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Rocklahoma 2010 Day 2

ZZ Top headlined the second day of Rocklahoma 2010. I was excited because I've never seen the legendary band before. While I can't say they are the most exciting band I've ever watched, the guitar playing is certainly fantastic and yes, things did “get serious” toward the end as Billy Gibbons would say. As usual, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Burn Halo was first on the main stage. I've interviewed singer James Hart before and he's a nice guy. Like most younger bands, Burn Halo travels across the country nonstop, playing gigs and trying to earn a living. The crowd was decent and I'm sure a lot of friends and family came out to see Burn Halo. After all, they have a strong Oklahoma connection. Their radio single is “Dirty Little Girl.” Check it out if you don't know it – a lot of classic glam themes going on in that tune.

I had planned on seeing Taking Dawn, a new band I really dig. I have no idea what happened to them. They were slotted for the Hard Rock stage but when the time came, Pedal Point played in their slot. I only watched Pedal Point from afar but they have a song called “Rocklahoma” which I thought was interesting. (They've played the fest in year's past).

I watched a little of Krank on the Retrospect Stage, too. That stage is tented which isn't ideal. It sort of traps the heat and the sound. Krank had an emergency replacement member because their real guitarist had a heart issue and a friend stepped in with about a week's notice. He did a good job and I thought that was cool.

I only caught a couple of songs from Fuel featuring Brett Scallions because I was doing things in the media tent. I sat toward the back of VIP and watched the band for awhile. They sounded good, just a little sleepy. It probably isn't fair for me to judge them, since I was only able to hear two songs. I was chatting with members of Like a Storm and Shaman's Harvest at the time.

Both bands rock.

Like a Storm and Shaman's Harvest played the Hard Rock stage. There was more people watching these acts on a side stage than could fill VIP last year. Like a Storm sort of remind me of Lynam and they definitely have some great glam influence. Then there's the accents: they are from New Zealand! Shaman's Harvest aren't from another country but they certainly rock. They've been together literally for years, since high school. Recently they even got to open up for AC/DC which should tell you something. Check out both bands. I did interviews with each and I'll have those up soon, either here or on Noisecreep.

Perhaps I would have enjoyed Saliva a little more if it wasn't for the fact that they were the main stage act right before Cinderella and I was getting antsy. Not that I don't enjoy me some “Click, Click Boom” because I do, thank you very much. The crowd was filling in a ton during Saliva too so by the time they finished, the VIP pit was pretty full as well as the lawn.

Thanks to my friend Alan of Shiprocked, I got to watch Cinderella from the sponsor deck. That's living! It's an elevated, private deck with a direct view of the stage and a free, full service bar. Cinderella was my number 1 band to see while at Rocklahoma and it was a great time. Tom Keifer's voice got better as the set went along. There were some weird sound issues at the beginning but things modulated and got on pace. Cinderella did all their great songs, “Push, Push,” “Nobody's Fool,” “Somebody Save Me,” “The Last Mile,” “Don't Know What You Got ('Till Its Gone)” and they ended with “Shake Me.”

The members of the band honestly seemed to look like they were having a great time, too. And yeah, the place was packed for Cinderella. After all, Rocklahoma was their first “big” show back. I expect their gig at M3 next month to be even better. I can't wait! There's nothing better than hearing “The Last Mile” live while perched atop a private pavilion, looking down at all the faces rocking out below.

And then it was time for ZZ Top. The Top, I now know, isn't a band that relies on a ton of moving around. The guys pretty much hang out and play their blues. I can easily say there was more people at Rocklahoma Saturday night versus Friday and that's saying something because Friday was packed. By the middle of ZZ Top's set, it was near impossible to walk...anywhere. Just bodies standing, sitting...and in some cases passed out. I would say day two attendance was somewhere between 10 – 14 thousand.

