a few months ago, but he still sounded good.

I never miss them when they come to town.
Love Tesla....I bet they were awesome =)
July 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
Having seen Queensryche's Mindcrime Suite, I can say it took a lot to produce it outside. However, I think one day they're going to have to fix it so that Geoff doesn't sing both the parts of Dr. X and Nicki (Like he does in "Operation: Mindcrime" song). I did think it cool that Ronnie James Dio sings for Dr. X in the big confrontation scene from Part 2 (Did they show the video?)

Anyways, glad to see you home safe and sound. Now you can dry out. ;)
July 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChessie
LOVE Tesla. Always have. I'm jonesin' to see them play again.
July 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicky
Awesome sounds like Rocklahoma closed it off on a high note! Hope you have a safe trip home Allyson, you did a fantastic job with this coverage.
July 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
So for those who attended, did you like this year's or last year's better (not taking into account the weather).
July 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Thanks, Told ya you would like UFO. Doctor Doctor .should of been in the setlist. Long live UFO..
July 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScott
I saw Phil at the airport and didn't go and say hi b/c I thought I'd just tell him what I think about Doctor, Doctor not being there.

To the person who asked which was better - get online, check the two lineups and do the math. I attended this year b/c I had bought tickets. Telsa, Kix, Armored Saint and Queensryche did not disappoint. Extreme were the biggest disappointment and it was not a scratch on last year. I plan on never stepping foot in Oklahoma again ( no offense to Oklahomans, but no way am I going to another ROK, so I don't see any other reason why I may be there )
July 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
i didn't go this year and now i'm really glad what with the weather and all but i live in tulsa so i did have to deal with the weather. at least i didn't have to contend with the mud and collapsing stages. as for tesla, i saw them earlier in the year when jeff's voice was affected by his illness. he truly has tried to soldier on and perform for the fans even though his voice and the show has suffered to a degree. glad to hear he's over it now and back to sounding great. can't wait for them to come back.
July 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
I hear from my good freind who was there that Trixter blew everyone out of the water. I would believe it. They were by far the best band of that era. I think Billboard gave them an award that said so back in like 1992 or something.

Did Eddie Trunk perform at all? That guy can really belt it out. He sang some backing tracks on a UFO album in the last 70's.
July 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMurray
I enjoyed all of the updates!

In the Northwest we just don't get as many of these bands coming through so it is fun to hear of the updates-it would rock if a promoter would put something together for the west coast.

Crue Fest is coming our way in about 3 weeks but with the poor reviews I keep hearing I am still up in the air about attending.

Keep rockin!
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHusky Man
Anyone know the attendence figures?As many as last year maybe?
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarl
Not as many as last it's peak maybe 12K this year. 5 days is just WAY to long for a festival..IMO
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKixRules
You mean 126k, right ? :P
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I would definately say that both Tesla and Kix should've been headlining !!!! They by far smoked everyone else
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDamnp78
Allyson, thanks for all of these updates. with all due respect, I find it a bit odd that such a glam fan as yourself would have been so disinterested in UFO and Ace Frehley, considering how much they were trailblazers for that whole style of music.
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBob
How many is 12k or 126k?
July 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarl
It's really unfortunate that AXE played so early in the day on Sunday. They opened the Main Stage and sounded as good as any opener I've ever seen. (That's many) If you haven't seen them I heard that they've been added to Rock The Bayou. Hope so. I have checked them out on and the myspace link there. Listen to the available tunes there and you'll be impressed.
July 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMax Misner

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