By: Fridae Mattas
Absolutely thrilled to cover The Rockstar Uproar Festival again this year, just like every year since the first Uproar festival hit Toronto back in 2010. Coincidentally, a few months prior I turned FridaeTV into a magazine and not just a YouTube channel, Uproar was one of the first events covered for FridaeTV and not another magazine I wrote for. The Rockstar Uproar Festival is a union of rock and heavy metal music birthed in 2010 by John Reese and has always been sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink (hence the name).
Was hoping for two photo passes because I could have used the extra help but you must work with what you are given. Unfortunately due to doctors orders not to walk so much I had to cut back my coverage and ended up missing a number of bands I really wanted to see like “Danko Jones”. My crippled ass almost missed Coheed and Cambria’s three media tunes but I hobbled my way there, even running the last bit making it for the end of the first track. My ankle is sprained thanks to my sudden urge to do a back handspring a couple weeks ago (Haven’t done one in about ten years!), It was all going well until I landed…Kinda like the Air France pilot who overshot the runway, the Doctor was amazed I did not break it. My follow up check up was two hours prior to the festival start time and we all know how “fast” the doctor’s office is…
Once I entered the media pit and started shooting I felt better, more at ease but my ankle was throbbing from the running. If my doctor knew about my sprint trekking he would yell in my face again! Doc, I swear it was for a good cause! And now a few words about the band on stage at that point in time at the Molson Canadian Amphitheater on Tuesday, August 20th 2013, Coheed and Cambria. This is one of the bands I have covered previously but personally I had yet to see the band perform since the Bassist controversy back in 2011. They now have a new Bass player Zach Cooper who did a fantastic job at playing his bass and had great energy, he was definitely enjoying himself on the stage. Claudio Sanchez the bands frontman looked like Chewbacca with a guitar sometimes because when he was rocking out his hair would cover his face so you couldn’t see it, all you see is hair. I was surprised by a few of the newer tracks they started out the set with like “Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant” off of their latest record “The Aftermath: Descension”. Coming off super poppy to my ears it made me so confused. I was looking at the band but they didn’t sound like the Coheed and Cambria I was used to.
When the media tracks were over they played tunes I actually knew from earlier records like “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness” released in 2005. Guitarist Travis Stever could have been a little more enthusiastic but he didn’t do too bad! Like most performers his expressions changed and he was feeling the music more by the time the middle of the set came around. Drummer Josh Eppard tore it up, he was so into smashing those cans his face showed every hit on those skins. This was a pretty short set compared to the other shows I’ve seen, then again they were the headliners for those. They only played nine tracks ending it with “Welcome Home”.
Next to grace the Molson stage was Jane’s Addiction an old school Rock band formed in 1985 and have had a successfully steady musical career. The band emerged onto the stage and these two sexy femmes were elevated by a harness in a long white sheet like skirt and bra. I honestly loved this performance, Perry popped out with so much energy and zeal, for a musician who is the same age as my Mom Farrell did extremely well vocally and performance wise he was a champ, floating all over the stage engaging the audience to the fullest.
The first of ten tunes they played was “Underground” off of their latest “The Great Escape Artist”, It was so good to hear an amazing rock guitarist with sick skills on the axe, so many people try to be like Navarro or fellow axe master Slash but fail miserably. Navarro is a pretty guy (Minus the “brotox”) and with the super tight leather pants, all those tattoos and piercings to add to his rocker appeal, everything about him yelled “Hello I’m a Rockstar! Dave Navarro not only dresses the part, he lives up to his image because his skill set on the axe is impeccable! I wish I could play a guitar like that but I have come to the conclusion some are just meant to play an axe and others are not. He was feeling all the tracks and was more laid back than Perry but just as engaging with the crowd.
Drummer Stephen Perkins was all up on those drums, his double bass kits were so big it was hard to take clear shots of his face. The drummers are hard enough to shoot as is and when they have crazy large kits it becomes more of a challenge. Bassist Chris Chaney was on point musically but needs to get into the performance a little more. Obviously the chemistry with Chaney isn’t a strong as the other three musketeers because they’ve had more time to mesh but he still needs to rock out and entertain the crowd more, he bored me compared to his bandmates.
Jane’s Addiction was definitely a crowd pleazer with their classic brand of rock and roll with new school elements to keep up with the times. The setlist was filled with their most popular tracks like “Mountain Song”, “Summertime Rolls” , “Ocean Size” and “Three Days”. They even threw in a new tune titled “Another SoulMate” an extremely sexual tack, I would totally play the tune in the background…Jane’s addiction closed their killer set with classic track “Stop” from their sophomore record “Ritual de lo Habitual”. If you don’t know who any of the above mentioned bands are, you really need to delete the One Direction and Katy Perry from your computers and ipads, phones etc and do some rock research and listen to the greats!
When I migrated out of the media pit to repack my bag I noticed one of the lens hoods was missing…I ran back over and security let me back into the pit to search for it, they even helped me look as the band played above us but we found nothing. The only conclusion is a photographer teefed it from my bag which was on my shoulder as I was shooting. Karma!! Anyways, other than the lens hood teefing the music was amazing! I was not covering Alice In Chains so I went to find my lawn spot and friends to watch the set. The band sounded great, however, My ears did not like the sound of William DuVall’s vocals so after they played “Man In The Box” we booked it! This Uproar festival was like a reunion of awesome people with great music, I have never run into so many familiar faces at a festival this far! Next year I will cover more bands I promise! If you have a chance to check this festival go for it, everyone needs an electrical musical infusion.