This is a few weeks old at this point, but thanks to my good friend Chris for getting me tickets to the two-day concert, Desert Uprising, brought to us by local radio station 98KUPD: Arizona’s ‘Real’ Rock.
View line-up here: Desert Uprising
It’s been a while since I’ve been to a metal concert. I was originally just going to go Friday to see Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, just because they’re old 90s bands I’m familiar with. But I ended up going both days, because why the hell not. I need to get out.
So I was at the concert all day Friday, went home to get a few hours of sleep, powered my way through work at 4am and went back for Saturday. Lesser men would have called out sick.
It was a pretty good show. I had no idea who any of the other bands were, or I knew who they were, just didn’t know their music, like Shinedown and Staind. I especially didn’t know who the bands were at the smaller stages, like the Jägermeister stage, which, by the way, is so metal. Because it’s alcohol.
1. Metal As An Expletive
How does one compete for attention against sensational bands playing on three stages and hordes of scantily clad women of equal or lesser beauty? Why, you wear an oversized T-shirt with large, obnoxious lettering proclaiming something that could be mistaken for offense, of course.
I guess I never noticed how “colorful” the people are at these shows. I used to go to metal concerts often enough when I used to live here. Just never noticed, or things have just gone downhill since then. Perhaps Seattle changed me, raised my standards of what is appropriate and tasteful in public. Then again, I did see Gwar in Seattle. That was a white trash party. Womb With A View. Check it out.
2. I Don’t Like the Drug, But the Drug Like Me
- The lead from Red Line Chemistry would pour Rockstar in his hair between songs, because apparently it gave him rock star powers, which helped him level up on his journey to the status of Rock God, also known as Douche Bag.
So, in order to have a metal show, there has to be sponsors like Rockstar Energy Drinks (because it’s called Rockstar), Jägermeister (because it’s alcohol), and strippers (because they strip). It was actually cool that Rockstar Energy Drinks were there because they gave out free energy drinks, and that helped us all rock out even more.
- I didn’t look at the lineup very closely when I decided to go because I didn’t realize Buckcherry was going to play. I promised my old life mentor, as he was dying in my arms, that I would never see Buckcherry in concert.
That was a promise. A blood oath. And I broke it.
- To make up for that faux pas, I saw for the first time in concert Mr. Marilyn Manson. That was quite entertaining. I’ve always liked his songs, always thought they were well constructed and executed and just damn good rock songs. From what my informant tells me, however, is that Manson has put on better shows. It seemed like he let himself go. Had a little bit of a beer gut going on and didn’t seem enthusiastic about his set. Maybe he’s still upset that Lady Gaga stole his act of changing outfits for each song and now she’s the freak of music.
Rob Zombie never fails to impress. I know there isn’t much to his songs. They’re all about monsters and horror, have the same formula, and basically sound the same. But they’re catchy and executed well and pretty damn fun. His live shows are even better. The makeup, the costumes, the fire and explosions, the robotics, and the big screens flashing boobies are all so captivating.
- The first time I saw him was when I was a sophomore in high school. That was 16 years ago. Which means that guy is pretty old. Which means he might actually be a zombie. Which brings me to my next point: I’m too old to “rock it” anymore.
Seriously, I’ve seen Tool at this venue (best fucking band ever), I’ve seen Metallica, Korn, Kid Rock all while losing my mind, screamin’ and shoutin’ and pushing people out of my way and getting chicks to show us their big, beautiful blue eyes. This time around, I was getting aches and pains just standing in the lawn. I think I complained more about the prices of food and beer (because they’re effing ridiculous). A girl came body surfing by and I just held out my hand, barely touched her calf and did nothing as she eventually fell hard to the ground. No. Not the ground. She fell on the wire fence separating the lawn from the seats.
Take it easy. I’m sure she deserved it.
The point is that I just didn’t pour enough Rockstar in my hair or wear a shirt stating how “metal” I am. I basically went to this thing unprepared.
- The best part of this show was the long, improv guitar solo Rob Zombie’s guitarist went on for like 10 minutes while Mr. Zombie walked around in the crowd. The guy can really play more than just heavy riffs and chords. Also awesome was Corey Taylor, who did a solo set with an acoustic playing Stone Sour songs. I didn’t think the Bud Light guzzling, metal as fuck types would go for it, but they were totally into it. Even better was the next night when Godsmack front man, Sully Erna, faced off with his drummer in a drumming competition to awe the masses. They had two circular drum stages that could turn and they drummed back and forth and challenged and reciprocated and it was impressive. Most impressive.
- I learned that Staind is that band that plays that one good song, Outside. (Check out this fan vid! It’s ridiculously emo.)
I also learned that Shinedown is that band that plays all those mainstream rock songs that make me change the station whenever they come on. They’re responsible for every one of them.
- Here are some more pics. Sorry about the quality. They were taken with my phone because I didn’t think I’d be allowed to take a better camera in there.