|Why Rockstar Energy UPROAR is the Best Fest|
I've been to many a festival this spring and summer, flying to Rock On The Range and its baby cousin Rocklahoma 2.0, driving to Ozzfest and Uproar, and supporting the local scene with M3, Carnival of Madness and Outlaw Jam. I am pretty sure that I had the best time at the inaugural Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival out at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA. Here are seven reasons why.
1. The Lineup. The strength of any festival from year to year clearly rests in the quality of its lineup. Co-headliners Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold are clearly at the top of their game, and either could and does headline on their own. Having each of them attempting to out-perform the other every night is pure rock strength. Stone Sour and Halestorm are incredible bands who tear up relative short sets, leaving fans old and new wanting more. The second stage is chock full of talented, entertaining bands who really know how to entertain. Hell Yeah, Airbourne, Hail The Villain, New Medicine - whether you know them or not, they all put on a great show.
2. The Second Stage area. Every second stage band has their own merch tent, where they also did meet and greets. The festival sponsors each had their own tents, where they also had meet and greets, and contests. There was plenty of room to roam, and check out all of the bands and their stuff, while watching the acts on stage. This was easily the most organized and efficient side stage I have ever seen.
3. Jagermeister local bands. The opening act on the side stage for each stop is a local act sponsored by Jagermeister. So anyone arriving when the gates open gets a chance to hear a new local band. In Virginia, it was Fight The Lion, who put on a great set of originals. They remind me of Drivin' & Cryin'. Perhaps the Whisper Tames the Lion? In any case, these guys rock and you should check them out this fall in the D.C. area.
4. Energy. Rockstar was handing out free cans of their new flavors, which definitely helps get you through the long day. But the real energy comes from the bands, all of which were showcasing new albums and new singles. There is definitely an added level of excitement when bands are playing new material. Kudos for getting bands who are at a creative peak.
5. Good People. The crowd was all ages, very cool people looking for a rocking good time. Plenty of crowd surfing, mosh pitting, swirling and singing along. No drama. The bands spent time at the merch tents signing autographs and taking pictures, really reaching out to their fans. A special call-out goes to Halestorm's drummer Arejay Hale - he is good people. He is basically all you would want your sons to grow up to be like, or your daughters to bring home.
6. Organization. This festival was a well-oiled machine, especially for a new festival. Everything was set up well, ran smoothly, looked and sounded amazing. Many of the fests have moved to where all of the second stage bands play first, and then the show moves to the main stage. This eliminates moving back and forth to try to catch all the bands. It also gives a short break between acts to get refreshments or merch without missing any music. The only glitch was that Hell Yeah was still playing when Halestorm began. Other than that, you didn't have to miss a note.
7. A7X. AKA Avenged Sevenfold. WOW! I was never all that into them before, but this new album is simply incredible. They had such an intricate, explosive stage show, it really has to be seen to be believed. Mike Portnoy is a drumming fiend. Their tributes to The Rev add an emotional level to the entire performance that cannot be matched. Disturbed was phenomenal and had a cool video wall, but it is basically impossible to follow A7X at this point in time. Go see them do a full headlining tour - you will be impressed whether you are a long time fan, or just coming to the party now.