I wasn’t going to go to this show because of the high ticket prices and fees but the free tickets I got from Live Nation made the decision easier. My buddy and I went to the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, MA around 6pm knowing that Queensryche would take the stage around 7pm, as most three band lineups usually start.
Let me explain the Locofest:
107.3 WAAF in Boston, MA is the best FM radio station in Massachusetts that plays Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. They play the more popular bands like Godsmack, Shadows Fall, System Of A Down, etc. but at least they are playing this form of music. Every year for the last 16 years, they have put on a festival featuring national, international, and local bands…..very similar to the Ozzfest. This festival started at 1pm, had 5 stages, and 50 bands (including the 3 headliners). Looking over the lineup, there were some familiar names on the smaller stages: Meliah Rage, Godhead, Waltham, Shadows Fall, Leaving Eden, Bang Camaro. The problem was that most bands only got 20 minutes onstage and many of the bands crossed into each other’s times…..bands like Bang Camaro and Roadsteamer were playing during the Queensryche and Alice Cooper sets! This makes for a hectic day and my buddy was only there to see Alice so I didn’t bother with the other stages.
The parking situation is usually a pain for big shows but we were able to park really close to the arena…..a bad omen! Walked in no problem and noticed that half the souveneir and concession stands were closed…..bad omen #2! We went to the main area to get onto the grass lawn and the entire lawn area (seats and grass) is non-accessible…..bad omen #3! No ushers were present except for the lower area under the roof, seems that they didn’t sell enough reserved seating and everyone with a $90 reserved ticket was moved down to the first 15 rows. The majority of the crowd was Lawn seats and they were all moved under the roof as general admission seating. This was good because the forecast had rain coming and my friend and I were able to get really good seats.
Queesryche took the stage at 6:30pm and played until 7pm.
- The Whisper
- I’m American
- NM 156
- Screaming In Digital
- Welcome To The Machine (Pink Floyd cover)
- Take Hold Of The Flame
As usual, the band played great and their Pink Floyd cover really won the crowd over. For an opener, Queensryche had a packed house under the roof.
Alice Cooper took the stage around 7:20pm and brought as many special effects he could fit into his 70 minute time slot.
- It’s Hot Tonight
- No More Mr Nice Guy
- Under My Wheels
- I’m Eighteen
- Is It My Body?
- Billion Dollar Babies
- Halo Of Flies (incl. Drum Solo by Eric Singer)
- Welcome To My Nightmare
- Only Women Bleed
- Dead Babies
- Medley: Devils Food – Killer – I Love The Dead
- School’s Out
Alice Cooper always puts on a great show, true Hard Rock theatre at it’s finest. He had all the props, staging, and effects. Usually he uses the guillotine but he’s hanging himself this tour so that was a nice surprise. The seats under the pavilion were the most crowded during Alice’s performance and he didn’t disappoint anyone and may have actually stole the show! Surprise of the set was opening with ‘It’s Hot Tonight’, a really great deep track off LACE & WHISKEY (1977). What really made the performance for me was the family of five sitting in front of us. Mom & Dad brought their kids with them, all around 8-10 yrs old. These kids knew all the songs word for word and I had a good time singing right along with them…..literally. They were right in front of me and the four of us belted out ‘Only Women Bleed’, ‘Dead Babies’, etc. and high-fived all night. Always great to see young kids enjoying REAL music.
Heaven & Hell came on around 9:15 and they inherited the packed house that Alice Cooper generated. As disturbed as I was about the lack of ticket sales for this festival, my reservations had been dashed by Queensryche and Alice Cooper putting on solid performances, I expected no less from Heaven & Hell. I honestly don’t remember the setlist order but I do know the songs:
- After All (The Dead)
- Mob Rules
- Children Of The Sea
- The Sign Of The Southern Cross
- drum solo
- Computer God
- Falling Off The Edge Of The World
- Shadow Of The Wind
- Die Young
- Heaven And Hell (with guitar solo)
- Neon Knights
The problem with the Heaven & Hell set wasn’t the performance, it was spectacular like the one I saw in May, it was the crowd. About five songs into the set, people started to leave. As the set went on, more people left. By the time the band got to the last song (‘Neon Knights’), there were a lot of seats empty in the general admission seating. I was disappointed in the crowd leaving and I noticed that the band might have been as well because Ronnie and Tony were talking to each other during ‘Heaven & Hell’ and they may have decided to cut the set short. In fact, two songs were missing from the setlist that have been played at most of the shows: ‘Lady Evil’ and ‘The Devil Cried’. I’m not saying that they cut the set due to a smaller crowd, it could have been due to time constraints. The Tweeter Center has a strict curfew of 11pm, as of the ‘Neon Knights’ encore it was 10:45pm. A lot of time was taken up by ‘Children Of The Sea’, ‘Falling Off The Edge Of The World’, and ‘The Sign Of The Southern Cross’ (my friend timed this one as almost 10 minutes long!)as well. Personally, I didn’t complain about the setlist or the performance, my only complaint was that the band is putting on a great show and people are leaving!
For me, a great time: free seats, awesome bands, and great music. I recommend everyone go see this tour before Heaven & Hell ends their run and Alice Cooper heads to the studio. Also, that Queensryche cover of ‘Welcome To The Machine’ was so good that I am actually interested in buying their new covers album when it’s released, breaking my own rules and distaste for covers albums.