Veteran rocker Alice Cooper supported by special guests Queensryche, Warrant, Vixen, and Wayland kicked off the first of four days of the festival.

After letting the younger bands entertain the crowd all day, veteran rocker Alice Cooper took the stage. Complete with theatrics that have been a trademark of his shows for decades, he opened the show with “Hello Hooray,” taken from his multi platinum selling album Billion Dollar Babies.

Fireworks showered from above as Cooper and his band made their way on stage to play an entertaining set for a little more than an hour. Their performance included songs such as “Welcome To My Nightmare,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Poison,” and more, spanning his decades long career.

Guitarist Nita Strauss clearly impressed while Cooper entertained with props and costume changes throughout the set that included a live boa constrictor, guillotine, straitjacket, and much more.

Cooper and his band closed the show with his timeless hit “Schools Out” which had the entire crowd, young and old, singing along.

Queensryche was the perfect choice to get the crowd warmed up for the headline act, and in the process proved worthy of being a headline act themselves. From the moment they took the stage it was clear that they’ve been successful in the business for a very long time.

The band is fronted by vocalist Todd La Torre, who effortlessly displayed his amazing vocal prowess, while backed by a solid rhythm section of talented musicians Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfeld (drums), and complemented by the twin guitar attack of Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren.

From the opener “Nightrider,” taken from their debut album, to the solidly written “Where Dreams Go To Die” from the band’s self titled album, their most recent release to date, Queensryche had the crowd rocking to a great selection of tracks that spanned their extensive portfolio.

The highlight of the set was their well known hit “Silent Lucidity,” which had the Rock USA chorus willingly joining in. With a great set selection and performance to match, it came as no surprise that the night clearly belonged to Queensryche.

California’s Warrant took the stage next. How do you fill a 40 minute set? Not an easy task when you have a lot to choose from. With hits like ‘Heaven,” “Cherry Pie,” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” it seemed like the time they were on stage flew by.

Next on the bill was Vixen. Definitely not to be underestimated, the band gave a solid performance, showing that they’re here to stay and had fans sweating and rocking along.

Wayland, a young and upcoming band from Wayland, MI took on the task of kicking off the festival, and did so with a high energy set. It was early afternoon and the working crowd was still trickling in, but Wayland gave it their all, and was well received by the crowd.

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Alice Cooper
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Rock USA
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