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98.9 The Rock

98.9 The Rock

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BuckcherryKansas City's Liberty Memorial is a tranquil downtown landmark.

It's a place steeped in pride and history as the nation's only World War I memorial.

But for one day a year, it is the mecca of hard rock.

That day will come this Saturday when approximately 50,000 people will flood the grounds for Rockfest.The event sold out in 10 days.

Tina Phillips, manager of Record Wear House in St.

Joseph, said that thousands of people came into her store to buy tickets."I wish they had two Rockfests a year," she laughs.Phillips says Rockfest is popular in St.

Joe for two major reasons.

The first is that ticket prices for the all-day event were in the range of $20 to $40.

That's a pretty good deal considering 14 bands will be playing.

The second reason is that 98.9 The Rock (which sponsors the event) has tons of loyal listeners in the area.Paul Marshall, afternoon DJ and music director for 98.9, says it's the kind of event that rock fans and all of their friends go to.

Marshall has his own description of Rockfest."(It's) like your state fair, but with non-stop rock bands all day," he explains.

"You see the usual beach balls bouncing and kids tanning, a very festive atmosphere and unusually friendly."The concert-goers will have plenty of reasons to party.

This year's headliner is KoRn.

Since the late '90s, KoRn has been a favorite of hard-rock followers.

And whether the band is playing "Got the Life" or "Freak on a Leash" from its 1998 album "Follow the Leader" or more recent hits like "Evolution" and "Coming Undone," it's always a live concert spectacle.Other headliners include Buckcherry and Shinedown.

After a successful third album ("The Sound of Madness") and performances at Rockfest 2008 and at the Midland in March, Shinedown has built quite the reputation in Kansas City and the surrounding areas.

Marshall says that Shinedown is the band he thinks most of his listeners are looking forward to seeing."Shinedown are just becoming a juggernaut," he says.

"People just really connect with that band, and we're extremely happy for them."Shinedown drummer Barry Kerch says that Rockfest 2008 was one of the most fun shows he has ever played.

He and the rest of the band can't wait to do it all over again."Kansas City's going to be a blast," Kerch says.

"I remember the festival last year and how crazy the bands were there.

We're going to have some fun."Shinedown won't be the only band returning from Rockfest 2008.

Rev Theory, Saving Abel and Theory of a Deadman, who were all headliners on the Second Stage last year, will kick off the event on the Main Stage this year.

Some have made the accusation that because these three are on the Main Stage, the quality of the event has fallen.

Others feel that the winds of change have blown and that these three bands are the new generation of hard rock."I think you're always going to hear some rumbles when there's a changing of the guard in rock," Marshall admits.

"(But) Rockfest has always been a balance of proven artists and the best up-and-comers of the moment."Marshall thinks one up-and-comer that might steal the show is the first band to play.

Crooked X will open the event on the Second Stage.

The shocking thing about Crooked X is that its oldest members are 15 years old.

Despite their age, the Oklahoma rockers have had a song featured in the "Rock Band" video game, made an appearance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and opened for KISS, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent."Crooked X are a good, young, new band and do very well live," Marshall says.Another band Marshall wants to see is Corey Taylor and The Junk Beer Kidnap Band.

Taylor is the well-known lead singer of metal gods Slipknot and the more subdued Stone Sour, but his solo project is enticing many metalheads."Corey Taylor from Slipknot has always been known as talented beyond what we've seen in his two great bands, and I'm looking forward to seeing his solo music," he says.Rockfest organizers also have made adjustments to the event itself.

The Second Stage setup has been reconfigured so that both stages can be easily viewed with less movement.

The vendors have been moved out farther so they won't be a nuisance for those in the crowd.Rockfest 2009 promises to be another awesome head-banging party in the heart of Kansas City."Most times, when these kinds of festivals happen, they're in a park, miles away from the heartbeat of the city, and we did that for a long time as well," Marshall recalls.

"But (we) felt like we were missing out on making this something special.

And we've seen a tremendous response since moving it to Liberty Memorial."â€" Shea Conner | Stjoelive staffROCKFEST 2009 SCHEDULEGates open at 11 a.m.Main Stage1:30 p.m.

- Rev Theory2:40 p.m.

- Saving Abel3:50 p.m.

- Theory of a Deadman5 p.m.

- Corey Taylor & The Junk Beer Kidnap Band6:30 p.m.

- Shinedown8 p.m.

- Buckcherry9:30 p.m.

- KoRnSecond Stage1 p.m.

- Crooked X2:10 p.m.

- Burn Halo3:20 p.m.

- The Veer Union4:30 p.m.

- Parlor Mob6 p.m.

- Dope7:30 p.m.

- Duff McKagan's Loaded9 p.m.

- Drowning Pool
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