Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top Five "Secondary" Acts of Rocklahoma 2012

Cveckian listed his Top Five acts, all of which played the main stage. If I made a list it would very similar to his, so I will list the top acts that played on the secondary stages. Note: It would be impossible to see virtually every single act that played, so obviously there are bands that played that I didn't get to see. If you were there and feel that I made an omission, please use the comments tab to state your case. (Al photos by Troy Church unless stated otherwise)


Volbeat tearing it up. Image taken from Songkick.
Ok, I have a confession. I didn't actually see this band play, but they were the buzz all weekend. All weekend long I asked people what band impressed them the most, and it seemed that Volbeat always got mentioned. I've got to check these cats out and see what the hype is about.

Volbeat on Facebook


Scattered Hamlet on the Jagermeister Stage Saturday night

I had seen the flyers around camp for this band out of Hollywood, and I was mildly interested in checking them out. Then I bumped into Gypyhawk guitarist Erik Kluiber at the camp store on Saturday night, and he told me that he was filling in as the bassist for this band at the Jagermeister Stage later that evening. I knew then that I HAD to see Scattered Hamlet play. I wasn't disappointed, not at all. These fellas know how to fuel a crowd with their ferocious southern style of rock and roll. It's hard rock in a very primitive form, and they seemed to have fun while they played it. I bought three CDs last weekend, and Scattered Hamlet was one of them.

Scattered Hamlet on Reverbnation


Brad Jones and Kelly Koop of Baron Von Swagger

Another CD I bought last weekend was of Baron Von Swagger out of Tulsa. I basically stumbled across these fellas as they were tearing up the Axis Entertainment stage on Thursday night. Very melodic and charismatic, singer Brad Jones kept the crowd hypnotized with his impressive singing style, and the songs they played were original and catchy, without at all being cheesy. The bass player, Kelly Koop, reminded me of John Exall of the Texas Hippie Coalition with his ferocious style. That's not a compliment I'd give to just anybody. These guys deliver the goods, and they came to Rocklahoma on a mission. They turned the Axis stage inside out. I feel lucky for having seen them play. These guys are going places.

Baron Von Swagger on Reverbnation


Scott, Joe and John of Dagger
It was pretty cool camping next to this band all weekend. Still though, had I not known them from being neighbors, I would have still considered Dagger one of the greatest bands I saw perform at Rocklahoma. This band out of Arizona has a style all their own and a stage presence that could be compared to the great acts of the '80s metal era, such as Judas Priest or Alcatrazz. This year marks their 25th playing together, and to say that Dagger is a tight unit would be putting it mildly. When they are not playing together, they are hanging out together... And that coherence makes for a damn good party when they hit the stage.

Howie Macreno
Singer Howie Macreno hits notes that would be hard to reach on a piano, and his style is unlike anybody's in modern rock. Drummer John Harper is ridiculous on the skins beating them with a thunder that is usually reserved for torrential storms out at sea. Bill Mehlhouse and Scott Allan trade guitar riffs back and forth like a game of sonic ping pong, and bassist Joe Mente holds it all together with a foundation so solid that you could build a house on it... These guys are serious about the music they play, and if you haven't seen them play live you are seriously missing out. As Cveckian said, "Why these guys aren't on the radio is beyond me." See these guys as SOON as you can.

Dagger Official Website


Matt Heafy and his band beat the crowd to a pulp
Like Cveckian, I had only heard good things about this band, but had never been so fortunate as to see them live. I'm so glad I finally got fortunate. By far Trivium was the most intense act of Rocklahoma this year, and I still can't understand why they were slotted to play on one of the secondary stages. They didn't cater to the audience, they beat it into a pulp, chewed it up, and spit it back out. They played their set with such a fervor that an earthquake could have occurred and nobody would have realized it. Singer Matt Heafy literally challenged the crowd time and time again to turn the intensity up a notch, and the crowd responded every single time. It was hypnotizing the way he controlled the crowd, and the crowd didn't mind one bit. Trivium could still be playing, and nobody would have left. Including me. I was blown away. Hands down, they have one of the greatest stage shows I have ever seen. And that is saying a lot.

Trivium Official Website




Anonymous said...

Hellriders! #4 Scattered Hamlet is the band to hear! I first saw them with THC and I had to have the CD. Great sound.