Monday, June 4, 2012

Cveckian's Top Five Acts of Rocklahoma 2012

Cveckian offers his Top Five performances at this year's Rocklahoma Festival in Pryor, Oklahoma. (All photos by Cveckian.)

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#5 - MEGADETH

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth Saturday night
We will start with No. 5, which I thought would be my number one for sure. Unfortunately it wasn't David Mustane's best day (which at the end of long tour, given his age, is perfectly understandable to me).I cannot put my finger on why it happened, only that it did - Mustaine's vocals would often diminish in volume and sometimes drop off altogether. Now this could have been caused by faulty engineering, but the near-flawless audio from the following Zombie set (aside from blowing out a subwoofer near the end) would lead me to think it was more Dave's worn vocal chords at work.

His axe grinding was brilliant of course.


#4 - SLASH

Slash performs at Rocklahoma Friday night
His expertise on the guitar was a treat to watch. I enjoyed taking a trip back to the good old days of raunchy rock with the GnR material (I was one of the privileged ones to catch the original Guns N' Roses group's final show) and loved that he played one of my favorite Velvet Revolver tracks, "Slither."

His lead singer, Myles Kennedy, handled that notable burden with ease and made those songs his own and, in some cases, even better than the originals. Yes... I just said that.

#3 - TRIVIUM

Trivium played the Hard Rock stage on Saturday evening.
I had only heard of this group off and on through small clusters of friends over the past few years, all of them telling me that I absolutely HAD to check them out. After finally getting the opportunity to do so, I can see why - They tore that Hard Rock stage apart! They demanded respect and earned it through precision, style, and hard punches to the face... Which is way better than grammar, logic, and rhetoric any day of my week.

#2 - ROB ZOMBIE

Rob Zombie pulled out all the stops on Saturday night.
Having seen White Zombie on tour shortly after the release of La Sexorcisto, I was well aware of what this man was capable of musically. That being said, as I watched his amazingly complex stage being assembled I knew this wasn't Kansas anymore and something more profound was going to take place. Zombie's stage design often seemed to mimic classic horror pulps from the Golden Age. It was quite stunning actually and the powerful performance/guitar work of John 5 added even more layers of indescribable eeriness.

Saying Rob Zombie is a master of his craft would be putting it lightly...

He owns the craft.

#1 - CHICKENFOOT



Chickenfoot played to a tired but energized crowd Sunday night.
The first "Super Group" to realize what we, the audience, had been through over the last few days (blistering heat, lack of sleep, lots of partying, plenty of sub-par music, etc.) and instead of chastising us for our initial lackluster response, praised us for hanging through to the end. Guess what happened? Our response got bigger & louder. They jammed straight to our souls, and we all ended the night feeling great about everything. No pomp and circumstance, just good old American rock and roll by a cast of solid veterans!

I hope you took notes, Geoff Tate.*


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* It was rumored that Geoff Tate and his bandmates in Queensryche were quarrelling before the show Saturday night (Tate had pulled a knife on a bandmate in Brazil a week or so earlier). Their set was extremely tense and at times awkward, without much interaction with the crowd. Before leaving the stage, Tate chastised the audience saying, "You are a horrible crowd... I mean that. You really suck!" to which he received a chorus of boos. In all the years I have been attending shows, I have never seen anything quite like it. At that point, Cveckian remarked, "We may have just seen Queensryche's last show." I was in total agreement with him. -Troy


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