The plan here was to post the pic of all the bands and just name a handful of ones that us here at Concert Confessions are fans of and stuff like that. Then, as I kept reading into the poster containing the lineup for the 2014 Riot Fest in Chicago, this thing just has so much one would want to check out. Your top billing is The Cure, Jane’s Addiction, The National, Rise Against and Weezer while The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Slayer,The Offspring and Staten Island’s very own Wu-Tang Clan rounding out your ten highest billed performers. Dig deeper into the lineup and you’ll find Pussy Riot, ThurstonMoore, Kurt Vile. You’ll also run into Failure and The Dandy Warhols. The Afghan Whigs are back, and you guessed it, they’re here too. My new favorite heroes(i.e. Dave Grohl/Safe Music) Mastodon is at this party as well. Feel free to have some fun too, throw a little Cheap Trick in your day. Things you don’t see here: Outkast, Lorde, Kanye West, Vampire Weekend, Skrillex and all those other garbage festival junkies you see on every card. Lots of music with guitars here.
Highlighted acts below, check out RiotFest.ORG for ticketing details and all that jazz.
We here at Concert Confessions would like to that Orion Music + More for putting together an awesome lineup in year TWO. Coming to the lovely Detroit this year, the festival features the like of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones and Rise Against headlining along side festival curators Metallica. Other notables include Japandroids, Silversun Pickups, the FLAG version of Black Flag (How many years have people wanted Black Flag to tour now that they finally do there’s TWO of them?) and Death Grips. Check out the full lineup below, and for information on tickets and such just head to this link.
Orion Music + More 2013:
Red Hot Chili Peppers
the Joy Formidable
The Dillinger Escape Plan
All Shall Perish
Check Out this photo gallery from last years festivities below:
Another day, another festival announcement. For the third time, the Carolina Rebellion Festival will serve as Mid-Atlantic’s biggest rock festival around and May 4th & 5th it will return to Rock City Campgrounds in Concord, North Carolina. The big names are Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and the Deftones. Papa Roach, Bush, Rise Against and Bullet For My Valentine are other notables. For more information on tickets and all that jazz, head over to the official festival website. For a full list of announce acts, check below.
Caroline Rebellion Festival 2013:
Alice In Chains
3 Doors Down
Three Days Grace
Bullet For My Valentine
All That Remains
Device (with David Draiman)
In This Moment
Escape The Fate
Thousand Foot Krutch
Red Line Chemistry
For the past 23 years Southern California radio giant KROQhas 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.
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.
For the first time since 2010 Rise Against set foot on stage in Arizona. Having called of their participation in the Sound Strike’s Boycott of the state after lawmakers passed SB 1070, the band returned to play a fierce career spanning set. Check out some photos from the night down below.
Rise Against Cover “Ghost of Tom Joad” w/ Tom Morello, Wayne Kramer & Brian Fallon(of Gaslight Anthem)
A few nights ago at the Honda Center, Rise Against were joined on stage by Tom Morello,Wayne Kramer, and Brian Fallon(Gaslight Anthem) for an epic eight minute rendition of a Bruce Stringsteen classic “Ghost Of Tom Joad“. You can check out the fan filmed footage below, in great quality I might add.
This actually sounds really cool. It is called the Riot Fest and it is going down September 14-16 in Chicago. While the lineup tends to be rather heavy, one can’t notice such diverse acts as The Jesus and Mary Chain and Elvis Costello. The event will take place at Humboldt Park and the Congress Theatre. The best part is that tickets start at $18 a day. Below is the full line up (as of 05/14/12) and ticket are available by clicking here.
Riot Fest 2012 Line Up:
Rise Against, Iggy and the Stooges, The Offspring, Elvis Costello, A Day To Remember, Coheed and Cambria, Descendents, Gogol Bordello, Dropkick Murphy’s , NOFX, Alkaline Trio, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Gaslight Anthem, AWOLNATION, Slapstick, The Promise Ring, Chiodos, GWAR, August Burn Reds, Less Than Jake, Built To Spill, Frank Turner, Reverend Horton Heat, Fishbone, No Bunny, A Wilhelm Scream, Screaming Females, Teenage Bottlerocket, Off With Their Heads, Sister Crayon, Deals Gone Bad, White Mystery, Larry and His Flask, The Story So Far, Japanther
Update #1 – GWAR posted this map on Facebook so we figured we would add it.
Foo Fighters w/ Rise Agaist & Mariachi El Bronx 09/17/11
Scottrade Center – St. Louis, MO
Words by Jenkins/Videos by Beeznutz
“You know, I used to get fucking nervous doing this shit. It used to freak me out that I had to stand in front of all of these people and play guitar, but I don’t get nervous any more at all – AT ALL … And, the way I look at it, when I come out and do a show like this, I look out at all you people and I just feel like, well, you’re Foo Fighters people, you’re the same as I am.”
Sure enough, 12,000 Foo Fighters people gathered at the Scottrade Center on Saturday night for an evening with the Foo Fighters – an evening most of us had been waiting for since May when the tickets went on sale. Supporting the Foo Fighters on this leg of the tour were rockers Rise Against and the practically uncategorizable Mariachi El Bronx.
The show was scheduled to start at 7:00PM, and we were heading in from the parking garage with about ten minutes to spare. As we submitted to the security pat down at the entrance, I noticed a list of things that were forbidden in the arena. Included on this list (along with the usual items like food, recording devices, weapons, and cameras with detachable lenses) was garden gnomes. How is this relevant to this concert experience, you ask? Well, to be honest, I have no idea – but if they felt that garden gnomes are important enough to point out, then so do I.
Mariachi El Bronx took the stage promptly at 7:00 – at 7:01 we were fumbling to our seats in the dark and they were already mid-song. Prior to this concert, I knew pretty close to nothing about Mariachi El Bronx. I knew they were a band, and I knew they had a relatively new album out, but that’s about it. Truth be told, I didn’t even know they were opening this show until mid-afternoon the day of the show. Needless to say, I didn’t really know what I was expecting from them, but what I can tell you for certain is that I was absolutely not expecting an actual mariachi band.
Clocking in at just over 25 minutes, the El Bronx set was short but jam packed with energy and a hell of a lot of fun. In some ways, they almost reminded me of the off-the-wall performances of Gogol Bordello. A highlight of the set for me – and this may be a bizarre thing to pick out as a highlight – was the song/jamming they played while introducing all of the band members. They could have jammed that out for the whole 25 minutes and I would have been content. Sadly, having gone in blind I don’t know the setlist and can’t go into any real detail in terms of what was played, but they sounded good, they put on a terrific show, and the crowd (at least, the crowd that actually bothered to check out the opener versus hanging out by the beer vendors) really seemed to enjoy the set. After 25 minutes of mariachi-rock insanity, Mariachi El Bronx ended their set and left the stage for Rise Against.
Thanks to youtube and the various reviews on Concert Confessions, I had a better idea of what to expect from Rise Against, but I still didn’t know much of their stuff beyond the most commercially viable/radio friendly stuff. Everyone who was hanging out with the beer vendors came in and took their seats for Rise Against – I was really surprised to see how full the arena was this early in the night (and I was equally surprised to see how many people were heading to their cars after the Rise Against set). The crowd really seemed to be into their set, with whole sections of the 12,000 person arena singing and screaming and bouncing along, complete with head banging and devil horns all around (including the 12 year old in front of me there with his dad). The audience was really responding to Rise Against like they were the headlining act and in general seemed to eat up every minute of their set.
