Friday, July 11, 2008

Rocklahoma Report, Day 2: Welcome to Lake Rocklahoma

OK, it was Day 1 for me but Day 2 for the festival.

We left the hotel in Tulsa and the weather was baaaaad. Raining like hell.

There were lakes all over...a big lake between the main stage and the south side stage (that eventualy drained)and smaller lakes everywhere, even at the ticket booths and wristband stations.

It was looking pretty grim for Jet Boy's set and the crowd was sparse.

They put on a hell of a show, though, and those who braved the rain to see them saw one of the best sets of the day.

Did I metion it was wet? Water and mud everywhere. And the whole place stank. Not a great way to start the festival. On the plus side, our VIP parking spot was right near the entrance, allowing easy access to the car between sets. Most of the Rocklahoma employees were friendly and very nice, but the whole thing seemed like a rock festival put on by a bunch of goobers. For example, when you issue a schedule of what bands are playing when, you ought to at least be able to spell the names of your main stage performers correctly. Seriously. And they made no efforts during the day to shore up any areas of the place that were treading water. I know they can't dry out that place in a day, but you'd think they would put some much in the merch tents (muddy as hell) so at least they could make a bit of money. Having said that, the place was still pretty impressive, especially the side stages. And the timing was almsot soon as the main stage acts ended, the side stages started up. If you could get to them.

Back to the show. House of Lords was next. More rain. I was looking forward to seeing them, and they sounded great, but they weren't very exciting. I see HOL as more of an AOR-type band and after the glam/punk energy of JetBoy they just seemed a bit slow. It was still raining during their set and the crowd was still pretty thin.

Next up was Vain. Davy Vain seemed like a bit of an ass. Eddie Trunk liked them so they must be good, right? (sarcasm intended) They were mildly entertaining but it was the kind of set you won't remember in a day or two. No respect, eh?

Next up were our hometown buds from Blue Island, Enuff Z'Nuff. This is the first show we have seen with Donnie Vie back in the band and he was acting like, well, Donnie Vie. Donnie has said that he is now off of the "hard" drugs and we hope that's tru but he was acting pretty goofy during the set. And I thought Jake Lee was supposed to play with them but he never showed. Regardless, they put on a great set, highlighted by a kind of strange extended version of In the Groove that included Donnie accidentally kicking his shoe into the crowd, and a killer jam with Steven Adler, Joe LeSte, Tracii Guns, and a six year old kid.

One bitch: Why did their set get cut off? I know they're on a schedule but L.A. Guns was next and since Tracii was on stage I doubt he was going to complain. Note to Rocklahoma promoter goobers: When someone from GNR gets onstage and starts playing a GNR song you let him finish the song, schedule or not. And it was sad to see that although Steven played great he had to have a "body man", big guy with a goatee follow him around to make sure when that he went to the front of the stage he wouldn't fall off. Sad.

The EZN videos:

OK, we're running out of time here. Excuse the typos. Our camera started acting up because of the rain and we moved back into some crappier seats but we had a nice view of L.A. Guns. This is apparently their sixth show with Marty Casey (another Chicago guy)from Rockstar: INXS as their singer. We were skeptical of the whole thing, but to be fair, Marty did a hell of a job and they sounded really great. One of the better sets of the day. I'm not sure they should still be calling this version of the band L.A. Guns, but their performance was better than any other LAG shows (with any version of the band) I have seen in the last few years.

Saw some stuff on the side stages, all of the bands were pretty good but the mud hurt attendance at the side stages. Here's a cool AC/DC cover. (It sounded a lot better in person than on video.) Chicks dig bagpipes.

Dokken came on and at this point our camera died. They played a great set, all of the hits, I don't think they even played one song off of the new album. (Wwhich is pretty good, btw.) Another highlight of the day, Don sounded great and the crowd was really into it.

Seb Bach was next. He put on an energetic show, mixing Skid Row stuff with his solo stuff. A solid set but perhaps a bit underwhelming.

Bret Michaels was the closer, and he put on another energetic set with lots of Poison songs, some solo stuff, and some cool covers.

Everyone on the main stage was actually pretty good, but our highlights for the day would be Jetboy (check them out on iTunes!), EZN, L.A. Guns, and Dokken. We also like the little guys over the headliners!

Today is, in our opinion, a downer day. The show starts late and the only acts we are really excited about are Kingdon Come (really), Extreme, and possibly Triumph. Triumph is a great band and it will be nice to see their first US appearance in many years but they don't quite fit in at Rocklahoma.

More later if we survive.

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