WHO ANGERED THE BAND: Uproar Festival to rock Rexall Thursday

There is no evidence that the Rockstar Energy Drink causes anger – so why is the popular super-caffeinated beverage the title sponsor of the Uproar Festival on Thursday at Rexall Place?

Could be a coincidence. There are a lot of angry bands playing here, on two stages, “main” and “Jager outdoor,” from early afternoon to late evening, all pumping out the type of modern metal whose target audience is teenage boys who apparently like getting hopped up on caffeine. Or Jager. Everybody’s happy! Or angry. Or maybe being angry makes you happy. It’s all so confusing. Maybe if Red Bull gives you wings, Rockstar gives you horns. Let’s take a closer look at where all this Rage for the Machine is coming from:

AVENGED SEVENFOLD (9:40 p.m., main stage) – “Hate to twist your mind, but God ain’t on your side” is one typical lyric from this California metal band whose name turns out to be its angriest trait, with honorable mention for their impressive tattoos (above). These guys seem more concerned with theatrical shock, drama and – surprise! – melodic popcraft than spewing venom. That’s not a problem, of course. Just sayin’. (RAGE RATING: 3 out of 5)

THREE DAYS GRACE (8:20 p.m., main stage) – This Canadian band set the anger bar high with its first major hit I Hate Everything About You, but the fact that it was the first major hit among several to come necessarily dulls the umbrage. It’s hard to keep one’s bile at a boil when one is making lots of money as a rock star. Newer music – as on the latest positively titled album Life Starts Now – is suitably catchy and grim, but more sad than mad. (RAGED RATING: 3 out of 5)

SEETHER (7:20 p.m., main stage) – Shaun Morgan has always been a moody guy whose songs have been criticized as whiny, but hey, at least he’s being honest about his feelings. Most of Seether’s infuriation is drawn from unnamed female antagonists, as can be heard on Broken – where fiction imitated reality in a broken relationship with Morgan’s duet partner, Evanescence singer Amy Lee. That has to piss you off. A newer Seether song, called Country Song because it sort of sounds like a country song before the guitars charge in, reveals an unhealthy mix of anger and despair shot through with self-loathing. Perfect. (RAGE RATING: 4 out of 5)

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE (6:20 p.m., main stage) Being from a Welsh mining town, you think these poppy metal lads would be filled to the brim with righteous fury – but judging from songs like Tears Don’t Fall, this music is more of a cry for help than a call to arms. The blood-curdling screamo delivery at breakneck death metal tempos makes up for a general lack of rancor. (RAGE RATING: 3 out of 5)

MISS UPROAR PAGEANT (6:00 p.m., main stage) – No, this is not the name of a band. Not yet, anyway. It’s a beauty pageant! Will it be “skin to win?” It remains to be seen, or unseen. There may be some anger here, but it will probably come from outside the gig from feminists peeved at the expected sexist nature of a beauty pageant held at a rock ‘n’ roll show filled with teenagers all amped up on liquid stimulants. (RAGE RATING: 1 out of 5)

ESCAPE THE FATE (5:20 p.m., main stage) – If anger at oneself counts, then this goth-metal quartet’s power ballad Liars and Monsters earns the band top marks in the Rage Rally, but then you can’t tell if they’re being sarcastic on City of Sin, while songs like Gorgeous Nightmare make clear where their hearts really lie – sex. And the problem is? (RAGE RATING: 3 out of 5)

FOZZY (4:45 p.m., Jager outdoor stage) – Pro wrestler-turned-rocker Chris Jericho earns a Plus 2 Apoplectic Bonus right off the bat simply out of fear that if you don’t give him at least that, he’ll bash your head in. His music is a little old hat – olden metalle – but there is genuine animosity expressed to unspecified targets in songs like Enemy and Martyr No More, the latter becoming a wrestling theme song. (RAGE RATING: 4 out of 5)

BLACK TIDE (4 p.m., Jager) – With a singer possessing some of the biggest man-ear labia ever seen, along with the good looks sure to please the girls, this Florida pop-metal band does not hit the hammer of ill humour hard enough to ring the bell of true hostility, though the guy can howl “FIRE” in a crowded hall quite convincingly. (RAGE RATING: 2.5 out of 5)

ART OF DYING (3:20 p.m., Jager) – This fledgling Canadian crew shows good pique and even mild vexation in singles like Art of Dying and Get Through This, which are actually more about independence, strength and self-determination than complaining about lack of same in others. Musically, this band and indeed many of the bands at Uproar, do not take enough chances with their music, seeming to focus on being radio friendly at the expense of creativity. (RAGE RATING: 3 out 5)

HELL OR HIGHWATER (2:45 p.m. Jager) –Atreyu drummer Brandon Saller comes out from behind his kit – Dave Grohl-style – to front this new band whose single Gimme Love is practically a demand to a significant other, after allowing her that it’s hard to love a rock star. The song makes a good case. Also on the band’s new album, Begin Again, lurks a country-ish track called Go Alone that contains this line, “Fact is some people need to die,” more stating a fact than expressing a wish. Promising Raging Muse could grow angrier with time. (RAGE RATING: 3 out of 5)

JAGER BAND (2:15 p.m., Jager) – OK, it’s up to you – Area Winner of a Jagermeister-Sponsored Band Contest – to set the tone for the day. (RAGE RATING: To Be Announced, with a Shout)