There is no denying that Rise Against played their asses off during their set, and the two songs I knew – Help Is On The Way and Prayer for the Refugee – sounded good enough, but from where we were sitting the overall mix sounded way off and as a result I had a hard time enjoying their set. The mix was just too loud for the indoor venue they were in, and it was hard-to-impossible to understand any lyrics or hear any details in the music. It’s one thing to be loud and distorted, but the levels were so high that everything just sounded muddy. That being said, I realize that sometimes opening acts aren’t mixed as well as headliners since they don’t really get to soundcheck and the sound in the venue isn’t necessarily engineered with the opening act in mind. These guys are probably much more enjoyable as a headliner (and maybe when they are playing at an outdoor venue), but overall this just didn’t work for me. There were 11,997 other people there that night who may disagree, but the three of us in my group all agreed that this particular performance was just too loud to be enjoyable.
The Foo Fighters took the stage shortly before nine and played a solid set that clocked in at just shy of three hours. The audio mix was perfect, with the band being damn loud without clipping or sounding muddy at all. Various moving lights and displays were hanging over the stage, and above the stage on the left and right sides were two high definition jumbo view screens that were beautiful and crystal clear (these screens can be seen well in one of the videos below). The view of the screens would have been perfect from any seat in the house, including the last row of the nose bleed section. This is maybe the best lineup the Foo Fighters have had since the inception of the band, with the awesome Pat Smear returning to the band on rhythm guitar and providing an extra layer of sound (often freeing frontman Dave Grohl up for various other fist pumping, head banging, and bouncing around the stage duties).
Interspersed throughout the night was plenty of banter from Dave. He was especially chatty with the crowd, often stopping between songs to tell stories, harass the crowd, or express what felt like an incredible amount of gratitude. Dave leaves you believing that not only does he have the greatest job in the world, but he really feels like he’s stumbled into it totally by accident – he said more than once that “this band was never supposed to exist”. In the acoustic section of the encore, Dave identified a boy in the audience (Dave guessed he was ten years old), and waxed philosophic to him for several minutes about music, rock bands, guitars, and finally ended his speech to the kid with “We’re going to come back here in a couple of years, and when we do, you better have started a fucking band”.
Somewhere between a fourth and a third of the set was made up of songs from the new album Wasting Light, which (thankfully) is excellent. The rest of the set was rounded out with a huge list of radio hits, crowd favorites, and Foo Fighters classics.
(Incidentally, all credit for these videos goes to fellow concert confessor BeeZnutZ, who somehow manages to make great recordings even in lousy poorly lit environments like the Scottrade center.)
There were four songs I really wanted to hear from Wasting Light, and the Foo Fighters opened their set with two of them back to back – Bridge Burning and Rope. Bridge Burning is the standard opener for this tour, and it works well in that slot – a big distorted buildup at the beginning followed by 4 minutes of guitar heavy rock and the occasional Dave Grohl piercing scream. Rope, the first single from the album, already elicits a “fan-favorite” reaction from the crowd and sounds great live considering it’s one of the new songs.
Rope led right into one of my favorite Foo Fighters songs: The Pretender. Ten thousand plus people singing and screaming along to the chorus of this song during a seizure inducing light show was definitely a high point of the night for me, complete with the typical “arena-rock” antics of quieting the music down during the bridge and then blowing it up and rattling the windows.
After standards My Hero and Learning to Fly, the band played White Limo. While this song has what I think is the greatest music video in the world (watch it here), I am hit or miss on the song itself, so I wasn’t really looking forward to hearing it live. Dave’s searing screaming vocals translated much better to the live setting, and this was actually pretty enjoyable.
White Limo segued into another Wasting Light tune: Arlandria. This is hands down my favorite song off of the new album, so I was really glad to see that it’s in rotation, and much like the other new songs, it sounds like they’ve been playing it for years rather than months.
Up next was a run of Foo Fighters oldies Breakout, Cold Day in the Sun, Long Road to Ruin, and Stacked Actors. Long Road to Ruin is great, but the others aren’t especially favorites of mine so I had a little bit of down time here. I was surprised to find myself getting into a great version of Stacked Actors, as I’ve never really cared for this song at all prior to this show. At one point during the song Dave and Chris played some dueling guitar solos, with each of them often lifting riffs from guitar classics like Jimmy Page’s Heartbreaker solo.
The band squeezed in a standard-but-solid performance of Walk before playing one last round of crowd favorites with Generator and Monkey Wrench. Walk was the last song on my checklist of Wasting Light songs I wanted to hear and much like the others already sounds like an “old” Foo Fighters song. I could have personally done without hearing Generator – it was good enough performance wise, but the song itself is just not for me. Monkey Wrench ended with Dave having the lights in the venue turned off and bringing the volume of the music way down before screaming his way through the entire last verse. I can’t help but wonder how this guy has managed to keep his voice at all – if I screamed the way that he’s been screaming for the last 15 years, I wouldn’t even be able to whisper, much less sing, howl, and shout.
Another new song, These Days, led up to what was absolutely the surprise of the night for me: I Should Have Known. For me, this ranks somewhere in the middle compared to the other songs on Wasting Light, but their live performance of it was truly exceptional. Passionate, intense, fiery, and LOUD, this was the best song of the night – a perfect blend of heavy rock jamming and emotionally touching songwriting and delivery. After this, the band wrapped up the main set with Skin and Bones, This Is A Call, and All My Life. A primarily acoustic number, Skin and Bones was a short quiet change of pace from the rest of the setlist, as well as perhaps the only song anywhere in the Foo Fighters catalogue requiring an accordion. I burned myself out on This Is A Call after listening to it hundreds of times as a teenager, because I just don’t care for it now – I missed most of the song as this was perfect timing for a restroom break for me.
There was no better way to end this set than with All My Life, which was 7 or so minutes of guitar-pounding-light-flashing-kick-ass-rock-and-roll. The red stage lighting at the end of this song was especially awesome. Incidentally, at this point I was starting to come to the realization that my hearing would likely not function correctly for days following the end of the show.
All My Life:
The band took a nice long encore break to recoup, and the large video screens displayed a feed from a night vision camera that several band members were using backstage to egg on the audience and tease the number of encore songs. The screens also served as a distraction to keep people from noticing Dave walking to the front of the extended stage to begin the encore set with a solo acoustic performance of Wheels. This was one of many points in the night where the crowd participation was remarkable – at points during this song (especially the return on the chorus), the crowd sang word for word with Dave, often overpowering his vocals. Dave continued his acoustic set with solo renditions of Best of You and Times Like These. Best of You was the only point in the night where it sounded like Dave’s voice might have been ready to give out – but it’s hard to blame him after performing for almost three hours straight.
Encore Break > Wheels:
Best Of You:
The band returned to the stage for a cover of Young Man Blues by Mose Allison – or perhaps more appropriately, a cover of The Who’s cover of Young Man Blues by Mose Allison. While this was fantastic, I had the feeling that it was sadly lost on most of the crowd. This jam led straight into Dear Rosemary, which then segued into a cover of Tom Petty’s Breakdown. Musically, everything was note-for-note perfect on Breakdown (especially the keyboards), which was perhaps the most mellow song of the night. Even though they were little out of their comfort zone in this genre, the guys were all smiles for this performance.
