After taking almost two thousand photos between Mark and myself on day 1 and baking in the 100-plus degree heat, but having a good night’s sleep we are up again at 8am to catch an early breakfast and on to the festival. We picked up our new credentials and walked around a bit since it was another hot one! We happened to bump in to a former contributing writer of Rockeyez from Wisconsin, Jeff Mastin. Good to finally meet Jeff and talk a bit. Since we had a little time before catching DANGER DANGER’s set we decided to stop at the Retrospect Stage and see LICKITY SPLIT a band I’ve never heard of but they seemed to really get the crowd on its feet.
With not knowing many bands on the different side stages you have to do many hours of research to find out what bands you want to see but one thing if you go to their site or MySpace don’t expect them to look the way they look in those “vintage” promo shots! Most of the bands have pictures of what they looked like in the early days for instance if you go to LICKITY SPLIT’s Myspace it’s actually hard to believe these are the same guys, they still have the great sound but the “hair look” is gone… Some of these bands haven’t played out in 15-20 years but it’s good for fans that missed that era to still hear and enjoy the music.
LICKITY SPLIT played a great set of heavy hitters and some traditional straight-ahead rock tunes. I wouldn’t say the tent was full but there was a fair amount of fans enjoying the tunes for sure.
After that it was about time to head over to the main stage where DANGER DANGER was about to take the stage. I guess many of our staff living in New Jersey are a little spoiled getting to see DANGER DANGER in local venues every once in a while but seeing them on the spacious main stage was a completely different atmosphere. I am going to tell you right off the bat Ted is a personal friend and I get along pretty good with Rob Marcello too but regardless of any of that, all I can say is what a set!!! Ted and the boys blew me away. Ted was the ONLY front man we witnessed entering the crowd ten rows deep all the while singing along with the fans and I am sure the crowd was elated. If you want to know a real front man that will do anything for his fans Ted is the guy. I am going to tell you TED POLEY made my Rocklahoma highlight, not only because of his professionalism, because he is willing to take control of the crowd and make things happen and if you want to idolize a vocalist he’s the guy. Plus you get to hear the hits “Naughty Naughty” and “Bang Bang” so what more can you ask for?
After the DANGER DANGER set Mark decided to catch WARRANT’s set as I made my way back to the media tent to listen in on BANG TANGO’s press conference.
WARRANT was completing their Rocklahoma trifecta this year as they have played all three installments of the festival. The interesting thing is they have now not only played all three years but have also had a different lead singer each time! Robert Mason (ex-LYNCH MOB and current BIG COCK) is the new vocalist and he is by far the best of the bunch. No offense to BLACK N’ BLUE main man Jamie St. James but his style never really fit with WARRANT’s music. And as for original singer and songwriter Jani Lane… well, I don’t think we need to go there but I hope he can straighten himself out for the umpteenth time.
Mason brings a whole new dimension to the rest of the original lineup and I have to say the band sounds stronger then they have in a while. They touched on all the favorites like “Heaven”, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, “I Saw Red”, “Sure Feels Good To Me” and of course “Cherry Pie”. I wonder if we’ll get some new music from the band in the future. It would be great to hear but for now, if this lineup comes anywhere near you do yourself a favor and check them out. The “Downboys” are back and stronger then ever!
I met with Mark later to see side stage band KRANK, the former glam gods of Pennsylvania, on the Retrospect Stage. They still garnered the chrome and spikes and still had quite the presence on stage. KRANK gave the metal on metal as they were non-stop rampaging the stage. Didn’t know much about the band but they were a lot of fun to photograph that’s for sure.
I then jumped back to the media tent to see DANGER DANGER’s press conference which was a bit of a disappointment without Ted Poley attending. You knew anyway all the questions would be answered by Bruno Ravel anyway and he talked about the new DANGER DANGER CD "Revolve" which will be released in September.
Next up on the main stage was perennial favorites NIGHT RANGER. For me, I really don’t know why NIGHT RANGER weren’t headlining this day unless they wanted an earlier slot. I mean we have NIGHT RANGER or RATT? You make the call. You’ve got Jack Blades, Brad Gillis Kelly Keagy or Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini and Carlos Cavazo… it’s a close one but with the tunes “Sister Christian”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “(You Can Still) Rock In America” I say NIGHT RANGER! Do I have to say anymore? The band didn’t even have to sing their set because the fans were singing along to just about all the songs. They even threw in the DAMN YANKEES tune “Coming of Age” and they had Rocklahoma emcee Eddie Trunk and WARRANT’s Robert Mason come out onstage to help sing the chorus of “Sister Christian”! A fine set indeed.
Anyway, onto the main attraction and day 2 headliner RATT and out of the cellar they came! Big guns were blazing, a huge light show, monster amps, a stairway behind the drum kit and Stephen Pearcy jolting the crowd with his raspy vocals. They went through “Round and Round,” “Lay It Down,” “I Want A Women” and all the fans favorites. After half their set Mark and I decided to take a break and enjoy the rest of RATT’s show by getting a tall glass of iced tea, sitting back on a picnic table out in the lawn section and enjoying the rest of the night with no sun beating down on us!
Day 3 coming up next!