After my recent review of Mayhem Festival, 2010, including live interviews backstage with Winds of Plague and In This Moment, and an exclusive phone interview with Ray Luzier of Korn, I had the opportunity to cover the very first of what promises to become the next winning entry in the Jagermeister / Rockstar Energy Drink summer music festivals, Uproar Festival.
Uproar Festival was created by John Reese, the man who also brought us Mayhem Fest, as well as the Taste of Chaos tour. Korn, Lamb of God, Slayer, Bullet For My Valentine, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson: the hardcore metal bands that have figured prominently on Mayhem Fest over the years.
Uproar Fest covers hard rock and the more alternative metal bands, which is not to say that those who grace the stages are in any way less prominent or talented, on the contrary, Uproar is to alternative metal-heads, what Mayhem Fest is to the hardcore crowd; a well-rounded offering of the best bands in their genre, from noon until night; a dream line-up with something for everyone.
I’m not sure if, being the inaugural Uproar Fest, and a tremendous success, it will continue to be contained by only two stages after this year, but for now it is nine bands on two stages: the Jagermeister Stage and the Rockstar Main Stage. There is no rotating between stages as there is at the Mayhem Festivals. I was particularly glad of that, considering I had been granted a backstage interview with one of the hottest new bands to join the tour circuit, New Medicine, and also a photo pass for both stages so that I could do a concert photo review.
Not having to run from stage to stage meant I had more time in the photo pit, which in turn meant that I went home with 800 pictures — and the hefty job of selecting the best to share with the metal fans here at blogcritics!
In order to share my experience to its fullest, not to mention the great photos, I decided to break up the coverage into two parts based on the bands who were outfitting each stage. I’ve included the photos, line-up, album information and the setlist that each covered when Uproar Festival rolled through Atlanta, GA.
The Rockstar Main Stage that day featured Halestorm, Stone Sour (whom I’ll soon be doing an audio interview with), Avenged Sevenfold and Uproar Festival headliner Disturbed.
The first band to hit the main stage in Atlanta was Halestorm — although I’ve been told that they had, at times, alternated the main stage opening position with Hellyeah, who were the closing act on the Jagermeister stage that night.
One of the things I love most about John Reese’s fests is that he always supports the new up-and-comers on the tours. He is one of those rare concert jockeys who actually wants everyone to play nicely – -and to give the new kids a helping hand — and that is reflected in every act that joins his tours. You’ll read more about that in the up-coming Jager stage review, and in the interview with New Medicine; how the guys from Stone Sour and Disturbed are supporting the new acts at Uproar. It’s just awesome!
Halestorm was the only female-fronted band at Uproar Fest and Lzzy Hale hit the stage ready to rock! She reminds me very much of Joan Jett when she first burst onto the scene. You know this girl can hold her own on Uproar, both vocally and musically. She’s a fiery, fist-thumping little metalhead who can really wail on a guitar.
Halestorm’s self-titled debut album was released April 28, 2009, on Atlantic Records.
Lzzy Hale (lead vocals, guitar)
Arejay Hale (drums, percussion)
Joe Hottinger (guitar)
Josh Smith (bass guitar)
Halestorm’s Set List:
It’s Not You
What Were You Expecting
Familiar Taste of Poison
Nothing to Do with Love
I Get Off
Next up was Stone Sour featuring Slipknot members Corey Taylor and Jim Root. Their entrance brought the crowd to its feet. The connection was immediate. They love their fans, their fans love them. The party was on from there!
Stone Sour’s latest album, Audio Secrecy, was released September 7, 2010, on Roadrunner Records.
Corey Taylor (lead vocals)
Jim Root (guitar)
Josh Rand (guitar)
Shawn Economaki (bass guitar)
Roy Mayorga (drums, percussion)
Stone Sour’s Set List:
Made Of Scars
Say You’ll Haunt Me
Come What(ever) May
Digital (Did You Tell)
Hell & Consequences
The mood completely changed, along with what had, so far, been simple set changes, as Avenged Sevenfold got ready to take the stage. Their set was easily one of the most impressive performances I’ve seen in a very long time. And it was a perfect lead-in for a veteran band like Disturbed. Few bands could have held their own with Disturbed following so closely behind — and few bands would have wanted to follow Avenged Sevenfold’s power-driven performance. For Uproar fans that night there was an intricate, ferocious symmetry to the juxtaposition; they bore one another well.
Avenged Sevenfold paid tribute to their lost brother, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan and encouraged fans to join them in thanking Mike Portnoy for filling the void on both the album and the tour. Portnoy lately announced that he has left the band he formed 25 years ago, Dream Theater. So far there has been no word on whether he’ll be permanently transitioning into A7X.
My guess? No. I don’t think anyone is ready yet to think about a permanent replacement for The Rev.
Avenged Sevenfold’s latest album, Nightmare, was released July 27, 2010, on Warner Bros Records.
M. Shadows (lead vocals)
Synyster Gates (lead guitar)
Zacky Vengeance (rhythm guitar)
Johnny Christ (bass guitar)
Mike Portnoy [Dream Theater] (drums, percussion)
Avenged Sevenfold’s Set List:
Welcome to the Family
Beast and the Harlot
So Far Away
God Hates Us
Disturbed’s performance was the longest set of the night as they opened with tracks off their new album, Asylum, and then pulled out hits from the past. The crowd was beyond gone. We were all Disturbed.
We all committed ourselves to going to war with the pop divas. We all rawk rawk’ed. We jumped. We raised our “devil’s horns to the motherfuckin’ sky”.
Disturbed’s latest album, Asylum, was released August 31, 2010, on Reprise Records.
David Draiman (lead vocals)
Dan Donegan (guitar)
John Moyer (bass guitar)
Mike Wengren (drums, percussion)
Disturbed’s Set List:
Land of Confusion (Genesis cover)
Inside the Fire
Fear / Meaning of Life / Numb / Voices
Another Way to Die
Ten Thousand Fists
Encore: Down With The Sickness
Uproar Festival will run through October 4th. You can check out tour dates and purchase tickets at RockStarUproar.com