Rock Eyez

Get Firefox!
Rocklahoma 2008 RockEyez was There!!

By Dave Felix
Mark Balogh
Mark Balogh
 Brian Rademacher & Ray Button
Brian Rademacher & Ray Button our media escort
Dave Felix
Dave Felix
Day Two Photo Gallery
Sebastian Bach
Enuff Z Nuff
LA Guns
Pair A Dice
Bret Michaels
House Of Lords
S.E.X. Department
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

Day two of ROCKLAHOMA 2008 started out on a bit of a dreary note. It had been raining most of the night before and was still raining in the morning when we got up. We wanted to try and catch the 12:30 press conference with HOUSE OF LORDS so after a quick breakfast from the hotel, we got dressed and off we went by around 11:00.

Now as I had mentioned, it was raining pretty much all night. I have never been much of a “sneakers” person, but I figured I wasn’t going to go drudging around on a rain soaked field in shoes, so I brought with me the only pair of sneakers I had. They weren’t like normal sneakers; per say… they were almost like divers shoes in a way. Very thin and light but very comfortable. Little did I know this would be a HUGE mistake.

When we arrived once again at gate 16, it was still drizzling a little bit. We checked in, got our new wristbands for that day and proceeded on down to the media tent. When we arrived, we found out that even though it was just 12:20, HOUSE OF LORDS had already been there! This was a little disappointing but there were plenty of more bands on the agenda for the afternoon. The media tent itself was completely flooded. We were surprised they were actually still holding the press conferences there but as the rain began to get a little stronger, it didn’t take long for them to move everything over to the artist’s tent on the other side of the walkway and set up a little area in there. This was REALLY cool because the artist’s tent was right next to a decent sized, wooden building where the artists could go relax and cool off a bit in the AC. Normally the press was not allowed over in this area but since they moved the media tent, we pretty much had free reign!

Now wouldn’t ya know it, the first band we noticed walking around again were the GYPSY PISTOLEROS! Iggy, Lee and pretty much the whole band were hanging out but they were not alone. Chip Z’Nuff (ENUFF Z’NUFF) was also walking around, hanging with the fans and presumably getting ready for his press conference scheduled for 2:15. Then, a couple members of L.A. GUNS, including Tracii Guns himself, were also on hand. This was pretty cool getting to hang and meet with all of them for a little while but it was getting close to 12:55 so we headed down towards the main stage to catch the HOUSE OF LORDS set.

I let the real photographers, Mark and Brian, take it from here as I made my way into the seating area to enjoy the show. I was really excited to see these guys... since their new release “Come To My Kingdom” is probably my favorite release of theirs since “Sahara" back in 1990. Lead vocalist and only steady member left from the original line-up, James Christian, proved he still has his “chops” and really sounded great… as did the rest of the band. The set list itself was a little disappointing. Yeah, I know they only had 40 minutes or so but still, they seemed to put a lot of emphasis on their 2006 release “World Upside Down” playing three tracks off that one. I would have definitely liked to hear more of their older stuff off of their debut or from the new album. Some of the highlights of their set included the title track to the new CD “Come To My Kingdom,” an awesome show-stopper ending in “I Wanna Be Loved” and an absolutely incredible version of “Can’t find Mt Way Home” which Christian was proud to announce as being mentioned as one of Howard Stern’s favorite songs.

It continued to rain through out the entire HOUSE OF LORDS set and by the time the band took their final bow, I was absolutely drenched. Again, it would have been nice to have just been able to walk right through gate 11 but Oh no… I had to once again haul my ass all the way around only this time it was in pouring rain and the field was just covered in mud sometimes almost 6 inches deep.

Back in the media area, I hooked up with Brian and Mark again who had headed back their earlier. Chip Z’Nuff was still hanging around and we were able to catch his press conference with Eddie Trunk a few minutes later. Lead vocalist Davy Vain (VAIN) was also walking around at this point but still no sign of Sebastian Bach! It was after 2:00 already and his press conference was originally slated for 1:30 but he still hadn’t shown up yet. This really made no sense to me from the get-go since Bach wasn’t even going to be performing until 9:00 but, whatever. At least we hadn’t missed him.

