Rocklahoma- Best, Worst, and Surprises

Let me start this by saying these are opinions based on our experiences and tastes. Greg Crone, Johnny Michelsen, and Myself (Joshua Wheeler) all made it to Rocklahoma this year and, after all the excitement and stories, we wanna let you know how we felt on a few things, Share our vastly differing opinions on the music we all experienced.

First up Greg Crone

Best- Trivium, Clutch, The Cult, Godsmack, Coda Cutlass

Surprises- How heavy Sevendust is. How Dead Horse Trauma handled a large stage and crowd. How I watched 95% of a rap artist set that wasn’t my son (Yelawolf), Butcher Babies brought it. Lzzy Hales voice was a surprise.(Side Note- Gregs Son is Ryan Crone, whos stage name is Smooth Doggy Breath).

Worst- Stone Temple Pearl in Chains, A Perfect Circle, and Tom Queefer.

Johnny Michelsen

Friday Best- Stone Temple Pilots: New singer… You wanna try and hate the guy, but he was a show man and did great keeping up with the songs current and past relevants. Surprise- Yelawolf: He brought his unique style to the table and the fans ate it up. Worst- A Perfect Circle: All that stage set up, what was the pay out? Still waiting… and waiting… Maynard looked like David Bowie’s character from “Labyrinth”

Saturday Best- Ghost: That is one of the best storytelling sets ever. Even if I dont know what the story was. Surprise- LA Velvet: Victoria is smocking hott!?! with a South American accent. You get drawn to her when she opens her mouth. (and she is great at selling merch too. Better hustler than Vincent.) Worst- Vince Neil: Most of the time he got the fans to sing the songs. Luckily he had the best sound guy in the world to pause it like he wanted to have happen. When he did sing, wrong lyric sometimes.

Sunday Best- Poison: Taking a trip down memory lane with all the original members made it more memorable. Tribute to the armed service men and women always a plus. Surprise: Candlebox: Great sound and everything. Talked about suicide awareness, also a plus. Worst- none… Every act kicked ASS!?!

Last but hopefully not least Joshua Wheeler

We arrived Thursday and I was able to catch a few cool shows that night. A band called Kira on the Darkside stage and Dallas band Blackstar Republic. Enjoyed them a ton.

Friday was a great day. Hands down, and I am still riding the musical high, Yelawolf was the end all be all of my Rocklahoma experience. He was the first big show I ever went to and I had been looking forward to seeing him again. I remember the crowd from the first show. I was genuinely scared, it was so rowdy. This time I was thrilled. I was surprised by Sevendust. They have always been a good band, but there live show and stage presence was immense. I enjoyed the lead singers ability to talk to the crowd and entertain. Sadly, I am not a fan of A Perfect Circle. I am barely a Tool fan but really enjoyed the covers that Ultralink would do. I felt like there was a club at the show and I wasn’t a member of it. Like Maynard was speaking a different language I had failed to learn. That and he spent his time in the shadows. I prefer my Vocalists to be in your face.

Saturday was a bit of a recovery day for me, but by the time Powerman 5000 came on I was front row and ready to party. They knew it was hot and showed the crowd no mercy, and didn’t let the sun affect there performance, I mean other than a computer malfunction. It was hot but they dressed to the nines and melted faces. The energy was amazing and I feel like it has really paid to be a longtime fan. I didn’t dislike any of the acts that day but nothing else really stood out for me personally.

Sunday, the day of old school bands and people tired of clothes. My favorite and also surprise of the day was Candlebox. I could not believe the band my mother used to listen to could still throw down and perform better than people half there age. I really enjoyed 10 years. The first song was not grabbing me, but every song after was better , and better. My wife had been telling me to check em out for a while. She was right. Halestorm was good and you could tell the heat was lighting Lzzy up. I didn’t really get into the old Cheap Trick and Poison shows. I was front row for Lynch Mob. They got down!

Thanks for checking out the blog and reading our opinions. Hopefully enjoyed the read, and we would love to hear your opinions on Rocklahoma and the bands.

Cover photo by Johnny Michelsen.

Live Music Review- Primal Concrete Cowboys

By Johnny Michelsen-

Primal Concrete Cowboys put on a clinic Saturday night at Firehouse Bar. If you missed out… I hope you were busy doing other things because this was a must see show. 90 minutes of metal covering the best of Pantera and nothing was a disappointment through the live music. The only I could knock on is the bartender for not know what a blacktooth grin drink was. Sure it is a novelty drink, but its PANTERA related.

