Archive and Search
« The Problem with Rocklahoma... | Main | Rocklahoma 2009 Day 3 »

Rocklahoma 2009 Day 4

Rocklahoma 2009 is over. The final day brought performances by Vixen, Bonfire, Nelson, Great White, Skid Row and Twisted Sister.

I didn’t watch Vixen and only caught a small portion of Bonfire. The takeaway from that band was my astonishment at the lead singer: dude was wearing a denim jacket the entire set. It was over 100 degrees!

Nelson take a lot of crap, but I’ve never seen them perform live so I was interested. They did their hits (you know, “After the Rain” and “Can’t Live Without Your Love and Affection”) plus a couple of new tunes. The crowd was small, small, small on Sunday – but it was especially lean for Nelson. Shame because I thought they sounded better than half the other main stage acts at ROK 09.

Poor Jack Russell - the man limped out on stage, acting funny and sure enough he said he had a bunch of broken bones. He gets a pass because limping on stage in massive heat without the ability to move is very metal but there’s no point in denying that Great White sounded like crap. I mean, when you have broken ribs, you just can’t sing. It was also pretty clear Jack was on painkillers – I think the band should have cancelled. I’m sure that set was pure torture for him.

Skid Row was quite good but it felt like they played forever. They did all the songs you know and love – in basically the order you’d assume. I kept waiting for “Youth Gone Wild” because I was antsy for L.A. Guns to start in a side tent. A lot of people seemed to leave the end of Skid Row to get a good spot for L.A. Guns. That said, I’d say Skid Row had the biggest crowd of any band all weekend. I wasn’t worried about watching all their songs – I’m seeing them again on Shiprocked.

L.A. Guns played a side stage. A few weeks ago, Tracii Guns told me he didn’t want to play in the sun on the main stage. Sadly, playing at 9:30 pm in a tent doesn’t equal cool. Since the heat index was upwards of 115 degrees and L.A. Guns played in a tent packed with people, you can imagine how it felt. The band did the big hits and this show featured Jizzy Pearl on vocals. I had a hard time understanding Jizzy’s words – maybe it was the PA, maybe it was me, but I think I’ll stick with Marty Casey. Can’t knock Tracii though – man can shred and he sure looked happy.

Twisted Sister always deliver. Even if you’re not a giant Twisted fan, you can appreciate their live show because they give it their all. The band did all of Stay Hungry – in order – and it was great. The crowd seemed to love it and this seems like an appropriate album to play live, start to finish. That said, Twisted didn’t play very long. Their set seemed short – only a couple extra songs after Stay Hungry and the band called it a night. After that, my Rocklahoma experience was done.

Sunday attendance? I’d say 3500 - 4500.

The attendance was abysmal this year. The people behind Rocklahoma need to decide where they want the festival to go. It’s either becoming a 100% regional event, or it needs to be scaled back. Four days is probably too many if the format is to stay the same – there are only so many bands to go around. If ticket prices are reduced, that will help. Changing the event to two days with a killer lineup would be even better. I had fun this year – but the lineup really was weak, tickets expensive and the heat ridiculous. I can’t see many people renewing in advance when it’s pretty clear it’s o.k. to wait for the lineup and then decide to buy. The amount of empty seats really shocked me...and made me quite sad.

More photos later and tomorrow. I’m fried and just can’t edit them right now. Peace.


Reader Comments (11)

There is NO WAY This festival can survive unless they knock it back to 2 days at the most. Im a huge fan of this genre of music but I just cant be gone from work, family, etc for 4 days. I won free tickets to Rock Gone Wild in Iowa and I cant go because of the same reason. The fake LA Guns with Jizzy would of been fun. I would of totally checked out Vixen. I lve skid Row but anymore they are soooo BORING. Johnny has ZERO stage presence. And yes, Nelson gets alot of crap but they ALWAYS deliver live. GREAT band.
July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Not sure what you are talking about but RGW looks like a much better deal to me . More bang for the buck .
And when are the assholes that run these festivals going to realize KIX is the headliner ?
July 13, 2009 | Unregistered
Bonfire kicked ass. Typical that you would miss the highlight of Sunday. But you don't watch bands you don't know or haven't been on the radio so there you go...
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersomeone
here we go again Kenny, Solinger has no stage presence? it's your opinion but gimme a break, I hope ya told him that at the Riverstar show and gave him some pointers bro! He's up there sweating his off for a band we both would love the opportunity to sing for and the crowd ate the Skids up and I was there to witness it my friend!
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlajustice77
also TS is always killer and fuck the haters, Nelson were great and I've always been a fan! can't wait for the new album in September!!
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlajustice77
Hey Sam, or should I say 'someone', if you didn't book these bands to play in such god awful heat, we may have seen it all. We DID watch Bonfire, although I watched more than Allyson, given that I was already a fan, but I couldn't stand to be in the heat for all of it, either. It was brutal.

And, we checked out plenty of side stages, you need to get off your high horse. Just because we like some bands that people have heard of, just because we're not snobs or on some sort of self important trip about listening to only obscure bands, doesn't mean we don't base what we listen to, on what we like. Sometimes bands were popular because they were good. I bought a good amount of stuff from the Retrospect stand, and enjoyed a number of the bands, but a lot of the stuff you sign is fun to listen to for a hit of new 80s music, but it's still clear why it was not huge. bonfire is good, but I would never say that they are as good as, say, Motley Crue or even Bon Jovi. They were not huge for a reason.

Now, Baton Rouge had MTV behind them, so I have no idea why they were not huge. You looked right at me just before Baton Rouge, I thought you were going to say hi.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Hey Someone - er, Sam - can you not read? I said I watched Bonfire. They are a good band - they didn't deserve a main stage slot, though. You know it, I know it and I'm sure the band members know it. Sam, if you want to post here, just use your damn name. Everyone knows it is you.

Are you still wearing your CEO shirt?

- The Glam Mistress (a.k.a. Allyson. I mean, if you can use a fake name, so can I).
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson
Bonfire was the best surprise of the weekend I cant wait to buy there CDs as for the heat dont you people go prepaired? Sunscreen , Spray bottles light colored clothing, Hat??WTF I cant believe you dont bear the heta for the music you love so much? Sam kicks ass by the way he did a great job with the side stage avery cool dude a true lover of 80s hair metal!! Rock on brother.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFitz
I'm sorry but there is no way I can agree that Nelson was better than half the main stage acts. They are lame and should not have even been there. I tried to give them a shot but they were just as boring as I expected they would be. Yawn. Twisted and Skids tore it up though. Bonfire was good too.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrett
yeah, Sam-one, why didn't you say Hi to Christian and Allyson?
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
He looked right at me before Baton Rouge, I guess he didn't recognise me. I didn't feel like he snubbed me, I just never saw him when it wasn't just before a band or something.
July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.