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Rock Allegiance Tour
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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Rock Allegiance Tour
Stone Temple Pilots
Rock Allegiance Tour
Rock Allegiance Tour
Rock Allegiance Tour
Rock Allegiance Tour
Rock Allegiance Tour
Three Days Grace
Rock Allegiance Tour
Rock Allegiance Tour
Rock Allegiance Tour
Fuel
Rock Allegiance Tour
Buckcherry
Rock Allegiance Tour
Rock Allegiance Tour
Seether
Rock Allegiance Tour
Rock Allegiance Tour
Daughtry
Rock Allegiance Tour
Rock Allegiance Tour
Puddle of Mudd
Rock Allegiance Tour
Stone Temple Pilots / Three Days Grace / Seether / Buckcherry & many more
Hershey Park Stadium
Saturday September 1, 2012 • Hershey, Pa.

        Wow, back to Hershey Park Stadium for the Rock Allegiance Tour. I haven’t been  there since Gary Cherone was lead singer of Van Halen. Wonder how many people even remember that short marriage. And what a long 13-hour day - 3 for traveling and 10 for rocking! But it was well worth the trip as me, and two other photog friends left Wilmington, Del., for the adventure. An hour into the trip we pulled up to a redlight and saw a horse and buggy go through the light, two Amish boys on the back of a flatbed tractor, two Amish girls using their feet to push their scooters and a bunch of the ‘honesty program’ veggies stand with one saying fresh sweet corn, $2 a dozen, that I knew I wasn’t in Ocean City anymore. Wow, how we take for granted living in such a great place. Hershey Park Stadium will be hosting this year’s 2012 Farm-Aid, and of course, I'll be back - I forgot the damn corn.
        Arriving at the stadium we parked, got our credentials and headed inside the stadium, to the portable stage setup at the south end. We actually got in a little too late for the opener, Charm City Devils, on the north stage, so we just hung at the south stage and waited for a local Hershey band, Observe the 93rd, who opened at 2pm and received a welcome from the pretty sparse crowd at this time. Having two stages, the permanent one at the north end and the south stage as well, meant not much waiting time in between the bands as they kept rotating from one stage to the other all day.  
        Off we went to the north stage for Black Stone Cherry, who came on at 2:25 and played a six-song, half-hour set to the rather larger general admission crowd at this end of the field. The north stage did have all the power groups so most were hanging at the railing to get the best view as the day went on. Now back to the south stage for Otherwise, a band from Las Vegas, Nevada, at 3pm. They reminded me kinda of a young Slayer/Motorhead, a little head banging but a little rock in there as well. Even though the south stage didn’t have all the power groups, it did have a little bit of a breeze. If we remember, last Saturday was very humid there and, I heard, at home as well. Now, back up to the north stage for Puddle of Mudd at 3:25, who played an eight-song 35-minute set. On the first three songs the PA system was not working properly and we couldn’t hear a word causing the crowd to chant, "We Can’t Hear You, Turn It Up". As we left the photography pit they got it working for their final five songs.
        Back to the south stage for Redlight King at 4:10, who are actually out on tour on the "Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival," and then heading to Europe for a few gigs. Back to the north stage but this time I gotta make a pit-stop at the VIP lounge area for some ice cold bottled water which was overly stocked for the photogs and free. Wish we had access to the food tent next door. Ok, up next Daughtry, one of the very few American Idol non winners who has had a good run in the business. He took the stage at 4:40 and played, as most of the earlier acts had, a short set but all of his hits included, also like the others. Back to the south stage, and just in time as the heat was warming up quite toasty by this time of the day up north.
        Next up at 5:25 was Foxy Shazam, the most interesting band of the day. The lead singer came out and started crawling around on stage, then stood on his head singing and just throwing his body all over the stage. I didn’t know what to think but they have been around for awhile and are actually out opening for Slash on his current tour. Always wonder how opening acts get picked. Back to the north stage for Buckcherry at 6:00, playing a seven-song set opening with "Rescue Me" and closing with their top three "Lit Up", "Sorry" and "Crazy Bitch", with everybody in the now larger crowd singing word for word.
        Now, back to the south stage for the final act of the day at this end of the field for Fuel, at 6:45. I should have worn a Purple Moose hat to see if I would have been noticed since they have played at the Moose this and last year. This south stage was small and up close and personal with the bands. They played a nine-song set opening with "Last Time" before closing with "Bad Day", "Shimmer", "Bittersweet" and "Hemorrhage" (In My Hands) with Chris Daughtry singing with them. Finally, my last trip up the field to the north stage for Seether at 7:25. As the sun is now behind the Hershey Hills, this is the first band to actually have use of the stage and tower lights; but I'm not sure what happened because for our three songs in the pit I think it would have been brighter if I had shined a flashlight up on them. Their lights were terrible, but it is what it is and they opened their  nine-song set with "Gasoline" and closed with "Rise Above This", "Fake It", and "Remedy". Now since we don’t have to travel back to the south stage, we take up shop at the VIP area where now it’s just a zoo with all the daytime acts wandering around the area. Damn, and I didn’t even bring any 8x10's. Now, just a short walk to the pit for Three Days Grace at 8:35. Wonder how many remember them playing Salisbury a few years back. Their nine-song set opened with "Riot", "Break", and "Pain". By this time I'm thinking the light guys went off strike since it’s all white spotlights on all four members for most all our three songs. They closed their set with "The Good Life", "Never Too Late" and "Animal I Have Become".
        After a short set change, the final act of the night, Stone Temple Pilots, take the stage at 9:50 opening up with "Sin." After just the first song I think the light guys went back on strike or the stage lights blew a major fuse ‘cause it was pretty bad and didn’t get much better through the night. Once again, I always wonder why wouldn’t you want the headliner lit up like a Christmas tree. Oh well, anyway they played a short 13-song set (I heard Hershey has a curfew, guess the oompa loompas have good hearing). They did sound really great, though, running through all their hits with "Vasoline", Crackerman", "Hickory Dichotomy", "Meatplow", "Big Empty", "Between The Lines", "Intersate Love Song", "Plush", "Tumble in the Rough", "Big Bang Baby", "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart" and closing with "Unglued". If this was any indication of a day-long festival in Hershey Park Stadium, I cannot wait for Farm-Aid on September 22nd. Then again, we are talking two different kinds of talent here, but those country acts like to get wild too. Stay tuned!!
– Gary Crouthamel, concert photojournalist

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