Jesse Herringer on vocals rocked it only was possible. He may be pussy when it comes to drinking beer (he said it himself by drinking budlight not budweiser), but gives great vocals to the songs. Jim Crye dressed the part of Dimebag and was spot on with every guitar solo to every song played. Chris Herring on the bass. No picks never to thumb that bass. Great stage presence. Jeff Gerhardt did the beat of the drums, but lacked a little bit on the look of Vinnie Paul and the stick twirl that would be played regularly, but the beats were spot on.
After the show ended at midnight, the DJ at the bar reminded everyone that bar closes at 2a.m. and everyone should do more drinking, then started playing 80s rock music. Being a rock music enthusiast, I knew DJ wasn’t up to date on similar music style, but if he was going for what Pantera grew up listening to, he hit the right play list.

Follow Primal Concrete Cowboys on facebook Here

Photos from the 8th Annual BeatlesFest

We took a trip to BeatlesFest this year and set up as vendors. It was a little to windy to try and sell anything, but it was great company, and good music. Give Playfair Park a shot if you wanna take the family out for a fun time. It is located at 2300 N. second st. We set up shop next to the Crones. If you wanna meet some creative people, these guys fit the bill. While the heat was doing its thing, we all stayed cool and enjoyed a variety of musicians. Here is a selecion of some of the best photos I took at the event. Hope you enjoy.

-Joshua Wheeler

Live Review: Yelawolf at Rocklahoma

To quote my lovely wife “If Rocklahoma was a competition, Yelawolf won the whole damn thing.” Now that is coming from a person who only really listens to him when I make her. I was so proud hearing that. I ditched out on seeing Stone Temple Pilots to get first row at the River Casino stage. So worth it. When Yelawolf hit the stage the crowd went wild. He was dressed in his Slumerican shirt, vest and skinny jeans. Odd jean choice but my wife liked it.

Now I know some of the people in the crowd wanted to hear him perform some oldies like Daddy’s Lambo and Let’s Roll, but he stuck mostly to tracks from Love Story, Trunk Muzik Returns, and his new Trial By Fire. He did however do a sing along of ‘Pop The Trunk’. At one point he cracked a beer, and offered it to a guy in the crowd who more or less caught it. Not 30 seconds later Yelawolf grabs thw micstand off the stage tosses it into the crowd. The whole place goes wild and I was later told two guys fought over the stand for 4 songs till staff took it back. Now if you haven’t heard, Yelawolf hired a whole band worth of musicians to tour with him. It gives his music this crazy full and heavy sound. He even hired a fiddler. I know he is currently looking for a name to call them. I can’t explain how heavy his music sounded and the joy I felt at the climax of such a long wait to finally see one of my favorite artist. As a side note, Slumericam shirts were finally in stock at the merch booth and they were selling like hot cakes. I had to rush and get one soon as I saw them. Finally I got mine. To close out his set, Yelawolf performed ‘Punk’. The original track features Travis Barker on drums and Juicy J. On stage his new drummer knocked it put of the park. If you wanna have a great experience, stage dive, crowd surf, have a pit, or just jam go check out a Yelawolf show. We will see him again soon at the River City Rockfest Sept. 22nd.

– Joshua Wheeler

Rocklahoma through the eyes of Johnny.

We have selected a few pictures from contributor Johnny Michelsen to give you a taste of his journey through Rocklahoma. From campgrounds to Main Stage, he experienced it all. For more photos and insights go check out Johnny on Facebook.

All photos by Johnny Michelsen.

We will be sharing more on our experience very soon.

First Rocklahoma experiences

We had a long hard day full of drama, misfortune, and butts falling asleep. We finally arrive at 730 p.m. and get camp setup. I’m excited to be here but disappointed at the same time. I had been looking forward to seeing Blackstar Republic but had missed there set. The day however decided I needed a win. Bryan Brown from the band hit me up and let me know they had a few troubles but

sorted it out and were about to hit the stage. I was surprised but my poor internet connection put me 15 minutes behind. I was not gonna let that stop me. I marched my friends across the festival and showed up just in time to get my face melted. I even hung around after the set to have a podcast interview. Stay tuned for that. Now we are all back at our campsite with the noise, ticks, drunks, drinks, and still having fun. P.s. thanks Mykel. The gift was badass.

