June 24th, 2011 — Concerts, Reviews
One of the more disturbing sights at Rockfest
Two years ago it was insanely hot and I got something in my eye.
Last year it rained the whole time I was there and I got so much mud on me I had to go home and change before I could go anywhere else.
This year it was cold. Not late-December/January cold, but cold enough that I didn’t wear shorts and I had to put on a hoodie. I still wasn’t warm enough. Still, it was the best time I had at Kansas City’s premier gathering of misfits and undesirables, although that isn’t saying a whole lot.
The response time on my phone’s camera stinks, but this delightful pixie had a large knife hidden in her boots. She was using it to untangle her beads.
Despite this year’s strong lineup I was disappointed in a lot of the performances. Hinder and Alter Bridge, two of the bands I was really looking forward to, didn’t do anything for me. The two standouts I saw were Art of Dying and – suprisingly – Papa Roach. I’ve never been a huge fan of theirs, but Papa Roach put in a solid set and really knew how to work the crowd. I’ve previously written them off but I’m going to check out some of their stuff beyond what I’ve heard on the radio.
One of the interesting things I noticed this year is that more people were at the second stage. In previous years the second stage had a small crowd because it featured lesser-known bands. However a lot of the acts put on better sets than those on the main stage. This year was no exception but the crowd was larger and more into the music than previous years. Another thing is that the organizers did a better job with the food tents. There were more of them and slightly better quality than previous years. As usual there was no shortage of beer tents. I realize that this happens because they sponsor it, but only having Miller and (I think) Coors available really bites.
The weather ended up driving me out before Stone Sour’s set. I really wanted to see them but spending hours in the cold was beginning to chill me to the bones. Overall I had a pretty good time but I don’t know if the hassle of the drive, parking, and 30 minute hike to the Liberty Memorial is worth it. Unless they book someone spectacular next year or move it to a better venue this may be my last one.
These two young lasses were enjoying their weekend away from finishing school to perform for the crowd in exchange for beads.
March 10th, 2011 — Misc
Pollstar is showing that this year’s Rockfest will be May 14 at Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial. Earlier this week Black Label Society was displayed as one of the bands playing but that was soon taken off. Despite all my griping I’ll probably still end up going this year since it’s being held in May again before the summer heat starts to set in. After last year’s rain disaster I was wondering if they would move it back to June but it looks like they’re rolling the weather dice again on this.
The lineups over the past couple of years were disappointing, especially last year’s which didn’t have a must-see band for me. I was wondering who would headline this year. They typically get a big act who is on their way down (Korn, STP, Godsmack) but this year I think they might buck that trend and line up Alter Bridge to headline. Most of the major acts that are friendly with 98.9 have played in Kansas City recently so that rules a lot of them out. I have no idea if Alter Bridge is actually touring but they seem like a good fit. I could be wrong but I don’t see Black Label Society headlining, I see them either second or third from the top. I imagine they’re too big to headline the second stage.
Jackyl? Possibly even though they played here back in November. With that I’ll throw in the Nigel Dupree Band who I could see being one of the main acts on the second stage. They’re always in town but I’ll add Drowning Pool and let’s say Our Lady Peace also. I’ll add Saliva because I don’t think they’ve been in town recently and as a longshot Children of Bodom mainly because I would like to see them. I don’t know anything about Trivium but I think that’s a band 98.9 plays a lot of and I saw they’re putting out a new album.
I’m sure I’ll do my fair share of complaining about the lineup but if the weather’s decent it’s not a bad time. I even had a decent time in last year’s monsoon but I wouldn’t recommend any sort of eye injury though.
March 26th, 2010 — Complaining, Misc
It’s just about that time of year again, where 50,000 Kansas Citians drink beer and get sunburned while a lucky few get their cornea scratched. The 2010 Rockfest lineup was announced, and it’s definately one of the weaker ones I’ve seen. I don’t want to hash through the entire lineup but the fact that Godsmack is headlining the whole thing says a lot. I keep wondering if they had a larger headliner in mind and had them cancel at the last minute.
