Tag: Linkin Park

From Ashes To New hits Marquee Theater (Tempe, AZ)

Following on the heels of their viral success, upstart rap ‘n’ rock artists From Ashes To New joined alt metal veterans 10 Years on their 2018 How To Live As Ghosts tour, appearing at the famous Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ. This young power pop group brings to the stage not only a “hometown American boy” story, but a big set full of empowerment and positive vibe to match their uplifting presence and affirmative energy.

When you think of Lancaster, PA, rock ‘n’ roll music isn’t exactly what immediately comes to mind. In fact, most people think the opposite…horses, buggies, furniture, and cheese…but while it’s true that Lancaster is the country’s oldest Amish settlement, it’s also a place where dreams came true for a couple of kids who are now living the American Dream:  Six guys trying to salvage the efforts of various different failing musical projects, putting their heads together to have one more go at this “music thing”, which has turned out to be a rapidly growing success. But while the band has been its own brand of persistence, they cannot take all of the credit for their Cinderella story.

As humanity submerges more and more into the digital world, we are learning to harness the power of unity through electronics. From Ashes To New owes much of their success to their social media followers, particularly on Instagram and Facebook. This is the latest version of Peer-To-Peer networking, where arts and ideas can be shared exponentially with others across devices and platforms at the click of a button. That’s not to say that there isn’t still a lot of work that goes into the creation of such a beast. For something to go viral enough people have to not only approve of the selection, but be moved enough to share it. From Ashes To New began with a humble internet offering of their first song, “Through It All”…just something for friends and local fans to enjoy. The posting made its way to the Octane facebook page, where it was seen by the station’s programming director, who subsequently added it to the rotation. In just a few short years, From Ashes To New found themselves successfully sharing a label with bands like Papa Roach and touring with 10 Years.

The idea that some Unknown can still make a song and hear it on the radio is often overshadowed by the notions of contracts and huge record conglomerates, but From Ashes To New is a modern-day throwback to guys like Johnny Cash and Ritchie Valens, who just did what they did and played what they played, and eventually somebody heard it, grabbed the nearest person by the shirt sleeve, and said, “Hey! You gotta hear this!” Although their success has been like riding on a rocket ship, From Ashes To New maintains their humble beginnings throughout their music and tour appearances. They are still very much connected to their fan base, which is evident in the intimacy of the environment they create, regardless of stage size. They know where they came from, they know who put them there, and their audience is just as much a part of their performance as any guitar or microphone.

While many musicians use the medium to vent their angst and troubles, exploring their darker sides, From Ashes To New puts on an upbeat show on a well-lighted stage. Vocalist Matt Brandyberry also writes the band’s music, and while it may still express negative feelings and emotions, his music encourages its listeners to go one step further than their misery and view their situations from an alternative, more positive angle. The band has also made inclusion a focal point of its music, reminding listeners and fans that whatever their struggles are, they are not alone and they don’t have to feel alone. FATN has created somewhat of a revolving door in its existence…the people like the songs, so they write more music about the people. The band not only has a passion for their craft, but a heart for who they play for. This was felt throughout the theater from the first note to the last song. You won’t find anything in their repertoire about hookers and blow, but what you will find is a band who hates the idea of another kid cutting himself or committing suicide, a band that hates bullying, and a band that really wants to create a life raft for someone who’s hurting.

All photos Copyright ©2018 LivingDedGrrl™. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

 

Linkin Park Touring North America w/ 30 Seconds To Mars and AFI

LP Tour

So with all that Stone Temple Pilots stuff on the back burner for now, it looks as if Linkin Park will dust off their gear and hit the road once again. Joined by a band fronted by a movie star 30 Seconds To Mars and special guests AFI, the trek will hit loads of outdoor venues and arenas beginning this August in Florida. They’ll take things up the east coast and back across the country through Texas and wrapping up in California on September 19th. The glorious Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy rocks a show along the way in addition to PNC Bank Arts Center and Susquehanna Bank Arts Center, both of which reside  in dirty Jersey. For more information, read the flyer above and it tells you where you can find more info. For now, map out where you’ll be seeing this gig by scrolling the tour dates below.

