Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival at the Woodlands Pavilion, 8/29/2013

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Photos by Groovehouse.
Alice in Chains, Jane's Addiction, Coheed and Cambria and Circa Survive
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
August 29, 2013

If there's anything that Rockstar Energy Drink loves more than jacking kids up on near-fatal doses of caffeine and sugar, it's putting together pre-fabricated, traveling music festivals to help advertise its wares. A few weeks back, it was Rob Zombie and Five Finger Death Punch rumbling into the Woodlands as part of Rockstar's Mayhem Festival. Thursday night, the Uproar Festival got a turn.

Or some of it, anyway. Thanks to the weeknight booking and the Pavilion's strict curfew, Houston only got the main-stage acts: about a third of the bands that will be appearing in Albuquerque on Saturday.

A lot of us got fewer than that. The logistics of navigating Houston's rush hour traffic, finding parking and hiking through the trees to the Pavilion wasn't so quick and simple a task, and to call the crowd sparse during opener Circa Survive's 6:20 p.m. set time would be putting it kindly. By the time I made it inside, the Philly post-hardcore unit was already wrapping up.

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The Pavilion still wasn't quite half-full when prog-pop fixtures Coheed and Cambria took the stage. I managed to find my seat in time to catch "A Favor House Atlantic," one of the band's breakthrough singles and a personal fave. Coheed's music, inspired by a sci-fi comic book tetralogy called the The Armory Wars dreamed up by hirsute frontman Claudio Sanchez, unabashedly runs a bit on the nerdy side of the heavy metal spectrum, and their technical skills are accordingly precise.

Always reliably energetic onstage, Coheed and Cambria are a good fit for big package tours like this one. It was a bit of a shame that more folks hadn't made it inside to hear them, but hey, they were just here in March for a headlining gig. Chances are, they'll be back soon. After all, comic-book sagas never end.

Coming on the heels of Coheed's crackling, upbeat romp, Jane's Addiction sounded a tad flat by comparison. Sure, all the band's early-'90s touchstones -- "Mountain Song," "Been Caught Stealing," "Stop!" and "Jane Says" -- were in place, anchored as always by Dave Navarro's slinky Gibson fireworks. And Lord knows the aging band is still in fantastic shape. But Perry Farrell's troupe often seemed to be going through the motions a bit on Thursday.

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