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THE 2017 OVERVIEW - EPILOGUE

OF THE SOUTHWEST'S LITTLE-BIG ROCK SHOW

Rockers!! I know y'all probably thought that we'd bring more of a play by play on ROCKLAHOMA, the Southwest's Ultimate Rock Festival this past weekend. I was planning on having updates and pictures and LIVE video going on every day. I was totally excited that SKOM could bring those that were elsewhere in the world a look at the 4 day festival almost as if y'all were there with me. I mean, technology IS so advanced that on paper, I could have literally had a live feed the entire time either through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 

And in a normal circumstance where I would have had ample time to plan, I would have found out the deets rather than just assume that accessibility to tools like the internet or cell usage would work like it does in my home in Texas. I mean, why would I make sure that cell coverage for 4G would be available in Northeastern Oklahoma? Surely they too use smartphones like we do? Or that the festival itself would know that if up to 70,000 people could end up coming all four days, that maybe getting some additional temporary towers or boosters might be beneficial. Let's be honest, if you're a Gen Xer or above, the cell probably doesn't leave your hand much during a social activity like a concert, right? Not to mention if you're actually going to camp there for those four nights, having service might be important to those that are staying. 

It wasn't the case with ROCKLAHOMA because I literally found out that I was going on Monday before the show kicked off on Thursday the 25th. Ya, as in Monday, May 22nd. So those 3 days prior to departure were spent preparing for things that we don't use daily; like tents, propane to light a stove top, food to cook, etc. Not to mention pulling artists out to catch their sets and confirming interviews along with creating content that dealt with Chris Cornell's passing since SOUNDGARDEN was scheduled to perform on the 27th. I mean, I spent a day gathering up info about the band LIVE since I had not planned on writing about them at all. That's not a slam against Live; I love their music and one of my Top 25 songs has to be "Lightening Crashes" from way back in 1993 (wasn't it?). 

Preparing for a trip like this takes a good solid seven days if not longer, don't you think? It's a wonder that we even made it there when we did. In light of this, I'll actually be posting a review of each day of the festival as planned, just not live and all fancy-like. 

Truly, I hope you enjoy this Overview as much as I did covering it! It was an experience to say the least and if anything, I hope that after reading my experience you'll be even more prepared to go make your own!

Oh, and if you were there, please hashtag your pics you'd like to be put into the picture video I'm doing of everything that happened at this year's show. Just tag #CherriROK2017 (or retag on your original posts) and I'll scoop up the pics and add it to our video. You have until the June 13th to get your tags on! Can't wait to see your pics!

NEXT ENTRY: MAPPING OUT THE SETS TO CATCH - PRE-ARRIVAL

 

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THE 2017 OVERVIEW - BANDS TO CATCH

AT THE SOUTHWEST'S LITTLE-BIG ROCK SHOW

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The daily line up for ROCKLAHOMA 2017 was freaking rad!! If I could have been at each stage for all of every performance, I totally would have been. And in a perfect world, if everything went smooth and on time, the way the festival was timed and scheduled, I might could have heard at least 75% of each set, less taking the walk to get to each stage. But I know me and I know how things go so I just picked the bands from the day's schedule to catch their set. 

So with the help of my amazing boyfriend pulling up various videos and Spotify streams of unfamiliar bands, I made out a list of the bands we were definitely going to catch. I'll have to say that looking at the weekend's lineup was kinda overwhelming especially the Thursday show that isn't on this particular flyer. That is a lot of bands, am I right? 

cherri picked thursday   cherri picked friday

cherri picked saturday    cherripicked sunday

The next two days were spent gathering up all of the things we'd need to camp for 4 days and remember how I referred to my boyfriend as amazing? He totally is a manly man that loves to hunt and fish and also go to music festivals so we didn't have to run out and buy everything to sustain ourselves at a camp site! We just had to buy food and get all of the outdoor things rounded up to pack in the truck by Thursday AM. 

Easy peasy, right? Totally!! 

NEXT ENTRY: DAY ONE - MAY 25, 2017

 

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THE 2017 OVERVIEW

OF THE SOUTHWEST'S LITTLE-BIG ROCK SHOW

ARRIVAL DAY - 5/25/2017 & DAY TWO - 5/26/2017

Granny sitting in a rocking chair tied to that old truck was the only thing missing looking at the back of the truck loaded up to go camping for 5 days/4 nights. Only, we weren't moving to Beverly Hills and we hadn't struck oil (for those of you that don't get old TV show The Beverly Hillbillies reference here, then you're young AF - those of you that now are singing "so they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly...Hills that is...swimming pools, movie stars", you're welcome!).

We had great intentions of leaving and catching all of the afternoon and evening festivities at the Campground Stage but we were delayed and by the time we got there and our camp site set up we were beat! We could defintately hear the music and there were a ton of people that were whoopin' it up, now!! 

I did learn something - when you're at festivals, there's a kind of siren or alarm that native festival goers seem to participate in. I wasn't sure why as people drove by or walked by or we walked by an area, they scream "ROCKLAHOMA!! WHOOOOOO!!!" And yes, you're supposed to answer back in the same way, but louder. Then they'll normally offer you something, like a beer. It was strange to answer back with an explosion of WHOOO so normally I just smiled really big and shot the horns. I did once and our cart driver almost fell out of the cart, I startled him so bad. I might have done this a lot more if it were 10 years ago or I wanted to lose my voice for some reason. 

Anyway, there was a lot of the Rocklahoma people sirens going off all night and it wasn't a bother at all. It was actually kind of cool because you felt like you were a part of something; like a flock that had all come back to this place and that yelling ROCKLAHOMA (WHOOOOOO!!) at the top of your lungs was kind of like a right of passage almost. Maybe that's why I didn't holler back; like inherently I knew that I really should wait until next year or the last day to engage. Plus, I'm loud. I mean when I say the dude driving our cart almost jumped out or peed his pants, I wasn't exagerating. That's full on factual. 

Watching the sun come up on a warm morning the first Official Day of ROCKLAHOMA (WHOOOO!!), was so pretty. I was with my most favorite man, we were about to have a day of rock, and I had the coffee pot on the camp stove. What could be any better? 

Wait - OMG the sun was coming up! What were we thinking staying up all night listening to music and enjoying a cool night in preparation for a rock festival? We aren't 25 anyore!!! Nah, I'm kidding we didn't seem phased at all to be honest. It didn't matter because we were about to see some of the best bands in the world all in one place!! Who cares if we're tired!! "Sleep when you're dead!!!"

BESTS & WORSTS OF DAY 1:

frown plainShotty cell service on grounds at least for my carrier. Or maybe becuase of the gazillion people sharing the 3 towers and only one temporary booster from US Cellular (that I saw). Maybe aliens? The government? Who knows but it totally sucked since I work primarily off my smartphone I couldn't do much of anything I really needed to do to cover this show until I returned.

smiley plainMedia tent has WiFi I can access tomorrow. (However, this wan't much better because it was limited to a specific area and I couldn't use it the way I needed it.)

frown plainRealizing after arriving we should have come a day earlier.

smiley plainKnowing my amazing AF boyfriend was here setting all this stuff up, that if it were left up to me, I'd be sleeping in my car or wadded up in a tent that I failed to erect properly, almost suffocating in the morning. 

#BRINGIT - THE ROCK, THAT IS!! DAY TWO - FRIDAY, 5/26/2017

cherri picked friday

I was all ready to watch some bands on Friday when we got up from the early morning nap. I looked again at the schedule and PIERCE THE VEIL and THE NORMANDYS were across the grounds from each other. Since I've seen PIERCE THE VEIL we opted to watch THE NORMANDYS on the Ax's Stage.

Even the smaller stages at this festival were pretty darn big and great job with the lighting on all of the stages, by the way. Even during the day on stage, they were running lights and it really added to the performances, I thought. I love lighting (when someone knows what they're doing) because it adds to the drama of the band, don't you think? I mean it's no secret that lights on stage are hot AF, even the newer ones make the stage warm. 