Linkin Park w/ 30 Seconds To Mars & AFI Tour Dates:

08.08 West Palm Beach, FL, Cruzan Amphitheatre
08.09 Tampa, FL, George M. Steinbrenner Field
08.12 Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
08.13 Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live
08.15 Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center
08.16 Mansfield, MA, Xfinity Center
08.18 Holmdel, NJ, PNC Banks Art Center
08.19 Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
08.21 Darien Lake, NY, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
08.23 Montreal, QC, Park Jean Drapeau
08.24 Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
08.26 St. Paul, MN, Minnesota State Fair
08.27 Winnipeg, MB, MTS Centre
08.29 Tinley Park, IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
08.30 Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Theatre
09.05 The Woodlands, TX, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
09.06 Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion
09.08 Englewood, CO, Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
09.10 Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Center
09.11 Irvine, CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
09.13 Quincy, WA, The Gorge Amphitheatre
09.15 Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl
09.16 Chula Vista, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre
09.18 Wheatland, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre
09.19 Concord, CA, Concord Pavilion


Misael’s Top Ten Shows of 2012

2012 has got to be one of the best year’s for me to go to concerts. There’s bands I had never seen before but have wanted to, bands I hadn’t seen in 2-3 years, and even bands I thought wouldn’t come around again for a long time.

Me with Lamb of God singer, Randy Blythe

10. Metalachi 5/5/12 – The Roxy Theater – Hollywood, CA

The world’s first and only metal mariachi band. This was a special Cinco De Mayo concert at the world-famous Roxy Theater. Even though these guys aren’t really known and don’t put on a crazy show with fancy lighting or huge stage setups, I still gave these guys a spot on my list for creativity in what they do. They take popular/well-known (mainly)rock/metal songs and cover them using mariachi instruments. When I first heard about them last year, I couldn’t believe it and had to see it for myself. This was actually the second time I saw them. Here they are doing a Dio cover.

http://youtu.be/vZ7BIge0_40

9.  Lamb of God 10/31/12 – Hollywood Palladium – Hollywood, CA

I had been aching for a while to see Lamb of God live and then they finally announced US tour dates. The first set of US tour dates had to be cancelled due to singer Randy Blythe’s imprisonment in the Czech Republic. Once released, new tour dates were announced and I jumped on them. They were everything I expected them to be live. Crazy, energetic, and most of all, brutal.  After the show I met up with all the members of Lamb of God at different times as they exited the building and got to talk with them for a bit. What a way to spend my Halloween. Will definitely check them out again.

http://youtu.be/lHROJwaVd5I

8. Van Halen 6/1/12 – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA

One might wonder why a band like Van Halen might be so low on my list. Well I have good reasons for it. When Van Halen last came it was 2007. By the time I heard about it, I had just missed it by a few days and since then I’ve vowed to make it next time they come around. This year they released their newest album, “A Different Kind of Truth”, which featured original singer, David Lee Roth, for the first time in 27 years. My dad has been a Van Halen fan since the 80’s so when they announced this tour, I got tickets for the both of us. The openers for them was the 70’s funk band, Kool and the Gang. That was a real treat for me since I never thought someone from my generation would ever see them. The reason that they’re so low on my list is that, in a way, they were just simply…boring. I’ve seen videos of them from back in the day and I thought for sure I’d see one of the greatest shows I’ll ever see. I paid hard-earned money to see a great show. I also have to put into factor that 3 out of the 4 members are at that age where they probably don’t have the energy like they used to, but then again I’ve seen bands their age put on spectacular shows. David Lee Roth still danced to most songs but he didn’t jump around as I’ve seen in older videos. Eddie Van Halen didn’t do much other than play guitar. He usually stayed in one place and walked around and didn’t run or jump around as I thought he would. Personally, I think they’re at that point in their career where they don’t really care anymore since they reached stardom a long time ago.

http://youtu.be/1mj5tcs_n0M

http://youtu.be/9K-EPWiBnno

7. Megadeth 12/7/12 – Fox Theater – Pomona, CA

I had the chance to see Megadeth twice this year and I picked this day from the second time as my favored show. This tour was celebrating the 20th anniversary of their double-platinum selling album, “Countdown To Extinction”. This being one of my favorite metal albums and my second favorite Megadeth album, I just had to go to this. The titans of thrash metal, Megadeth, as always put on an awesome metal show for us metal heads. The show carried out really well and frontman Dave Mustaine showed no sign of slowing down anytime soon. He even announced that my particular show would be released on DVD!  After the show I caught up with all the band members except for Mustaine. In this video, before they play Holy Wars, a friend of mine who happens to be the biggest Megadeth fan I know, throws her hand-made Megadeth flag at Dave and he holds it up for everyone to see. I got it on video just for her.

http://youtu.be/PyRd04XQ7N4

6. Linkin Park and Incubus 9/8/12 – The Home Depot Center – Carson, CA

This was this year’s Honda Civic tour. It featured alternative rockers, Linkin Park and Incubus. I haven’t seen Linkin Park since February of 2011 so I was due to see them again. I did see them again in December at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas, but I chose this night in particular. This was also my first time seeing Incubus. Both bands put on a great show. Incubus went up first and played greatest hits from their past albums as well as songs from their newest album, “If Not Now, When?”. When they finished, Linkin Park came on. They were the highlight of the night for me. They’re one of the few bands I can see and no matter how hard I try to resist, I end up singing along to every song. They were out supporting their newest album released this year, “Living Things”. The only problem I had during the show was the venue. It was a soccer stadium. I could tell that no matter where you sat, It’d be a terrible view and would be too far to see anything clearly. The only way you’d have a good view is if you were on the floor and had a close-up view. As always, I cannot wait for them to come back.

