It’s been an incredible, busy, frantic summer for yours truly, and I’ve been less than devoted to my blogging duties. To be fair, I have been a *smidge* preoccupied with work, traveling, family duties, and horrific tragedies. This blog is not about venting on you dear readers, however… it’s about travel, and music, and love, and life, and all the things that are good and right in this crazy world. So, freaks and travelers, let us discuss the Way Too Busy Gypsy Summer!
Memorial Day weekend saw a return to Pryor, Oklahoma for Rocklahoma 2014. We Gypsies are old pros at this trip by now, and we really do enjoy the break from everything to just get away with 50,000 other Rocklahomies. Our #1 tip for those considering the trip – book your hotel in January or February, and stay in the town of Claremore. Great people, every convenience you’ll need, good places to eat, and several very good hotels. Feel free to meet us Gypsies during lunch at the Rib Crib in Claremore, it’s become a daily ritual! (Dare I say… a RTG meetup location in the future?)
Beautiful, smoky meat. So much yes.
Sadly, the first day traffic situation has NOT improved. As the crowd grows larger, more people are showing up at the same time on the first day to check in, and the organizers, while excellent in nearly everything else, really fall short on this. There truly should be a dedicated VIP parking / artist’s driving lane so that it becomes possible to get around the massive traffic jam to the correct entry point. I’m not sure how they’d solve this, but the problem we encountered was a multi-hour wait in traffic headed to the general admission and camping sections, which caused us to miss several of the early performers.
We did, however, get to see the always-awesome Shaun Morgan and Seether on day 1! These guys were pretty much Day 1’s highlight, aside from the epicness that is…. red velvet funnel cake
Yes, it’s really a thing. And it is spectactular.
Day 1 is mostly for getting our bearings and meeting our seat-mates in VIP. We have a really great group of experienced festival-goers around us, and it makes for one heck of a good time. We did however, have a little surprise on Day 1, when we stopped in the Retrospect Tent to check out one of the younger bands, Nasty Habit. These young guys out of New York put on the kind of show usually seen in flashbacks to the late 70’s and early 80’s. High energy, enormous musical talent, and clearly having an absolute BLAST on stage, the Nasty Habit boys earned a lot of new followers over the weekend, including the Gypsies.
Trust me. You want to see these guys.
Day 2 was all about the 80’s bands. We were especially looking forward to Extreme and Twisted Sister. While Extreme’s set was a little… odd…. the original lineup for TS did not disappoint in ANY way!
Dee Snider is a LEGEND.
We also caught shows by our boys Devour The Day and Adelita’s Way. Blake and Joey from DTD definitely know how to work the crowd, and there will never be a time that I don’t want to hear Rick DeJesus from AW sing. Anything. Ever.
DTD on the Hard Rock Stage = mosh pits, illegal substances, and sweat!
The final day for me was all about Theory of a Deadman and Kid Rock, two of the later performers in the evening. We did get to wander around and see other parts of the festival grounds, and met up with friends who traveled in from other states for the weekend. The Rocklahoma festival site is set up beautifully, there’s tons of open space, and plenty of things to see and do. You can be in the middle of a crowd or totally separated on your own, whatever you prefer.
Big crowd around the main stage, passed out chick on her knees, and someone carrying an inflatable monkey. Because they want to.
Tyler from TOADM was fighting laryngitis, but came out and gave it a great try. Most artists would have canceled or just not bothered to show, but the Theory guys always give it everything they’ve got. And then…. the crown prince of redneck hip hop rock graced us with his awesomeness…..
Best entrance ever? Kid Rock wins.
We left during the last few songs, trying to get ahead of the crowd headed out of the festival grounds. It’s nearly a 30 minute drive back to the hotel we use in Claremore, so we knew we’d need enough time to clean up, pack, and get some sleep before checking out the next morning. Rocklahoma has become our ‘must-do’ festival every year, and no matter who is on the lineup, we always have a great time. VIP tickets are very much worth the cost, and hotels are reasonably priced. Festival food is as expensive as you’d imagine, as are drinks, for the general admission crowd. The Gypsies have discussed attempting to camp one year at RoK but, well, we do love a nice air conditioned hotel with hot showers.
So, now we’re caught up on the festival action so far this summer! Next up, a day trip to the Mötley Crüe last tour ever stop in Birmingham, Alabama, and catching up with Buckcherry and our boys Otherwise when they swing through Robinsonville, Mississippi in October. Stay tuned, freaks!
Love, sweat, and music