The 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival made a stop in St. Louis on Sunday, something that was not done in the festival’s inaugural year last year. This year’s lineup improved upon last year’s lineup, however improbable that may be, and seemed to satisfy the masses that attended en force. With a single side stage fans weren’t forced to choose a stage to watch some of the bands, a decision in other festivals that creates some arguments.
The lineup for the side stage this year was exceptionally strong. With bands like Hell or Highwater, Black Tide, Art of Dying, and Sevendust, the fans were treated to non-stop rock that set the tone for the evenings main stage bands.
Hell or Highwater drove out melodic, catchy vocals, ripened with in your face guitars and a stylish bridges. To at least one observer, who hit it on the head, Hell or Highwater reminded him of a heavier Night Ranger. The future looks bright for these guys.
In a last minute switch up Black Tide came out next. Not to be outdone by Hell or Highwater, Black Tide stormed out with their anthem “Warriors of Time”. The twin axe attack of Gabriel Garcia and Austin Diaz proved the band formidable. With bassist Zach Sandler keeping the line and drummer Steven Spence wildly flailing on drums (he seemed to be trying to literally kill his drums). He attacked his drums so much it was as if the ghosts of Keith Moon, and John Bonham, as well as split souls of Tommy Lee and Nicko McBrain took over his body as he played like a man possessed. The band was fun to shoot and a blast to listen to.
Art of Dying came out next, ripping with “Straight Across My Mind” and “Get Thru This” in a quick set that was full of punches and a take-no-prisoner style that is essential for a tour such as this. The highlight of the quick 5 song set was “Die Trying”.
Before Sevendust came out, the crowd was wall to wall in the cordoned off parking lot on the amphitheater’s edge, chanting and screaming in anticipation for the Atlanta-based metal band. When they finally hit the stage they disappointed no one, with the exception of only playing a quick 6 song set. Though, in fairness the set length was not set by them. Vocalist Lajon Witherspoon led an all out sonic attack that not so much numbed the senses, but awakened them. With songs like “Black” and “Face to Face” Sevendust made their case for a main stage appearance next year.
All of the artists made themselves available for autograph signings and meet and greets with fans, and there were many merchandise tents set up as well as information booths to promote the charitable contributions the tour supports; in particular Child Find of America and the Road 2 Recovery Foundation.
The only letdown of the side stage was, unlike most other festivals that have made their way through the Gateway City, this was the only one that showed a complete lack of vocalist interaction with the crowd. That is, on only one occasion did a vocalist make their way down to the barricade to sing with the crowd, and that lasted less than a minute. Hopefully next year there will be more up close and personal occurrences, and since that was the only negative of the day, I’d say it was a pretty rockin’ day.
Black Tide Setlist:
- Warriors of Time
- Bury Me
- That Fire
- Let it Out
- Honest Eyes
- Walking Dead Man
- The End is Coming
- Face to Face