Every Labor Day Weekend, Cincinnati Rock station WEBN, has their big Labor day celebration, that ends with one of the biggest Fireworks displays in the United States.
In 2007, there were three music stages. One in Newport, KY, and two in Cincinnati. Most of the stages had local acts, except for the P&G Pavillion where I sought out two national hard rock acts, Ugly and Operator.
Ugly is a newer Detroit hard rock band that is made up by former members of the band Tantric and Outspoken. Ugly took the stage around 6 P.M. I have not seen this band before, and only heard a song or two prior to their performance.
I am happy to say that Ugly put on a great show. Their hard-driving, high energy rock revved up the crowd waiting to see the Headliner, Operator.
The lead singer, Geo Teubl came out after the show and was signing autographs and meeting the fans. He has the right attitude that will take him, and his band to the next level of success. The band Operator could take some personality and attitude lessons from Ugly.
Kevin McCreery’s guitar solo
Operator is the band that I have been looking forward to seeing for a few weeks now. I can only describe Operator, as the Soulcrushing idiots. The sound company seemingly could not get their sound right, and the band was unhappy from the start. The band led off with the profanity filled, Live Your Way. Singer Johnny Strong immediately showed attitude as he grumbled about being denied his First Amendment rights. He sang the song without the curse words.
Considering the number of young kids present at this outdoor free show, that was probably a good thing. Their is a time and place for profanity in rock music. It doesn’t bother me at all. Profanity is a pretty normal thing in hard rock and metal music. That doesn’t change the fact that I certainly wouldn’t want my stepdaughter or any other children to listen to a song filled with profanity.
After three songs, the band pulled an Axl Rose and stormed off the stage, and did not return. The crowd followed up with plenty of “Operator Sucks” comments being yelled at the top of their lungs, and rightfully so. The drummer came back out and played a short solo, and tried to win back some fans by throwing out a handful of drumsticks, but the damage was already done.
Cincinnati got their first impression of Operator, and it wasn’t a good one.
A later conversation with the event’s sound guy provided the following info: “Operator showed up and were completely unapproachable all day”,”They seemed to have an attitude when they showed up.” There may be more to this story that meets the eye.
It is a true shame. I am sure every band has a bad day, but Operator will need to redeem themselves in a major way before I would even consider paying to see them.
The Soulcrusher album is a damned good one, but the band isn’t going to win any new fans by pulling stupid stunts like the one at this show.
The day wasn’t a total loss. Ugly was a nice surprise on this Sunday evening, and will be a band that will gain further support by the Hard Rock Hideout.
If you have tickets for another Operator show, prepare yourself for disappointment. If Ugly hits your town, don’t miss them. They will put on a great show for you!