Fifth annual Rocklahoma Festival begins

PRYOR – Music lovers in Northeastern Oklahoma and those that travel here know Memorial Day weekend signals the beginning of the outdoor concert season and in particular, Rocklahoma – the annual three-day music festival featuring over 50 bands on three different stages.  Some of those you may have heard of and others are just now rising within the ranks of the rock-n-roll world.

The party officially got underway on the main stage Friday with Toronto’s My Darkest Days performing their hit “Porn Star Dancing” among other songs. Fans braved the early evening heat as the group played their signature song while bikini-clad girls danced across the stage.

Keeping things moving right along, punk rockers New Medicine took to the Hard Rock second stage immediately following My Darkest Days. New Medicine’s sometimes pop-heavy sound is nicely complimented by rap-rock style lyrics and catchy hooks.

Australian trio Sick Puppies took over the main stage, to the delight of the fans still filing into the massive concert grounds. Front man Shimon Moore’s lyrics were tight, while bassist Emma Anzai put on a show while supplying some nasty bass-lines. The group closed out their set with their smash-hit “You’re Going Down.”

Sick Puppies photo gallery.


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

The surprising act of the night was second-stage band Texas Hippie Coalition. Lead singer Big Dad Ritch and crew tore into a set chalked full of what has been dubbed as “Red Dirt Metal.” The group played with the intensity of Pantera, while managing a hit of a Southern-rock Lynyrd Skynyrd twang.

Ritch won over the crowd early, telling them about their trip from the other side of the Red River. “Drove all the way up here, didn’t get pulled over one time,” he said. “I took my Texas license plate off, and I put an Oklahoma tag on there,” he added, drawing cheers from the crowd building outside of the second stage. They then took off into their song “Texas Tags,” which resulted in cheers, devil horns and head banging in the audience.

Texas Hippie Coalition photo gallery.


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

Christian-rock band Skillet followed up on the main stage with two musicians cloaked in long white coats playing the violin and cello. The crowd erupted in cheers as the band then made their way onto the stage and kicked off into a very loud and energized version of “Whispers in the Dark.” They included “Hero” and “Monster” in a very powerful and entertaining set.

Skillet photo gallery.


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

Johnathon Tyler and the Northern Lights, along with All that Remains closed out the action on the second stage as darkness closed in on the festival grounds.

Oklahoma City’s Hinder warmed the crowd up for the night’s main event with “All American Nightmare” and “Get Stoned.” Lead singer Austin Winkler seemed taken aback in between songs as he looked out over the large crowd on hand. The group’s set was received well by their home-state crowd.

Hinder photo gallery.


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

English rockers Whitesnake took over the main stage and played a roughly hour and a half set to close out the night. The thousands in attendance sang along as David Coverdale and crew played hits including “Is This Love,” “Here I Go Again,” “Slide it in” mixed with extended guitar and drum solos before finishing up with “Still of the Night.” As the delighted crowd headed for the exits, it was clear that night one of the fifth annual Rocklahoma Festival was a success.

Whitesnake photo gallery.


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

Saturday featured headliners Drowning Pool, Sebastian Bach and Staind.

Sunday night is easily set up to be the biggest night of the weekend. On tap for Sunday is One Less Reason, Art of Dying, Crooked X, Escape the Fate, Black Label Society, Saving Abel, Seether, Papa Roach, Poison and Motley Crue. 

Tickets are still on sale at