http://youtu.be/-2PQWUD90kA

http://youtu.be/cGukD0jjOEc

5. KISS and Motley Crue 8/14/12 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Irvine, CA

KISS and Motley Crue had to be one of the hottest tours of the summer. This was the first time in 30 years that they had toured together since 1982. I hadn’t seen KISS in 2009 and was anxiously waiting for them to come around again. Motley Crue I’ve been seeing every year since 2008 and this made the 6th time(the most out of any band) I had seen them. My only complaint is the venue. The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater has got to be the worst venue in the world. Everything about that place is terrible. Driving there, trying to get into the venue, finding parking, food/merchandise pricing, and it’s a long walk to the seating area. As for the band themselves, they were awesome as always. First up were the kings of glam metal, Motley Crue. I’ve been a huge Motley Crue fan and I’ve yet to get tired from seeing them. Due to the terrible layout of the venue, I missed most of their set. I took a half day from work and I still got there late! I only got around to fully hear their last 2 songs but they put up an awesome display of pyros, fireworks, buckets of blood, and women on stilts. When KISS came on, the crowd went crazy. It had been too long since they last came around. Thanks to my dad, they were one of the first bands I remember listening to When I was just a kid. They still rock even at their age. They played greatest hits along with some newer stuff. I know it won’t be soon but I hope KISS comes back without having me wait another 3 years.

http://youtu.be/x6wFAPqhLU8

http://youtu.be/vJIE7XqHB7g

4. Scorpions 6/22/12 – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA

Scorpions live is the true definition of a rock show. This was their Final Sting/farewell tour and probably the one and only time I’ll ever see them, sadly. The opening was the rock band, Tesla. I was only familiar with a few Tesla songs since they never really caught my attention but from what I hear, they’re one of the most underrated rock bands. My dad has been a Scorpions fan since the 80’s but has never seen them before so when I heard they were coming around, I jumped at the opportunity to take him and I wanted to see them for myself. They put on an all-around rock show and I was really enjoying myself. Even at their age, they still rocked and ran around. They played all greatest hits that I was familiar with. There was hardly a dull moment in that show. I just wish I could see them again. singer Klaus Meine still sounded great and all the other member still had it in them. My dad and I both agreed that they were much better than Van Halen which is why Scorpions is much higher on my list.

http://youtu.be/I9jyCuyjl08

http://youtu.be/xjYXENBu5uo

3. Iron Maiden 8/9/12 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Irvine, CA

There’s no questioning it, Iron Maiden is one of the greatest bands of all time and one of my all-time favorite bands. I last saw them in 2010 for the time and I was dying to see them again. I got my wish this year. This show was definitely better than the last time since they played their older stuff compared to last time where they played mainly songs from their more recent albums. With this tour they recreated their 1989 Maiden England tour and played several songs from their “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” album which is what the tour was based off of. Iron Maiden is everything you could want at a metal concert. They had multiple stage setups, fireworks, pyros, giant Eddie robots, and of course awesome metal music. The whole time the crowd was insane and reacting to whatever song they played. Singer Bruce Dickinson sounded great for his age and all the other members were at their best. Throughout the night, you never knew what was gonna happen next with each song. Their mascot, Eddie, came out as a giant robot multiple times, devils spitting fire, and fireworks. They are a band for anyone that’s into metal to go see. Will definitely see them again without thinking twice about it.

http://youtu.be/UmIQHNNvLEQ

2. Rammstein 5/17/12 – Honda Center – Anaheim, CA

Rammstein has to be one of the best bands you’ll ever see live. they’re simply spectacular. Almost every song they play, they have something special planned. During “Feuer Frei!”(Open Fire), they come out with fire-breathing masks. During “Mein Teil”(My Part), they played out the cannibalistic story of Armin Meiwes when singer Till roasted keyboardist Flake inside a huge pot using a big flamethrower. During “Engel”(Angel), singer Till comes out wearing giant angel wings that spit out fire from the tips of the wings and are already covered with flashing fireworks. During “Pussy”, singer Till gets on top of a huge penis-shaped cannon and shoots foam at the crowd. Rammstein is one of the most fun bands you could ever see. i can tell I’ll never get tired of them. I saw them for the first time last year when they did their first US tour in 10 years and I didn’t think they’d come around again until later that year they announced they’d be coming back and I jumped for joy. I won’t hesitate to see them again.