Some were saying ZZ Top was using a tracked vocal. Others disagreed. I will say the show sounded “album perfect” at times if you know what  I mean, but others it was clear that real singing was going on. Whatever the case, people loved it. “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man” got the crowd going after extended blues interludes had slowed things down. The band ended their set with “Viva Las Vegas/La Grange.”

The Gypsy Pistoleros closed out the Hard Rock stage and The Last Vegas ended the night in the Retrospect tent. The Last Vegas is actually on my short list of favorite modern bands I love. I've interviewed them four times! Buy Whatever Gets You Off immediately if you don't own it. Now, I wanted to watch The Last Vegas and my husband wanted to leave. Poor guy looked like he'd been hit by a semi. So, we left. No matter, I think I'm seeing The Last Vegas at another event this summer.

I'm not sure why everyone was so gunning for Rocklahoma to fall apart this year. Even the comments on my day one review are largely negative and I don't get it – sure Rocklahoma used to be 100% Glam but that wasn't working anymore. Constantly complaining about the format change is shortsighted. Maybe adding modern bands this year will inject some cash into the event for a more even mix of classic and modern next year. Music is a business and business is cyclical. Yes, M3 is 100% Glam and it's also one day. That's the trade-off I guess. Personally, I like being able to go to all sorts of festivals. It's not just about the music: it's about being on vacation, seeing friends and making connections. Oh, and for the record, there's a lot of “older” people commenting on how great the music is after all. I had a chat with one man from Phoenix who drove to Rocklahoma just for Cinderella. He was a little disappointed in their performance but loved Buckcherry and Godsmack and he'd never really listened to either band before.

For those interested, I'll be inquiring about renewals today. I'll Tweet the price and also post here tomorrow.

Follow me on Twitter all day for immediate updates @bringbackglam

Reader Comments (13)

great job. I was also very much looking forward to Taking Dawn. They decided to stay in Europe and continue to open for Kiss this week instead of making it back to the states for Rocklahoma, can't say I blame 'em. But I do wish that anyone with the festival would have updated the change. Luckily, I knew of the change so it allowed me to come to the festival later and not be spent by the time Cinderella came on.
May 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwill
Thanks for bringing Day #2 to life for me. I enjoy reading your updates. Can't wait to hear about Day # Shiprocked Cruise... oops, I mean Day #3 updates! \m/ ||||| \m/
May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHRosaV
I feel like I am there again, this year. Great Job Allyson. Got any good pictures?
14,000 people is a lot! Wow. I am glad Cinderella did well, but I heard from someone that Tom's voice wasnt all there? Is this true?
Cannot wait til M3. Enjoy your last day at ROK.
May 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbrian
Many of us have said since year one that there had to be some new blood brought in to Rocklahoma to keep it thriving and a destination. The problem I have is the way CTF went about it. They went from practically all 80s to all modern with a few glam bones thrown in, in addition to moving it up six weeks. They played the "artists & dates subject to change" card, but after three years most would not expect such a drastic shift. Many VIP customers renewed onsite in 2009 like years past not anticipating such changes. The "right" thing to do would have been offer these customers refunds. Since the organizers were so sure this would be a success, they wouldn't have a problem selling the tickets returned to them (based on your reviews attendance is way up from 2009). Instead, they basically told loyal customers that have trusted CTF with their money year after year "you bought them - deal with it". I admit I was critical of the lineup and going forward I don't see it being more than a regional fest, but never did I want it to fail. Evil & I are eternally grateful to Rocklahoma for the opportunity to not only see some bands we never thought we'd see again, but establish the GOE and introduce us to people we will consider family for the rest of our lives. Maybe in the future there will be enough to get us back to Pryor.
May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAaron
Excellent reporting, Al, as usual.

Overall, this event sounds like a rip roaring success.

Don't make me jealous, tho, Al, with the whole "elevated observation deck" thing. That sure as hell would be the way I would want to see it!

I hope Eric recuperated.

I could very well be interested in going to this next year.

It's interesting you mentioned wondering what it will be like for Cinderella at M3, Bri.

