Godsmack, Pop Evil, and Buckcherry Highlight A Rockin’ Uproar Fest!! Grand Prairie, TX – 9/2/14

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The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival rolled into Grand Prairie last week at the Verizon Theatre. Boasting two stages and a shit-ton of bands ready to kick your ass both indoors and out, the place was packed and everything was in full swing by the time I got there. Regrettably I had to miss sets by my friends in SOLICE (congrats to WINNING the right to be up there!!) and also my new friends in SONS OF REVELRY due to work, but I at least made it in time to catch BUCKCHERRY. This is a band I saw for the first time a year ago at Trees Dallas, believe it or not and they were outstanding.

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Obviously the show would be a little different due to them being outside in the blazing heat, but by no means did that detract from the performances of Joshua Todd and Co. Of course I missed my favorite “Lit Up” which was their opener, but I got there in time for “All Night Long”, third song in. Tearing through songs both old and new, we were treated to “Everything’ and “Sorry” from the 15 album. Everywhere I looked, everyone was singing EVERY word to these two. Not surprising as they’re great songs.

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Another cool and different thing was the band’s decision to do a rockin’ cover of “I Love It” from ICONA POP, this time changed to “Say Fuck It”. I thought it was great, and when people realized what it was they were surely into it. “Gluttony” from the outstanding Confessions record was next, followed by new song “I Don’t Give a Fuck” and finally “Crazy Bitch”, one of those songs I get sick of really fast on the radio, but live it’s always a party! Overall the boys didn’t let the heat take away from a terrific performance, and I can’t wait to see them again.

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Now it was time to get into the A/C and settle in for one of my favorite bands right now, POP EVIL. This marked my third time seeing them since February and they never disappoint. In fact, the first two times I caught them they wiped the floor with the headliners. If anyone is due for their own tour it’s these guys. With a set culled almost solely from Onyx, save for opener “Last Man Standing” the guys wasted no time getting the arena going. “Goodbye My Friend” and “Sick Sense” had the faithful who came early singing and swaying.  And of course ballad “Torn to Pieces” had all the lighters-I mean flashlight apps out in full force.

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For the one-two kickass final punch they launched into my all-time favorite “Deal with the Devil” which causes me to damn near lose my voice every time. I didn’t care that the stiffs in my section were looking at me funny, either. It’s rock and roll, bitches!! You don’t like it, go take a knitting class. Then it was “Trenches” the worldwide megahit that really made me sit up and take notice of them. Make no mistake, POP EVIL, after more than a year on the road are STILL hungry and will still kick just about anybody’s ass off the stage. Chachi Riot is also the most fun drummer to watch I’ve ever seen in my life; I get exhausted just watching him! Unfortunately I was called away after that so I’ll let my friend and colleague James Villa of On Tour Monthly tell you all about the greatness of GODSMACK:

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Has it really been four years since we had heard new music from GODSMACK?  After a two year absence from touring, the boys from Boston returned to headline this year’s Uproar Festival and Sully Erna wasted no time in getting back into the swing of things.  They started their 15-song set with a new one “Generation Day”, and the crowd went wild! It was hard to tell if the four-year music drought had somehow made the fans thirst for anything or they were really excited about what they were hearing. Sully took a minute to welcome the fans by mentioning Dallas and quickly correcting himself “he should have said Grand Prairie but figured it was close enough.”  The crowd responded with laughter and Sully and company proceeded to belt out a couple more from 1000hp “What’s Next” and “Locked and Loaded.”  A quick guitar change seemed meaningless as I doubt anyone even took notice.  There was a strange sense of union, the crowd seemed fixed on every note, and every word that came from the band tonight.

Godsmack Uproar 2014 - Darkhouse Image

GODSMACK did everything right this evening revisiting fan favorites like “Keep Away,”  “Straight Out of Line,”  “Awake,” and “Voodoo,” all while incorporating five new songs (if you include the drum solo) off the new album.  It’s not very often that a band can pull off using a third of their set solely to showcase their new music.  The crowd loved every bit of it. “Batalla de los Tambores” was the highlight of the evening as Sully and Shannon took to the drums and battled for supremacy.  It was a first for me of course but from the looks and sounds the crowd knew exactly what they were in for.  The evening was capped off by “1000hp” and “I Stand Alone” the 2002 single of The Scorpion King soundtrack.  As the band left the stage the crowd seemed a bit incredulous to the fact that show was really over, and to be honest so was I.  Not bad for a Tuesday night. And not a bad way to end the Summer Concert Season.

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