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Plenty of Rock and Heat at Rocklahoma 2009

From so-called ‘heavy metal day’ to straight-up glam, Rocklahoma 2009 featured four days of non-stop music, fans … and excruciating heat.

Held annually in Pryor, Okla., Rocklahoma attracts music fans from around the globe. This year, the event took place July 9-12, with bands like Anthrax, Overkill, Twisted Sister, Danger Danger, Kix, Stryper, Ratt and many more entertaining the crowd. Metal Church chose Rocklahoma as the place to play their final show – and British metallers Saxon used the main stage to win over new fans.

Attendance was down at the 2009 edition of Rocklahoma. Higher ticket prices, a poor economy, questionable lineup and extreme heat all contributed to fewer fans. Still, those who traveled near and far to Pryor enjoyed the four days of rock – spread out over as many stages.


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Rocklahoma Festival
Rocklahoma Festival, Pryor, Okla., July 9-12, 2009
Charles Shanks

Noisecreep Test

    Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Mastodon at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Mastodon at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Crowd at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Neurosis at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Neurosis at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Crowd at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Brian Manley for Spinner

oKE.start(“music-noisecreep.rocklahoma”);

Several national acts entertained revelers on side stages, including Sunset Strip favorites L.A. Guns (Tracii Guns version), Faster Pussycat and Bang Tango. Newcomers Bang Camaro proved it wasn’t a prerequisite to have a hit in 1987 to play at Rocklahoma – just a general love for all things guitar rock.

Kix played far too early and upstaged every band to follow. The energetic act played hits like ‘Blow My Fuse’ and ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes,’ but left ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’ out of their set. Jackyl – with lead singer Jesse James Dupree acting as ringmaster – created a music-and-booze-filled circus that either left fans laughing hysterically, or shaking their heads in disgust. In between songs, Dupree swilled Crown Royal and showed off exposed butt cheeks. He threw cans of beer into the excited crowd and begged a working sheriff to “let me shoot your gun.” Thankfully for everyone in attendance, the sheriff refused.

Getting drunk in 115 degree heat is harder than you might think. Immediately sweating out alcohol meant fans were drinking six times as much beer to keep up – and to stay buzzed. During Skid Row, fists were high in the air, and they stayed there for much of Twisted Sister’s festival closing set. The band, fronted by glam metal icon Dee Snider, played all of ‘Stay Hungry’ from start to finish. Ratt also jumped on the ‘entire album live’ bandwagon, slamming through song after song from ‘Out of the Cellar.’

Three side stages and a main stage meant music was constantly available – to the point of overload. By the time the last day of the festival rolled around, most music lovers were looking more like zombies than hardcore party animals.

All told, something like 75 bands played Rocklahoma over four days of dirt, heat and port-a-johns. Festival officials are already selling tickets to next year’s event: flash the Devil horns, it’s on!

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