I'll see you there along with the other Bringbackglammsterz who are comin'...
May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Also, I don't know if this was intentional or not, but I really like the layout of this post. The similarity of the matched angle and cropping of Billy Gibbons with that wild cap (forget what they call those things and their origin beyond seein' 'em on tables for sale on Orchard Street in NYC on weekends) and the angle, etc. of Tom Keifer (God Bless him, I hope his voice holds out) in his photo has a very subtle humor to it.

The juxtaposition of these two photographs and how the type elegantly wraps around them is a perfect example of simple, classy design (something that drew me to this site and has kept me here since the beginning). It's what's inside the photos that is so great and your writing is superb. The whole thing, with all of the elements put together is very New York Times.

And if you think that's a stuffy remark, you should read John Pareles' review of AC/DC's stop at Madison Square Garden in '96 on the Ballbreaker Tour that ran the morning after the show in the NY Times Arts & Entertainment Section.

Killer journalism of the kind we get here from one Ms. Allyson B. Crawford!
May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Of course, the two matched angles of the subjects in the photos, etc., are intentional, what the hell of am I sayin'?, sheeez! Beautifully done, Al!
May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Are you ignoring or don't know about RockNAmerica in Okc this July? Three days of 80s hair bands. The reason the attendance was down at Rocklahoma last year was because the lineup sucked. The reason attendance is up this year is because they are letting people in for almost free. F Rocklahoma.
May 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterme
Since I graduated from High School in 1980 I am automatically qualified to critique Rocklahoma!
I have attended every year and in my opinion this was the BEST FUKKIN ROCKLAHOMA LINE UP EVER!!!
May 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterolddude
I'm so glad CINDER blew the roof off the stage! I bet the upgraded advanced AEG tech changes were really nice but I just don't feel like I missed anything (other than CINDER & TESLA). I'm glad the fest appeared to be a success but I would rather a scaled back festival (even if it is one or two days) with the majority of bands I want to see. That's just me though, hence I'm going to M3 and RNA!
I will say this, I was in touch with Johnny (one of the 'bong hits for Jackyl' guys) and on Saturday he said they weren't allowed to drink their Jackyl Jucie after Saliva on Saturday and that so much had changed and he wasn't planning to go back next year. it's all a personal preference! Guess Rocklahoma will become the Rock on the Range fest for the midwest. OH well, I'm PUMPED for RNA and M3!!!!
May 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Yeah, Kidz, I'm dyin' I ain't goin' to Rock N America. Talk about one stop shopping!

Still M3 will be Killer!

And great reporting on Rocklahoma, Al, no matter what anyone may think about the event. You covered the hell out of it and have done a first class job giving us the play by play.

Here we come for M3!

p.s. Maybe Poison can headline one of these things. C'mon, boyz, how about M3 in 2011?! Off a new album, no less. Well, you could wait on the album. Don't wanna rush it, Brett...
May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I agree with Aaron.. new blood needed to be brought in... us old dogs needed to get the youngens involved... BUT... CTF didn't need to almost completely turn their backs on the ROK loyalists... it felt almost as a slapin the face. Reality... attendance has not shown that,for ROK, an all 80's line-up could bring in the crowds they hoped for.. fine.. we get it...
When the announcement for the new format was made, i was excited, thinking this would be a great thing to share with my kids.. best of both worlds....
The feelings of excitement quickly vanished when this year's line-up was announced... even 50/50 would have been better.
Still...Dissappointed I could not attend, but, the line-up helped lessen the blow...

Thanks Allyson for letting me enjoy ROK through you and your tweets... U ROCK!
June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEngineMedic
Gypsy Pistoleros stole Saturday nite for me. I heard the hype and reckoned they would be bulls**t. They were the nearest thing to punk rock n roll i have seen from a British band. The crowd reaction was amazing. Where have they been all these year? ZZTop were o.k
June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTina Glambabe

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