We recap the 2013 Rockstar Uproar Festival and its stop in Noblesville
Venue: Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, Indiana
The good, the bad and the ugly. There is always a little of each at a festival show. The 2013 Rockstar Uproar Festival was no different. I usually attend metal festivals, most recently Rockstar’s sister festival Mayhem. The difference in the crowd between the two shows was remarkable. I am used to large, rather unruly crowds, not the calmer one that was present for this festival. It was actually a nice change of pace to not have to continually look behind me to make sure that I was not going to get kicked in the head from a wave of crowd surfers or unsuspectingly get knocked off balance from the ever increasing size of the mosh pit.
Rock festivals are nothing new. Woodstock, Lollapalooza, Ozzfest, Rock On The Range, Cruefest, Rocklahoma, Bonnaroo, well, you get the idea. Most are single day events while others stretch two to three days. Some have been going on for a decade or more while others have fizzled out after a couple of years. Rockstars Uproar is now in it’s fourth year. This was my first time attending Uproar, and I was not disappointed.
Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival Lineup
Let’s get the ugly out of the way first. This is a festival, an all day show, if you are going to one of these do yourself and everyone around you a favor-extra deodorant! Whether you put on extra or bring some with you, good hygiene is a must! And many in attendance will not forget the young man who donned one of the skimpy outfits of the Headrush Clothing girls a second time, yes he was previously wearing this for what reason I do not know, for a chance to have his picture accompany this article. Thanks for being a good sport. You just never know what you will see at an event like this as is it brings people from all walks of life through the gate.
The bad. As Rockstar had the set times listed on their website for this show, I had scheduled my day accordingly. Unbeknownst to me, this apparently changed the day before the show. Local bands from Evansville to Kokomo played the festival stages, and unfortunately I missed these performances. Maybe another time guys. But hey, such is the nature of the ever evolving monster that is rock and roll.
The good, and there is a lot of it. Festivals of this nature allow people to watch several bands for roughly the same price as some two to three band shows can run, something that is great in today’s economy. But for me, festivals like this are also a great way to see several bands I love all in the same day as well as discover new ones that I may never have known about. This years line up included headliners Alice In Chains, Janes Addiction, Coheed and Cambria and Circa Survive on the mainstage while the festival stages included The Charming Liars, The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show, The Dead Daisies, Danko Jones, Middle Class Rut and Walking Papers. While I have listened to a few of these bands before, I had never seen any live, so there was a lot of excitement for me going into this festival.
Rockstar Kickoff with Alice In Chains and Jane’s Addiction
Set up side by side were the stages. The first time I had seen this set up was at this years Mayhem. This is truly a great way to do the festival area. Fewer bands, shorter set times and longer intermissions was an issue. With this new set up, while one band is playing the next is setting up and ready to start as soon as the last note rings out from the preceding band. All one has to do is move over the next stage. More bands have longer set times and less downtime from the crowd.
Once the Indiana bands were finished, London’s The Charming Liars kicked off the festival stages. Followed by the exuberant Danko Jones, a highly enjoyable set that sounded like Lenny Kravitz playing hard rock. The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show, winners of last years Rockstar Uproar/Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands contest, provided some solid, high energy melodic rock. This band proves why they beat out 8,000 other bands and deserved to be on a tour of this caliber.
Zippo Encore Presents: Artist Spotlight Coheed and Cambria
A short time later The Dead Daisies took the stage. Talk about an all star line-up. Fronted by Jon Stevens, formerly of INXS, the band also consisted of David Lowy, Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed, both of Guns N’ Roses, Alex Carapetis of Nine Inch Nails, and Marco Mendoza of Whitesnake/Thin Lizzy fame. Stevens performed from a chair while in a walking cast as the band delivered their modern 70s/80s influenced rock.
Seattle’s Walking Papers finished off the festival stages in expert fashion after spending time in a signing tent meeting fans. Spearheaded by the amazingly bluesy voice of Jeff Angell, the Walking Papers set was delivered in a much more powerful way than you get from their album. This was pure rock and roll fueled by Angells voice and guitar playing, Duff McKagans (yes, THAT Duff McKagan) bass, Barrett Martins thunderous drumming and Ben Anderson on keyboards. A highlight and much to the crowd’s delight, during the performance of The Butcher (a song without guitar), Angell wrapped the mic cord around his neck and left the stage to perform the song from the middle of the audience. Absolutely fantastic way to end the festival stages.
Zippo Encore Presents: Circa Survive Artist Spotlight
Circa Survive, followed by Coheed and Cabria started off the main stage with solid sets that led into Janes Addiction. Playing essentially their greatest hits, Janes Addiction was a thrill to watch. From the showman that is Perry Ferrell to stellar guitar playing from Dave Navarro and the two girls in lingerie and bondage gear, Janes kept the audience glued to the entire set of 11 songs that included Mountain Song, Whores, Been Caught Stealing and wrapped up with a fantastic acoustic version of Jane Says with a bit of a Caribbean feel to it.
As headliners, Alice In Chains had a tough act to follow. The band came with their minimal stage effects. Songs such as Hollow, Check My Brain, Them Bones, Man In The Box, We Die Young and Rooster were delivered with precision and I don’t think Jerry Cantrell has ever sounded better.
While I prefer the music of Alice In Chains to Janes Addiction, I really feel that Janes stole the show this year as far as performance value goes. This was a good introduction for me to the Uproar Festival and I hope to make this an annual ritual. The festival has music diversity providing and offers much to a wide audience.