Day two of Rocklahoma 2009 is in the history books, featuring Hericane Alice, Helix, Danger Danger, Warrant, Night Ranger and RATT. Naturally, the heat seems to be getting worse with each passing day – and oppressive is no longer an accurate adjective to describe the situation. Perhaps “awful” sums it up nicely. I skipped Hericane Alice because of the heat – my apologies to the band, but I hope to catch them on a side stage later this weekend.
Helix – described in the official newspaper “program” as the oldest band at Rocklahoma – came out strong. The Canadians immediately commented on the heat – and continued to mention the sun. Brian Vollmer kept taking breaks from the heat – and so did I. I watched half the set. Noticed people loving the band – to the point of near hysteria in some cases around me – and then I took a rest. I ended up with my head down on a table in air conditioning. My husband thought I was sunburned, but my skin was just tomato red from heat.
Danger Danger drew a lot of curious onlookers. After all, the band never seems to leave the east coast, so this was a big opportunity to see them live for the first time. Ted Poley sounded great, but he was really struggling with performing in the heat. Rob Marcello gave a great solo on his polka dot guitar. The band did “Boys Will Be Boys,” “Bang Bang,” and “Naughty Naughty” but not “Don’t Walk Away” – this crushed me a little.
Warrant – three times at Rocklahoma, three different singers! This time, Robert Mason won the coin toss. Good news is that he is awesome – the best Warrant has ever sounded really. The band spent some money on a little stage backdrop of the Sunset Strip – clubs like the Whisky were on the backdrop, plus the names of Warrant albums. The band also used a weird intro tape – not sure why – but it was the sound of clinging cash registers from “Money” Pink Floyd style. “Down Boys” still open the set, and all the usual suspects were played: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “Cherry Pie,” “Heaven” and the like. During “Cabin” some nut job one row over climbed on the back of his seat and hurled himself forward when the guitar part kicked in. He lunged so high and fast, everyone in my row ducked for cover. Seriously.
Night Ranger were the best band of the day, playing a mix of old and new and even one Damn Yankees tune (“Coming of Age”). The band played a ton of classics, including “This Boy Needs to Rock,” “Rock in America,” “Eddie's Comin' Out Tonight,” “Sister Christian,” and “Don't Tell Me You Love Me.” Jack Blades has a great voice and he was in a good mood. Same for Kelly Keagy. The band did honestly seem happy to be back at Rocklahoma and the crowd was glad to have them. By the time Night Ranger started, the place was filling up a little – there were many more people on the lawn than the day before, but still tons of empty seats.
RATT announced plans awhile back to do all of Out of the Cellar live – so they did it at Rocklahoma, too. Oddly enough, the band did the album *after* the greatest hits set, which struck me as amazingly odd. By the time “Wanted Man” rolled around, Stephen Pearcy was already half worn out – but the band got through it ok. Naturally, “Round and Round” was moved out of order and saved for last, which is technically cheating, but whatever. Pearcy was wearing a shirt that said “I Love (heart shape) Nymphos” and I rolled my eyes – just couldn’t help it. Right before RATT took the stage, Shiprocked Tweeted that the band would be joining the cruise – so good news if you’re going (like me!)
So who should have been main stage? Big Cock of course. Robert Mason sings lead for the band and his pipes held up, even after the Warrant set. The band played a lot of songs off their most recent disc “Motherload,” which is obviously a lot of fun. A fairly decent crowd came over to check out the band – still could have been more. David Henzerling was playing his little heart out – how could you miss that? Nothing like listening to “Get a Load of Me” live at nearly 1 a.m. in Pryor, Oklahoma.
Day two attendance numbers? I guess around 5500.