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Rocklahoma 2009 Day 2

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.

Reader Comments (11)

I assume they shuffled the album to the end so people didn't leave. I left b/c I knew I couldn't stay for all of it, and didn't really want to hear all of 'out of the cellar'. I'd have considered staying for half if I'd known it would have been the 'hits' half of the show.
July 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Be sure to catch Icon tonight. We go on at 10:00 PM at the South-End Retro Stage. We plan to annihilate all of our sub-par, so-called "peers" who PAID for a slot on the side stages. It's truly bullshit politics that we aren't playing the Main Stage.
But, FUCK'EM! Come get your ass kicked ICON style.
July 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan Wexler
Icon was really good. I have to agree, they were better than some of the bands I've seen on the main stage, for sure.
July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I loved Icon back in the day and I have to say they kicked total ass last night. That was one tight set and the new singer is amazing. I honestly thought it was the original singer as I was walking up to the tent. I say he is a keeper.
July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrett
Danger Danger was THEEE main reason I wanted to go. Ally text or call me I want a full D2 review in detail!!
July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
The intro tape in question for Warrant was a mix of songs and sounds that mentioned "money" for the song DRFSR "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich".....I agree it could have been shorter..lost a little steam even though I knew that was coming.
July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdjwill
Icon was the best band at the festival - bottom line. They kicked EVERYONE'S ASS.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersomeone
D2 ruled, Ted Poley came out to talk to me earlier in the day. I was at my seat wearing a D2 shirt and he patted me on the back and said "hey nice shirt" and we talked for a good 20 minutes, awesome guy can't wait for the new D2 CD in September!!
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlajustice77
Sam, this is close to true. Do you agree with Icon's post that politics kept them off the main stage, but they are proud to be one of the few side stage bands who did not pay to play ? How do you feel about making money off your bands, by charging them to play, as well as selling their CDs ? Does being signed to you mean that you burn CDs and sell them, and the bands get no support ? I can see how that's great for you, but how is it great for the bands ? Shouldn't they just burn their own CDs ?
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Christian , it's called the music BUSINESS for a reason and I have NEVER EVER charged a Retrospect band to play a sidestage. Who the hell do you think PAYS for those sidestages?? You think I'm going out of pocket tens of thousands deep for bands (not Retro) that WANTED to buy on??
March 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlittle label
I feel so sad for you Sam. no-one is reading these old threads, and yet you have time to trawl them and try to post this drivel. What's the matter, did your wife leave you ? did your ferrari get repossessed ? Did the wave of great new metal bands kill the market for bands that were not signed in the 80s ?
March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian

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