After hanging out a little bit, we decided to go up and catch the VAIN set who were actually a lot better than I expected. Davy really has that whole “rock-star thing” and attitude going on which makes him a great, great front man. He still sounds great and although I can’t say I recognized a lot of the new stuff, on songs like “Beat The Bullet” from the band’s debut “No Respect,” they really brought the house down. Very cool band who I would like to see more of in the future.

Next up was ENUFF Z’NUFF. I didn’t catch a whole Hell of a lot of their set but of what I did witness, they were very, very good. Lead singer Donnie Vie sounded really good and looked very healthy considering his battles with drug abuse and being in and out of rehab over the past couple of years. He really seemed to be having fun though and kept the crowd riveted with his on stage antics. One of the huge highlights of their set was when they were joined by Steven Adler of GUNS ‘N ROSES fame for a cover of the BEATLES classic “Come Together.” And Adler would not be the last of the special guests to join Z’Nuff and the band as Joe Leste from BANG TANGO joined them next for “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” played in that GUNS ‘N ROSES style. Then finally, Tracii Guns made his appearance in what was beginning to become an all-star jam for the band’s closing number.

It was already 5:00pm so Brian, Mark and myself once again made it back to the media area to get ready for something I was NOT going to miss… the 6:00pm press conference with Don Dokken! When we got back there, to our surprise not only was Dokken being escorted around, but Sebastian Bach has finally shown up and was getting ready to do his thing as well. You really couldn’t get all that close to him as he was being ushered around by numerous security guards, but when the opportunity presented itself, I was able to squeeze in for an autograph and quick picture with Sebastian just before they swept him away to his tour bus to get ready.

Getting close to Dokken wasn’t all that easy either. He was running late as well but we got to witness his interview with Eddie Trunk and after stopping for a few moments to sign autographs for the dozens of press and fans on hand, I was able to get a quick picture with him as well. No autograph but hey… that’s ok because I had met Don several times in the past and I knew I would probably be meeting him again at the band’s performance at Dexter’s right here in Jersey in a couple of weeks.

Then, as Don was quickly escorted through the area, one of the highlights of the day, for me anyway, happened. ALL of the members of HOUSE OF LORDS came over to the media area. They were obviously on their way to do an interview or something as their escort or manager (I don’t know which) was rushing around trying to find out where they were suppose to be. But that didn’t stop them from stopping to take pictures and sign autographs with anyone in the area who wanted one. Very cool guys and I am glad I had the chance to catch their set and meet them. I only hope next time I see them I’ll be able to catch more of their headlining set.

By this time, L.A. GUNS had already taken the stage. Brian and Mark rushed down to get what photos they could but I just kinda hung out up top or took a seat back in the media area because my feet were absolutely drenched. They were so bad at this point and so wrinkled and saturated that is was getting painful to even walk.

L.A. GUNS ended up putting on one Hell of a show from what I was told and didn’t see for myself. New lead vocalist Marty Casey sounded really good and brought a lot of fresh life to some of the old L.A. GUNS tunes. Their near sixty-minute set included a nice mix of old and new including tracks like “Sex Action,” “Fire It Up,” their closer “Rip & Tear” and a very heart felt cover of “Wish You Were Here” which the band dedicated to all of our troops fighting abroad.

As Brian and Mark headed up to shoot PAIR-A-DICE (whom I heard were very, very impressive), I limped my way down to the seating area and settled in for the band I really wanted to see on this day… DOKKEN! As the interview with Eddie Trunk they had taped began to play up on the big screens, I felt myself getting more and more excited. I have always been a HUGE DOKKEN fan and despite the fact I still sorely miss Jeff Pilson and one of my all-time favorite guitarists George Lynch, I still like to hear the old songs whenever I can.

After a taped intro of “Without Warning” (which was also the intro to the band’s 1984 classic “Tooth & Nail” release), the band burst right into high gear with “Kiss of Death.” The first thing I noticed was Don’s voice really sounded good. I was a little disappointed with it on their latest release “Lightning Strikes Again” because although it is a really good album, Don’s voice just didn’t quite sound the same… it seemed a little weaker than before and maybe even a little strained at times but he was definitely on tonight. I guess his latest stay in rehab really did him and his voice justice!

