Rocklahoma 2010 is in the books. The final day of the festival brought performances by Chevelle, Lacuna Coil, Theory of a Deadman, Sevendust and the mighty Tesla.
First, the bad. Theory of a Deadman easily gave the worst performance of any band at Rocklahoma. I've seen them before and they've been good but singer Tyler Connolly was really struggling. It wasn't all his fault, either: the sound for Theory of a Deadman was poorly mixed which just added insult to injury. I think Connolly needs to give his throat a rest: enough professional singers will agree that continuing to sing with a damaged throat isn't exactly good career planning. Also, whispering at a rock show just doesn't work.
Sevendust gave the single best performance of any band at Rocklahoma. Yes, Cinderella was fantastic and so was Tesla but man – Sevendust just ripped the venue to shreds. Sevendust is heavy and I like it that way...but I'm not sure they are used to playing a venue as unique as Rocklahoma. With both a pit and seating and expansive GA, getting a mosh going is kind of tough. Singer Lajon Witherspoon even made mention that the band usually has a circle pit but “didn't know how to make that work” at Rocklahoma. It didn't really matter, though because as soon as Sevendust started playing people came from wherever they were hiding to watch. Great crowd reaction and you can see them soon on the Carnival of Madness tour with Shinedown. My favorite part? When someone held the banner "Sevendust has arrived" and Lajon got the customary chant going.
Oklahoma natives Aranda put on an interesting show. I've never seen them live, so I wasn't quite expecting so much funk – but they groove! Their singles apparently play on the radio a lot in Oklahoma so many of the locals knew the words to their songs. After their performance, they did a meet and greet at the Shiprocked tent and the line blew my mind – people waited all during Sevendust just to hang with Aranda!
The Glitter Boys played the Retrospect stage and their name does them justice: they are modern Glam. Their look is very Steel Panther: wigs, lyrca pants, the whole bit. Right after the first song, the band even released balloons into the crowd just like Kix does and I thought that was a nice touch. Their songs weren't particularly original but they are fun and that's what Glam is all about.
Oh man, Chevelle really impressed me! I've never seen them before but they were fantastic. My husband is a big fan and has their albums. Pete Loeffler can sing! Plus, it's uncanny how much American Idol winner Kris Allen looks like Loeffler and that to me was super interesting. The band played a mix of songs from all their albums, including “The Red” which I really like (it has a guitar solo, people!) At one point, Pete Loeffler (I make the distinction because his brother is also in the band) asked people in GA to come down closer. A lot of bands – especially modern ones – don't like the division between seats/lawn.
I watched Lacuna Coil from afar. They had a ton of energy. I can't say as I'm a big fan of their music because their accents are a little distracting for me but I really appreciated the fact that they dedicated a song to Ronnie James Dio, Paul Gray and Peter Steele. I thought that was classy and everyone in the crowd seemed to love it too.
And then it was time for Tesla. What a great live band. I think you need to see them live to really appreciate their songs. After all, “Love Song” “Forever More” and “Modern Day Cowboy” are rock solid. Of course, a storm was brewing during Tesla so I was helping people pack up while watching their set. It doesn't really matter – you don't have to be 100% fixated on the show to appreciate a band like Tesla. There were people of all generations rocking out to them and that's great. Overall, the attendance on Sunday was less the previous two days as is customary. I'd peg total festival attendance for the three days at somewhere between 30,000 – 40,000. Remember, I'm thinking that's a total figure, not 30,000 per day. Right now, no official figures have been released.
I inquired about festival VIP renewals and was told names could be added to a list and someone would call within 60 days about pricing. My gut tells me this means changes are in store for VIP but again, that's just a hunch.
I missed a lot of my extended Rocklahoma family this year, but I still had a great time. Moving the event to May was smart – and even then it was still it was blazing! Starting bands later in the day was also smart. The merchandise tent was packed with goods when I arrived Friday and by Sunday most everything was either sold out or severely picked over, meaning someone made a good bit of cash on festival shirts.
Overall, I think the event was a success for the Rocklahoma owners and AEG Live and that's great because it means people are willing to spend money on live music and support bands. Isn't that what we all want?
I'll have some more pictures tomorrow.
Follow me for music related stuff on Twitter @bringbackglam