Rock n' Roll is still king of the jungle, and its roar was heard loud and clear at this year's Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival at Sleep Train Amphitheater in Chula Vista. Also known as Operation Kick Ass to Rock 105.3fm, the festival took place over two days on September 14-15, 2013, but this reporter was at San Diego Music Thing the 13th-14th and was only able to make it Sunday the 15th to Uproar. The Sunday lineup was on its final show of a nationwide tour with marquee headliners Alice In Chains and Jane's Addiction, and also featured Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive, Danko Jones, New Politics, and more. The Saturday lineup was a one-off featuring Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat, HIM and several others.
The Sunday show started rockin in the early afternoon at 2pm with the Zippo Encore Stage and the Coldcock Whiskey Stage, both powered by Ernie Ball. It was a very smart arrangement with those two stages set up right next to each other so that when a band finished on one stage, the next band started immediately on the other. That allowed the crowd to enjoy non stop music and only have to walk the few feet to the stage next door. The bands' merch booths were set up all around that area and there was a free drink giveaway by Rockstar.
All of the bands brought their A-game, and the place was rocking from start to finish. The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show, Beware of Darkness, and the Dead Daisies rocked the Coldcock Whiskey stage. Each brought their own brand of rock and roll. Chuck Shaffer plays a heavy alternative style with great vocals and progressive drums. Beware of Darkness definitely has a Wolf Mother vibe to them, and they pulled it off well. Dead Daisies came all the way from Australia with their straight ahead rock sound, and the crowd was into it.
Dank Jones, Middle Class Rut, New Politics, and Walking Papers were on the Zippo Encore Stage. Danko Jones brought their brand of in your face sex, drugs, and rock n roll playing some of their favorites like 1st Date , and more. Front man Danko had a bit of a fired up exchange with the crowd, and in his own funny way made it perfectly clear that he was not taking requests. They were going off the set list. Middle Class Rut and New Politics were more on the Alternative Rock side of things. Each brought a bit of different flavor to the stage, and were obviously well known to the crowd. New Politics, from Denmark, was on a whirlwind tour through southern California playing The Casbah Thursday night for the kick off party of San Diego Music Thing, then they were on Jimmy Kimmel Live Friday in LA, and Uproar on Sunday. Mixing things up with a bit of punk, some slower Alt Rock, and some poppier songs like Harlem, New Politics has an energy the fans were feeling. Middle Class Rut was billed as a dynamic duo of alternative rock, but came out with two guitar players and two drummers, but no bass. They have an awesome sound and some epic tracks that got the crowd going. Clearly on the right tour, you can hear some Jane's Addiction influence in songs like Aunt Betty and Busy Bein Born. The Walking Papers was another solid straight ahead rock band featuring former Guns ' Roses bass player Duff Mckagen.
On the main stage was Coheed and Cambria, Jane's Addiction, and Alice in Chains. Sadly missed Circa Survive, but a friend at the concert said they have a great live show. Coheed came out strong with a solid set of songs in their dont give a f@ck attitude. Front man Claudio Sanchez's hair is every bit as big as it looks on TV. That made it very difficult to get a picture of his face, but it did happen. Jane's Addiction put on a big stage show that included a bunch of props, and two women in what looked like long wedding dresses swinging on both sides several feet off the stage. As their set went on, the ladies changed clothes into scantly clad lingerie gettin down with some sexy burlesque dancing. The band sounds just as good as they have for more than a decade. Perry Ferrel has an amazing voice, and Dave Navarro is ever the showman on guitar. The crowd was fully engaged. , and the classic Jane's songs brought just about all 10,000+ people singing in chorus with the band. .. Especially Jane Says.
Alice In Chains wrapped up the night with a massive stage show complete with multiple video screens, Some of them at least 30 feet tall. The band sounds as amazing as ever, mixing in new tracks with classics. Would, Down In A Whole, more recent tracks like Stone and Hollow, and every song on their set list brought the fans into a frenzy worthy of this all time great group. Jerry Cantrell and William DuVall have lead this five to piece to the pinnacle of modern rock, perhaps matched only by the likes of Tool. The light show was a mesmerizing display of spot lights and video screens that depicted everything from burning flames to a massive eye that seemed to suck you into the center.
All in all a great event. Congrats to the organizers and all the artists for putting on a great concert. Checkout more pictures from the show here: