Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction + More Combine Forces at 2013 Uproar Festival in Hartford, Conn.
The summer just got a whole lot louder with the kick off of the 2013 Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival. The roving rock 'n’ roll spectacle, now in its fourth year, has quickly become one of the most anticipated tours of the summer for rock fans. This year’s trek rolled into the Comcast Theatre in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, Aug. 10 for an all-day rock marathon.
With not one, not two, but three stages of nonstop live music, Uproar fans should plan for a long day of soaking in the sun, getting to know some new bands (many with familiar faces), and ending the night with hit filled sets from some of rock’s biggest names.
The side stage action got started early with Charming Liars getting the music started between the two parallel stages. The music didn't stop from that point on, with sets from bands like Walking Papers, Middle Class Rut, the Dead Daises, Beware of Darkness, and Chuck Shaffer Picture Show playing dueling back-to-back shows to a crowd that enthusiastically hopped from one stage to the next, not missing a beat.
The side stage is clearly the best place to get exposed to new bands and check out veteran rockers giving it another go. That was definitely the case for Walking Papers, formed by Jeff Angell and Barrett Martin and featuring Duff McKagan, and The Dead Daisies, featuring Jon Stevens, Richard Fortus, Alex Carapetis, Marco Mendoza, Dizzy Reed and David Lowy. For those keeping score - that all-star list includes former and current members of Guns N’ Roses, Thin Lizzy and INXS … just to name a few.
From the outside looking in, this year’s main stage lineup felt a lot less cohesive than in years past featuring a musical amalgamation made up of veteran rockers, alternative superstars, prog rockers and indie outlaws with Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Coheed and Cambria and Circa Survive leading the charge. The benefit of having vastly different headlining acts though is the appeal to a broader audience and that was definitely felt throughout the venue as the night progressed.
Circa Survive kicked off the mainstage action with a short but intense set. Frontman Anthony Green performed in trancelike waves of emotion, stopping only to thank the crowd for coming out early to catch them. The crowd was not at its peak at that point but it was clear that many fans had rushed over from the side stage action to catch Circa Survive’s set.
Conceptual prog-rockers Coheed and Cambria hit the stage next. They raged the stage for forty minutes and let the music do all the talking. Frontman Claudio Sanchez stopped only briefly to say hi to the crowd before getting lost in a sea of hair and shredding guitars for the rest of the set. Coheed and Cambria have a dedicated fanbase that made themselves known throughout the set.
Jane’s Addiction were next on the docket, infusing some alternative vibes into the night. In true Jane’s Addiction fashion, they took the no nonsense approach of the previous two bands and completely turned it upside down. Downright theatrical and always entertaining, leading man Perry Farrell made his way out onstage sporting a long jacket, no shirt, a hat with a feather in it, and ready to party.
Never too far away, wife Etty and another scantily clad stage mistress brought the songs to life through dance and burlesque throughout the show making it as much of a visual experience as an auditory one. Although most of the band -- Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and Chris Chaney - played in dark shadows throughout the night, the songs sounded flawless and massive hits like ‘‘Been Caught Stealing,’ ‘Mountain Song’ and ‘Jane Says’ rang out through the summer night, a sea of voices singing along.
Alice in Chains had the distinct pleasure of closing out what was had transformed into amazing night of rock music in all shapes and sizes. With the unveiling of their new disc ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’ at the end of May, AIC have already released two singles with a third on the way and all three songs made it into the set list - ‘Hollow,’ ‘Stone,’ and ‘Voices.’
Of course, it goes without saying that much of Alice in Chains early success came with original lead vocalist Layne Staley who passed away in 2002. The songs written by guitarist Jerry Cantrell and recorded with Staley remain an important part of the Alice in Chains story and a big part of their live performance. Stepping into Staley’s shoes is not something anyone would take lightly and current vocalist William DuVall has never tried to do that. He delivers the songs true to their form and in the spirit that they were created while maintaining his own persona. Throughout the night classics like ‘Them Bones,’ ‘Man in the Box,’ ‘Would’ and ‘Rooster’ played out taking fans on a nostalgic trip back in time. And while it was hard not to think of Layne and how much he is missed, Duvall has earned his place in the band, ushering in two discs with the band since joining in 2006.
At the end of the day, the bands on the 2013 Uproar Festival may not all hail from the same schools of rock but together they make up an eclectic lineup that you’ll likely never get to witness together anywhere else. If you think you can handle a full day of face-melting rock 'n’ roll, then Uproar is calling your name.
Check out our exclusive photos of the Hartford stop of the Rockstar Energy Uproar Tour, followed by an official highlight video of the kickoff show in Scranton, Pa., below:
Photos from the 2013 Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival in Hartford, Conn.:
Alice in Chains:
Coheed and Cambria:
The Dead Daisies:
Check Out Video Highlights From the Uproar Kickoff Show in Scranton, Pa.