Dear Rosemary > Breakdown:
Finally, Foo Fighters closed out the night with Everlong. Quite simply, Everlong was perhaps the most epic-mega-rock-and-roll moment of my concert-going life.
I’ve said before that if I could do it all over and be whatever I want when I grow up, I’d probably be in a band, on a stage, and nights like this remind me why. These guys have the greatest job in the world. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I have been to a concert where the band members had as much fun as Foo Fighters. Sure, on the surface these 5 guys walked on stage and played a predetermined setlist full of songs that they’ve rehearsed and played dozens (or hundreds) of times before, but it was more than that, too. They interacted with each other. They interacted with the crowd. They drank beer and goofed off and laughed. They had fun. They love what they do. They aren’t just Foo Fighters band members, they’re Foo Fighters fans – and right now is a great time to be a Foo Fighters fan.
Learn to Fly
White Limo >
Cold Day in the Sun
Long Road to Ruin
I Should Have Known
Skin and Bones
This Is a Call
All My Life
Best of You
Times Like These
Young Man Blues (cover of The Who’s Mose Allison cover)
Breakdown (Tom Petty cover)
I moved to Los Angeles just shy of a decade ago. Before moving down here I was as Bay Area as it comes. The use of the word hella was still our thing. I didn’t eat meat, enjoyed public transportation and went green back in the late 80’s. I knew I was moving to a whole new world, but nothing could have prepared me for that first 18 months living in the City of Angels. The fact is Los Angeles is a hard city to live in and while you can keep your hippie dreams and try to make a dent you need tough skin. I would not have survived those 18 months without the guidance and protection of one man. Our initial bond was Rage Against The Machine. We shared stories of shows from Oakland to San Diego. So you had to know it would be him who would take care of me again with the offer of an extra ticket roughly 24 hours before the gates of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum opened.
The Festival Experience
I walked around the entire horse shoe of the stadium. The entire time I saw three things. Lite Beer stands, Merchandise stands and Food stands. OK, there was a poorly placed stage where KROQ was blasting Rush/Faith No More mash ups, but not much else going on. I couldn’t even find a first aid stand to see if they had earplugs (I picked a bad day to forget them that’s for sure). I finally made it to the other side of the stadium for the promised revolution, something called the “Re-Education Camp.” While it was nice to see organizations like Greenpeace, Food Not Bombs and Iraq Veterans Against The War be allowed to set up for free, the area felt more like an Indian Reservation then an opportunity to save the world. The camp was a small parking lot adjacent to the grounds. Tents were small, poorly lit and the whole thing felt depressing. We know you can hardly make ends meet, but we need help so please sign up for our email list and give us cash.
While I understand that you need many stands to feed what I am guessing ended up around 85,000 people, the entire stadium walk around was capitalism at its best. $8 Hot Dogs, $30 T-shirt and $9 Beer as far as you can see. Speaking of beer, I assumed a festival would have more than Coors Lite, Miller Lite and if you were lucky enough to find it tucked away in the corner behind section 25 Dos Equis. So when it comes to being a festival, L.A. Rising has a long way to go. This is not the revolution; this was a corporate cash grab stadium gig at its finest.
To make things worse (and I realize that this only happened to a small percentage of guests) when I made it to my seat I discovered it was covered with a large black cloth. As it turns out there was a last minute security change where they decided to cover these seats to help prevent individuals from sneaking onto the floor. Between Immortal Technique and Lauryn Hill I walked back around the stadium for my seat exchange. The guy at the tent asked if I was alone or with a group. I told him I was meeting 5 other people and he promised me that my ticket was with them. I look at my new ticket and it was for the same exact section, except seat 10 was now found in row 5 instead of row 2. Knowing my group was in the stadium, I finally texted them between Muse and Rage worried that I had not seen them in the empty seats next to me. As it turns out, they were given tickets in section 8 clear across the stadium from me. So instead of sharing the day with the folks I was supposed to share it with I sat alone. Going to shows alone all the time it could be worse I suppose, but I lost my chance to see Rage with someone I really wanted to see Rage with and I don’t know if I will ever get that chance again. I do want to say thanks EC for getting me into the revolution, it means a lot to me.
I am not a huge hip hop fan so where I have heard the name Immortal Technique, I didn’t know who they (or as it turns out he) was. I missed the first half of his set checking out the Re-Education Camp and that was a huge mistake on my part. Just walking down the long tunnel towards my section I liked what I heard coming from the stage. Instead of finding my seat near the side of the stage I decided to head up and over to get a better view for photos. When not joking with the crowd and his crew on stage, Immortal Technique dazzled the crowd with hard hitting rhymes that spanned his entire career. Highlights included the song “Memories,” his banter encouraging folks to steal his music so they can hear the message and a guest spot from Chino XL. As some folks kicked me from a seat which I had no right to be in, the east coast rapper unleashed a harsh yet often hilarious rant attacking hip hop played on the radio, Summer Jam, Amy Winehouse and Casey Anthony. If I do listen to hip hop, it needs to have bite and both Chino XL and Immortal Technique managed to show me they had that bite in a sun drenched college football stadium. Consider me a fan.
Ms. Lauryn Hill
I get it, she had some solid jams over a decade ago. But for the love of God Goldenvoice, why the hell do you shove this shit down our throats? At least at Coachella you have 14 different options if you don’t want to watch a fucking train wreck. I could think of 24 acts that would have been better for the slot. I watched the opening “Killing Me Softly” which sounded more like a Rastafarian who has been smoking oxycontin for three days then oh I don’t know music? I tried to give it a chance but it was rough with a bad PA and a band that sounds like they were pulled together a day before the show. Whatever came next was even worse but hey don’t worry. It gave me a chance to go drink a beer with Skwerl of Antiquiet fame. Yes I could still hear her butchering hits from the concourse area, but that didn’t ruin my Dos Equis drank by this blatant name dropping music snob.
This was make or break for me when it comes to Rise Against. I had seen the band twice before, once was great and the other left me wanting a bit more. Could these guys who have headlines sold out arenas in this town make the jump from that level to dinner time/twilight stadium rockers? The answer was clear – Yes.
For the first time that I saw all day, huge circle pits broke out on the floor (which was divided into an A section up front, a middle B section and a rear C section upsetting many fans). Despite the sound system struggling throughout their set, the band bashed out hit after hit including “The Good Left Undone,” “Prayer Of The Refuge” and “Ready To Fall.” The highlight of the set however was when front man Tim McIlwraith strapped on an acoustic guitar and sang the powerful anti-war number “Hero Of War.” You could hear a pin drop it was so quiet inside the only venue to host two Olympic Games. Los Angeles has always given Rise Against a lot of love and it was great to see them take the next step in an already well accomplished career.
Having purchased a ticket for Outside Lands last Spring, L.A. Rising did me a huge favor by having Muse booked as a headliner. Having seen the band last fall, and now at L.A. Rising I have high hopes of having my Girl Talk cherry popped in Golden Gate Park. The band who can headline multiple nights in Football Stadiums across the pond felt right at home inside the massive Coliseum (further cementing my beliefs last fall that the 20,000 seat Staples Center was too small for the group). On a pure technical/skill level this was hands down the best set of the night.