The set continued on with hit after hit after hit including songs like “Unchain The Night,” “Into The Fire,” “Breaking the Chains,” “Dream Warriors” and “Just Got Lucky.” Surprisingly they didn’t do anything off the new album at all but I guess with the time constraints on their set, they decided to go with all their crowd pleasers and put on an awesome show. Of course, the prerequisite sing-a-long ballad “Alone Again” and fan favorite “In My Dreams” were also included. All in all, a great set that did not disappoint! Now I am looking forward to seeing them at Dexter’s more than ever!

I hooked up with Brian and Mark again and we wandered over to the Tri-Label stage where we caught the first couple of songs of SEX DEPARTMENT’s set. We only caught the first couple of songs because that’s all we could stomach! These guys were bad… REAL bad! So we made our way back down to the main stage for Sebastian.

The rain had finally stopped and the seats and lawn filled in nicely with fans by the time the sun went down and Sebastian Bach and his band hit the stage. This was another good set packed with all the energy this great front man could deliver. The only thing I really noticed was that this was probably the worst mix off the board of just about any band on the bill (on any night) that I can remember. It just seemed the vocals got buried or over-powered at times but what the Hell! This is rock ‘n roll and as far as being able to get the fan’s hearts really pumping, Bach really delivered. His set included songs from SKID ROW classics like “Monkey Business,” “Slave To The Grind,” and an awesome rendition of “18 and Life” to “American Metalhead” and “Back In The Saddle.” Bach slowed it down just a tad with one of my favorite ballads “I Remember You” and, of course, the set wrapped up with “Youth Gone Wild” which brought everyone in attendance to their feet. A great set despite the lack of sound quality.

Finally we came to the last artists on the main stage that night… Bret Michaels. Now the first thing I didn’t like about him was he was playing the role of “Joe-Rockstar” being WAY too cool to come back to the media area to meet the press. Even the pre-show interview with Trunk was taped on his bus so you didn’t see him hanging out with the likes of us or all the other even MORE talented artists on the bill that day. Then the second thing I didn’t like was his solo band. Now I had heard that when POISON played ROCKLAHOMA last year, they really rocked the house. Well, these guys were certainly no match for C. C., Rikki and Bobby! These guys were NOT impressive at all which brings me to my last point… Bret himself wasn’t really all that great.

The show itself was very energetic and packed with a lot of pyrotechnics and stuff like that, but Bret’s voice was not on at all. For this set, I decided to go down with the photographers again and snap off a few pictures of my own. From there I watched in dismay as Bret and this “sudo-band” fumbled through “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Look What The Cat Dragged In” and “Sweet Home Alabama”… yes, a cover of the LYNYRD SKYNYRD classic which found Brian, Mark and myself all looking at each other as if to ask WHY?!?

At this point we were all pretty disappointed and I myself was in so much pain from my feet being absolutely soaked for the last 11 hours, we decided to call it a night. As I limped my was back across the mud-strewn field, I could hear Bret’s set continue on with songs like “Driven” from his new “Rock My World” solo release, “Something To Believe In,” and “Unskinny Bop.” As we had figured, the show didn’t get much better as Michaels’ voice seemed almost to drop down to a monotone at some points and sounded very hoarse to say the least. From what we heard, the crowd seemed to be into it but I think that may have been more of a respect for the artist himself than for putting on a great sounding show.

After one more glimpse at the big screen to see the ton of eye-liner Michaels had smeared on himself begin to stream down his cheeks, we got in the car and headed back to the hotel to pick up a friend of ours named Lance who had flown in earlier that evening and was already back in the room waiting for us. From there we headed out for a bite to eat before finally returning for the evening when I could finally peel off my muddy, rain-soaked sneakers and socks and wrap my feet up in a nice, warm, dry towel. Ahhhhh! Now that felt better.

All in all it was a good day. We got to see and meet a lot of talented bands and artists but had a few disappointments as well such as the weather and the Bret Michaels set. Things can only get better tomorrow with a line-up including LIVING COLOUR, NIGHT RANGER, EXTREME and, in their first performance together on American soil in almost two decades, the return of TRIUMPH! Check back in a few days for our coverage of day three!


Stickman Radio - The Loudest Rock © 2005 - 2007. The contents of this site may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of
Site design and layout was created by Carlos Rodrigues. Site Maintained By: