Who to Catch at this Weekend's Uproar Festival
This year's Uproar Festival hits New Jersey and Long Island this weekend, with far and away the best line-up in the rock fest's four-year history. Previous years have featured distinctly bro-metal headliners, like Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold, but 2013 has gone the classic route with both Jane's Addiction and Alice In Chains on the bill. Remarkably, tickets are still available for both dates. In case you're still undecided about whether or not to go, here's a guide to the best of this year's Uproar acts.
See also: Life Advice From Alice in Chains
Middle Class Rut
Listening to Middle Class Rut live feel a bit like having an enormous train hurtling towards you--an enormous train that happens to be on fire. This is thanks to the pairing of Sean Stockham's lead-weight drumming and Zack Lopez's incendiary vocals. Despite the seemingly low-key nature of these two humans off-stage, this Sacramento duo truly comes alive during performances. Given the fact that MCR have drawn comparisons, sonically, to Jane's Addiction for years, it'll be interesting to see both bands on the same bill.
Walking Papers might not be a household name, but bassist Duff "Guns N' Roses" McKagan certainly is. Also featuring ex-Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin and two members of Seattle's Missionary Position, it's worth noting that Walking Papers' self-titled debut album also featured guitar work from Pearl Jam's Mike McCready. So essentially, you're looking at a really small band that features some really big deals. It's not as hard-rockin' as you might think though --not only is Walking Papers very bluesy, it also involves a keyboard.
Thanks to a back catalog packed full of sweeping, vaguely ethereal tracks that land somewhere between prog and emo, the Circa Survive live experience can be a transformative one. Frontman Anthony Greene sings like Geddy Lee on sedatives (this is a good thing) and we've never seen this Philadelphia quintet put on a show that was anything less than musically flawless. Not to be missed.
We know it's easy to get turned off when members of Jane's keeping popping up on reality television and embarrassing themselves (Perry Farrell on Married to Rock was mortifying and Dave Navarro needs to step away from Ink Master immediately), but the fact of the matter is: Jane's Addiction was so ahead of its time, the songs still stand up. Even if you're not a huge fan of newer material, who doesn't want the opportunity to potentially hear "Jane Says" and "Been Caught Stealing" live?
Alice in Chains
After the incredibly sad death of Layne Staley in 2002, reforming Alice in Chains with a different vocalist sounded like a recipe for total disaster. Remarkably though, thanks to the ongoing presence of Jerry Cantrell's distinctly nasal singing style and a solid new vocalist in William DuVall, Alice in Chains is still putting out high-quality tracks and continuing to get great reviews for live performances, across the board. This band was great in 1992 and it's still great now.