And Friday, well let's just say that it was a typical spring day in Oklahoma - a spring day that boarders on middle of summer. It can be cool in Oklahoma in the spring, for sure. It just wasn't Friday. So like really into THE NORMANDYS' second song, they were all sweating like they'd just come from a very productive spin class. I felt so bad for the drummer because I'm pretty sure he was sweating out the toxins from the night before and if he didn't upchuck his toes after their set and for that, he should get a trophy. #truth

This band was energetic for mid/early afternoon and they probably hadn't slept much either. The crowd was into it! (Sidenote June 1, 2017: I just realized that one of the members is in another band I interviewed on Sunday - hmm. Interesting...)

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THE NORMANDYS

Genre: Punk
Reminds Cherri of: Early Samiam
Hometown: Tulsa, OK
Members: Lead Vox - Jay Horn | Lead Guitar - Weston Horn | Rhythm Guitar - Shawn Degan | Bass Guitar - Les Hodge | Drums - Pete Webb (Sidenote: I just realized that I interviewed a band I didn't know was playing Weston Horn & The Hush on Sunday...odd that he's also in The Normandys)

click the icon to go to the band's Facebook page

We headed over to the main grounds to check out some of the other bands on the list. I had an interview in the media tent so the next band we had planned to catch was FOZZY which were on stage right behind the media tent. I could hear them loud and clear. I totally loved their sound and the crowd seemed to dig the hell out of them! I thought it was extremely righteous of them to pay tribute to Chris Cornell. Here's the video link:

 

We also saw a couple of songs of ASKA's set. They were pretty darn good, although I was surprised at the amount of people that knew who they were. That's not a slam either. Check out 2 video snips from ASKA!

IN FLAMES was next on the list and man, they were brutal! Love this band and while they're not necessarily a typical sounding Swedish Metal Band, they have a few elements that are very distinctly Swedish and that's what I love about them. 

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Genre: Metal
Interesting Fact: Formed in 1990 (that's 27 years ago Pretties) & coined with creating the genre of metal called Melodic Death Metal along with bands like DARK TRANQUILLITY & AT THE GATES.
Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden
Members: Anders Fridén - Björn Gelotte - Niclas Engelin - Joe Rickard
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click the icon to go to the band's Facebook page

 

BESTS AND WORSTS OF DAY 2:

frown plainWaiting for water to boil to percolate coffee. 

smiley plainDrinking the coffee, watching the clouds drift by on a cool early AM.

frown plainThe hurry up and wait game is also played by people in the media. Had all AM and then it feels like everything is rushed to get to the grounds or where I have to go to meet my contact for the Media band. 

smiley plainWalking to the gate and getting the Festival Siren - it made me smile (and jump) every time!

frown plain

Trying to find a person you've never met before and being directionally impaired doesn't help. Not knowing what direction is what and describing landmarks in a place where all of them look the same is crazy!

smiley plainFinding the person you're supposed to meet (finally)!

frown plain

The scorching sun! Mother of Rocklahoma (whooo.) it is hot AF here. The high yesterday was 68 and now today when we arrive for our first full day of bands, it is hotter than Hades. Probably because all of the haters and the ex girlfriends or boyfriends were like, "Oh they're going, are they? Well, I hope it's hotter than hell there and they melt in the hot burning sun." or "I hope it's so hot that he can't even look at another girl because the sun is so bright." or "She's going to Rocklahoma? I hope it's so hot that her ass sweats and it looks like she peed her pants." 

smiley plainYou can rent a huge blow up pool here!! Say what?? Give me that number because that would be sa-weet - although I might get in and not get out.

 

rock horn round icon BAND PICK: IN FLAMES

 

LOL smiley plainRANDOM GOLF CART RIDE AT ROCKLAHOMA 2017

So you might ask youself why we didn't watch the bands at night on Friday. Well, frankly I had a couple of interviews that ran over and I just wanted to chill for a bit. My phone was dead and I didn't have my charger so we were kind of forced to go back and charge it. I didn't realize that my battery would drain so fast and we didn't see the charging stations until Sunday. We planned on going back to see Def Lepard and RATT, but we could hear them and food was more important. Plus, when you're in your late 40's the bands from my childhood just aren't as important. Maybe if I wasn't writing about bands all the time or hearing new music, I would reach back into the nostalgia bucket a bit more.

