Upwards of 12,000 teens and young adults let out their pent-up aggression Saturday when the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival rolled into Auburn, Washington.
The all-day festival brought out the best in modern rock and nü metal to the White River Amphitheatre, including the likes of P.O.D., Fozzy, Godsmack and headliners Shinedown.
A line-up around the venue started well before the time the doors opened at 1:00 p.m. Fans flocked to the Jägermeister and Ernie Ball stages for the best up-and-coming artists on the six-week tour.
Candlelight Red, Thousand Foot Krutch and Battle of the Bands winner Mindset Evolution rocked the afternoon crowd. Redlight King (formerly Kazzer) caught everyone off-guard with their metal rendition of Neil Young’s “Old Man”.
If the Insane Clown Posse was a brand beer with a 64-calorie version, Deuce would be ICP Lite – they weren’t as Dope as Shaggy or as Violent as J. But aside from their profanity-laden performance, the onstage artists outperformed.
Atlanta-based heavy metal band Fozzy attracted a crowd, and surely gained more fans in the process. The band is fronted by the multi-talented Chris Jericho, better known for being a world-class professional wrestler. The band tore through new tracks like “Spider in My Mouth” and “Sandpaper”, as well as classic Fozzy tunes like “Enemy” and “God Pounds His Nails”. Not one person wasn’t jumping along to the rhythm, and Y2J quickly put the band in contention for best performance of the show.
Not to be outdone, P.O.D. brought the same fury they had 10 years ago to the Ernie Ball stage, opening with “Boom” as lead singer Sonny Sandoval climbed into the crowd, screaming the lyrics as fans held him up. Their set included more Satellite hits like “Youth of the Nation” and “Alive”, plus cuts from the new album, Murdered Love including the title track and the party anthem “West Coast Rock Steady”. The stellar set was rounded out by a chill cover of Sublime’s “What I Got”.
Las Vegas post-grungers Adelitas Way opened the main stage with a few recent singles, including “The Collapse” and “Alive”. They went through all their mainstream songs – they’ve only been around for four years – but did a solid job of warming up the crowd as they moved to the lawn and reserved seating.
Staind brought their best, kicking off their set with “Eyes Wide Open” and “Right Here”. After several songs, lead singer Aaron Lewis didn’t seem like he wanted to be there as he ditched the guitar and moped around the stage with a mic in hand. He still gave a studio-quality vocal performance, but the passion was lacking. Nevertheless, they kept the crowd excited with their biggest successes: “It’s Been Awhile”, “Outside” and “Mudshovel”.
Godsmack arguably stole the show Saturday night – anyone who had ever seen them before spent the day spouting praise for the band’s performance, and Sully Erna and Co. lived up to it. The band has more radio hits than most people may remember, such as “The Enemy”, “Straight Out of Line”, “Voodoo”, “Cryin’ Like a Bitch” and “I Stand Alone”. The highlight of the night came midway through the setlist when a wheelchair-bound fan crowdsurfed – and nearly lost a wheel in the process. The drum-off between Erna and Shannon Larkin, titled “Batalla de los Tambores” (which sampled AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Rush and Aerosmith), wowed even the least of Godsmack fans.
Shinedown put up a good effort to prove their worth as the festival’s headliners. After opening with “Sound of Madness”, “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)” kept fans standing almost all the way through to the final song, “Fly From the Inside”. “Bully”, “Unity” and “I’ll Follow You” also got great crowd responses while their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” paid some southern rock homage. It’s possible that any of the main stage bands could have headlined Uproar, but Shinedown showed they were the right choice.
As the 12,000 or so fans left the amphitheatre, there was already talk and rumours on what the line-up for next year’s festival would be like. If it’s anything like this one, fans from Saturday will be Uproar lifers.