Uproar Festival – September 5, 2014

I began traveling to concerts almost immediately after getting my license at age 16 (Garbage/Smashing Pumpkins in Ames Iowa was my first) and have been lucky enough to go to several in the years since.  Some live performances are magical, which others leave a lot to be desired, but nothing replaces live music in my opinion.

I have identified Seether as my favorite band for awhile now, but that prestigious spot was recently solidified with the July 1st release of their newest album, Isolate and Medicate.  The problem is I missed them at Lazerfest a few years back and they never seem to come to the metro area, so my attempts to see them live has gone unanswered.  Fortunately for me, earlier this year Seether decided to join the Rockstar Uproar Festival which was coming within driving distance, so I grabbed a friend from work and we made arrangements to travel to Bonner Springs (Kansas) to check this off my bucket list.

Here was the scheduled lineup:

ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAIN STAGE

Godsmack – 9:25 PM
Seether – 8:05 PM
Skillet – 7:00 PM
Pop Evil – 6:15 PM
These Raven Skies – 5:45 PM

FESTIVAL STAGE

Buckcherry – 4:40 PM
Escape The Fate – 3:50 PM
Within Reason – 3:15 PM
Sons of Revelry – 2:05 PM
Battle Band Winner – 1:35 PM

After months of waiting, September 5, 2014 finally arrived and we got to the festival around 2:00 p.m., just in time to see Sons of Revelry take the stage. Arriving early proved to have its benefits as we were able to get up right by the stage. I wasn’t familiar with Sons of Revelry prior to this trip and was impressed with this independent band. After they finished, we were able to meet the band and get autographs while Within Reason was taking the stage.

Within Reason also proved to be a pleasant surprise.  I had heard of this band before but wasn’t familiar with their catalog.  After they finished their performance they went to their booth where we were able to meet the band, get autographs/pictures, and strike up a quick discussion.  I really enjoyed this discovery as well and even grabbed their latest album at their booth.

While meeting with Within Reason, Escape the Fate (EtF) took the stage.  EtF proved to have a very heavy feel and even included some screamcore songs, which made it feel out of place at this festival.  While the live performance was enjoyable, this didn’t prove to be my type of music.  Fortunately, this was the only band during my festival experience that didn’t really grab me.

About this time is when the drizzle turned into a shower.  With about six and a half hours to go we were soaking wet and Buckcherry took the stage.  This was the first band I was very familiar with prior to arriving and they sounded really great live.  They are probably the most vulgar of the entire festival, but the crowd really seemed to eat them up. Buckcherry closed out the Festival stage and it was on to the main stage.

After about an hour of extremely heavy rain it finally slowed and we found decent seats at the main stage. We were dead center in the third row, with only the standing area/mosh pit area in front of us. These Raven Skies were set to take the stage at 5:45, but for whatever reason that never happened.  This was disappointing as I wasn’t familiar with this group either and looked forward to hearing their stuff.  To date I haven’t heard why they weren’t there, as there was no announcement, but Pop Evil would eventually kick off the main stage about a half hour later.

When Pop Evil took the stage, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I own a couple of their songs which were great, but coming in I wouldn’t have considered them a draw for me. With that said, when we arrived and throughout the earlier afternoon, it was clear there were as many or more Pop Evil shirts as there were Seether and Godsmack shirts so I was very intrigued. When Pop Evil took the stage, the whole feel of the festival changed and these guys put on a great performance. The crowd loved it and these guys skyrocketed into being one of my favorite bands with their performance.  I was really impressed!

Next up was Skillet, a Christian band with a great Rock sound. It has been a few years since their last album, but they rolled through all of the classics you’d expect to hear and it was great.  It was also nice to see a kickass band with an amazing female drummer.

Once Skillet left the stage it was game time and after a brief setup, Seether took the stage. I managed to take both audio and video of most of the performance and it was incredible.  They sounded outstanding live and played most of their greatest hits. If I had a complaint, it was that they only played 9 songs and only one was from their brand new album. I’ve been following their setlists throughout the tour and they had been doing 10 or more at their earlier stops and Driven Under (one of my favorites) was the casualty this particular night.

Once Seether finished, we had a debate on whether or not to stay for Godsmack. Godsmack is a band where I enjoy a few of their songs, but they weren’t a reason for going and we had a 3 hour drive home ahead of us and it was getting late. After a brief discussion, we decided to stay and would end up being glad we did.  These guys put on a fantastic show and managed to mix up their greatest hits and songs off their new album (1000hp) which is something I wish Seether had done.  But Godsmack was the headliner and had a lot more time, so it kind of makes sense.

After a couple of days of reflection, I have to say this was an outstanding show and I came home not just with a great Seether experience, but I now have some new bands I really like. I was already a Skillet fan and am now tracking Pop Evil and Within Reason. I’ll probably keep my eye on Sons of Revelry as well. If you are into Rock/Grunge music, give these bands a try in iTunes or wherever you get your music.  I think you’ll be pleased.