Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival feat. Avenged Sevenfold, Seether & Three Days Grace Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion September 5, 2011
First, Aftermath would like to give credit where it's due.
To everyone who attended the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival at the Woodlands Pavillion Monday night, we'd like to say thanks. Thank you for contributing to the festival's efforts to raise funds for the National Firefighters Foundation and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in connection with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Any bands - and any band's fans, for that matter - who donate any amount of monetary funds to our men and women in uniform are all right in our book.
On to the show...
Monday night, Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace and Seether headlined the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillon. The show was filled with fire, fireworks, screamy, gnarly vocal lines, shreddin' guitars and one extremely awkward moment.
Avenged Sevenfold, whom we've seen once before, put on yet another strong presentation, filled with lights, fire and even a song dedicated to their former drummer, "The Rev," who died in 2009.
Lighters and cell phones filled the sky, as A7X performed "So Far Away," telling the crowd that while they still missed "The Rev," they were ready to move on, continue making music and pleasing fans.
"It's what 'The Rev' would have wanted," vocalist M. Shadows told the crowd to a roar of applause.
We're not quite sure what the sound was, but there was a recurring pop in AX7's set, happening every four songs or so. Having seen them before, we knew it wasn't an issue with the sound; it was a planned occurrence, but it still made us double-check on their drummer, whom we thought might have exploded. Which would have made sense, given how heavy and non-stop his percussion was.
"The Rev" would have been proud.
Besides contributing to a worthy cause, A7X also polled fans on what their set list would be for this tour. The results were diverse, ranging from their first album to their most recent and everywhere in between, and it made us wonder why every artist doesn't do that.
"Don't like the set list?" a musician could ask from the stage. "Too bad. Y'all chose it."
And that would be that.
Before AX7, Three Days Grace put on an overall strong showing. Personally, we liked their first, self-titled album, but since then haven't been too pleased with what they've been putting out. "Pain" and "Never Too Late" were the last two songs they released that didn't offend us, but since then they've become a little too one-note for our tastes.
Their performance Monday, however, was solid, especially since vocalist Adam Gontier was losing his voice. Vocal ability or not, Gontier screamed his heart out to the content of thousands of fans. Of course, they assisted him for nearly all of the choruses, but had they not, we have no doubt Gontier would have shrieked until his voice was completely gone.
One parts of TDG's performance bothered us, though. Before "Riot," Gontier told the crowd, "We're going to take a request for this next one." Of course, the responses weren't audible, but he pretended to hear someone request "Riot," and he told the crowd that, unfortunately, they were not allowed to play that song.
The crowd booed, Gontier got angry (or pretended to, at least), and he said something along the lines of, "No one tells me what I can and can't do on my stage!" It was a fitting way to get the crowd riled up for such an aptly titled song, but for those of you who don't know, Aftermath is here to tell you that if the Pavilion had told them not to play "Riot" and they went ahead and played it anyway, the lights would have been turned on, the sound would have been turned off, and we would have all been told, "The show is over. Go home."
Since that didn't happen, we're guessing it was just for show.
TDG did redeem themselves, however, when they performed Eminem's "Lose Yourself" to our amusement and bewilderment. We wonder what the copyright rules are on that kind of thing. Anyone have any idea?
Before TDG, Seether put on a heartfelt, stripped-down performance that didn't leave fans wanting. The three-piece didn't move around much, but that didn't keep fans from getting into their tunes, singing along to such melancholic melodies as "Country Song," "Remedy" and "Broken."
"Broken," originally recorded by Seether front man Shaun Morgan and then-girlfriend Amy Lee of Evanescence, is a sad song as is, but it was even sadder to watch Morgan perform it by himself. Don't get us wrong, he put forth an unyielding, sincere presentation, but the song was originally a duet... and the female vocalist he recorded it with is his ex-girlfriend... and she's no longer in the picture.
Besides "Broken," the song that stuck out the most to us was "Country Song." The blending of country and rock fits Seether's sound and, while it's hardly a novel concept, the blending of genres was music to our ears. It's nice to see an established band try something new, even when they don't have to.
It was a nice night, filled with good tunes, plenty of ladies and enough chanting to make a church reconsider its music selection. Happy Labor Day, Houston.
Personal Bias: A7X won us over last year, and we were happy to go back for more.
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Overheard In the Crowd: "Didn't they just play this one?" - during TDG's set
Random Notebook Dump: Did anyone think Gontier's conversation with the mike stand was way too long, way too awkward and even more uncomfortable for fans than it must have been for him? Aftermath sure did...