About a week ago a message was sent out on Facebook announcing that a concert called the Lamar RockFest was to be held at the Lamar Memorial Hall, in Lamar Missouri. What? A single word sentence was exactly the first thing that came out of many residents mouths when they read the content of the post. The most alarming part was that the post was true; a RockFest would be coming to the Lamar Memorial Hall.

On the evening of Friday January 15, 2010 the Memorial Hall was transformed into a rock concert event theatre and bands began bringing in car-loads of gear, including: electric guitars, drums, speakers, and even armloads of cables, and boxes of accessories. Eight p.m. sharp the event began with area performer Alamo Black and the first performance of the night. About thirty-two fans were subjected to the opening song lyrics “you can have everything you need”, as Alamo Black’s only performer of the night, Nathan Rorabaugh, formerly of the bands Midas Crow and Berlin Drop, worked his way into a solo acoustic set for the concert patrons. The crowd seemed to be more interested in each other than the music being performed, but gave a loud applause of approval after the first song was complete. The fans then started to corral at the base of the stage and Alamo Black’s music begin to win them over one by one. The support continued to grow as more fans were showing up fashionably late, but getting right in and joining the others in front of the stage. Then the key change, and heads were turning and conversations ended to see just what the double bass, fast chord moving, bridge winding during the second number was just all about. There was a hush and an obvious interest in Alamo Black. Poker Face was the third song; yes an acoustic rendition of the Lady GaGa song teased the fans for a chorus or so before moving on into another song.

Alamo Black worked the crowd from the nearly thirty-five foot wide grandiose performance area, and seemingly small in comparison to the venue the one man took them by storm. Now sixteen more fans rushed to join the pool of music fans, as Alamo Black worked into a guitar riffing fourth song, with a fast moving chord progression during the chorus, not easily imitated by amateurs. The applause was now beginning to sound like a rumble instead of claps as more people continued to arrive at the event from surrounding communities and across town as well. About fifty-seven fans had arrived by eight-sixteen p.m. and it was now starting to feel like a mainstream concert event. Justin Larkin, singer for Fraught with Peril, joined Alamo Black by playing the piano on the next song from Nathan’s solo album. The first performer was good, and closed his set with a few more songs, and one surprise intro from a Berlin Drop song, the Millers Son, and then stopped, and claimed “I don’t know the words” jokingly. The crowd sang along with Alamo Black, “there ain't no rest for the wicked” and the last song was an acoustic rendition of Man of 1,000 Faces from the first Berlin Drop CD.

The next act was a band called Withird-I, and from the get go the sound check was entertaining, and exciting. The opening chords, and bass rumble got fans on their feet and cheering! The kick drum began thumping and the crowd in unison began jumping, not unlike something you would see at a concert in the city. Then dive bombing guitar riffs from guitarist Kyle Norbury, raised approval from the fans. The band mellowed into a soft interlude, and the crowd anticipated something to happen. Boom! The band began rocking live and loud for the now nearly eighty fans ready to rock! Jesse Akers, on vocals, made his way back and forth across the stage making sure to catch a look at everyone, and slap five with some of the folk’s right in his view from the stage. His aggressive vocals dominated the room before a quick break down in the music and the sound mellowed. Boom! Sound exploded again and this time slightly faster, and louder! Their (withird-I) third song began with a prelude tapping bass solo, which made way for an outstanding showing by bassist Paul Haney. Heads began head banging, as the band moved into a more syncopated rhythm, and the drums were locked in with some high pitched bass grooves. Drummer, Willie McEinroy, made a foundation for rock that night!

Finally the third band made way to the stage. Fraught with Peril, a Lamar Missouri based band, began to effortlessly melt faces and crush skulls with their deep blend of powerfully driven guitar sounds, and pounding subwoofer low end frequency. Although the crowd dwindled down a bit during the break between bands, Fraught with Peril managed to bring the event to an awesome finale! “All right let’s roll this ****” Justin Larkin, lead singer for Peril, shouted into the mic as the curtains swung apart for the opening number that taught head bangers to head bang again, and rockers to rock anew. Fans heard the tunes from outside and returned to the hall now full of aggressive jams, and growling backing vocals by madman guitarist Shelby Hagar. Larkin punched at the crowd with mic in hand and managed to fly through the air from speaker to floor, and atop the monitors, all the while the bassist poured out massive riffs behind him, and ragged his furry while thrashing his hair in chaos. The driven undertones continued throughout their set until they mellowed down for “Rain Song” and then blasted it out for the driving and dynamic montage “Living Alone”, a prolific drum solo by Zac Oterro, and the frayed ends of sanity unleashed. Nothing but a true sense of rock mentality, and rock fundamentals, aggressively jammed down the throats, and punctured in the ears of rock concert fans all night! RockFest was truly rock from all forms of its freedom and brutality.