NEXT ENTRY: DAY THREE - MAY 27, 2017

cherri picked saturday

Saturday was finally here - this day was going to be mega!! I was so stoked to see STONE SOURLIVE, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, THE CULT, BLACK TORA, DED AND STARSET!! I've seen STARSET before and they are sick in a dark club because of the lighting in their suits and the equipment. So seeing them whe the sun was blaring down on the main stage, didn't seem like the full effect of the band would come through. They played at like 3:45 and so instead of watching them I snagged another interview while I was charging my phone (again) and trying to Go Live. 

But even before that we saw DED and they were freaking awesome! I really loved their set and they came for business, I'll tell you that. Energetic, full of movement this band is one to watch. I love their music too. 

Here's a little clip of the DED's set:

I went back to the Media Tent to wait for my next interview at 4:20 and this was with a band I hadn't hear of before, but the interview was set up through a publicist that knows a publicist and I agreed to interview because - well, I love hearing new bands and meeting new artists. And who knows, I could talk to a band no one has ever heard of and down the line, they're the biggest thing since sliced bread. So I don't turn down face to face, phone, Skype or email interviews. If I can't use the content, then I pass it or keep it. Plus artists need to talk to media. They need to be interviewed and out in front of people. I saw a lot of bands that were having a blast, hanging out, watching shows - and that's totally cool. Frankly, I don't know what they were or had planned on doing the rest of the day. 

This is mentioned for the sole fact that fans see bands hanging out in the crowd and they love the fact that they're not backstage fulfilling the whole rock star stereotype. And for that 5 minutes fans relate to them and might make a connection about this or that...point being, connecting with an audience is uber important to fans. And bands reading this, fans love connecting on a unique basis that puts you in a personal circle. They're more likely to come see you play the next time you're in town. They'll follow your social media and become a fan for life buying your records everytime they come out. (I used to date a signed musician and I am still a loyal fan - not because of the relationship n the slightest. But because there's a past and a connection that I made. Plus, I want them to succeed - and for their kids to have things.) Just an aside about making connections - not preaching or anything. 

But it brings me to my next point of bands being willing to spend 10 minutes with someone that is sitting in the media tent - confirmed interview time or not. I saw a few bands that just looked over and walked away. Take the oppotunity to talk to credentialed media people. If we're truly there to cover the show, then we want to talk. We know the rules with your publicists. Some may or may not follow it - but the ones that respect publicity firms and the jobs that publicists do for their artists won't take advantage of them. There are reasons a band isn't doing interviews. It's not because they don't like you or your publication. There are reasons why artists don't autograph things or make a stink when they're asked to sign something unofficial.

Alright, I'm off my soap box about that. 

When DED got off the River Spirit Casino Stage they have to come back by the Media Tent and what do ya know? They popped their head in and I introduced myself and I interviewed them for the Australian mag that I was also covering Rocklahoma for. 

That interview was done LIVE on their Facebook page, so I don't have it for your viewing pleasure here on SKOM. But I will be reviewing their EP and I'll be sure to post it here for y'all. 

Right as we were wrapping up Zak Wyld was on stage and my boyfriend was out watching them on the Bud Light Stage. People in the tent were told that we had to return to our vehicles due to lightening in a thunderstorm that was approaching Pryor. Well, y'all...it is May. In Oklahoma. One of the busiest times for tornadic weather is May. Oklahoma is also notorious for some of the biggest and baddest twisters in US history. For real, the first scene in the movie "Twister" where the dad gets sucked out into the air in front of his daughter, was a real storm in 1976. The biggest Oklahoma had seen in years, until the one hit Moore in the early 2000s. 

Funny thing, the DED guys came strolling back by and they were a little aprhensive about the storm and of course I had to tell them my whole schpeil about being from Oklahoma and that about Twister - and I think I freaked them out. Not sure if they really did leave the grounds like they wanted to.