http://youtu.be/GbJsjR-DoCA

http://youtu.be/_ojMCGfH3RQ

1. Rockstar Mayhem Festival: Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax, and more! 6/30/12 – San Manuel Amphitheater – San Bernardino, CA

This year, without a doubt, the best show for me this year was the 5th annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival. This was the 2nd biggest tour of the summer which packed over 28,000 headbanging metal heads and I was there for the opening night!! The main bands that I went to see were Anthrax, Motorhead, Slayer, and Slipknot. I’ll focus this on Slayer and Slipknot since they were the headliners. Slayer and Slipknot are 2 of my favorite bands and both have different fan bases. There were fans that were there for Slayer and hated Slipknot, there were fans that loved Slipknot but didn’t like Slayer, then there were fans like me who loved both bands to the fullest. I never thought I’d see Slayer and Slipknot share the same stage together in one night so this was a dream come true for me. Slayer was incredible and totally blew us away. They played mostly greatest hits including some of my personal favorites that I’ve never seen them play before from the 2 previous times I’ve seen them. With drummer Dave Lombardo being my idol as a drummer, I’m always happy to see his skills live. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman was still out to due his arm injury and was temporarily replaced by Exodus guitarist, Gary Holt. After they finished, Slipknot came on. I hadn’t seen them since 2009 and waiting for them to come back was a very painful wait. This was their first US show since the passing of bassist, Paul Gray. Guitarist Jim Root was out due to his appendix bursting so one of the guitarists from As I Lay Dying(who was also one of the bands on the tour) filled in for him temporarily in the back. Slipknot made their return to the US with sheer force and the crowd reacted really well to it. My eyes got a little watery from joy and excitement once the curtain fell and Slipknot was on stage opening with “Sic”. The whole night they played greatest hits and I was enjoying each and every song and even singing along. Slipknot is just one of those bands where you have to see them live to feel the intensity and electricity for yourself. They’re definitely on my list to see again.

http://youtu.be/1eysVcl4f-s

http://youtu.be/5Ek5b2gRX74

KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2012 Night 1: Gibson Amphitheater – Universal City, CA

For the past 23 years Southern California radio giant KROQ has held their Almost Acoustic Christmas charity concerts. This year I had just heard about it for the first time after hearing one of my favorite bands, Linkin Park, would be headlining the first day on December 8th, 2012. This event took place at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California. The bands for that day were: Linkin Park, Rise Against, Bush, Garbage, Slightly Stoopid, Awolnation, The Lumineers, Walk the Moon, The Gaslight Anthem, Two Door Cinema Club, and Youngblood Hawke.

The only band I was truly familiar with was Linkin Park so I will focus my review on them as well as other events throughout the night. Every band except for Linkin Park got a 1/2 hour set. The stage was a rotating stage in the form of a half-circle. So while one band was playing, the other side was being prepared for the next band. So once the current band finished, they left the stage and there was a 1 minute intermission, then the stage rotated and the next band started with the band ready to play and wasted no time.

During Bush’s performance, Gwen Stefani came out to sing “Gylcerine . Rise Against was one of the highlights of the night, they had the audience pumped up the whole time. Once Linkin Park came on, the whole place went berserk. They started with the first track off of their new album, Lost in the Echo. Throughout the night they did a good job of mixing it up with old and new songs. They played primarily singles from throughout their career such as “In The End”, “Numb”, “What I’ve Done”, “Breaking the Habit”, and “Waiting for the End”. The stage was a bit small so they weren’t able to move around as much as they usually do. Chester Bennington, the lead singer, sounded amazing as always and pulled off his screams perfectly. When they were finishing up with “Bleed It Out”, singer/rapper/guitarist Mike Shinoda, went out into the crowd and crowd-surfed for a bit and eventually made his way to the middle walkway on the floor and ended up a few feet from. I would’ve loved to get up close and personal with him but there was a wad of people surrounding him and if I had gotten in the way, I would’ve been turned into a tortilla for sure.

 

http://youtu.be/9NHpJNPYGco

 

With me primarily being a metalhead, I felt out-of-place being at a show like this since the crowd consisted of people who look like they had no clue who the bands were or were just there to take up space. Regardless, I had fun seeing my favorite band for the 5th time.

 

Full recording of Linkin Park, Rise Against, and The Gaslight Anthem: KROQ: Linkin Park, Rise Against, The Gaslight Anthem 12-8-12

Honda Civic Tour 9-8-12: Home Depot Center – Carson, CA

Honda Civic Tour w/ Linkin Park, Incubus & Mutemath 09/08/12

Home Depot Center – Carson, CA

Words by Tarantulaman


This was the Honda Civic tour which had Linkin Park and Incubus with Mutemath opening for them. This was at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. This was my first time seeing Incubus and my 4th for Linkin Park. It was a night of pure rock with thousands of fans in attendance.  Although I loved the show, there were some serious flaws.

