I heard about Freedom Fest earlier this year and from what I understand, they do it every year. This year, a new venue was chosen, the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, CO. I was interested when I heard about this festival, but once I found out it was going to have both Queensryche and Great White, I knew I had to go. I had seen Queensryche once before, with the original singer, but not since they got a new front man, Todd La Torre. I had never seen Great White or any of the other bands that were playing before, Vixen, Steelheart and Extreme. When we first got to the venue, it was pretty hot outside, though it was probably only in the low 90’s, it felt like 100! As we got to the gate, I realized that I had brought the wrong tickets. When I had first bought our tickets, I bought lawn tickets, and then got them upgraded to the standing area in front of the stage. Luckily, they didn’t give me any trouble after I explained the situation and they gave us the bands we needed to get in to the pit area. I was surprised they didn’t bother to look anything up, but ultimately, I was grateful! As soon as we got in I saw a friend, the guy who told me about the festival! After talking to him for a few minutes, we found a spot in front of the stage, a little off to the left. The barrier was metal, as they always are, but this one had a large metal base that we were standing on, which caused the sun to reflect on us and made those spots even hotter. Of course, there also wasn’t any shade, which there usually isn’t at outside venues like this. After only a few minutes of being there, we had to have someoe hold our spots so we could go find some water. There was a number of vendors there, but we quickly found out that the whole venue hd been set up on a ticketing system, so no one was set up to take credit cards. Even worse, most of the vendors didn’t know how the tickets worked, it was the strangest thing I have ever seen at a concert. Luckily, one of the vendors got their credit card system set up and we were able to buy a big bottle of water. After that, we went back to our spots and waited in the baking sun for the bands to start playing. The opening bands were Straight Six, Lotus Gate and Rhoar, I think they were all local. Each of them played a short set, about 4 songs, and they all did a good job of getting the crowd warmed up. Luckliy, before the local bands finished, the clouds rolled in and gave us some much needed relief from the sun. The weather was perfect for Vixen! They did a great job, I only knew 1 song by them, but I found them very entertaining. They also played a longer set, 8 songs, which is what Steelheart and Great White did as well. Steelheart was also pretty entertaining, I didn’t know any of their songs, but they had great energy and kept the crowd pumped up!! Great White played next and they were one of the bands that I had really wanted to see. Just as they came on stage, the sun started to come back out and it was directly in front of us, which forced us to stare at it. Although, it was cool to see the sun setting behind the band as they played. Great White played all of their hits and even a new song! I didn’t think I knew anything by Extreme, but it turns out I knew at least 3 of their songs! That was a nice surprise! One of the highlights from Extreme’s set was when their singer ran into a speaker on the side of the stage and pretty much destroyed it. Overall, their set was pretty good. Finally, it was time for the band I wa really there to see, Queensryche! They did not disappoint! There were several times throughout their set that I thought their new singer sounded a lot like the original singer. They played a lot of old and new songs. I was disappointed that they didn’t play, “I Don’t Believe in Love.” However, they did play all their other hits, like Eyes of a Stranger, Jet City Women, and Empire! I had made some new friends at the show, which I asked to help me get my 420 clips during Queensryche, since my daughter decided to sit in the back for their set. Though the videos didn’t come out great, it was cool to see they were willing to help me out. All in all, the festival was great, had an awesome time with my daughter, and saw some really good bands.
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