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