On this date in history, 6/7/1997, Deer Creek hosted the R.O.A.R. Festival. Those letters stood for something, but I can’t recall what, and I haven’t been able to find any mention of it anywhere.
What is truly important is that the concert featured Iggy Pop, Sponge, Reverend Horton Heat, Tonic, Linda Perry, and Bloodhound Gang.
I believe it was meant to become a yearly festival in the same spirit as Lollapalooza, but it apparently didn’t make enough money for the investors to bring it back. Bloodhound Gang had a sort of novelty song that was getting airplay at the time and they played with spirit and energy.
I remember their bass player walking out into pavilion seating with his wireless rig, but not much else really stood out for me.
Linda Perry had sung for 4 Non Blondes and she was okay, but nothing exceptional. Same thing for Tonic; well played but rather boring alternative rock.
The concert finally got interesting when Reverend Horton Heat took the stage and lit it up with their frantic psychobilly attack, proving that ZZ Top isn’t the only kickass trio from Texas.
Sponge were up next, bringing their Detroit rock into the mix. They were excellent and proved a suitable warmup for the main attraction, also from Michigan, the legendary Iggy Pop.
Iggy hit the stage like a whirlwind, clad in skin tight sparkling pink pants and no shirt. One of his arms was in a sling, due to a stage diving incident at the previous tour stop. Even one armed, Iggy was a man possessed, twirling and bouncing his way around the stage, a human energizer bunny.
After the first song was over and midway into the next, he took off the sling and went absolutely bonkers, but a roadie managed to catch hold of him and quickly wrapped the injured arm up and secured it to Iggy’s body.
The band slammed through classic solo material like “Lust For Life” and tossed in a couple of songs from The Stooges for good measure. I yelled “Iggy, Iggy” until I nearly lost my voice as the crowd and I roared our approval of the main attraction of the first and only R.O.A.R. Festival. Iggy Rules!
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic
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