Sunday night in Spokane, I made my way up to The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival at the Spokane Arena. My ears are still ringing.

The show started off in the parking lot of the arena with the Best Buy Music Gear Stage powered by Ernie Ball. The Fail Safe Project, out of Spokane, were the Battle of the Bands winner and scored the opening slot on the stage. They were followed by Hell or High Water, Black Tide, Art of Dying, and Sevendust wrapped up the first half of the day. On the main stage inside the arena, Escape the Fate, Bullet For My Valentine, Seether, Three Days Grace, and Avenged Sevenfold all rocked out.


After The Fail Safe Project and Hell or Highwater tore it up,  Black Tide came on. A short set, but they still put on a good show playing about a half dozen songs including 'Warriors of Time' and their latest single 'That Fire'. It's crazy to see these guys now compared to when I first saw them at the first Mayhem Fest in 2008. Their debut album 'Light From Above' hadn't been out very long and they were one of the first bands to hit the side stage that day. This was frontman Gabe Garcia then...and this is him now. The look has definitely changed over the years and the music has gotten a little more 'mainstream'. I hate to say that, because both of their albums kick ass, but the old stuff had much more  of a thrash vibe to it.

We took a little break during Art of Dying to enjoy some beverages...then I split from the rest of my group to go watch Sevendust while the rest of my friends went inside to catch Escape The Fate.

Sevendust never disappoints. This was the 11th time I've seen them live and each time they bring a ton of energy to the stage that resonates through their music. 7D kicked off with 'Splinter'. One of my favorites, not just off their 'Cold Day Memory' album but overall. 7 songs later, they wrapped up their with 'Face to Face'. The pit was pretty intense, and rightfully so, but I did manage to score a pick from Clint Lowery. That made my day, and it was nowhere near over. Rad moment: Vocalist LaJon Witherspoon talking about his 39th birthday (which was actually the next day - Sunday, October 3rd) and thanking all the fans in attendance for their support. Not to call you out dood, but I think we could all see you fighting back tears. That's real love for your fans and what you do. Respect \m/

Following Sevendust, I made my way into the Arena. I pretty much missed all of Escape The Fate, but thanks to my girls who held down the front rail, I was able to slide up to the front no problem...well, a few people gave me some grief for pushing through, but whatever...move it on over, I got places to be! Well done ladies.

Next up: Bullet For My Valentine...Oh my. They came out and absolutely KILLED it - 'We're here to play heavy f***ing metal!" That wasn't a lie. This was my third time seeing them live and I think my favorite performance from them yet. Loud, fast, tight, and killer stage presence...to say it was an awesome show is a drastic understatement. Kicking off with 'Your Betrayal', they set a tone for their whole set that also included 'Pleasure and Pain', 'Scream, Aim, Fire' and wrapped up with 'Alone'. Check out their performance of one of their first major hits from their album The Poison - 'Tears Don't Fall':

Seether came out after Bullet and kept up most the energy that was already in the building. Even when they slowed things down with 'Broken' they had the crowd in the palm of their hand. Hit after hit after hit, Seether rocked out a handful of their classic tracks starting with 'Gasoline', and a pair of their new songs with 'Country Song' and 'Tonight'...and its always cool to close out a set by throwing your guitar through the drum kit. Well done Shaun! Check out Seether's performance of 'Fine Again':

Three Days Grace hit the stage next. I was actually surprised how many of their songs I knew damn near word for word. Frontman Adam Gontier told the crowd that they weren't allowed to play 'Riot'...which caused a roar of boo's from the crowd. Needless to say, they played that it anyway. They wrapped up their set with 'Animal I Have Become'  where Gontier disappeared off the stage from the right side and then returned half way through the verse on the left side of the stage. Since we were on the front rail, I couldn't see exactly where he went, but he definitely made his way through the crowd and across the arena. Pretty cool.

Finally. Avenged Sevenfold, on deck. A huge black curtain dropped in front of the stage while Metallica was being pumped through the speakers...that helped ease the wait. When the curtain dropped, the intro to 'Nightmare' fired up, causing the 8,000+ in attendance to cheer with whatever they had left in them after a long day of rockin' out.

A7X continued by busting out 'Beast and the Harlot' then 'Welcome to the Family' before 'taking it back to Warped Tour 2006' with 'Second Heartbeat'...and that was just the first track from their second album 'Waking The Fallen'. They also mixed in 'Chapter Four' and wrapped up with 'Unholy Confessions'. Their entire show was filled with a ton of pyrotechnics. The flames shot out from all around the massive deathbat and the heat was intense even in the crowd, I can't imagine how hot it must have been for new drummer Arin Ilejay. Even frontman M. Shadows mentioned how much different and hotter the pyro was at an indoor arena.

Ive been a major fan of Avenged for a long time now and always enjoy their live shows, but something was missing this time. Almost as if they would have rather been somewhere else than on stage. Zacky Vengeance looked bored and even when him and Synyster Gated would stand together at the center of the stage for their solos, they barely had any interaction with each other. They were just kind of boring as far as their stage presence. I hate to say that, but compared to shows Ive seen in the past, their energy was just kind of low. Like they were just going through the motions. Don't get me wrong...the setlist was good, their stage setup with the lighting, pyro, and deathbat was really rad, and they sounded good (even with the bass a little too heavy), but like I said, there was just something missing. I hope The Rev's passing hasn't taken the life out of this band. Speaking of which, Avenged playing 'So Far Away', their salute to Jimmy written by Synyster, was a rad touch to the day. foREVer. Check out A7X performing 'Buried Alive':


All and all, it was one hell of a day. Filled with really good friends and tons of kick ass bands. I think the only way the day could have been better would have been for this to be at The Gorge.

Ugh...Why can't every day be Uproar?! Till next year, I guess...

If you've got some pics of the show that you want to show off, upload 'em to the 97 Rock Facebook page or send 'em into 97rockpics@gmail.com \m/