The Home Depot Center is a soccer stadium in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. This was a terrible place for a concert. No matter where you sat, it was a terrible view because the stage was so far away from the seats.  As a result the artists looked like little people. The only real way you would’ve been able to see them was if you were on the floor. They should’ve made it a center stage on the floor and that would’ve made everyone happy.

Incubus was good. It didn’t help that I only knew a couple of the songs they played. The crowd themselves knew them but they just didn’t show they were into them as they were seated down pretty much the whole time. The only time they seemed to stand up and cheer was when they finished. They opened with “Privilege” and then played “Wish You Were Here”, then “The Warmth”. After that they played some songs off of their new album such as “If Not Now, When?”, “Adolescents”, and “Promises, Promises”. They continued with their best known hits “Drive”, “Pardon Me”, “Sick Sad Little World” then finished with “Tomorrow’s Food”.  All band members sounded spot on with their instruments so they were legit, Brandon’s singing sounded just like the albums. They played for about an hour and a half. There stage setup consisted of just lighting pretty much, nothing special.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2PQWUD90kA

Linkin Park: You can tell the crowd was waiting for Linkin Park. They came out and the crowd went nuts. The sound was good as you could hear them perfectly. Chester’s singing/screaming was off the charts and sounded better than ever thus proving you don’t have to be a metal vocalist or auto-tune to sound great. It was nice to see they played some songs I’ve never seen them play before from the 3 other times I’ve seen them. They opened with “Faint” and kept playing their well-known songs as well as songs from their newer albums. They appeared to finish with “One Step Closer” but then came out for a 3 set encore which contained the first single off of their new album, “Burn It Down”, “In The End”, and finished with “Bleed It Out.” When they played “Bleed It Out”, they stopped in the middle of the song and played a snippet from the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” as tribute to the late Adam Yauch. They had an impressive stage setup which consisted of 3 screens, dry ice, lots of lights, and even pyros.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTJ1ShE3-S4

To check out more videos from the Southern California stop of the 2012 Honda Civic Tour – Click Here.

 

 

iHeart Radio Music Festival 2012 Lineup Revealed

iHeart Radio Music Festival 2012 Lineup Revealed

 

I loved the App when it first came out, and although some of the acts may not be up everyone’s  alley, it can’t be denied that the huge names that appear on the card for the iHeart Radio Festival 2012 are nothing short of ginormous.

Tickets are on sale July 14th via Ticketmaster, for your chances to see acts like No Doubt(new album on the way this year) Green Day(Three new albums on the way this year), Lil Wayne(The guy who ruined Hot 97’s Summerjam 2012 with one fatal tweet) , Rihanna(who’s suitor and ex suitor brawl it out in clubs partying with Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs), Swedish House Mafia(Who is reportedly on their last tour), deadmau5(It’s really pronounced Dead-Mouse? I was going with “Dead Man 5” for the past year or so), Usher(The schmuck who brought us Justin Beiber), Mary J. Blige(on tour with D’Angleo,), Linkin Park(who’s new album seems to not suck as much as the last one), Pink(girls with boy problems LOVE Pink),Bon JoviAerosmith (with Steven Tyler taking a break from his Idol Judge position for at least 45 minutes), Pitbull( The soundtrack of the kitchen in the restaurant where this writer spends his days for $4.15 an hour), Shakira , Brad Paisley  Enrique Inglesias, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift.

 So basically what we’re saying to you is that you can go to Vegas  with every single person you know in life. Seriously, here’s a list of people you can take:

That Ex girlfriend you wish you had back( She’ll hate you during Taylor Swift, but you might get some nice dry-humping/dancing during Pitbull), All the junkie friends you have (the type that sniff pills during a Swedish House Mafia set), your parents(They’re sold on Aerosmith and Bon Jovi),That girl you’re in the “friend zone” with(she’ll bitch about men being scum during Pink), all your teenage cousins as long as they stay off the Casino floors (for Green Day), Hip Hop Heads (half these folk live and die with Lil Wayne), Your current girlfriend if you have one (Rihanna will get you laid, I promise) any backwoods family/friends you have from the Deep South(Brad Paisley will reel them in easily), and, this guy currently typing, who will go anywhere that a band from the 90’s is performing, and No Doubt delivers that for the nostalgia section of your group.

So in conclusion, it’s entirely possible for you to  create some sort package through Expedia or something, grab all your friends all fans of differing music genres, and you may be able to successfully get to Las Vegas for next to nothing. Call up your travel agent, I’m sure you can work something out.