Much like Rise Against, Muse spent much of their set rocking their wildly popular radio hits. Early on “Supermassive Black Hole” and “Hysteria” got fists pumping from the crowd in between deeper cuts like “Uprising” and “United States of Eurasia.” What is scary about Muse is how easy they make it look. Front man Matthew Bellamy can transition effortlessly from guitar to piano within the same song and own your ass on both instruments.
Packing their four biggest hits within the last five songs, the energy of the near capacity crowd was something truly special. From the TV spot friendly melodies of “Starlight” to the edge of manic meltdown that is “Stockholm Syndrome” the band had the crowd eating from the palm of their hands. It’s almost too easy for Muse; it’s really not even fair. Keep in mind I was unable to view the light show/effects the band had on stage and I was still blown away. As the final notes of “Knights Of Cydonia” rang through the PA, I knew even if I do see Muse at Outside Lands, I will still be blown away.
Rage Against The Machine
The last time I saw Rage Against The Machine was at the Battle of Los Angeles Tour Kickoff at the then Oakland Arena in Oakland, CA. That was almost 12 years ago. With the Olympic Torch lit and the arches of the Coliseum lighted up blood red, a brief video history of Rage Against The Machine played to the cheers of the crowd. Where love and respect was had for most of the other acts at the inaugural L.A. Rising, it was clear that this crowd was here for the lone appearance of Rage Against The Machine in 2011. The band started it off right with “Testify” and while it sucked to have the PA cut out twice it was clear that the band was beyond ready to bring the Coliseum down.
I was personally excited for how early Rage made it into the set After “Testify” the next seven songs came from the group’s first two releases. Highlights included an explosive “Bombtrack” along with fierce versions of “Bulls On Parade” “Township Rebellion” and “Bullet In The Head.” While there was one or two missed notes, the band sounded as if they had been on the road for a year. Vocalist Zach De La Rocha sounded great and even added a few new lines into songs like “Down Rodeo.”
During the set closing “Wake Up” De La Rocha took a large moment in time to address what he feels is a violent tension rising within Los Angeles. He compared foreclosures to empty hotel rooms in brand new developments downtown as a bonfire blazed towards the top of the stadium. It has been a few years since we have had a good riot here in Los Angeles, and the way things are going in this world we are probably due for one and De La Rocha made sure to encourage the crowd to take to streets. The band closed the night with an encore featuring their most explosive songs “Freedom>Killing In The Name Of.” With 12+ hours in the sun, the floor exploded into the biggest and most chaotic pits of the night as the hometown heroes celebrated a triumphant performance in downtown Los Angeles. Will this be the last Rage Against The Machine show as some have hinted? Who knows?
In closing L.A. Rising was a raging success for all the wrong reasons. Corporate America sold the revolution to a bunch of angry music fans. No doubt it will return next year with Common and System of a Down and the folks who struggle to make ends meet will throw down $100+ a ticket to get into the Electric Daisy Replacement revolution. For my taste there needed to be more then bands reminding me that times are fucked. Where were the forward thinking food options? Where was the fair and affordable food options? The fact is the movement spent Saturday afternoon handing their hard earned cash back to the ones who have used our politicians to steal it from us in the first place. Turns out the joke is on us.
I love outdoor shows. They remind me of summer days spent outside seeing some of my favorite bands with good friends. When Rise Against announced they would be touring with Bad Religion I was sold. Even better the venue Pop’s 24/7 in Sauget, IL was hosting the show outside, in the parking lot in between two nightclubs.
The morning of the show was gloomy, rainy and anything but exceptional weather for an outdoor event. As the day progressed the weather slowly turned around until it was a pretty nice overcast day. The day concluded with a nice sunset and my friend and I racing towards the east side. Home of Strip Clubs, Pop’s, that one off track betting gas station and factories!
As we pulled in I noticed a bunch of people sneaking in the parking lot to avoid paying $5 dollars.They were being chased down by the security guards. However I wanted to drink a beer in peace in my car. And 5 dollars sounded like a great bargain not to be heckled by parking attendants.
Parked the car, cracked a beer, slammed one and opened another. As we started walking the first song of Bad Religions set was being played. We hustled made good time and only missed one full song.
We found good spots middle of the crowd and were treated to a great show from the California punk veterans. The crowd was very into the set and the band gave the energy right back.
Greg Graffin is a pretty cool guy, never had the chance to meet him yet, but you can tell from his cool stage demeanor.Turns out he his also pretty damn smart too! This fall Greg will be teaching evolution at Cornell University. He sounds great live and makes Bad Religion a can’t miss for me always.
The rest of the band is equally amazing with original members Brett Gurewitz on guitar and Jay Bentley and bass still! That is incredible considering they have been around since 1979 Up next was a old school jam I love. ” Do what you want”
I was having so much fun during the set. So many memories of Bad Religion at various Warped Tours over the years instantly came to mind. The outdoor setting was perfect for this show. Next they rocked the classic ” Infected ” a tune written by the guitar player Brent Gurewitz. Who writes a lot of the bands songs and also started the record label Epitah Records back in the 80’s to sell Bad Religion records and merch.
They closed out a great set with ” Sorrow ” another song Brent wrote, that appeared on the 2002 album ” The Process of Belief ” which is hard to believe was their 12th full length album.
Another solid set in the books for Bad Religion. Everytime I am impressed by them! These new sissy wannabe bands coming out today should relax and take notes.
There was a quarter of a moon lurching in the sky above during the Bad Religion/Rise Against set change. Nice T-shirt weather night outside. The crowd was buzzing and the beer lines were long.
Since this is concert confessions I will confess that I didn’t go for Rise Against. That being said about everyone else did. So fair being fair they headlined and rocked it for all their fans in attendance.
They brought a good sized chunk of the crowd, who bounced and sang along with all the songs. The weather was just right and made everyone that much more excited to be there.
They had the crowd bouncing the entire night and almost everyone was having a great time. My friend and I were enjoying each others company breathing in the fresh industrial smog and rock and roll that was thick in the air.
They kept the energy and crowd going at a decent level the whole show. It was fun to watch them work the stage. They broke into the new single from the new album ” Endgame “. This song has been getting a lot of spins at the local station 105.7 KPNT The Point.
After seeing the one song I did know, we decided to stay for a few more songs. Up next was ” Swing Life Away” I remember that getting played 4,506 times back in the day. So maybe it is understandable why they are headlining after all.
We decided to beat traffic and make good time home, and that we did. My friend had a great night, I had fun and I can’t wait to do it
all again. Till next time….
And the love-hate relationship with this awesome yet dreadful venue continues. As Jim Nantz would say “Hello friends”, and take a seat aboard a train head down the tracks of the 46 installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series.. Tonight Me and fellow Jay Porks Experiencer Pam are heading out to meet Terminal 5 in NYC, this time for Rise Against w/ Bad Religion. Now, call me, Pam and my father a few of the crazy ones-but we here are clueless to the fact of why Rise Against is the headliner. This is not a knock at all at the band, but I would be under the impression that Bad Religion would have a bigger following(considering they sold out four shows in NYC last year).. Regardless both shows are sold out as they played here last night.. Since I’m going straight from work I have the white button down on with the blazer, again the “working journalist” look.. and let’s get this party start shall we?
