Day 1 of 2016 Rocklahoma was a shredding success!By William Simpson • May 28th, 2016 • Category: Festivals, Live Show Reviews
Article by William Simpson
It’s that time of year again and to fans of rock and metal Memorial Day weekend means only one thing, ROCKLAHOMA! This is even more special as it is the 10th anniversary of one of the best rock and metal festivals in the country, boasting such major artists as Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Megadeath, 3 Doors Down, Five Finger Death Punch and the Scorpions.
Friday started early as everyone had been watching the weather for the past week and an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorm filled the forecast. The sense of weather awareness was heightened this year as torrential storms caused some acts to be cancelled last year and two young rock fans, Ben and Cody, lost their lives as they drown after their van was submerged in flood waters. To the excitement of everyone the storms completely missed Pryor, OK and not a single drop of rain fell.
Once the gates opened and the crowd started pouring in the festivities kicked off on the two side stages with Tulsa’s Rock Station KMOD’s contest winner For The Wolf on the second stage and Kore Rozzik on the third stage. The second stage had an exciting line consisting of Wilson, followed by the poplar up and coming band Red Sun Rising. Fan favorite Shaman’s Harvest was next and they put on a great show every time they hit the stage. The Sword was next followed by one of the most anticipated bands of the night, Last In Line. This band was put together by the original members of Dio as a tribute to the late great Ronnie James Dio. The band consist of rock legends and original Dio members Vinny Appice on drums and Vivian Campbell on guitar. Original bassist Jimmy Bain recently passed away and was replaced by Phil Soussan. Handling the vocals in Ronnie place is the very accomplished Andrew Freeman. Erik Norlander has been added on keys. Last In Line pull the entire field over to watch these legends jam.
After Kore Rozzik on the third stage Deathgrip shredded the crowd. Then it was 5-Star Hooker and 3-D In Your Face. Chaotic Resemblance and Banshee took the stage before the the main stage’s last act. After all other bands on all other stages finished Niterain, Snew, and Freeway Mad played well into the morning hours.
The main stage has an amazing line-up of very talented bands. To kick off the 10th anniversary show was a band that played at the very first Rocklahoma show, Bang Tango. The band began is 1987 by singer Joe Leste and Leste still has the 80’s rock star vocals and stage presence. Pop Evil took the stage next with a renewed energy. They have always been a very energetic band but they just seemed to have hit a higher gear and I think the band is feeding off the incredible energy of their new drummer Hayley Cramer. She, that’s right SHE, is incredible on the drums and plays with great intensity. Sixx: A.M. attacked the stage next with the ferocity of Motley Crue of old. Nikki Sixx’s band recently released their 4th studio album “Prayer for the Damned, Vol. 1. They took the stage by storm and was easily on of the best acts at Rocklahoma I have seen in a few years. What an amazing band with guitarist DJ Ashba and James Michael on vocals. Seeing Sixx A.M.’s performance was work the price of admission all by itself. One of Thrash music’s “big four” Megadeth came on next with a new album under their belt, “Dystopia” and two new members, Lamb of God’s Chris Adler on drums and Kiko Loureiro on guitar. The stars of the night came up next and they are currently on tour together, Rob Zombie and Disturbed. Ron Zombie was amazing as usual with Ginger Fish on Drums, Piggy D on bass and the sensational John 5 on guitar. Zombie was dressed in his “hippie” fringy outfit and along with his hair looked like a whirlwind all night as he sang his hits as well as some new tunes from he recently released “The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser” album. Closing the night on the main stage was David Draiman and Disturbed. If I could describe the Disturbed set in one word it would have to be Pyrotastic! Disturbed played great music and covered their hits with a back ground of some killer pyrotechnics. One highlight of the show was their cover of the Simon and Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence”. What amazing vocal range Draiman has.
The rain held off and help to insure the biggest crowd ever at a day of Rocklahoma. A new Miss Rocklahoma was crowned, Lynsie and many band gave tribute to the two young men that lost their lives last year. This was a historic day in Rocklahoma history.