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Rocklahoma 2009 Day 1

For some reason I always forget just how oppressive the heat in Pryor, Oklahoma can be...and this year is no different. We’re talking temperatures of over one hundred degrees – before the heat index. Needless to say, Rocklahoma 2009 is a real hot box.

The first day of Rocklahoma – or Metal day – featured a lot bands outside my comfort zone. Leatherwolf, Metal Church, Anvil, Overkill, Saxon and Anthrax. I am not a rabid fan of any of these acts, so coverage wise, this is my “light day.”

Since I was still getting my bearings during Leatherwolf, I can’t say too much about their performance. The mix was off and the crowd was quite small. It’s always hard for the first band of any festival on day one regarding crowd size.

Metal Church just announced plans to call it quits, making Rocklahoma their final show. I gotta say, not being a Metal Church fan, the band did sound good. Ronnie Monroe has a good voice and I remember watching him solo on a side stage last year. The band opened with "Fake Healer..." and
the crowd was slowly growing by this point.

I was most curious about Anvil. Truth be told, Anvil are more known for the documentary about their lives versus their music. Also, their set was right at the heat of the day, so that couldn’t have helped the crowd situation any. Poor lead singer “Lips” was playing his guitar on the first song, lost his sound, and ran to get it fixed. Sure enough, he slipped on one of the stage steps but got right back up. I don’t think he was hurt at all. Later he said “That first step is a loo loo” or something to that effect. Anvil didn’t play “Metal on Metal” until their very last song – there was, however, a random drum solo thrown in for good measure.

After Anvil – and a general feeling of dizziness from the heat – I took a break during Overkill. This means I missed their entire set and can’t speak to their abilities. The band did have some interesting merchandise including a T shirt with a bat and wings logo that reads “Get your own logo” or something like that. This seems like a slam toward Avenged Sevenfold, but I’m not sure.

Saxon was the band I was waiting for all day – and I wasn’t the only one. It seemed like for the first time of the day, the seating area was starting to fill up, although general admission attendance seemed to remain lean. Saxon played just about everything you’d expect: “Wheels of Steel,” “Crusader,” “Denim and Leather.” They didn’t play “The Eagle Has Landed.” All in all it was a great set, with beautiful British accents and Biff Byford jumping around and commenting on the heat. He was preaching to the choir.

As expected, the crowd was heaviest for Anthrax – after all, they headlined Metal day. I’ve never been into Anthrax – just not my cup of tea I guess. The band did have a lot of energy and it was the first time I’d really heard new singer Dan Nelson belt. He is very heavy, which surprised me just a little. The band played “Indians,” “Antisocial” and all the rest. Someone threw a beach ball into the crowd and I noticed the men were very violent with it during Anthrax. Some guy two rows up from me kept body slamming himself into his wooden bench seat. Music has never made me want to hurl my body into something like a wall or a bench, but whatever. I hope the guy got his money’s worth.

Glam wise I checked out Bai Bang and Beautiful Creatures – both side stage acts and basically excellent. Honestly, I think Beautiful Creatures had the biggest crowd of the day next to Anthrax. People were packed into the tented area close and tight, which made moving around less than great. Joe Leste sounded great and looked happy and I think that was enough for the crowd. Bai Bang are obscure Glam – Google them because they rule. Real Swedish sleaze that would be better in the night versus so early in the afternoon. Bai Bang played very early and not a lot of people got a chance to watch them on first pass – hopefully I’ll get to see them again during the run of the festival.

My attendance guess for Metal day? I’d say somewhere between 4500 and 5500 people.


Reader Comments (12)

Good review really think THAT many people where there...from the pics seems a lot less then that!
July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKixRules
Scott Ian and Frank Bello of Anthrax got into a fierce yelling match backstage minutes after they walked offstage. It quickly escalated into pushing and shoving and bumping chests. After Bello spit in Scott Ian's face, the fists came out. Frank Bello got some solid punches in, many to Scott Ian's face before security and crew pulled them apart. Ian hits like a little girl. He really got his ass beat, walking away with a bloody nose and fat, bloodied lips. I'm sure he's got at least one, if not two shiners today. It was quite a scene.
July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoogie Charleton
Thanks for the great review, Allyson! Keep 'em up. they make those of us who are missing out on ROK this year feel a little part of it!!
July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBexxxah
Great review, as per usual.
Doogie - love the dirt! Bring it on!
July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
Great review Ally as always

Doogie- thanks for the dirt. any ideas of the cause ?
July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDamnp78
Thanks for posting these reviews Ally. Too bad you missed Overkill. they've been doing New Jersey proud for over 25 years and they always bring it hard live.
July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob
There is a History of problems with Frank and Anthrax if this is true Frank could receive his walking papers .
July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLarry
Poor lineup for day 1 to say the least, SHEESH.. I got to admit, Anvil would of been fun though. And I thoroughly enjoy the Overkill dig on Avenged Sevenfold. I know youre a fan Ally, but I dont get it. Sorry.
July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
I have to admit, I love A7X and I've obviously known about Overkill for a long, long time, but I had never noticed that they have the same logo before.
July 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I heard from soooo many that considering they couldn't play more than 11 songs and the didn't have their stage set, they blew everyone away. Everybody has their favorites. Looks like Scott Ian didn't like being out played by Saxon and the lackluster performance of some of the band members pissed of Scott Ian. Got him a mashed mug too. Good reviews so far.
July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarty Walker
Anthrax thought their shit didn't stink. I guess it serves them right. Don't forget WHO made you boyz! You should never treat the Press like shit.

Also, you can check out the Rocklahoma 2009 Anthrax Press Conference's worth the watch.

The New Anthrax? Wow...what a let down!
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRick Vyper
I disagree with you. Anthrax was dull and they had no spring in their step. They couldn't match Saxon song for song on any day. Saxon, with 19 studio albums, have averaged 5 hits songs from every one. Can Anthrax say that. Saxon's music makes you glad to be alive. The new singer for Anthrax, all he did was hold his balls. I guess that counts nowadays for a fine front-man. No, I'll take Saxon any day over the over-hyped Anthrax.

Saxon has ruled for 30 years, and they are only getting better.
July 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarty Walker

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