I have myself a little idea- And this comes from Reverend Justito and I having back and forth convos about why Rise Against was headlining, and the sometimes crazy differences in popular music on each coast, etc. So how about some statistical analysis on this issue? Again, I’m on my way there straight from work so should getting there early.. how about while I await Pam’s arrival (she has the tickets) I use my waiter pad I stole from work to I make two columns- one Bad Religion and one Rise Against and just randomally approach on people outside waiting for doors and ask them simply- “who you here to see?”.. Because I gotta find out if I’m crazy or what-the first time I ever heard a Rise Against song it was me accidentally listening to the radio and I only knew who it was by the DJ mentioning that it was the new Rise Against.
So I got off the train at almost 6.. At a stop earlier than I should have,so after walking a distance that should be illegal for us chubby kids to walk- I made it to the front of the place about 6:30, and there was plenty of people out there. I rethought the survey idea- then decided to go through with it.
So standing on the corner asking passers who they’re here to see, I got some interesting answers. I would say “Hey, I’m an annoying guy with a blog, just taking a tally here-who you here to see tonight?” You would not believe how many people said to me: “nah man I don’t need tickets”.. Allow me to go caps lock for a second-I DON’T HAVE TICKETS! JUST NAME THE BAND YOU’RE HERE TO SEE! The stupidity of people and the ability to be such assholes not to just say two words. Just name one band for me-Don’t say stuff like “I’m not suppose to talk to strangers” and laugh about walking away..o And to those who said “Four Years Strong”, sorry I didn’t have a column for you…lots of not nice people, but the first group of people I ran into were really cool about it.. and at least I was freakin’ doin it right? And when people would pass me up I’m yelling at them down the block like “You know what-I don’t wanna see you following me on Twitter in 6 months when print media dies” and stuff to that effect.. sarcastically saying “You know this is new journalism, this is how you get your news now-through people like me. And again all the people who said “I don’t need tickets” do you think I’d be selling tickets 5 feet away from the 6 thugs who were on different corners selling tickets to this “Sold Out ” show? Just taking a survey here..speaking of said survey I closed the polls when we walked inside, and it was completely overwhelming how many more people stated they were here to see Rise Against.. Final total was 75 people for Rise Against and 14 for Bad Religion- and that’s counting me and Pam for BR. I figured it’d be at least 50-50, boy was I wrong. I was amazed..So let me state that yes, I did underestimate Rise Against’s east coast fan base.
Need to tell a cool story here-Midway through this survey I end up next to a dude wearing an ‘EYEHATEGOD’ tee shirt( awesome band) and he’s trying to sell two tickets. I’m thinking he’s a nut-because of the previous mentioned thugs 5 feet away from us, so basically this dude next to me is on their turf. See this is what always happens at these shows-they’re sold out in minutes yet I could go night of show and scalp a ticket(unless it’s Alice in Chains) from some dude who works the corner. And if that wasn’t enough its never some dude who just has an extra-it’s you give the money to someone on one corner and walk across the street and someone else gives you your ticket.. it’s a whole operation they have going like,-at all these shows I got to in NYC it goes on.. it’s looks like dealing drugs except with tickets they way these guys work, I watch “The Wire”.. and to put it gently (tweaking Dorthy’s famous line from the Wizard of Oz) ”We’re not in Staten Island anymore”.. So one of these big dudes on the corner comes up and wants to buy them- my friend in the tee shirt (Max) tells him 60 for the pair…the dude goes “I’ll give you 40”.. Im thinking in my head shit man take it and run…Max looks at this dude and says “It’s 60 or you could walk”. I was floored-now this dude Max is someone who owns a pair of balls-I mean he looks kinda like me, and he’s talking down to this professional scalper. So eventually the dude says 50 and Max takes it and he walks away. HERE IS THE KICKER-The dude looks at the tickets at the price says Zero Dollars, Max won them in a contest or something. He scalped the scalper. Then he stuck around as I waited for Pam saying and I quote “It’s so funny to watch this guy not sell this ticket-everyone’s in there already. It’s over.” And it was because right as Pam and I were walking in about 8:15 or so (actually was asked to open my cigarette pack to check for drugs on the way in) and I saw the dude who bought the tickets from Max walking around saying “Does anyone want free tickets?”.. that whole story is tagged with #Winning. I took his number down because he says he gets tickets and stuff and has Seether tickets for later this month at Gramercy-Need to see if I could get my shift covered if so I’m getting those.
Anyway we finally get in and I wanna run out to the rooftop smoke deck because Pam’s never seen it.. So many confusing stairwells and a people on top of people on top of people. See at Terminal 5 once those spots along the railings on the 2nd and 3rd floors are taken, there’s no way to see the stage besides the TVs I’m noticing.. The pic I have up here was taken by annoying people bending near crotches to snap, you’re probably thinking “why wouldn’t he stay there?”.. Anyway. we finally the stairway to the roof when Bad Religion kicked off their set at promptly 8:45 I immediately turned and said “fuck it” as we tried to make our way to a decent spot.. We spent the first two songs on the 3rd floor.. The spots along the railing are like 4 heads deep at this point-again no view at all. Being I was taking a frickin’ survey outside for 2 hours-I had no shame in climbing up on a couch to try and get above the people. Still wasn’t able to get a decent shot of the stage, because the lights hanging from the ceiling up there obstruct the view.. So I hop down and we turn to each other and go “2nd floor?”.. so we head down-Way more packed than the 3rd and the best view from there was stage happenings that are being shown on he LCD TV screens all over venue..again, no buenos.
So we headed down to the mobbed 1st floor(the 1st floor with people stacked out into the hallway you read about in my PJ Harvey review) and found a spot against the wall all the way in the back tucked behind a bar- hey, at least I could get some pics from this spot when the preztel stand isn’t in my way. And way back hear the vocals are terrible, like there was a lot of chat in between songs that me and Pam couldn’t hear a word of-and this translates on the video I managed to get, which was a vid of “I want to Conquer The World”/”21st century Digital Boy” and then “Infected” (the ladder two by far two of my absolute favorite songs by them)on video in this spot. Anyway, like you’ll hear kick ass riffs in these vids, but this is the second time I’ve had problems with the vocals in this venue (Meat Puppets/Dinosaur Jr back in 08′-walked out on Built to Spill) . So when you hear the sound on the vids-for once I can tell you it’s not my camera it’s Terminal 5’s sound(especially when your so packed that the Fire Marshall would’ve shut you down right now- you have people backed into the hallway all the way to the merch table-I’m backed against a wall, it’s a complete mess down there on that first floor… the only good thing I noticed was people were courteous as they passed by saw me filming they bent down to not get in the way. Props to them..
So like a typical punk band they’re ripping through songs at-with the chatter at times that we can’t hear, after I’ve gotten a few vids I’m really into this.. I mean I wasn’t taking the setlist down, although there’s an unofficial one at Setlist.FM.. So we’re hangin’ and me and Pam start talking about how old these dudes look..didn’t show in the performance aspect of it but you know, you got these “LA Punk Rockers” here, looking more like normal folk.. To put it in perspective. they’ve been around 20+ years, and I’ve been on earth for 24 years. Damn… still rocking, and finally just as I got a real head nod going, and some cool tweets all of a sudden it was 9:26, and they went off. 8:45-9:26…. 41 minutes of the band I came to see. Of course I’m not too thrilled but their not the headliner as we know, Rise Against is(and recent Jay Porks polls show that about over 80% of that crowd was Rise Against), but at least I got to hear the songs I wanted and now during the break we can explore Terminal 5 and all it’s confusion.