Linkin Park Hit Jimmy Kimmel Live

Linkin Park Hit Jimmy Kimmel Live 6/28

Remember Linkin Park? They were like the biggest thing a few years ago. Then, one bad record later the name leaves a bad taste in the mouths of bloggers everywhere. When I looked at my TV and saw them on Kimmel I turned the volume up and gave it a fair chance. Can I be honest? I did not hate this. Check out the video below, courtesy of The Audio Perv, the two songs they perform are in the same video. Give it a listen

Linkin Park: Lies Greed Misery” and “New Divide

2009 Epicenter Music Festival 08/22/09: Fairplex – Pomona, CA

Epicenter Festival 09

08/22/09 Fairplex: Pomona, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Why waste time with a long introduction about the Fairplex at Pomona (you know, where they race ponies) lets just get to the f’n music!

Street Sweeper Social Club:

Street Sweeper Social Club: 08/22/09: Epicenter Festival - Pomona, CA

Chances are I would not have shown up to this festival till much later in the day if it was not for SSSC opening up the cavernous main stage.  As someone who spent their formative years (musically speaking) in the 1990’s I was not about to miss a chance to see Tom Morello live in person (having not seen him perform since the 90’s).  Not knowing anything about his new project (which features Boots Riley from The Coup), I was blown away by their oh so brief opening set.  Decked out in matching military jackets, the five piece outfit blazed through a handful of songs from their debut record.  When not having us take “The Oath” the politically charged band (strike that, as was repeated through the entire set by Riley, they are not a band, but a Social Club) was pumping out high energy rap meets funk meets MC5 jams like “Fight! Smash! Win” and “100 Little Curses”.  Perhaps the biggest crowd pleaser was their cover of MIA’s “Paper Planes” which became an all out assault against the current bank bail out by our Government.  Morello was going crazy the entire set, making his guitar produce noises that NO ONE has been able to replicate in 20 years.  I was so impressed, as soon as the Social Club closed with “Nobody Moves til We Say Go” I was off to the merch tent to pick up the album.

Hollywood Undead:

Hollywood Undead: 08/22/09: Epicenter Festival - Pomona, CA

I was curious about this six piece crunk rock outfit hailing from my old home town.  I have heard a few of their hits on the radio (and have seen plenty of graffiti left around the streets of LA bearing their name) and it’s not really my thing I suppose.  However, I went in with open ears was somewhat surprised with their 30+ minute set in the muggy Pomona heat.  Songs like “No. 5” and “Undead” got the mainly white male crowd excited.  I think my highlight was a song called “California”, that was still hard hitting, but had the alt/pop sensibilities of Weezer.  The collective closed their set with the hit “Everywhere I Go” which managed to get a small pit going at the front of the stage.  Personally, I don’t think I would rush to a merch booth to buy a record by this act, but they were somewhat enjoyable.  I am glad I went in with an open mind, and wouldn’t be opposed to seeing them again somewhere down the road.

Atreyu:

Atreyu: 08/22/09: Epicenter Festival - Pomona, CA

Atreyu was terrible.  I mean they were truly terrible.  We lasted 1 ½ songs, before running for some shade (where sadly we could still hear them).  Seriously, the fact that these complete tools have a career at all is shocking.  I am sure the corn in the dookie that I left in the port-a-potty could could better songs.  I now understand why their front man was booooed at the 2009 Golden Gods Awards.  Perhaps the biggest crime of these complete and total waste of sperm is their name.  They are not worthy of having such a cool band name, and I urge Congress to act quickly to strip them of it.  Hell, lets just have Congress drop a bomb on their tour bus.

Atmosphere:

Ant & Slug of Atmosphere: 08/22/09: Epicenter Festival - Pomona, CA

All I know is that Atmosphere has a great buzz around them (part of that buzz was actually featured here by our man BeeZnutZ a few months back) and they were set to close the Monster Energy Drink Side Stage at 4:20.  Seemed like the logical place to be for someone like myself.  Just before 4:20, the Minneapolis hip hop duo (featuring rapper Slug and DJ Ant) took to the tiny stage and figured they could start early and sneak an extra song in.  I couldn’t tell you a single song title excpet “Shoulda Known” but they were really good.  I have to assume the organic hip hop act would work better in a small club, this was a great taste for me into the infinite possibilities this act.  Plus he got the crowd to chant make dinner dinner so that was pretty cool.  I need to explore these guys deeper for sure.  We cut out about 2/3rds into their set to get a good spot at the main stage.

