Rockstar Energy presents: Uproar Festival
August 29, 2014
Simpsonville, South Carolina
By: Joshua Lowe
I’ve come to determine that any music festival or tour that Monster Energy or Rockstar Energy drinks put their name on is GOLDEN! Look at their track record, Vans Warped Tour, Carolina Rebellion, Mayhem Festival, the list goes on. An Rockstar Energy presents Uproar Festival has taken the cake for me this Summer. I have to say I could not think of a better way to end the Summer than to be rocking out with these amazing acts. Uproar Festival runs August 14- September 21, featuring Godsmack, Seether, Pop Evil, Skillet, Buckcherry, Escape the Fate and many more. The date we covered was Friday, August 29 in Simpsonville, South Carolina and if your know anything about South Carolina weather at the end of August it’s either going to be comfortable or extremely hot and humid, and the it decided to be extremely hot and humid. The day started early for us having to have everything packed and ready for the 45 minute drive to the charter amphitheater. As soon as we got to the venue we hit the group running, getting the lay of the land figuring out where the stages were, doing an interview with Robert Ortiz (Which can be read here).
The First band we caught was the 2013 Ernie Ball Battle of the bands winner Sons of Revelry. These guys are just good old fashion Rock & Roll from Brantford Ontario, and don’t worry they sound nothing like Nickleback. They’re stage presents is great, the crowd loved them, and you could tell that the band genuinely loved what they were doing. Though their set is short, S.O.R is a must see if you’re going to one of the remaining Uproar dates. Another must see on this bill is Escape the Fate. This is a band that was been through member changes, and every other up and down that a band can go through, and in the words of drummer Robert Ortiz, “We’re still here and we’re kicking A**” and that is a exactly what the band is doing. When must bands would say enough’s enough and throw in the towel, Escape the Fate said “We’re going to press on and keep playing rock and roll.” and you can tell that by their fan base. Even as we’re standing in the media area and the band is about take the stage, there were fans that were catching a glimpse of a band member and asking myself or other photographers to go get a member so they could get an autograph or just a hey. In the years that I’ve been in concert photography I’ve had people do the typical “Can you get me back stage, etc, etc.” But these fans were persistent, and would ask multiple times to get so and so’s attention and so on, but these same fans screamed the lyrics to their songs though out the entire show, and tired to climb the fence that between the stage and the crowd just to give their favorite lead singer a high five. Escape the Fate played a semi short short set consisting of 8 tracks, 4 from their latest record “Ungrateful” 3 from their self titled record and 1 from “This War is Ours”. All in all the boys in Escape the Fate played with that passion that Robert spoke of in our interview the entire 8 songs of their set. (Click here to read our interview with Robert Ortiz)
Following Escape the Fate was the final band on the side stage Buckcherry. These guys are a fun band, not only to shoot, but just to watch. They were there to have a good time from the moment they started their first song “Lit Up” to the moment they play the last note of their final song “Crazy B***H” and left it all on the stage. Having just release their latest EP “F**K” just days after the tour start the band made great use of their time, on the stage and played fan favorites and also promo material off their newest record.
Following the performance of Buckcherry we had a little over an hour wait for the first band to hit the main stage Pop Evil. These boys always rock the house. They opened with their 2010 hard hitting single “Last Man Standing” followed by the lead track off their latest release “Goodbye my Friend”. What I like about Pop Evil is these aren’t your “Cookie cutter” radio rock, they’re the in your face rock and roll and you can tell that by their performance. You can tell while they’re playing that this is a passion of theirs not just some job where they’re going through the motions. Pop Evil wrapped up their set with the song that really put them on the map in the Rock and Roll world “Trenches”. Pop Evil is a band you need to catch live. Despite how good their songs are on the radio, it doesn’t do them justice, you need to see the passion that these guys play with.
As the day trucked on and the sun began to set and it began to cool off a little, Skillet kept us on our feet kicking their set off with “Whispers in the Dark” from their “Comatose” release. I’ve seen Skillet perform close to 10 times, from small clubs to large arenas and these guys play like it’s the last time they will ever step foot on a stage again. Between Korey jumping around, to the CO2 Canons going off and John screaming into the mic, there is never a dull moment with these guys. Things slowed down a little as the sun finally set before Seether’s set. I’ll be completely honest, Seether has never been a band that I’m like “OMG I have to see them” and after watching their set and capturing a few photos I see why. Their songs were fine, but their performance was lacking, everyone standing around not really putting on a performance. Don’t get me wrong, they’re talented musicians, however their wasn’t that balance between musicianship and showmanship. Then the moment came for GODSMACK! They took the stage late that evening, the sun was down, people were tired and sun burnt. The moment the lights dimmed and “For those about to rock we salute you” started playing the crowd got pumped up once again. Godsmack though they had taken some time of from performing, never missed a beat that night and gave the crowd one of the best performances of the day.
All in all Rockstar Energy’s Uproar Festival was a great day for us, we got to hang out with friends, listen to some Rock & Roll, talk with some really cool people and take some awesome pictures. If you’re in an area where the tour is coming you need to make it out to a show, it’s worth every penny the ticket will cost.