So we finally made it out to the rooftop smoke deck outdoor bar thing and I’ve mentioned it before, this is a really cool place up here. It’s like, the bands should play up here, with the cities tall building surrounding you, drink in hand you feel comfortable. Speaking of drinks, I don’t usually do this but I may have went a little over board at the bar. I mean, I try not to get completely hammered at these thing, usually stick to a beer or two. Let’s just say a mention of a recent ex girlfriend and whiskey led to long rants by me, and looking down at people who came upstairs and screaming down at them “Here comes more people wondering why Rise Against is headlining!” and a few looked up and said “Exactly!”…. turn to Pam and say “Yea where were you when I was taking the survey buddy?”.. So I’m blabbing on-until I look at my phone-and its freakin’ 10:51 already!(RA set time was 9:55) saying “Oh shit we gotta see some of Rise Against!” as we rushed in to at least try and see what was the deal.. We got to the first floor and caught their last song before the encore.. I was really just focused on trying to get some good crowd shots and stage shots because their lights looked amazing, I bet they did put on a great set, even though I have no idea of most of the goings on-the place was jumping on our way out when they were gonna encore everyone’s chanting “One more song!” and as we’re headed to the merch table me, like being a dick is chanting “No more songs!, No more songs!” which had at least two people in agreement(more people who missed the survey I guess!). Anyway, got the tour tee shirt that says Bad Religion on it next to a picture of Ronald Regan for $20… sweet… We headed to the Pam-Van, and I got dropped off in time to make the Midnight boat back to Staten…
So I guess that’s it for now, I mean overall a fun night. Good tunes, taking surveys, getting tipsy-all in a good days work.. Well, won’t be too long til we’re back here, and with sticking with the punk theme, we will take our talents to Asbury Park, NJ for Social Distortion at the Stone Pony Summerstage. That will also be courtesy of the Pam-Van, helping me avoid all public transportation for that one. That’s Saturday May 14th.. Keep up with the concert calender and stay tuned for Jay Porks Ticket Givaways this summer. Until then, it’s 6:23AM over here on the east coast, maybe I should get to posting this..
Oh yea by the way epic pic right here-This is that same bum with the creative sign I saw outside the Hole shows I went to way back April of last year. Anyway, I wish I had money for the dude because he was telling me: “Ima catch ‘dat Grace Potter N Da knock-turtles ya digg! OO LA LA lala LA LA!” I need to buy this guy a sandwich or something, he is the greatest bum ever, and he had the same sign..He was screaming “Lets YouTube this shit man!”-and I should’ve turned him into the next bum who makes millions off YouTube..
Win Free Music By Checking Out Our Plans for Summer 2011
It’s going to be an action packed summer for us all at Concert Confessions and to get everyone fired up for some great coverage from Coast to Coast we are giving away a $50 iTunes gift card. Before we tell you how to win the gift card, allow us to share with you some of the shows you will see covered here at Concert Confessions
Moving to the middle of the nation, Brad has an action packed summer. While he may hail from the Show Me State, Brad is crossing state lines to take in the Wakarusa Festival as well as making his first trip to Red Rocks for Railroad Earth and Yonder Mountain String Band. Don’t worry Missouri; Brad will be covering his home state as well, taking in gigs from Primus and Fleet Foxes.
Speaking of crossing state lines, when our founder Reverend Justito is not enjoying Southern California tour stops from Dolly Parton and Rammstein, he will be making his maiden trip to George, Washington (aka The Gorge) where he will take in two nights of Phish with fellow Concert Confessions members Phish Beard and thenaturalstoner. A week later, he will return to his hometown of San Francisco to cover all three days of the 2011 Outside Lands Festival.
Hailing from the northwest corner of America, thenaturalstoner he has already spent and arm and a leg in ticketmaster service charges. In addition to Phish, he will be enjoying the 2011 Sasquatch Festival at the Gorge. When not in central Washington, look for two nights of Eddie Vedder action in Seattle and a trip down south to Oregon for the mighty Ween.
So now that you have a sample of what we are up to this summer, we want to know what you have planned. Anyone who leaves a comment with their 2011 summer show plans (even if the comment is that you have no concerts planned) by 9 pm PST on 05/05/11 will be entered into a contest for the free $50 iTunes gift card. Reverend Justito himself will pull one lucky winner out of his sweat stained San Francisco Giants cap and we will post the winner right here on Friday. The contest is open to any and all US residents who have not submitted reviews to Concert Confession in the last 24 months. Good luck and thanks for supporting Concert Confessions
Black Pacific – featuring Jim Lindbergh from Pennywise
more to be announced
Ticket info is as follows:
General onsale at 10am on Saturday, June 26th.
2-day pass: $149.50
Single day ticket: $79.50
VIP Ticket (2-day only): $395.00 (VIP tickets include the following: Exclusive Monster Energy platform access with shaded, lounge seating, VIP parking and VIP entrance to venue, access to VIP food concessions, upgraded bar services (beer, spirits & wine), DJ spinning all day long, elevated viewing platforms, upgraded restroom facilities, and more.)
Rumor has it you can get some kind of camping four pack for $999.99. To be honest, for as much fan as I had at the 2009 version of this festival, I am not sure if I personally plan to head out. On paper, Sunday looks better than Saturday, but Fontucky (as many call it) is a far way away from Los Angeles, and I don’t know if I could deal with 50,000 low IQ’d individuals watching music on a NASCAR track.
Update 06/21/10: No Need for silly rumors. Official lineup can be found here.
Update 06/21/10 – KROQ (who was a major partner in the first Epicenter show) has reported that they will announce the lineup today at 5pm. In addition, Gavin Rossdale has basically confirmed his involvment via Twitter today by informing the masses that he will be visiting KROQ at 5pm today.
Update 06/18/10 – Eminem has posted this on his blog. It now appears the festival will be two days – September 25th & 26th at the Autoclub Speedway in Fontana, CA
In addition – Coheed and Cambria have mentioned via twitter that they have a major announcement on Monday. Could the band be part of this massive festival? Update 06/21/10: So the Coheed announcement was about their summer tour. Details here.
I can’t deny – one of the best shows I attended last year was the inaugural Epicenter Festival. Put on by the fine folks who bring you Rock On The Range – the Fairplex @ Pomona was treated to killer performances by Tool, Street Sweeper Social Club, Alice in Chains and more (we were also treated to less than stellar performances by Wolfmother and Atreyu, but hey it’s a festival – what can you do?).
With the 2010 Epicenter announcement just days away – folks on the Coachella boards are claiming that the below graphic leaked earlier this week on the festivals website.
One look at the routing schedule for KISS this summer would make one believe the festival would be held on September 25h (Saturday) – which is a month later than last years event. In addition, I have confirmation from a reliable source that a certain band of So-Cal Skate Punkswill be on the bill, yet are not listed on this graphic.
As of Thursday afternoon 06/17/10 – who knows who is really playing the 2010 Epicenter Festival? Make sure to keep an eye here Monday once the official lineup is announced.
This weekend I am heading out to the 2010 KROQ Weenie Roast. In honor of seeing wonderful artists including Against Me!, Stone Temple Pilots, Deftones and that cute ginger kid who just flashed her boobies on Twitter, I figured I would share some photos from my first trip to the KROQ Weenie Roast back in 2007 (long before I was regularly writing concert reviews). I hope you enjoy – and of course you can expect full coverage of the 2010 event here early next week.
