Monday, March 1, 2010

Rocklahoma 2010 - Better or Worse?

My initial reaction to this year’s Rocklahoma upon seeing the lineup was “What the heck? They’ve destroyed this festival.” I’ve had a few days to since digest the new direction of this year’s Rocklahoma and now I’d like to dissect it a little bit and point out the good, the bad, and the what the…?

The Good
The modern bands scheduled to perform are exceptional ones. Theory of a Deadman, Buckcherry, and Saliva are all up and coming massive hard rock acts in their own right. Godsmack (even though I don’t particularly care for them) is coming off a successful stint at CrueFest and they are loaded with a huge fan base that loves them. Adelita’s Way, Chevelle, and Saving Able are up and comers that have a nice follow of fans.

The classic rock bands on the bill are awesome ones. Cinderella, Tesla, and ZZ Top are about as good as it gets when you go back to 80s rock. Cinderella is huge as they haven’t toured in a while and a lot of fans are dying to see them in concert again. Tesla always deliver an incredible show and ZZ Top are classic rockers at their finest.

The decision to move this festival to May (rather than the ultra-hot and humid July) was also a good decision. One of the biggest complaints of Rocklahoma’s past was the disgusting weather that the fans had to sit through. The heat was sweltering during the day and not much relief was offered under the cover of night. Having the festival in May should alleviate a lot of the weather concerns.

The Bad
The total makeover of this festival. Now that AEG is promoting Rocklahoma, they’ve got their hands all over it. They took what was an awesome collection of 80s hair metal bands and they destroyed it. Now it’s a modern rock festival with the occasional 80s band thrown in to appease the masses. And who the hell are half of these bands on the bill? Janus? Aranda? Taddy Porter? Like A Storm? Never heard of them! Am I really going to shell out the money and travel to Oklahoma to see Within Reason and Year Long Disaster?

While moving the festival to May was a good idea, moving it to Memorial Day Weekend was a bad decision. This is a very busy travel and getaway weekend, and while a holiday weekend may make it easier for some fans to attend, others have annual plans that weekend, and this may make it more challenging for them.

What The…?
Out of the 27 bands performing, I’ve heard of 12 of them. That means more than half of the acts are ones that I don’t know, and I suspect not a lot of others do either. This is AEGs way of filling the bill with bands they don’t have to pay that much. I have to be honest, this lineup SUCKS. It is not a listing of acts that is going to make people fly in from all over the country. It’s more of a lineup that would make me say “Hmm, I might go to this,” only if I lived in a nearby state. I don’t know what AEG was thinking when they put together this lineup and I don’t know who the “very special guests” still to be announced are, but unless it’s the Beatles or Kiss, don’t expect it to change the attendance of this festival.

Look, if you’re going to change the entire chemistry of the festival by switching from hair metal to modern rock then at least add a lot of bands that people know and want to see. The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Rob Zombie, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, and Pop Evil all would have helped beef up this lineup and create a buzz. Now, it’s just a joke. It’s a shame to see what was a great hair metal festival go down the tubes due to a major concert promoter that is only looking at lining their pockets with more cash.

What are your thoughts? Are you planning on attending this year’s Rocklahoma, or are you planning on attending a different festival with a lineup suited toward your tastes? Comments are open. Feel free to post some.

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Design That Rocks said...

I totally agree. I had not been able to attend previous Rocklahoma shows and was really planning to try and make this had grown into something too big and too good to miss for 80's metal fans.

But now, I have zero desire and its a shame to see it taking the form that it has. I have nothing against new bands or new metal, but changing the entire format changes what this festival was and meant.

It's a shame. I only hope some other promoters out there see whats happened here and organize a fest with 80's metal bands....because there are still many out there wanting to rock....and many more fans wanting to still rock with them.

Anonymous said...

They shouldn't have billed this as Rocklahoma at all. They didn't listen to the advice they received, and have turned this into an event that people flew in for from all over the world to a regional festival at best. I doubt most people that will attend this will be more than a 4 - 5 hours drive away.

I wouldn't fly or drive to this.

Brian Basher said...

I agree with Allyson and Rob, when I first saw the line-up I have to admit I was stoked for Buckcherry, Tesla, and especially Cinderella, who I still consider one of the best concerts I've ever been too. But after having a few days to think about it I realized how terrible the line up is and not worth the 6 hour drive for me to go see it. I'll stick with the South Texas Rockfest even if they are trying to copy the '07 Rocklahoma line-up.