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Rocklahoma Day 3

By • May 29th, 2017 • Category: Festivals, Live Show Reviews

Article by Jennifer Reid

What a difference a day can make! Blue skies and magnificent sunshine poured over the Rocklahoma grounds to welcome day 3!

Kicking off the main stage was festival favorite Black Stone Cherry. Always ready to start the party the Kentucky boys immediately got the crowd’s blood flowing with “Me and Mary Jane.” Lead vocalist Chris Robertson, who along with his band mates have an immense respect for our military and continually pay tribute during any show. As he introduced “In My Blood” he encouraged everyone to remember the reason for the celebration and to thank a service man or woman any chance you get. Following the tribute came other favorites like “Blame It On The Boom Boom,” and “Lonely Train.” With a high energy show, this band knew exactly what the crowd needed to set the day in motion.

Opening the River Spirit second stage was the trio of brothers Palaye Royale. With what they call “dirty rock and roll” the delivered a performance encouraging of diving deeper into what they have to offer. They present a youthful touch to a classic sound.

Technical difficulties delayed the main stage briefly but Buckcherry was ready, willing and able to keep the party going. It appeared time constraints may cause an issue, and Josh Todd wasn’t having it. He proclaimed “We’re doing the whole damn set!” As they were well on their way, they were able to get through favorites like “Lit Up'” and “Sorry.” It wasn’t until their final number, the ever popular “Crazy Bitch” did things take a turn for the worst. With only one bridge of the song remaining a complete power failure ripped the set from the band. No sound, no video, no lights. Buckcherry was done and the crowd was not satisfied.

AEG officials took the stage to announce the failure was a city problem not just the grounds. We were told a bird had hit a transformer knocking out an entire grid. After only an hour of shut down Rocklahoma was back in business.

Without any delay metal band Wage War pounded into their set while reopening the second stage. With growling vocals, yet melodic rhythms the Florida natives got the festival back on track with a arduous set.

It was now time to visit Rocklahoma’s of the past. The best way to do that was with Ratt who can instantly transport us to a time when things were a little simpler and alot less chaotic. Taking the stage without original drummer Bobby Blotzer, the remaining members appeared thrilled to be back on the ROK main stage. Keeping the beat for his new mates was Jimmy DeGrasso. Playing with the the likes of Ozzy and Alice Cooper he is a perfect fit in the line up. Stephen Pearcy still works a crowd and all the ladies in it as well as he did back in the day. Encouraging everyone to join in with vocals, classics like “Wanted Man,” “Lay It Down,” and “Body Talk” were pulled off nicely. They closed the set with 1984″s “Round and Round” and solidified the song’s relevancy still today.

The Southern boys of Norma Jean headed west for their first appearance at Rocklahoma. With the first mosh pits and crowd surfing of the day, they ensured a Christian Metalcore band can still work a crowd.

Entertainment of a different sort was about to take the main stage.

To celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary, Jacklahoma was now in full force! After a short introduction to “Rhinestone Cowboy” Jackyl took the stage to a roaring crowd. Always animated and always ready for a party Jesse James Dupree jumped in head first with his trusty bottle of bourbon in his right hand. After belting out “My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass” he declared the festival was now a family reunion. Since we were family, he wanted to pass on a couple of things from his Daddy; how to drink and to “get your ass up everyday and go to work.” In full agreement, the crowd cheered the band on as they continued through favorites like “Down On Me,” and “I Stand Alone.” Closing the set the only way he knows how, Dupree grabbed his wooden stool, his chainsaw and Eddie Trunk for “Lumberjack.” Helping Trunk out with the first cut, he turned the duties over to him to finish the job. Once that was done, it was set on fire and smashed to an oblivion. Tradition!

With more than a decade together, San Antonio based Nothing More was up next on the River Spirit second stage. With 6 albums under their belt, they have created a loyal fan base as displayed with the largest crowd for the day at the second stage. An amazing light show and stellar performance ensured a return invitation would come.

The elusive Shaun Morgan led his band Seether to the main stage next. With shadows cast upon each member it was difficult to see that Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery was front and center with his gnarly riffs and adding his own edge to favorites like “Gasoline” and “Fake It.” They did take a moment and directed the crowd to honor the late Chris Cornell with 30 seconds of silence and lighters in the air. Morgan stated “wherever he is, he just saw that. Thank you.”

Following was Taking Back Sunday who brought some punk and alternative rock to the second stage. After 7 studio albums spanning over 15 years they continue to grow musically and gain new fans each performance. This set was the perfect introduction to the next act.

Closing out the festival was punk rock favorites The Offspring. The iconic voice of Dexter Holland is incomparable, even today. Soaring through classics like “Come Out and Play,” and “Pretty Fly For A White Guy” we were reminded of the comedy that comes along with this band. “Self Esteem” ended the set and was an incredibly entertaining yet jovial way to end a long weekend.

As the lights went down, a lone microphone spotlighted center stage emerged. Crisply, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” came over the speakers and photos of the astonishing Chris Cornell adorned the video screens. The tribute continued with Cornell himself as “Say Hello 2 Heaven” followed and continued the photo montage. Soundgarden was scheduled to headline day 2 of ROK before his untimely death. However, we were still graced with the gift of his presence, even if only through sound.

With the ups and the downs, the rain and the shine, the good and the bad, Rocklahoma continues to give people a 3 day release from the mundanes of life. It pioneers and pushes forward with no apologies and no obstacle to great to overcome. Until next year ROK fans………….






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