A Metalhead's Journey To ROCKLAHOMA 2012
When I first arrived to bum-fuck Oklahoma for Rocklahoma, I didn't know what to expect. Being from Texas, it's like we're bred to think that everything Oklahoma sucks. While that could be true for somethings, certainly not Rocklahoma. I had a fucking blast! What I was most excited about was being able to camp among hundreds of fans. I met some really cool fucking people. I shook one of my idols' hands. I accomplished a lot of things on my bucket list this past weekend. I was honestly surprised by a lot of the band's performances. Here's my recap:
I arrived a little late, because I got hungry during the three and a half hour drive to Pryor, Oklahoma. I missed a couple of the opening rock bands, but no big deal because the metuulz didn't start until Trivium on Saturday. Friday night had some good performances, though. Red really impressed me. Their vocalist can really belt out the screams.
The performance of the night definitely should have went to P.O.D., who fucking amazed me. Sporting short hair, I almost didn't recognize Sonny, P.O.D.'s frontman, who I found pacing backstage before the band went on stage. The reggae-rock band's set was also the first time I smelled the ganj at the concert grounds.
At one point, Sonny jumped off stage and to interact with the crowd, which soaked it up. About half a dozen kids ended up the stage for Youth of the Nation, with a couple kids getting to sing the chorus.
Slash headlined the main stage Friday night, who performed with Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy and his band The Conspirators. They played a couple Velvet Revolver tunes, as well as some Guns N' Roses. While I'm not the biggest Guns N' Roses fan, the fact that I got to see Slash wail on his guitar just a few feet away from me was really fucking cool.
Eddie Trunk and Kayla Riley hosted the festival. I really wanted to meet Eddie Trunk, since I'm a big fan of That Metal Show, but our paths never crossed. He auctioned off a guitar for charity that was signed by Slash and the gang for $7,000.
After Day 1 was finally finished, I decided to head to the festival's campgrounds to call it a night. I didn't bring a tent, because I'm an idiot, so I slept in my truck. It was extremely fucking hot for some reason, that first night, so I ended up wandering the campgrounds until around 5 in the morning. I finally turned zombie mode, and was able to crash.
Before I knew it, Day 2 was upon us! This was really the first day that mattered to me. I decided to wear my Down shirt, which received a lot of acknowledgement from the attendees. It seemed every where I went, someone was giving me props for wearing the shirt. The crowd at Rocklahoma wasn't necessarily a metal one. Most of everyone was wearing Lynyrd Skynyrd shirts.
One of the interesting moments of Saturday, came while I was showering. Someone had taken a massive shit in the campground's 60-unit shower facility. About half way through my shower, all you could smell was shit. It was horrible. When I left, I overheard these two guys talking about how someone had shit in the shower earlier. I began talking to them, and turns out, they were in a band called Switchblade Scarlett, and the lead singer was a coach on MTV's Made. While they might not be metal, they definitely have some talent and have long careers ahead of them.
Trivium hit the stage at 6:30 on the Hard Rock Stage, and blew the freaking roof off the place. While it didn't seem like the Flordia metal band played too many songs, I could have lost count due to gettting contact high from all the weed smoke that was blowing around.
I do know that they ended their set with Metallica's Creeping Death, which was the first time I've gotten to see them perform the song. Here's a great video I found online of the cover, but, forgive me, the audio is quite shitty.
Volbeat headlined the Hard Rock Stage on Saturday night, who put on a spectacular show. The crowd ate their performance up, and Volbeat thanked the crowd several times for being awesome. There were a couple moments where the crowd was singing louder than the band it seemed. They played their hits, and ended their set with a cover of Johnny Cash's Sad Man's Tongue. They sound exactly like they do on record, which is pretty sweet.
Megadeth hit the main stage right before Rob Zombie, and I was actually impressed with their performance. It was my third time seeing Megadeth, and this was the one performance that I was actually entertained. The crowd loved Dave Mustaine.
The real memorable moment for me was seeing Rob Zombie for the first time. I didn't realize, until Zombie was on stage, that the two dudes who ended up standing beside me for Trivium were Piggy D and Ginger Fish. Those dudes look like they belong in a black metal band when they aren't in their stage clothes. His show was fucking fantastic. Roughly into the first few songs, these two beautiful women came on stage to rip each other's clothes off and to make out. It didn't last 30 seconds before they were jerked off the stage. It made Rob chuckle a little bit to see the girls quickly pulled off.
If you haven't seen Rob Zombie live before, GO FUCKING SEE HIM! It was amazing. The songs sound even better live. The chemistry his current band has (consisting of former Marilyn Manson members) is extremely solid. Both Ginger Fish and John 5 had huge smiles on their faces when it came time to do their solos. The crowd loved them.
One of the funnier moments, for me, came Sunday before Day 3 of the festival opened. While all the interviews were going on in the media tent, these two dudes were mistaken for Eddie Trunk and Jim Florentine. A radio lady came up to me, freaking out, telling me that Eddie Trunk and "the other guy" from That Metal Show were standing right there. She never believed me when I told her it wasn't Eddie Trunk or Jim Florentine. I offered to show her a picture of the two, but she told me that she "wouldn't fucking lie to me", so I said I believed her and quickly made my escape from the madness in the media tent.
Before I left the tent, I got to meet my fucking idol. As I was walking out, I overheard someone say that HELLYEAH was about to come do some interviews. Until then, I had never seen Vinnie Paul in person before. While our encounter was brief, I got to shake his hand and exchange a few words. For me, that is one of the biggest highlights of the entire festival. It's probably one of the biggest highlights, for me, this year.
During Queensryche's set, a huge crowd was already forming at the Hard Rock Stage in anticipation of HELLYEAH. It got to the point where Geoff Tate, Queensryche's frontman, told the Rocklahoma crowd that they sucked. Yes, he actually told them that. He also stormed off stage after the last verse of the closing song, and never appeared back on stage. And people wonder why no one gives a fuck about Queensryche.
HELLYEAH put on an awesome performance. Chad Gray was hanging out with the fans for most of the time that they were there. His girlfriend person is also smoking hot, and like twenty years younger than him. Lucky dude, but I guess that happens when you front two very successful bands.
I didn't think Greg Tribbett would be performing with the band since he had a family emergency a week or so ago, but he was there. Someone managed to grab the HDnet footage of the band's performance in etirity, so watch them below! After 1400 or so words, I'm done writing!