The Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Tour
The UPROAR Tour was a great show. If you're thinking about seeing them, buy the ticket and go. It absolutely rocked the house. The festival was split off into two sections. There was a main thoroughfare, and break away area where organizers had set up a fair-like, "midway" area with a second stage and stuff. Rockstar Energy drink had a huge promotional tent set up, where they were giving away free cans of their different flavor energy drinks. On either side of their tent, in a horseshoe formation, were additional rock band tents and t-shirt vendors selling band memorabilia. It was a pretty cool lay-out. They kept the space nice and spread out. Keeping it completely wide open, so people could freely look around, and listen to the smaller bands play their tunes. However, the main stage thoroughfare and area was set up in a straight alleyway formation, literally going north and south only. That sucked!
The cool thing about the second stage set up, is that there were literally rock bands playing live on stage, from two o'clock on. We rocked out to several good bands, such as Seven Dust; who were one of about six or seven bands that played on the second stage set up for the early afternoon festivities. Out of all of the second stage bands, Art of Dying and Seven Dust put on the best show. It got pretty wild and crazy. As for the main attraction, I thought Seether put on a great show, and Three Days Grace absolutely rocked everybody, out-of-there minds. When their song, "Let's Start a Riot" broke out in tune; man, the crowd went wild. It was too cool.
Avenged Sevenfold lived up to their reputation and put on a standard performance. I didn't see nothing that made the concert that much more memorable than the next. In fact, I thought Three Days Grace and Seether, put on a better musical performance. As for the stage props, Three Days Grace clearly got their prop ideas off of Nirvana's first MTV performance. They had television sets set up randomly together, and each TV screen showed some different distorted image or static. Seether only had their band name, backdrop, screen hung up, and really kept it all pretty simple. Their set up reminded me of Metallica's first set up, when once upon a time, they were the opening act for Guns and Roses during their 1992 rock tour. Seether let their music speak for itself, and boy did it ever! I thoroughly enjoyed their performance, and highly recommend that you catch a show sometime, if you haven't seen them in concert already.
Overall, the bands get a B for their musical performances. I cannot honestly say that they lived up to bands like the Black Crows, AC/DC, or the Rolling Stones featured performances. The Cranberries, in 1998 put on a better musical performance than any of these bands, It's quite obvious that I personally have seen far better. Still though, if you like heavymetal, or hard rock music- go, you'll have a great time.
What to expect at the Sandstone Amphitheater in Kansas
Yesterday afternoon we arrived at the the Sandstone Amphitheater, in Bonner Springs, Kansas around two o'clock. I didn't know if I was more thrilled to finally be there, after the long car ride from Columbia, Missouri or to see the excitement on my son's face. I think it might have been a little of both. Fortunately for us, I had the sense to buy a VIP parking pass, and let me tell you it is the only way to go. We were parked right in front of the gates, and after seeing the mile long line of bodies standing in line to get into the event, the twenty bucks was well spent. That right there essentially paid for itself.
It was my overall impression that the event was under staffed. After twenty-five years of attending concerts, I have to say that the lay out of the Sandstone complex, did not leave me that too impressed. The event organizers of the arena, I feel, underestimated the crowd and the number people that would be attending the event. How that happened is beyond me, because the ticket sales should have been their first clue, not to compact everything together so closely to the main stage entry gates. By doing this, all they accomplished to do was create a bottle neck of bodies, coming to and fro, and all the way through the twenty foot wide walkway, everyone was packed together like sardines. That part sucked, and it was clearly an unnecessary jam. Too make it worse, the event organizers also had stupidly allowed vendors to put of their merchandise tents, on either side of the path, all the way to the main stage gates. Needless to say, from people trying to buy $35.00 t-shirts or $75 meet the band VIP bracelets and CD combo's to buying beer at the liquor stand, nobody could get into the concert itself, until long after the first band had began to play. That also only deterred people from buying stuff, because nobody could wrestle their way through, to get to the stand. That had to suck for the vendors, trying to make some extra money for the bands. Like I said before, it was my opinion that the event organizers and amphitheater managers did a shotty job at laying out the festivals activities. As for the concert itself, it rocked the house!
I have been going to shows since I was 15. My first concert was Hank Williams, Jr. at the Missouri state fair. I worked for Dala's Bridal Boutique in Tipton, Missouri and during the fair season, Dala always bought a booth in the Missouri Industries building, to display some of the shops products and services. For two weeks out of the year, for four straight years, I worked that booth at the state fair, representing the bridal shop. I loved it. Because, I love state fairs. They are so much fun, especially for people watchers like myself.
I was raised during a time, when going to fairs was a family event, which most people looked forward too attending. I don't think it that way nowadays, and that's too bad. I have had the unique opportunity of attending the Los Angles county fair, and the San Jose, California county fair. Saw the Temptations at the San Jose fair, and Beach Boys and the Los Angeles county fair. Anyhow, my next Missouri state fair concert event happen to be the legendary George Strait. Now for someone who actually dislikes country music, his show was a pretty fun affair. Everybody, and I mean everybody not sitting in the grand stand was out in front, dancing the two-step. Scottie Hirst was my dance partner that night, and we had an absolute blast. But that's what concerts are all about. Letting your hair down, relaxing and enjoying yourself.
