Freedom Fest: Warrant, Slaughter, Stephen Pearcy, Kiks, Bullet Boys, & Autograph at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds Event Center Aurora, CO 6/26/21

Over the weekend Jess and I attended our 2nd main live show this year. June 26th we headed out to Colorado Freedom Fest at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds Event Center in Aurora, CO. Normally I like to get to the concert a few hours before the doors open to ensure we get a great spot, but we were running late that morning and got there just as the doors were opening at noon. When we got there the line to get in was pretty long so I figured we were going to have trouble getting our usual spot up on the rail. Once we got in and past security we immediately noticed 2 stages and no clue which was the main stage or the stage that bands were going to start on. We walked up to some guy who looked like he was setting up one of the areas near the closest stage. So we asked him if he knew what bands were going to play on what stage. Come to find out the guy was the one putting on the event, unfortunately I forgot his name. He explained to us that due to the rain, which had been raining all morning and possibly the night before, he had decided to do 2 stages and had set up the area several times. He said the layout he went with was a designated walk way between stages for people who had front of the stage tickets. I was immediately a little disappointed because that meant even if we got on the rail or close for the first band once we had to move stages we wouldn’t be guaranteed to get as good of a spot. So I knew right then I needed to know what bands were playing on what stage so we could decide what we wanted to do. As we talked about what we wanted to do after finding out what bands were going to be on what stage, we walked to the first stage and found only a small group of people standing on the rail and a tiny space on the rail where no one was at yet. I asked the group that was there if anyone had that spot and they told us no. Come to find out most of them weren’t even on the rail or there to be part of the crowd, they in fact were a local band that was supposed to play and they were just doing photos. Once they were done there were only 2 other people with Jess and I on the rail so we had a great spot. I think we stood there for about 30 mins or so and the rain was back. It started light but from the look of the clouds you knew it was going to pick up which it in fact did. Luckily we had brought some ponchos so we felt prepared. As we continued to stand there and get rained on we figured that not many more people were going to come and stand up on the rail in the rain so we had a chance to both leave our spot and go look for shirts. After grabbing our shirts we headed back to our spot. As we walked up to the rail there was another person standing there, it was a guy named Brian which I knew from seeing him at several other shows, he is also from Pueblo. We took a few minutes to get caught up since we hadn’t seen each other in over a year. He ended up having some other friends that joined us on the rail and they were also from Pueblo. As we stood there waiting, it continued to rain on us for at least an hour maybe an hour and half, but then it let up and the sun even came out. Once the sun came out the guy who was putting on the event went on stage and announced they were going to be getting started soon. He also said that they were going to cancel all the local acts and start with the national bands and that the first 2 bands would play on the same stage. First up was Autograph, we got to see the band set up and do their own sound check. I’m not sure what time it was when they actually started playing but the crowd was ready for the show to start. The band did a great job of engaging with the crowd and getting them to sing along with some of their songs. I only knew one song by them which was their last song, Turn Up The Radio. They didn’t have their original singer but the guy they had did a great job! I thought he sounded a lot like the original singer. All in all they did a great job of getting the crowd ready for the other bands and to help forget about all the rain we endured while waiting. At the end of their set the guitarist came off stage and greeted everyone on the rail. He also handed out several picks to everyone. I also got one of the set lists from them. Next up on the same stage was Bullet Boys. We also got to see them do their own sound check which was cool. I’m pretty sure the only original member was the singer. He mentioned a Bullet Boy reunion that was supposed to happen but then Covid hit. He said hopefully soon they would all get back together in the future. Because of the rain delays in the morning they had to cut their set short. The singer was pretty annoyed as he got the crowd to chant “bullshit”. After that though he thanked everyone for coming and said he hoped to see us again soon. After their set was over Kiks was up next but they were playing on the other stage. Almost everyone left except the people from Pueblo and 2 others that were there before us. I didn’t know any real Kiks songs so we decided to stay where we were so we would have our good spot for the next band and not have to worry about fighting the crowd. You could hear part of Kiks set from where we were. We mostly stood around, I smoked a bowl and we all chatted. I think while we were standing there waiting or maybe it was during the next band set, it did start to rain on us again. Now it was not only raining but also getting a little cold. We planned on the rain but not the cold, but we pushed through it. The next band to play was Stephen Pearcy the lead singer of Ratt but none of the other original members of Ratt were there so he had a backup band. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I didn’t know if he had any solo material or if he was going to play Ratt songs. He in fact did play nothing but Ratt songs and of course all their hits. I think the crowd sang along with most of the songs he played. I wasn’t sure if the singer was high, but through his entire set he had this little red thing in his mouth. He would get it to stick to his tongue, then he would stick his tongue out at the crowd to show it off. It was a little strange but it didn’t affect his singing, he did a great job! Once their set finished most of the people left to the other stage to see Slaughter play. After talking it over with Jess we decided that we didn’t want to lose our spots for Warrant so we stayed in our same place. While we were standing there we got to meet the bass and guitar player from Bullet Boys. They came by and thanked us all for sticking around through all the crazy weather and I was able to get a few pics with them. After that we asked our rail friends if they would watch our spot while we went and grabbed some food. They had a bunch of food trucks and we had heard about these quesadillas and how good they were so we decided to get one to share. Of all the trucks, they had the longest wait for their food. I think we stood there close to 30 minutes. Before we got our food we decided to try the teriyaki truck that was next to them and share that while we waited for our quesadilla. The teriyaki was really good in fact it almost reminded me of the stuff I used to get back in Seattle. Once we finished we got our quesadilla and headed back to our spot. After we ate we both agreed that the teriyaki was better and that the quesadilla was good but not great. As we got back to our spot by the main stage, they were doing some presentations to give recognition to some soldier who had fallen. The whole event was to help raise funds for vets. There weren’t many people who stuck around to watch this because most of them were already at the other stage getting ready for Slaughter. When Slaughter did hit that stage we were able to hear some of the songs from where we were standing which was cool. After Slaughter finished their set, of course everyone moved over to the main stage as we all waited for Warrant to start. While people started to fill in around us, we noticed the guitarist from Gravel along with his wife was standing right behind us. It was really cool to see them again (I mentioned them in my Buckcherry review). We got to hear stories about some of their shows and even got a little insight into why they have a new singer. After waiting for about 30 mins Warrant finally came out and the crowd loved it! The singer sang one maybe two songs then said do we have to talk or can we just play some music which the crowd was completely fine with. Robert Mason the current singer and the rest of the band did a great job of closing out the night and keeping the crowd happy. Playing all their hits and of course closing with Cherry Pie their signature song. I was able to get a ripped set list (it was ripped because the singer stepped on it) and I managed to get a guitar pick as well. Jess and I both had a great time at the show but by the time we got back to the car our shoes were so soaked all the way through to my socks. As of right now the next show I have coming up is Guns N’ Roses but you never know we might fit another concert in before August.

Be sure to check out videos from this show and others on my YouTube channel!

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