The biggest problem seems to be that the lineup is too predictable. Maybe it’s my imagination but there are too many bands that seem to come through Kansas City all the time. The most obvious one is Drowning Pool who put on a good show a couple of years ago at the City Market but they were just in town a few months ago. Same with Rev Theory and Three Days Grace.
For all my complaining I’ll probably still go, with everything depending on the arrival of a new baby. The promoters smartened up and scheduled the thing a month earlier on May 15 which should be pretty nice weather. I think the advantage of the weak lineup is that there’s no one I’m dying to see so I can leave whenever and just enjoy myself.
June 19th, 2009 — Uncategorized
May 30th was the annual Kansas City Rockfest put on each year by 98.9. Just a few thoughts since I didn’t end up staying that long.
First off it was hot. Really hot, like Tattooine. I decided to go this year because I figured it wouldn’t be too hot at the end of May. I certainly learned my lesson on that.
So anyway, I packed up my sunscreen, one unopened water bottle, and a camera (as per the rules they posted) and went on my way. The concert was at Liberty Memorial, but I ended up parking at Union Station for $20. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was like when you’re in Vegas and you think you’ll walk somewhere because it’s only a few properties down the strip. Even though they’re right next to each other it takes forever to get from one to another – probably a good 20 minutes.
One of the interesting thing was the number of scalpers buying and selling tickets. It was around 3:30 and things started around noon, so the $40 face value tickets were now being sold for $20. On top of that, the scalpers were buying people’s tickets for $10 so they could sell them for $20.
Once I arrived at the concert I was suprised by the sheer number of people. Obviously 50,000 tickets sold is a lot, but it’s one of those things that doesn’t click until you see it in person.
There were plenty of beer tents serving crappy beer so there wasn’t a wait for that. There weren’t as many concession stands and someone told me it was a 45 wait in line to get a hot dog. Here’s another thing – they kept hyping that no food or drink would be over $5.00, which turned out to mean that EVERY food or drink item was $5.00, including the cup of lemonade I got.
I was supposed to meet a couple of people at a specific spot but couldn’t find them. I went to go check out Parlor Mob’s set on the second stage. I didn’t expect much that early in the day but they were really good – a solid blues based hard rock band that really seemed to click. I ended up ordering their album from Amazon based on the strength of their set. They had a pretty small crowd in front of the stage which was suprising based on the sheet number of people there.
After that finished I moved over to check out Corey Taylor’s set. Despite owning two Slipknot albums I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of them or Stone Sour but there was a lot of talk about his first solo show. He pulled out a few suprise covers like Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and the “Cheers” theme. His set was good, but not great.
After his set I found the people I was supposed to meet. However, I was nearing the end of my day when something in the air scratched my eyeball. It was killing me so I decided to leave and let the good Dr. McKeon look at it. Apprantly what I should have done was fashioned an eye patch to cover it so I could have stayed. Anyway, I got some numbing drops and I was happy.
I left during Shinedown’s set and from what a lot of people were saying, they were the band everyone wanted to see, even over the headliners.
One other interesting thing is that as I left (somewhere around 6:45). I saw lots of unused tickets on the sidewalk leading up to the Liberty Memorial and even saw a small stack stuck under a minivan’s rear windshield wiper.
So that was it. However, I do have a plan for next year:
1. DO NOT buy tickets ahead of time. Don’t fall for the hype of it being sold out.
2. If it’s too hot, just stay home. If the weather is nice go and pick up some cheap tickets from scalpers. If that doesn’t work out just go see a movie or something.
April 16th, 2009 — Misc
In less than two weeks Rockfest sold all of its 50,000 tickets, and according to the site it’s the biggest one day music festival in the United States.
There’s a lesson here to radio stations and promoters but somehow I doubt it will take. I’m not the biggest fan of KQRC, but they’ve done an outstanding job building up an audience and promoting their shows. If I recall correctly when I moved to the area ten years ago it was being held in Sandstone which holds around 18,000.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out with a crowd this size. I”m curious when the busiest time will be and how many people are going to stay all day. It starts at noon but there’s no way I’m going to make it all day. I’ll probably end up showing up around five and leaving toward the end of Korn’s set, depending on the size of the crowd.