Wolfmother:

Wolfmother: 08/22/09: Epicenter Festival - Pomona, CA

Wow, where do I start on this one?  I won’t lie, when Wolfmother first came on the scene I somewhat dug it, checked out their record.  But as I got deeper into them, I was turned off by how it just lacked a certain something.  By the time Mike Patton was all over You Tube ranting about how unoriginal this Australian outfit was, well lets just say I was drinking his Kool-Aid and hoping off the Wolfmother bandwagon.  Knowing how front man Andrew “temper tantrum” Stockdale had fired the entire band, I went into their dinner time set with an open mind, but didn’t expect much.  I think it was about three minutes into their opening song “Dimension” when my mind was made up.  Wolfmother is a bad joke and truly generic, boring and un-stimulating.  The band played with no feeling at all.  Stockdale had to repeatedly ask their drummer (who sported a full on Mexi-mullet) to speed up, which sadly he was too fat and out of shape to do.  The band seemed to mix (dare I say) classic Wolfmother with songs from their upcoming “Cosmic Egg” record.  One new song, “California Dream” was basically Kasabian on their worst day trying to be Fu Manchu, while another new song “New Moon Rising” sounded like Black Sabbath being fronted by a goat.  I don’t know how anyone could have taken it seriously.  The band even struggled on their biggest hit – “Woman” with a very sloppy middle section that featured Stockdale running around stage like a four year old who was sent to his room without supper.  “Mind’s Eye” was an even bigger train wreck than “Woman” if you can imagine that.  Stockdale further grew upset by the lack of response from the crowd.  I guess no one told him that a field of sunburnt dope smokers are not going to waste their energy clapping for a band whose bass player appears equally burnt (no joke, I think he gave up at one point).  I have to assume that this may very well be the end of Wolfmother in the states.  Face it:  you’re an untalented cry baby who indulged himself by playing pathetic new material to close instead of a crowd favorite like “Joker and the Thief”.  The stop watch has counted down 14 minutes; make the most of it while it lasts.

Alice in Chains:

Alice in Chains: 08/22/09: Epicenter Festival - Pomona, CA

Now this is what I was truly looking forward too.  I have been a huge fan of Alice in Chains for over 15 years now.  However, I was too young to catch them live the first time around, and sadly Lane was a waste of flesh and bones by the time I started going to concerts on a regular basis.  You can only imagine my excitement to see them at this festival.  I thought my brain was going to explode when the band opened their set with “Rain When I Die”.  It’s amazing how similar to Lane, yet distinct new front man William DuVall  sounds.  The man can belt it out, and has a great stage presence.  We were on bassist Mike Inez’s side of the stage, as he dropped bomb and bomb in classic Chains hits like “Man In The Box” and “Them Bones”.  The band played two new songs (sorry, I didn’t catch the titles) and both were very solid (and better presented than Wolfmother).  However it was the classics that got people moving (including the first full blown pit of the afternoon).  The group closed with the one-two punch of “Would?” and “Rooster” .  Despite being covered in sweat from the sun all day, I found myself having goose bumps during the last number.  Both axe slinger Jerry Cantrell and DuVall sounded so good together on the vocals of what I guess would be AIC’s biggest hit.  Perhaps the crowd (at near capacity) singing along the melody rich opening lyrics added a bit to my bumps.  As a life long fan, the 45 minute set was much too short for me, but also truly magical.  In fact it was a dream come true and my personal highlight from Epicenter 09.

Linkin Park:

Chester of Linkin Park: 08/22/09: Epicenter Festival - Pomona, CA

A funny thing happened as the sun set behind the grand stand of the Fairplex @ Pomona.  As roadies set the stage for the only North American appearance of Linkin Park in 2009, the douche bags came out in alarming numbers.  While I don’t go out of my way to listen to Linkin Park, I have nothing against them.  However, you can not turn on rock radio in Southern California without hearing at least one Linkin Park song an hour.  They are the Depeche Mode of heavy metal.  Catchy Pop songs with neat lil computer riffs and large Metallica-esque power chords.  While I prefer something with a little more thought behind it, this music is the perfect backdrop for simple minded douche bags in Affliction shirts who enjoy beating the snot out of each other after spending $100 on 10 cups filled full of delicious Rocky Mountain Goodness.  This is exactly what happened during the LP’s set.  The band played hit after hit after hit to the delight of the simple minded masses.  “Somewhere I Belong”, “Faint”, “Crawling” and “What I’ve Done”, you know, all the songs you and I are sick and tired of despite no longer listening to terrestrial radio.  I know that sounds a tad mean, but with the mix of earlier mentioned D-bags I found myself having more fun throwing trash at various tweekers who used a safety barrier to stand upon to enrich their view, and selfishly blocking the view of thousands behind them.  Musically there were two highlights for me.  The first was “Numb” which happens to be my favorite Linkin Park song.  As with all the other songs, the band played it to perfection, never missing a beat as DJ/band dictator worked hard on his laptop.  The other highlight was “Breaking The Habit”.  Towards the end of this one, the PA suddenly went silent.  While the band didn’t realize this at first, the crowd sure did.  Yet instead of getting hostile, the sweaty blob of humanity sang along with the band, turning it into a rather special moment.  The band eventually noticed, and managed to start back up where they left off as soon as the PA was restored.  A very pro move, showing that despite not being on tour all year, this band is very tight and play together very well.  For as special as this moment was, it was short lived as lead singer Chester Bennington used Epicenter 09 as the perfect chance to commit suicide.