Trifecta Day 2

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Three daze and nights of debauchery and live music with… greg.
Day dos Satantonio Texass
Saturday March 17 2018
Sell Your Soul presents
Ripplefest @ the Limelight

After crawling back into the light and filling our bellies with Mexican food we were ready for round 2. Ripplefest. If your familiar with Ripple Music you probably know that if you like one of their artist dimes to doughnuts you’ll find something to enjoy with all their artists. I was so excited for a day and night filled with heavy riffs, that it eased the pain of heading to the venue in mid-afternoon after the exploits of the previous evening.
The venue was cool and inviting at 2 in the afternoon and had a friendly staff and excellent drink specials($5 for a 16 oz. Lone Star and a shot of Jameson. Needless to say I was Texas Irish the entire day and night).
Witchcryer kicked off the festivities with their brand of retro doom ,that and the Lone Star and Jameson was just what the doctor ordered to shake the cob webs out and get me focused on heavy riffs and thundering beats. Suzy Bravo and company blazed through the set as if they were headlining ,making everyone forget it was only 3 in the afternoon. Highlighted by tremendous versions of “Ricochet” and “The Great Divide”. If your sleeping on these Austin homies your missing out, I suggest the vinyl version of their Ripple release “Cry Witch” it sounds so amazing and full on the vinyl version, but if vinyl isn’t your thing you can still enjoy it digitally from bandcamp or spotify.

Next up was Switchblade Jesus hailing from Corpus Christi, I wasn’t familiar with them but minutes into their set I was wondering what was in the water down there and why wasn’t it added to the water everywhere. Powerful fuzzed out stoner blues played with passion and a great Pink Floyd cover to boot. “Heavy is the Mountain” and “Sick Mouth” were the stand out songs to me although hard to pick from a set so flowing yet thick. They were my buddy’s favorite of the day.

Mr. Plow took the next turn to smash my brain. A tight-knit, cerebral outfit fortified with heavy riffs, which plays the kind of satisfyingly grinding heaviness of the best acts out there. It’s really cool that a group consisting of 2 lawyers a chiropractor and a registered nurse put forth such a fuzzy powerful stoner groove. “Telepathic Butterfly’s ” and “dead, eye dick” were the standouts in a stellar set. By a milla fraction these guys were my favorite of the day.

The Great Electric Quest kept thing crunching right along. These guys from San Diego bring rock n roll from every direction leaving you crushed yet wanting more. “Beers in Hell” and “OGRELUDE” stood out along with most eclectic merch table ever.

From Oakland War Cloud brought their blend of modern metal drenched in 70’s heavy fuzz rock. And bring it they did with songs like “Give’r” and “Vulture City” still buzzing in my head days later.29683767_10214065331059475_3151378141147037696_o

Zed took the front stage next, another band I wasn’t familiar with but it only took moments before I realized these guys from San Jose play with a maturity and confidence that is sorely missed by a lot of bands now a days .Their music grabs you and throws you around and grooves you all at once. Check out “High indeed” and “Blood of the fallen” off the 2016 Ripple release “Trouble in Eden”.

Blackw├╝lf hit the main stage next with thundering set of heavy doomy stoner sludgy greatness. Twords the end of their set they were joined onstage by the legendary Geof O’Keefe (Pentagram,Bedemon,Space Meat, Stonebunny). Their set included a great cover of “Sunshine of your love” and thunderous live version of the title track of their latest album”Sinister Sides”.

Then LA’s three piece Salem’s Bend closed out the front stage, I had checked out their “Cool Hands/Winter Sunn” live Ep and really liked it. But actually being in front of them live was a whole other level. They blend past ,present and passion into unique sound. Some bands you just love with out knowing exactly why… that’s how these guys hit me. Highlights of their set for me was “silverstruck” and “Mammoth Caravan”.

Steak struck next from the main stage and immediately had me regretting not knowing and loving these lads from London sooner. Their mastery of the “desert stoner sound” is unbelievable. Killer fuzzy psychedelic riffs over rumbling beats with great song structure and lyrics. “Living like a rat” and “Fall of Lazarus” stood out for me. Shame on me for sleeping on their epicness, they said they will be back over in 2019,you better believe I will be all over it!

Wo Fat came on next and showed why they’ve been slinging their Texas sized brand of psychedelic blues doom for over 10 years… because it’s good, it’s timeless and it needs to be slung. Highlights for me were “Read the Omens” and “Nameless Cults”. Next chance to catch these Dallas rockers is April 20th at Rudyards in Houston for free! Before they head overseas for some festival dates.

Dallas natives and true road warriors Mothership closed out the fest with their brand of honest rock n roll with a southern swagger. It’s hard not enjoy a show when the fun the band is having on stage is so pure and obvious. “Crown of Lies” and “Astromancer” were the gems for me. You can catch these guy playing all over Texas during May check their facebook for a show near you.

A great St. Patrick’s day full of beards, sweaty riffs and lots of Lone Star and Jameson. Each band killed it and seemed to genuinely enjoy hanging out with each other and the fans. We had parked by a taco truck that boasted the best tacos on earth so we grabbed some to take home and carefully made our way home. I don’t know about best on earth but they were pretty damn good and capped off an excellent day.

Greg Crone