Coming from someone like myself, who hasn’t set foot outside the city of Los Angeles in over ten years, taking a trip to San Diego was exciting enough. When the reason for the trip is a band you’ve been wanting to see play live for the past 4 years, not even lack of sleep could stop you from thinking that this show was not going to be anything less than awesome. As I watched Jared, Shannon, Tomo, and touring bassist Tim live for the very first time, all of those thoughts were instantly confirmed.
Waiting for the return of 30 seconds to mars to play anywhere that’s local to me was proven to be well worth it. Every moment I stood (and jumped around on Jared Leto’s command) in the pit with my best friend by my side had me lost in the world that I imagined this band would take me with their sound and presence. Sharing the stage with Rise Against and AFI, it may be surprising to some that it was 30STM that received the loudest cheers after being announced. Although the deep red flags placed upon stage and having ‘o Fortuna’ by Carl Orff play as their into were enough to get the crowd riled up and beyond ready to rock, the guys opened with A Beautiful Lie, the title track from their 2005 release that I’ve personally purchased 3 times due to over-play ware and tear. From the melodic vocal runs that everyone sang along to, to Jared rushing in the crowd, this front man took hold of everyone’s full attention and did not let go.
Mixing the old tracks with the new from the bands brand new release ‘This is War’, each song never failed to keep the exciting tempo. If you shared my up close view in that pit, were 12 rolls up, or even in the nose bleed seats, without a doubt this was just a little taste of what 30 seconds to mars has up their sleeves for their headline tour next spring.
It was 1997 when I first walked through the gates of Kevin Lyman’s wonderful world known as Warped Tour. While that was not the first year of the ever evolving punk rock summer camp, it’s hard to believe that the festival has now wrapped 15 successful years. Having missed all three Southern California stops on this years traveling circus show, I made sure not to miss the 15th Anniversary show (which will be turned into a major motion picture in theaters Sept 17th) held Labor Day weekend within the walls of Club Nokia at LA Live. Add in the fact the show was a benefit for Musicares, a great organization that takes care of musicians who need help and I knew I had to go. With a very unique mix of musical artists who share the common bond of being Warped veterans, how could I miss this event? So enough with the introduction, lets get down to business and give you a sneak preview of the Vans Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Party.
Hailing from Los Angeles, the “Dirty Reggae” collective kicked off the star studded event. I find myself having a lack of things to say about these guys as well it’s just not my preferred style of music. No problem at all with them, but it’s one of those things, where they play the first song and it’s good. Then they play the second song and it’s good because it was a lot like the first one. By the time the third song comes on, you realize it’s the first two songs again and by the fourth your over it. Thankfully with a 20 minute set, it never got to the point of boredom. Then again, with Fat Mike (drink in hand) watching them from the pit, that proved more entertaining than the music. They did do an outstanding job of getting the crowd ready for a long night of music, even if they were unable to motivate the crowd to dance/mosh/clap.
I was stoked when I heard these guys were going to be playing. I found them on accident at Warped 08 and quickly became a fan. Fuse DJ Steven (as in Steven’s Untitled Rock Show Steven) the evening’s MC informed us that we were not going to see them in person, but would be seeing them live via satellite or something. In a sad twist of fate, the video went out, and we got only audio for the song “Starstruck”. Hopefully they fix that before it hits the big screen. Truly bummed I missed these guys. Same exact thing happened with Blink 182, only we got to see their music video
Holy fucking shit. I knew Ice T was on the bill, and I had assumed we would get a hip hop set. However, being that Ice T was once a pimp, he knew how to get the bitches off. He brought out his classic/controversial early 90’s metal band Body Count. Body Count’s 15 minutes of fame came around the time I was getting into music. As a white kid from the burbs, his metal militia made up of individuals hailing from South Central LA truly scared the crap out of me. Seeing T on stage with a ski mask covering his face and some form of machine gun strapped to his back, make my arm hair raise with excitement. For twenty minutes, the five piece band exploded on the stage with a ferocious energy that still felt scary and dangerous. Ice T often taunted the crowd calling them pussies as many kids looked on confused as to why the dude from Law & Order was up on stage getting all kinds of angry. When not covering Slayer, the music highlight of course was the Los Angeles National Anthem – “Cop Killer”. So awesome, yet so lost on most of the crowd. I am still in shock that in 2009, I got to see Body Count.
These guys are the reason I purchased a ticket. After a little anniversary celebration of their own back in February, I just had to see these foul mouth racist drug abusing alcoholics again. I tried my best to match Fat Mike with vodka drinks and something I have a prescription for, but he was truly in fine form and light years ahead of me by the time they took the stage. Clearly it was not going to be easy for him to not talk during the short set, as he pointed out before a rather sloppy “Murder The Government”. Before playing “Linoleum” Fat Mike made sure to discuss his encounter with Katy Perry backstage. ATM, who knew? From there things got a lil racist. OK, very racist. I didn’t catch the name of the B-side that consisted of El Jefe, Melvin and Mike exchanging racist jokes between riffs. However, most if not all the crowd laughed at the highly offensive materials. Angelo Moore (dressed as Aladdin as Fat Mike pointed out) joined in on the joke sharing with a few colorful jokes of his own before lending vocals/sax to a sloppy/unrehearsed yet highly entertaining version of “Eat The Meek”. Running out of time, the band managed to close with “Fuck the Kids”, “Seeing Double at the Triple Rock”, “Fuck The Kids II into “Fuck The Kids (Revisited)”. With the rotating stage starting up, NOFX was more or less forcibly removed at the end of their twenty minutes, not that it seemed to stop them. It’s amazing how these guys simply get better/more offensive each time I see them.
The Decaydance All-Stars:
Wow, I am just going to say this. The best thing about this band is that lil Pete Wentz sodomized Ashley Simpson. Yes, when your claim to fame is sticking your small little pecker into the uglier, less talented Simpson sister’s shitter, you know I am heading back to the bar for another drink. Joining up with the two fuck tards left in Panic! At The Disco (I think, I don’t really know, I don’t listen to that shit) these ass hats quit before they had hit the stage. Having been welcomed by a well deserved round of booooo’s they struggled out the gate with a water downed and mopie version of “Damnit” by Blink 182. Knowing their time was up 3 summers ago, the four piece band decided to kick me in the dick on the way out. For those who don’t know me, I despise Journey more than I despise Hitler, George W. Bush and Charles Manson. All month, people I love have subjected me to this shit time and time again (donche!). So wouldn’t it figure that these suckers of Satan’s cock close their pathetic below bar band level set with “Don’t Stop Believing”. Looking back at it, I should have chucked that $12 monster/vodka and purchased another. Fuck I hate these tools, please God I ask that you stricken these douche bags with AIDS or late onset Autism.
All American Rejects:
Having seen a bit of these guys plan a song in the lunch room at work this summer (well, kind of), I went into their set with an open mind. As a straight heterosexual make, All American Rejects are not really my thing. Seeing frontman Tyson Ritter come out in tight white pants and only wearing glitter on his upper chest, I had to chuckle a little. While a decent amount of meatheads booed, most gals in the audience sang along while bobbing and dancing to every song. I know hearts melted with the opening number “Swing, Swing” I saw it many underage eyes. Lots of eye candy on stage if I do say so myself. The guitarist had a sweet Emo mullet, and Mr. Ritter has really nice nipples which could cut glass with the greatest of ease. My personal favorite/guilty pleasure “Move Along” kept the ladies doing just that while their boyfriends chanted for Pennywise. They closed the brief set with another smash radio hit “Give You Hell” which gave Ritter a chance to thank the ones who cheered and taunt the ones who did the opposite. For me, I was somewhat impressed with these guys. They stuck to their guns, and didn’t let the haters bring them down knowing they get way more pussy than anyone in the crowd. I get the feeling that if I had a vagina, I would have fallen in love with them.