My biggest concert event was hosted at Arrowrock Stadium, in Kansas City, Missouri when Metallica was an opening act for Guns and Roses, if you can imagine that. Metallica these days, are a super-power house band, with a massive "cult like" following. That night in 1992, they rocked the stage so fierce, they flat blew 'Guns and Roses' straight out the back door. They are an incredibly talented group of individuals. What I love about Metallica is that some of the band members have Classical Music degrees. So they will be strumming along, and out of nowhere they'd play a chord or two of Mozart or Bach. Most of the kids at that time, didn't know what they were playing, but, kids like myself who were forced to take piano lessons or were once inspiring pianists, knew what they were listening too. That's when I read an interview about the band, in the Rolling Stone magazine way back when, and it only confirmed what we had heard. It was great and I have to admit, when I received the opportunity to attend that concert I remember feeling intimidated at first, but afterwards, I was hooked on rock concerts forever. I love the energy, the music, and the people.
For a music lover like myself, rock concerts give people a small glimpse into the life of the band. It also gives people a chance to feel like they are apart of something, bigger than themselves, and I that is the overall appeal of going to these types of shows. Unfortunately though, having gone too twenty-two different shows in all, I have to say that this UPROAR Festival was over shadowed by the lack of event management. I will never go back to the Sandstone for that reason. Why people put up with that crap is beyond me.
The Sandstone Amphitheater is eleven miles west of Kansas City itself, and actually is situated in the small town of Bonner Springs. Needless to say, the town has too many stop lights getting to the event, again causing unnecessary traffic jams. The line just to get to the turn off was well over five miles long. It took over an hour just to drive six miles to the parking gates. That's ridiculous. I guess, that should have been my first clue that it was going to a long day standing in lines! However, like I said before- having that VIP parking pass was my families only saving grace of the day. We didn't have to wait in the (actual) mile long line to get in, which had to be at least five bodies wide. We actually only had to wait for about ten minutes to get inside the campus area.
Sandstone is a vast area, much like Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri. Maybe a little bigger. On a grander scale, it is probably as big as Central Park in New York City, however, instead of being one huge rectangle like Central Park, it is a blob of land with no rhyme or reason. It was clearly farmland, before it was made into a festival event campus. Another thing I didn't care for about Sandstone, is that all the vendors and food stands didn't take credit cards. It was cash only. In this day and age, they should have been excepting credit/debit cards, or at least had a workable ATM. Thank god I took an extra hundred dollars in cash with me, or my crew would have been screwed. The alcohol was over priced as usual, but, that could have been a good thing too. I don't usually like to drink at concert events, for one thing I want to remember the event, and for a second thing, I do not drink and drive. But still I noticed that mixed drinks cost $12, draft beer $8 and canned beer $6. They sold bottle water for $4, pretzels and cheese for $3, hotdogs for $4 and nachos for $4. Being a concert veteran, I kinda figured that the food would suck, and that it would also be expensive for what you could get, and boy I was right about that one. Lucky for us though, I had packed energy bars and three apples in my purse. I had also fed the boys and myself, a good sit down lunch, at an Olive Garden in Blue Springs, Missouri and that tied the boys over for most of the day. This is stuff I would recommend you to do, if you are attending a concert or festival of some kind at the Sandstone Amphitheater.
Overall the Sandstone Amphitheater gets a D- for event control, lay out and food. There was about eight or nine cops at the event, and hardly any private grounds security force. If you are thinking of sending your child to an event like this, under the age of 17 or 18, I probably would not advise it. There just wasn't enough security to keep kids safe. Especially for young girls. I'd say that there was a 2:1 ratio of guys to girls. It's a heavy metal / hard-rock rock concert. There was a lot of big drunk guys, moshing and thoracing around. It was not an appropriate event to let some young 15 to 16 year old female/teenager to attend by herself. That is just my opinion.
Seeing how the Sandstone Amphitheater is an out door arena, and you're about to attend an all day rock festival like we did, you must carry in any light weight blankets and a heavy sweatshirt. Because they won't let you go back to your car to get your coat or blanket. Once you're in the event- you're there to stay. I thought that sucked too. But I understand why they do that, so people won't be filling up water bottles with grain alcohol or smuggling in pot- but, still come on. They are bringing it in anyways. The drugs were rampant as usual. People were freely lighting up joints left and right. So seriously what's the point of not letting people go in and out of the event? There really was none. They didn't bother searching through purses or backpacks. Before entering the event you were lightly padded down, for a weapons check. That's it.
I do recommend taking a small backpack of some sort with you to carry your blanket gear, ponchos, or jackets in. We tied our jackets and sweat shirts around our waists, which always works great, but I did have to lugged my purse around, but, it got annoying after nine hours. I always put my cash, id, extra car key and credit card in my front pockets anyways, just in case someone tries to steal my purse- but, you know I have never had any trouble with people stealing things, pick pocketing or snatching my purse at these events. I wasn't too worried about that. But still, it's only smart to apply the standard travel precautions, when going to a rock concert or big event. By doing so you won't have to worry about those things. Something else to consider, there aren't too many shaded areas at Sandstone. So pack a small tube of sunscreen, and I highly recommend taking in a tube of Chapstick with you. That's just using some common sense though. Anytime you plan on being outdoors all day (and night ) long, your lips are going to get dry, especially if you're drinking. I saw an awful lot of people licking their lips, wishing I'd share my lip gloss with them.
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