Tour de Force


  • Axl Rosenberg

After the 2009 edition of Rocklahoma – a.k.a. the Wacken of Hair Metal – turned out to be an epic fail,  it was announced that AEG live, “the world’s largest producer of music festivals,” had been put in charge of “revamping” the fest for the 2010 version – including helping with “talent booking.” At the time, I suggested that this might be code for “no more hair metal bands,” and as it turns out,  I was right. Here’s the line-up for this year’s fest, in nifty poster form (via Bring Back Glam):


While some of these bands certainly have a glam metal influence (Buckcherry, post-rapping Saliva, Burn Halo, Taking Dawn), there are very few honest to goodness hair metal bands on the bill – Cinderella, Tesla, Wildstreet, The Glitter Boys… and I think that’s it. Of those bands, only two are really well-known outside glam revivalist circles. (And I’m honestly kind of amazed that Cinderella’s billing is so high. This band hasn’t released a new studio album in almost sixteen years! Talk about a legacy act…) That’s a big shift from past years, when artists such as Ratt, Bret Michaels, Skid Row, Twisted Sister, Stryper, Jackyl, and Warrant dominated the line-up.

So it’s clear now that AEG’s mission was to modernize the festival and fill it with middle of the road corporate rock acts; and they’ve done that. The comments at Bring Back Glam would suggest that hair metal fans are disappointed, and I can’t blame them; Vince has come pretty close to convincing me to get on a plane and go cover Rocklahoma in the past (we’re unabashed cock rock fans), but I wouldn’t walk across the street to see Godsuck, Chevelle, Saving Abel, or Theory of a Deadman. I’d take a subway ride for a free ZZ Top show, only because they’re ZZ Top and I’ve never seen them live before, but that’s about it. I don’t even know who most of these other bands are.

That being said, I suspect that people like me (and the readers of BBG) are not the norm, and that this strategy will work. This line-up seems custom made for people who have actually gone cow tippin’ on a Saturday night, and I’d wager that they’re gonna buy tickets in droves.

Oh well.


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