Rockstar and Corporate Sponsorship Overshadow All Expect M. Shadows

Mark Lewis and Philip Frields, News Editor and Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Lead singer of Sevendust Lajon Witherspoon

December 4, 2011

There couldn’t be a more properly named multi-band nine-hour-long concert tour than “The Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival” which invaded Wheatland’s Sleep Train Amphitheatre on Oct. 13, 2011, bringing with it the caffeine-induced fury of a rock and heavy metal cocktail.

Ten thousand ear plug-defying enthusiasts and I experienced a couple rock star-caliber performances, many niche (my nice way of saying “who the hell are these guys?”) bands and a trio of mainstream-rock radio favorites that included Seether, Three Days Grace and the headliners Avenged Sevenfold.

The festival featured three different stages, all of which were co-opted by corporate sponsors including lighter manufacturer Zippo and Lifestyle Condoms. For me, the day was ultimately a test of endurance. Could I listen to unimpressive music from bands like Black Tide and Hell or High Water for countless hours before I even heard a song that was familiar to me? Not a chance! My saving grace ended up being the Rockstars themselves and no, I’m not referring to any particular musician – I’m referring to the centrally-placed booth that was giving away unlimited cans of the energy drink Rockstar throughout the afternoon. For a mega-concert the size of “UPROAR,” I was lucky enough to have fellow “Current” staff writer and columnist Phillip Friends accompany me in order to provide you with his take on some of the acts that took the side stages throughout the afternoon.

A stand-out performance came between sets on the second stage when a two-piece trash metal band, The Athiarchists, would open the side of their small tour bus and begin smashing symbols and spewing their aggressive lyrics for anyone who wanted to hear it. Their style, though sometimes incoherent and jumbled, was filled with the type of rhetoric that you would expect from two middle-aged overweight men with enough angst to fill a middle school cafeteria.
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