Dead By Sunrise:

Dead By Sunrise: 08/22/09: Epicenter Festival - Pomona, CA

We were treated to a very large promotional blitz for Bennington’s new project all day.  Street teamers covered the venue with glossy promo posters, while a small place circled the venue for hours dragging a banner that read “Who Is Dead By Sunrise?”  Towards the end of LP’s set, the band left, and roadies quickly brought out some synthesizers and drum sets.  Chester returned and mentioned how he would be debuting some new songs with his new band (featuring Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh formerly of Orgy) and wanted to know what we thought.  I think he found out as the entire crowd sent a thunderous collective boo towards the stage after the first song.  Simply saying thank you, the band launched into the next song, which somehow managed to be worse than the first one.  It was at this time when trash was thrown upon stage, middle fingers were raised and the crowd quickly grew upset.  It was clear by the third and final song that this little promo stunt had gone horribly wrong.  Shuck (who is now a fat bloated old man still trying to act like he’s a cool hip 21) threw a temper tantrum that would have made Wolfmother proud, throwing his guitar and once again coming to the shocking realization that no one gives two craps about his piss poor techno guitar rock sound.  As chants for Tool came from the crowd, the musicians quickly left the stage with their tails between their legs. Hell, it may be the first time in history that a drummer threw sticks into the crowd only to have the person who caught them throw them back.  Atreyu owes these guys a gift basket of cookies or something, as it saved them from being the worst band all day.  Thankfully, Linkin Park came back out (with Chester seemed to be holding back tears) to play the Transformers 2 song, another nameless hit that sounds like all the other hits before finally closing with “One Step Closer”.

Tool:

Adam Jones of Tool: 08/22/09: Epicenter Festival - Pomona, CA

I am a huge fan of Tool, and along with Alice In Chains, they were the reason I purchased a ticket for this festival.  Having seen Tool four times over the years, I knew exactly what I was in for – a skull fucking sensory overload of massive proportions.  However, despite playing a very similar set list as the 10,000 Days tour, this set a unique twist.  Mr. Maynard James Keenan was “kicked in the balls by God” or so he said, and was on crutches with a bad leg.  After the band opened with a skull crushing version of “Jambi” a very chatty Keenan shared how he had hurt himself, and how he should be praised for even showing up, as lesser pretentious singers such as HIMSELF would have cancelled the gig.  He mentioned how he knew it was important for the audience to “get drunk and run into each other” and he didn’t want to let em down.  Despite Keenan’s numerous apologies for his lack luster performance, I thought he and the rest of the band sounded fine.  Hits like “46 & 2” and “Stinkfist” kept the crowd happy while crazy images created by guitarist Adam Jones were projected upon giant video screens.  “Schism” caught me off guard as it had a really fast middle bridge section, almost more punk rock than prog.  It was during this song that a large fire made from a days worth of trash and or various promo material broke out on the large infield, prompting Keenan to encourage the crowd to “Stop, Drop and Roll.”  My personal highlight was the intense ode to acid and aliens that is “Rosetta Stoned”.  I must be honest, instead of the normal lighting fast verses, I think Keenan was just making lyrics up.  I have no clue what he said, but I must assume it was inspired by any and all pain killers the wine enthusiast was on because of the bad leg.  Perhaps the highlight for the massive audience was the title track to the Aenima record.  With Keenan opening the song by saying “Nothing Personal”, the Bill Hicks inspired song attack on collective home of Los Angeles was perhaps the loudest sing along of the night.  Honestly, despite playing for 90 minutes and going well past curfew, the Tool set was not nearly long enough for me (I think Linkin Park actually had a longer set).  Despite aches and pain from standing for hours, I wanted so much more, but sadly that was not to be.  I truly figured the band would close with “Lateralus”, but thankfully we got to end with the recent modern rock radio hit “Vicarious”.  As drummer Danny Carey (in full Kobe Bryant uniform) pounded out the final notes, we began the long walk back to our car, satisfied knowing that we got to not only witness Tool during one of their down times, but were able to witness a wonderful day of music.

In closing, the 2009 Epicenter Festival was a massive success.  Sure, all the bands may not have been pleasing on the ears, but it was a great day, with a great vibe.  Kudos to the event producers for putting on a truly fan friendly festival with hardly any flaws.  I truly hope this new festival continues to grow and that 2010 is even better than this year.

The Crowd @ Epicenter 09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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