There are only so many days in a summer, no matter how hard we try to tell ourselves otherwise, and sometimes concerts happen on Wednesdays. This year, my weekday festival was Uproar and I caught the Chicago stop on the tour. While I missed a few of the opening acts in my travels to get to the venue, the bands I did get to see rewarded my tenacity.
When I arrived, most of the early buzz was about bands like Adelitas Way and In This Moment. But it was clear there was an off mood among the crowd that stemmed from the knowledge that Papa Roach was not going to play. Papa Roach backed out of the remainder of Uproar in St. Louis on August 19th, three days before the Chicago show. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix is quoted on the band’s website saying: “I was hoping to be able to go out there and kill it on this tour by resting and doing vocal exercises, but my voice has just gone out on me. I hate to let our fans down, but unfortunately surgery is the only way to fix it.”
Unfortunately, this statement was not released until the day after Uproar hit Chicago so most of the crowd was not aware that Papa Roach was not going to play and were seriously disappointed. While we can all appreciate Shaddix’s honesty and his need to take care of his health, the fans were certainly taken back at the late announcement of his absence. That said, watch for Adelitas Way or P.O.D. to step into this spot when Uproar hits your town!
With that messiness out of the way, Staind, Godsmack, and Shinedown did not disappoint. While I’m not a fan of Staind, per se, they did an excellent job in their slot as the third ‘main band’ to perform. To me their role is to play for their fans that came early to see them, while maintaining enough energy to prepare the audience for the coming show. Staind fulfilled this duty, as most of the lawn crowd that was sitting when they took the stage was standing before they started their last song! Their musical performance was solid, the sound was amazing, and even without the elaborate staging Staind was a sight to behold. The band was the perfect kick-start to the remainder of the evening.
While still riding high on the second wind generated by Staind, Godsmack owned the stage. They stuck with a tried and true set list similar to the one on their new album, Live and Inspired. Their first official live album since their inception in 1999, Live and Inspired includes four cover tracks, with tributes ranging from the Beatles to Metallica. Not every band can still amaze a crowd with old tricks, but Godsmack is at its best when comfortable. And while not technically a drum solo, “Batalla de los Tambores” is a force to be reckoned with that includes two drum sets on rotating stages with only instrumental backing. This feat of showmanship is so popular it has its own listing on Urbandicitionary.com. While YouTube is saturated with clips and footage of the hundreds of performances done in the past, you have not truly lived until seeing this with your own eyes. Godsmack is everything you want in a ‘second band’, harnessing the energy of Staind and channeling it into the audience to prepare for the final show. This was my third Godsmack experience, and I have yet to be disappointed by them.
As the final band of the evening, Shinedown was able to maximize visual effects, building elaborate ramping across the stage and setting up several flash pots and other pyrotechnic delights. Shinedown is out promoting their new album Amaryllis, a favorite with critics and fans, and this set list included three solid tracks from that album. Known for tackling some serious social issues in prior releases (see “45” and “Save Me”), this album is no different, including the tracks “Unity” and “Bully”, both of which deserve your attention. Shinedown is a classic rock-and-roll show, with enough licks and riffs to get the party started, lyrics that demand to be sung in crowds of thousands, and enough visual effects to keep the energy level high. And Brent Smith is a quintessential lead man, engaging the crowd and riling up the band while racing from side to side.
Even without Papa Roach, Rockstar Uproar Music Festival definitely deserves your attention. Press Pass LA will be updating you on the tour next from Cleveland, Ohio on September 9th.
For tour dates near you, visit Uproar.