The Axis pre-party started on Thursday night May 24, 2012 on the Jägermeister stage, located in Jäger Village in the VIP camping area at Rocklahoma. There were eleven bands that played that night, with only nine of them being listed on the daily schedule. Dagger, a metal band from Tempe, AZ & drove in for Rocklahoma, thanks to Axis Entertainment. These gentelmen started the weekend with outright Rock 'N Roll music. Scott Allan started the band and they have been playing on and off for the past twenty-five years. The members are: Howie Macreno - Lead Vocals, Joseph Mente - Bass, John Harper - Drums, Scott Allan - Guitars, and Bill Mehlhouse - Lead Guitars. They were eager for the crowd to get to know more about their music and were amazed at the reception the people in Oklahoma had towards the music itself. Being an Oklahoma Native, I guess it is just part of who we are and not something that stands out to me.
Adelitas Way was the first to take Main Stage this year. Las Vegas based group that has a unique style that is becomming more streamlined and pronounced as the group flourishes. They are made up by:Rick DeJesus - lead vocals,Keith (KWB) Wallen - rhythm guitar, backing vocals,Robert (Rahji) Zakaryan lead guitar,Derek (DB8) Johnston - bass guitar, and Trevor (Tre) Stafford - drums, percussion. Watching them grow as as band is an amazing honor. Rick is the only member that is currently married. With their touring with Theory Of A Deadman and Shinedown this past year, they are molding into what they love to do, PLAY MUSIC. When asked who the ideal band to tour with was and they all agreed on Metallica.
The headliner for Friday night was Creed. A band that I have waited to see and it was well worth the wait. They played well into midnight and with sweat poring off of him, Scott said, "We love you Rocklahoma!" Scott Stapp - lead vocals (1995-2004, 2009-present), Mark Tremonti - lead guitar, vocals (1995-2004, 2009-present),Brian Marshall - bass guitar (1995-2000, 2009-present), Scott Phillips - drums, keyboards (1995-2004, 2009-present), and for tours only is Eric Friedman - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2009-present). The five year break has allowed them to get a second wind to keep on going. I watched a couple kissing when Scott started singing With Arms Wide Open. Music is supposed to evoke an emotion out of us and for that couple it evoked LOVE.
Theory Of A Deadman took the stage Saturday night at 7:05 on the Main Stage. Their music gets my heart racing and my bloood pumping. It is hard to get good photos while I'm dancing to their music. I had the opportunity to interview Tyler Connolly in the Media Tent this year. I let him know that all of the bands that tour with them cannot say enough good things about them. Tyler smiled and said, "Oh really, what do they say?" I let him know that I was told he made sure that they had meal tickets or cataring. Tyler's response was very casual and to the point, "We all have to eat, even those just starting out. If I can make life a littler easier, so be it." All the while his smile and his gorgeous 50"s style hairdo weren't phased by all of the wind. A genuine person behind the artist. Reminds me of the saying, "Don't forget about the little people!" TOADM is composed of:Tyler Connolly - lead vocals, lead guitar (2001-present), Dave Brenner - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2001-present), Dean Back - bass, backing vocals (2001-present), Joey Dandeneau -drums, backing vocals (2010-present).
I was not impressed with Megadeath. The songs were not audible. It was not worth my time to photograph more than one song!
Rob zombie arrived to Rocklahoma with six semi trucks. It was a first for me to see that many trucks for just one artist. It took the workers several hours just to get his lights set up. It was interesting to watch also. For a man of his stature, he did not stay in his trailer until his show. He was out and about watching the other bands perform their sets. It was after The Darkness completed their set when I met him. He is a very down to Earth man. I had seen him on tv and his make-up was freaky to me, reminding me alot of Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson, but when I saw him on Cupcake Wars the Halloween Addition, I saw him without his make-up and his personality was intriguing to me and I began to look more into who he was and what he was all about. Rob Zombie is not just a singer, he is much more complex than that. To add to his singing is also: an American musician, film director, screenwriter and film producer. He has several albums out: Hellbilly Deluxe, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, The Sinister Urge, Educated Horses, American Made Music to Strip By, Live, Past, Present & Future, 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection: The Best of Rob Zombie, 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rob Zombie, Zombie Live, ICON. He has wrote and remade several movies as well: House of 1000 Corpses (2003) (director, writer),The Devil's Rejects (2005) (director, producer and writer),Halloween (2007)(director, producer and writer),Halloween II (2009) (director, producer and writer), and Lords of Salem (2012) (director, producer and writer). And his list of accomplishments keeps on going. This is a man of many talents and it is very prevellent when he is performing. To say he is an entertainer is an understatement! Each song has all of the many aliens, of all shapes and sizes, as well as the soldiers with gas masks on beating the 55 gallon drums, all while Rob Zombie was jamming to his own music. Watching him dance was a show in itself! The confetti blown out big canons on either side of the stage was the finale to an amazing show. I can honestly say I have never seen a production like that, but I am intrigued to see more of his work. Thank you Mr. Zombie for one Hell of a show!
Jesse James Dupree had his Bourbon being sampled in the media tent. To me it has a strong taste up front, but then the taste of the oak undertones can be tasted across the entire center of my tongue. My not being a bourbon drinker and I liked Jesse James Bourbon. Jackly played Sunday night and it was a killer show! Watching Jesse perform in his metalic American flag jeans and his long hair blowing in the wind was a treat for all of the ladies. Jackyl played an extra 20 minutes, putting all the other performances behind, but it was worth it. To make things even sweeter, Jesse announced that they would all be at the Merch tent right after their set was over to sign autographs and fans could have their pictures made with them. People started making their way to the Mech tent and the line seemed to go on forever. Unlike most artists who only allot a certain amount of time, the entire band stayed until all autographs were signed. They signed for two full hours after getting off of stage. That shows that they truely appreciate their fan base.
After Zombie the night before, it was a little difficult to get into the Chickenfoot music. With Sammy Haggar singing lead vocals, it just sounded like Sammy Haggar to me! They did put on a good show.
All in all, if you missed Rocklahoma 2012, you missed some amazing artists perfom! Many of them came into the media tent, including John 5.
Rocklahoma is evolving with the times too and they are appealing to all forms of Rock 'N Roll music and as well as with the artists themselves.