This past weekend, I headed back up to North Lawrence, Ohio for the 7th Annual Rock N’ Resort Music Festival at Clays Park Resort. If you’ve been a long-time reader, you know I’ve attended before (this was my fourth time, actually).
The missus and I went up Thursday night with the Mobile Mortuary (our camper) and attended the Thursday night pre-festival kick-off party which included local fav’s The Overtones, who did some decent covers including “What’s Going On” excellently sung by vocalist Cassandra Rose.
The next three days were hot, sweaty, loud, drunken mayhem that had us up until 6am on at least two occasions thanks to some overzealous neighbors in the primitive camping area. Lots of swimming, eating, DRINKING yadda yadda but let’s talk about the bands.
First off, I’m only going to elaborate on the acts that I liked. My momma always said that if “you ain’t got nuthin’ nice to say about someone, don’t say nuthin'”. In that spirit, there are several cover bands that I . . . ahem, endured & won’t go into any further details. On the other hand, here are some of the more positive moments;
Blues Traveler, Hoobastank & Theory of A Dead Man all did excellent shows which were generally crowd pleasers. Not a huge fan of any of these bands but found myself entertained & would go see them again. Especially if the tickets were free.
Cleveland Ohio’s own Jackie , who with a kind of bland band name (say that five times real fast) do NOT play blandly on stage, thankfully.Â Hottie vocalist Jackie LaPonza [pictured] belted out originals that were worthy of a big stage performance.Â The band is trying to win a slot opening for KISS when they come to Cleveland – consider Jackie as Rim Of Hell endorsed, mmk?
Bad Company Former Lead Singer Brian Howe – the man best known as Paul Rodgers’ replacement, Brian was hilariously entertaining and timelessly professional.Â His voice is as strong as ever & he gets my respect for refusing to leave the stage during a thunderstorm.Â As the few of us who were brave enough to stand in the downpour found out, Brian “didn’t want you to think we were a bunch of pussies”.Â Â Get that man another Tequila shot!Â Â Will never forget hearing him sing “Bad Company” under a strangely appropriate blackened sky.
Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas – I know what you’re thinking, I was skeptical too. Honestly, they do the name proud even though none are original Jefferson Airplane members. Mickey Thomas (the closest thing to a founding member) still has a great vocal style and smoothly prowls the stage while crooning songs I’d almost forgotten like “Sarah”, “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” & “Jane”. Accompanied by firecracker vocalist Stephanie Calvert, we were also treated to excellent renditions of Jefferson Airplane classics “White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love” as well as the syrupy 80’s hits “We Built This City (On Rock N’ Roll)” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”.Â Despite what you may or may not think of that repertoire, the band was tight & sounded great.
Overall, another crazy year spent with perennial friends we only know from this event, to new acquaintances who we’ll probably meet with again in that same campground years from now.