Oddly enough the concert season at First Niagara Pavilion started with a chilly festival tour in May featuring special guest, Seether performing with the Avalanche Tour along with Art of Dying and in September – we finished the same way.
On Friday, September 16, the Uproar Festival rolled into the First Niagara Pavillion with ten rock bands dominating two stages on a chilly fall day filled with loud, edge rock music, very crazy fans pumped up on free Rock Start Energy Drinks and a lot of pyro from headliners Avenged Sevenfold.
The weather for the day barely crested over 60 degrees and by the time the main stage acts started at 5, it was already dropping into the 50s. Many fans were unprepared for the chilly September weather shivering in tanks, shorts and mini-skirts.
The day got off to an energy filled start shortly after two highlighting a local bands, whom I’m sad to say I missed while sitting in traffic waiting to get into the venue. The second stage acts featured a wide variety of bands, both new and old like rock vetarns Sevendust, Art of Dying, and Black Tide – the crowd was fully energized and ready for the mainstage acts.
“We just rock and destroy the stage every night,” said Cale.Gontier, bass player for Art of Dying. “It gets wild and crazy on the tour.” For many newer bands, festival sare a great opportunity to thrust their music into the ears of a lot of rock fans. However, for veteran acts like Sevendust, many fans feel a bit gipped by the extremely short sets. For example, Sevendust as second stage headliners had a mere six songs for their set.
Of course the second stage didn’t close out the day without a few fun events. Props to the staff for pulling a woman out of the pit during a medical emergency and congrats to the happy couple who got engaged on stage three years after meeting at a Three Days Grace show at the First Niagara Pavilion (or whatever it was called at that point).
Moving to the main stage, Escape the Fate opened the gates and set the bar pretty high for the following acts. Next up was the Miss Uproar Contest – or a metal version of Miss America if you will. This went over well with the guys but you could see the plethora of women heading to find some grub at the snack shacks.
“I love our fans, its’ why I’m here,” said Robert Ortiz, drummer of Escape the Fate. “When someone looks at you and it brightens your day to know that someone’s a big part of your life, it’s really special.”
Bullet for my Valentine filled in a middle spot and have been around the music circuit for quite some time. Though they have quite a collection under their belts, they tend to stick to their newer songs tather than older, less mainstream hits.
As the crisp air continued to flood the venue, Seether was welcomed back to the stage. They were a special guest at the Avalanche Tour in Pittsburgh back in May and despite perfomring to many of the same fans – they showed us why they’re still a strong act no matter how many times you see them. Perhaps one of the funniest quotes of the night from stage came from Seether when lead singer, Shaun Morgan exclaimed “This is the first night we’ve had to resort to wearing a ton of clothes!”
The show closed out with headliners Avenged Sevenfold, who several bands commented as having one of the best stage shows. Going back and forth between the old and new records, Avenged Sevenfold took their fans on a musical journey through their career, which was surely a pleasure to hear – complete with pyrotechnics.
“Avenged Sevenfold has the best stage set, no one can even compete, said Robert Ortiz, drummer of Escape the Fate. “They take up so much of the stag eno one else can really have much else anyway (laughs). They go all out for everyone. with pyro and fireworks.”
All the bands on the Uproar festival really gave their all at the show. Despite the chilly weather, the close of the concert season ended with a bang and we’re all looking forward to next year.