The 2012 version of the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival made a stop in St. Louis Sunday for the 2nd year in a row. For the 2nd year in a row the tour brought top notch bands and lots of pyro from the headliner.
With 14 bands rocking fans nearly 10 hours on 3 different stages no one would be faulted for being a bit tired at the end of the night. But with temperatures in the low 80’s it seemed the fans got a chance to rock on without being worn out, and most were still rocking hard when headliner Shinedown finished their set.
The day started out with 9 bands going back and forth between the Jagermeister Stage and the Ernie Ball Stage. In This Moment, the electrifying metalcore band featuring the flamboyant Maria Brink, easily was the highlight of the side stages with Brink energizing the crowd with her distinctive vocal ability (which compliments, while at the same time contrasting her edgy beauty), the band’s tight sound (featuring guitarist Chris Howorth, drummer Tom Hane, bassist Travis Johnson and guitarist Randy Weitzel) and dynamic range.
The short 30 minute set wasn’t nearly long enough for the band to really showcase what they have, yet thrilled fans with songs such as “Whore”, “The Gun Show” and their current single “Blood” off their newest CD of the same name which was just released 5 days before the show. In fact, 4 of the 6 songs from their set came from “Blood”, and by the way they sounded the album is a must have.
Veteran band P.O.D. was another top draw for the side stages. Their set, however, featured only 2 songs from their most recent CD “Murdered Love”, while drawing heavily on their accumulation of 20 years of music together. Not that the fans minded at all. Highlights of their set included “Youth of the Nation” and “Lost in Forever”.
When Papa Roach hit the Main Stage with “Burn” the crowd was ready but lead singer Jacoby Shaddix’s voice wasn’t. With his voice in shambles Shaddix apologized to the crowd for losing his voice but vowed to press on. Thankfully he did.
With his ever present over the top stage presence, coupled with a tight set from the band (Jerry Horton- guitars, Tony Esperance-bass and Tony Palermo-drums) and an energetic crowd helping Shaddix with the words, the energy alone would have been a highlight at any other festival. With UPROAR Fest it was par for the course, which is to say with this lineup each band has to step up, and that’s exactly what Papa Roach did Sunday with their 11 song set that was highlighted by “Last Resort”.
Staind followed and did a great job of resetting the bar for the standard of the night. Lead singer Aaron Lewis was superb in cruising through a wide range of songs such as “Not Again”, to “It’s Been A While” and from “Mudshovel” to “Something to Remind You”. The only drawback was the exclusion of “So Far Away” which probably should be a no brainer in any Staind setlist. Apart from that Lewis and company kept the stage lit even after the sun went down.
By the time the curtain was strewn across for Godsmack the fans were amped up and itching for a great set from the band. Godsmack did not disappoint. In anticipation to the curtain drop AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” blared through the soundsystem in an effort to get the crowd revved up. That it didn’t need it was an understatement.
The crowd remained amped up throughout the hour long set, as they should. Lead singer Sully Erna,displaying his amazing vocal range, and the band (Robbie Merril – bass, Tony Rombola – guitar and Shannon Larkin on drums) delivered the set with a venomous ferocity interlaced with light amuzing moments between Erna and the other band mates as well as with the crowd. It was apparent that Erna was truly enjoying this show.
Among the many highlights of their show were the eerie “Voodoo”, the epic ringing of “I Stand Alone” and the bombastic sounds of “The Enemy”. But as is the custom at all Godsmack shows the drum off between Erna, who is a very accomplished drummer as well, and Larkin is something no one should miss.
Riding in on stage right on his drum kit Erna and Larkin went toe to toe, per se, during the 10 minute spotlight which featured “Batalla De los Tamberes” before paying tribute to bands that influenced them with short renditions of AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”, Metallica’s “Creeping Death”, Led Zepplin’s “Moby Dick” and ending with the Rush classic “Tom Sawyer”.
To top Godsmack’s set Shinedown would have to fire on all cylinders. They certainly tried with the firepower as nearly everyone of their songs were backed with some kind of pyro or another. From giant flame columns to concussion explosions Shinedown appeared at times to try to outdo Avenged Sevenfold’s pyro setup from last year’s UPROAR Festival. But Shinedown topped that simply with the strong vocal ability of lead singer Brent Smith, who along with Erna and Lewis, have forged one of the strongest vocal setups on any festival that has played St. Louis in recent memory.
Smith perched himself on a riser in the front of the stage and stayed there for 90 percent of the show as the band (drummer Barry Kerch, bassist Eric Bass and guitarist Zach Meyers) tore through powerful songs like “If You Only Knew” “45” and “Devour” of which Smith was assisted onstage by the aforementioned Maria Brink, this time clad in a red leather dress and a military styled hat.
The highlight of their set was when Smith and Myers went to the soundboard area and sang right next to some lucky fans a spectacular version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man”, though one could make an argument the “Second Chance” could always be a highlight at one of their shows.
Truth be told most of the day was a highlight. Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Fest 2013 will have a tough time topping this year’s lineup. For those who have tickets to this year’s tour, to tell you to enjoy yourself would not be necessary as it will be an automatic given.
In This Moment Setlist:
5) The Gun Show
1) Murdered Love
3) On Fire
4) Without Jah, Nothin’
5) Youth of the Nation
7) Lost in Forever
1) Not Again
2) Right Here
5) Paper Wings
6) It’s Been A While
7) For You
8) Something to Remind you
1) The Enemy
2) Keep Away
3) Cryin’ Like a B*tch
4) Straight Out of Line
9) Batalla de los Tambores (drum duel)
11) I Stand Alone
1) Sound of Madness
2) Diamond Eye’s
4) If You Only Knew
5) Devour (With Maria Brink)
6) I’ll Follow You
10) Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
11) Second Chance
12) Fly From the Inside