Just a little over a month after the Big Dogs Reunion featuring Royal Bliss, Blitzcreek Bookings rocked Cedar Rapids, Iowa again by hosting the Winter Riot (or 12 Days of Christmas) Tour at Third Street Saloon on December 8, 2012. This event was co-sponsored by Neon Dragon Tattoo and Body Piercing.
With eight bands squeezing into one evening of rock, sets were understandable brief (between 20-40 minutes for the first 6 bands), but each one left a memorable impression in the short time they were allotted. Local band Midwest Trend kill kicked off the night at 6:00. They were followed closely by Gone For Days, whose single Guilty Pleasure is currently making waves on Sirius/XM Radio. Dorydrive entertained the crowd with songs from their debut album Calling on Angels. Prospect Hill’s Adam Fithian announced that this was a return trip to Cedar Rapids for them, after having played at local venue Tornadoes in the past.
3 Pill Morning won the fashion award for the evening, performing in black tie apparel, while Digital Summer featured 12 year-old drummer Austin Rios on several songs. The transitions between bands were quick and seamless, and the crowd was never left waiting impatiently for the next band.
Paul McCoy and the boys of 12 Stones hit the stage at around 10:15 pm, opening with the song Bulletproof. The band played several fan favorites from years past, such as Lie To Me, but the most impressive performances were from their current album, Beneath the Scars, most notable Worlds Collide and Psycho. The tour camaraderie was in full force, as both 3 Pill Morning’s Jeff Stebbins, and Prospect Hill’s Adam Fithian joined 12 Stone on stage to sing.
After a drawing for a guitar signed by all the bands (with proceeds going to charity), Taproot took over the stage, entering to the song Gangnam Style PSY, which is clearly not in the genre of music that the crowd was about to hear, but probably most humorous because of its commonly misheard lyrics. Taproot has been around for more than 10 years, once playing at Ozzfest and Music as a Weapon Tours. It was nice to see them as a headliner of their own tour. Vocalist Stephen Richards thrilled the crowd and packed the area in front of the stage, with songs like Fractured (Everything I Said Was True). The evening came to a close with their 2002 hit Poem, a crowd favorite.
The bands have obviously formed strong ties while on tour together. During any performance of the evening, members of other bands could be found right in front of the stage, enjoying the show with the rest of the crowd, and wearing shirts in support of the headliners.
The crowd was more intimate than one might expect, especially on a Saturday night, but perhaps that is due to the fact that it has been awhile since the town has seen national rock artists coming through, especially to this venue, which has a long history in the Cedar Rapids. This was the second show that Blitzcreek has hosted there, and hopefully not the last. The audience all left entertained, and the amount of bands playing ensured that there was something for everyone to enjoy.