Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rocklahoma Day 3 - 2008

We have made it past the halfway point and are getting a late start today. Yesterday was good, bringing Rocklahoma back to the levels of last year both with performances and crowd size. The attendance still seems a little lower than last year but it is hard to tell with the side stages evenly splitting audiences to different sides of the fair grounds.

Armored Saint was on stage when we arrived and we caught the last 3-4 songs of their set. John Bush sounded great and at the end of their set I was able to get a guitar pic from their bassist Joey Vera. I will need to keep my eye out for some old Armored Saint CDs.

Next up was Kingdom Come. I had no expectations and enjoyed their set. Back in the day many joked by calling them Kingdom Clone, due to a couple of their songs sounding like Led Zeppelin rip offs. They made reference to this controversy during their set. This was their first show on US soil in over 15 years.

We made it over to the VIP tents for some food and I was able to get a picture and speak briefly with Ron Keel. I was surprised I was able to recognize him but after watching him for a few minutes and looking at the tattoos on his arm I approached and confirmed it was Ron. I am looking forward to his new bands set K2 on Sunday night.

Living Color was the musical highlight of the day for me. Great musicianship although the crowd didn't know what to think of them and the band really didn't know how to work a festival crowd. Corey Glover came out into the audience during Cult Of Personality which made for one of the more memorable performances. I had never seen them before so I was hoping to hear more material but by keeping the set short and sweet they were able to leave a lasting impression.

The best performance of the day was Night Ranger. Heavy on hits including one Damn Yankees song. After watching these guys I've got a new respect for Brad Gillis. Note perfect solos, lots of emotion and a great performer. The crowd was really into them and gave the band the best response of the day.

The last two acts of the night were the highly anticipated reunions of Extreme and Triumph. Extreme was a great show and Gary Cherone is an amazing front man. I'll likely be seeing Extreme later in the year in Hollywood and for a first performance of the tour they already sound tight and Nuno sounds amazing as ever. I enjoyed their rockers much more than the ballads. The only negative comment is they tried to play the show like a headlining concert with a beginning, middle and end. The moodier middle of their set lost the festival crowd, but should make for a dynamic headlining performance for their own tour later this summer.

Last up was Triumph. My very first concert Texxas Jam 1983 featured Triumph as one of the acts and I remember as a kid being amazed with their set. I think my expectations may have been too high for Rocklahoma. It was a good set but the setlist left something to be desired and the extended versions of a couple of songs just felt a bit excessive to me. The audience seemed mixed on Triumph with a lot of the crowd clearing out before their set was over, but for the people that were Triumph fans they couldn't stop talking about how amazing a set it was as we were walking out.

We roamed the grounds after the Triumph set and caught parts of 4 more after party bands. Gypsy Pistoleros, The Banned (a cover band), Dirty Penny, and an all female hard rock group. The after parties ended at 3am and by the time we got back to our car and to the hotel it was a little after 4:30am. A very long day.

Off to Day 4.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gypsy Pistoleros, after party band! Fukk you! They blew Triumph away. Were you there?

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