I saw Katy Perry the third date of Warped Tour 2008. I stayed for about ½ the set on that warm Ventura afternoon before leaving to see Pennywise. I had made up my mind that despite the huge crowd ready to watch her on the tiny side stage, this girl was a hypocritical Christian with no talent or personality. I would like to admit I was wrong. Ladies and Gentleman, Katy Perry stole the show with a hard rocking set. Opening with “Hot & Cold” the twenty something pop star was in control out the gates. Bouncing in a low cut top and begging the boys to start a pit for her, the girl sang her heart out. As boos mixed with applause, Perry and her backing band dove right into “Ur So Gay”. Towards the end, Perry started singing/saying something about dick, I am not so sure, as I was more focused on the moment. It was that special moment when the crowd turned. After saying a quick hello to Fat Mike and praising NOFX, the singing sensation busted out her most recent hit “Waking Up In Vegas”. While some still had middle fingers raised, EVERYONE on that floor was rocking out and singing along. By now Perry had the crowd eating out of her hand. It is amazing how confident she is after touring non-stop for a year versus that almost terrified singer I saw last summer. Closing her set with “I Kissed A Girl” Katy Perry won the crowd over by simply kicking ass.
Perhaps if there were Christian bands like this instead of Stryper when I was a kid, things would be different for me? I have always liked what I have heard of these guys and live, wow it was intense, further increasing my respect for the six piece band. However, I would much rather talk about 5-6 of their fans, who tried to start a pit on the second level of floor Club Nokia. I am fine with pits, but when it’s 5-6 dudes who simply wanna beat the crap out of each other, I guess I miss the point. What I really hate (and this shows my old age) are the skinny vegan straight edge bastards in camo shorts who come in punching and kicking like a boxing kangaroo who as been on a 3 day meth binge. That shit is stupid, and so are you go do that shit on the 110 Freeway or something. So bothered by the pussy pit with lil bitches who kick, and three drunk dudes (who I give kudos too as they were all nice guys) trying yet failing to circle I took matters into my own hands. Where Kangaroo Jack and pals were doing their cardio routine, I sat down right in the middle of the floor. Upset/confused folks didn’t know what to do, so I did what any control freak would do. I encouraged a circle pit. A mild one got going, as my three drunk homies (who I had been helpfully shoving into Kangaroos all night) started it up. Sadly, I got attacked by Kangaroos who with there mighty meth/soy power picked my fat ass up (it did take two of them to pick me up). As I got ready to get goofy with em and sit back down, Underoath had come to an end. Perhaps a miracle, because this recovering Christian was really looking for to pushing the buttons of those inbred Kangaroo kids, and chances are I would have scalped em like Brad Pitt scalps Nazi’s.
Having been blessed to get the last wrist band earlier in the night, I spent my time between the pit and the other lower levels of the new club (where my female friends all chose to hang back). I grabbed one more drink and went up front for Rise Against. Bless my lucky stars things got all kinds of crazy during their set I love standing in the middle of the chaos, consuming various toxins as people beat the shit out of each other around me. I know they opened with that song that’s on the radio from that record that had the song from Guitar Hero I think. Does it matter, all I wanted was a soundtrack for some serious bone crushing carnage. Bodies crashing into each other, people throwing people up in the air as if they were rag dolls proved more entertaining than Rise Against themselves. I once again apologize to the hipster couple who got covered in about 1/4th of my frosted beverage, but that Samoan kid was on the war path like a Rhino on viagra. Perhaps the highlight of the set was how pathetic Club Nokia’s security staff were. It took about 4 guards 10 minutes to pull one drunk SOB out of the crowd. Granted the guy was built like a brick shit house, 350 pounds of muscle, eyebrows and hair gel but this distraction allowed 50+ kids to hop the rail and get into the pit for the final number “The Good Left Undone”. Knowing that these guys now headline arenas, it was great to see the energetic band in such a small club. I think I expected a bit more, but perhaps I just wanted convenient radio hits? I will say that along with bands like Against Me!, these guys are keeping the punk flag alive, and it shows by the sea of destruction their rabid fans left behind.
I first heard Ozomatli on the 1998 Warped Tour (which as far as I know is the only year they played). We walked by their tent and they were just jamming and hung out for a few. The layout was strange, and my pals and I saw their set (from a distance) on a main stage and were impressed enough to seek them out after Warped. Over the years, I went on to see these guys time and time again (and sometimes more than one time in the same day) and it’s always a treat to be in their presence. While I thought they were great, it’s hard to follow the 1-2 punch of Underoath/Rise Against when you are a Latin hip hop jam funk rock band. Opening with “Saturday Night” the Los Angeles based band got those who remained up front grooving. The only other song I recognized was “City of Angels” which is a great song, but just too mellow for the drunk and rowdy crowd. Folks were respectful to Ozomatli, some even managed to bust a move or two, but most just watched with a glazed look in their eyes waiting for what was to come next.
The San Fernando Valley natives tore it up with a oh so brief 30 year history of punk rock. Opening with the first Bad Religion song I ever heard – “Do What You Want”; the band sounded tight and ready to send the audience crazy. “Social Suicide” got a huge pit going as front man Greg Graffin spit out his book smart with a dash street cred lyrics. “The New Dark Ages” kept the crowd going wild while “21stCentury Digital Boy” gave the sold out crowd a chance to sing along at the top of their lungs. The band went back in time to close the set, playing oldies such as “Generator” and “No Control”. As quick and as fierce as they hit the stage, the six piece band thanked the Warped Tour and closed with “Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell”. As always, Bad Religion did what they do best. Un-apologetic/highly intellectual punk rock that never disappoint.
Knowing that at this point in time Pennywise does not have a singer (and damn thankful I skipped out on my pals and Katy Perry last summer to see them one last time) I was curious how the band would perform. As Bad Religion left the stage, the old familiar bass line that makes up “Bro Hymn” came from the stage. Using BR members and gear, numerous performers made their way out from the side of the stage. When Fletcher hit the stage, the place went crazy as Rise Against frontman “Tim McIlrath” started in on vocals. With Ice T and others roaming the stage, the crowd can only be described as ape shit with huge circle pits swirling and drinks flying. Perhaps revenge from last February at the Fonda, things got out of control during the second verse as Fat Mike jumped on/knocked over Fletcher. Anarchy ensued as Fletcher retaliated, chucked his guitar into the crowd and then eventually chucked someone up there singing into the crowd. This is perhaps the most chaotic all star jam in the history of music, and frankly I can’t think of a better way to close out a celebration of the one and only Vans Warped Tour.
As we exited Club Nokja to rabid fans screaming the chorus of Bro Hymn in unison, I had a big ol’ grin across my face. Kevin Lyman is a genius. The reason the Warped Tour works is because it is good to artists, and it is good to fans. It’s awesome to see a band like Blink 182 or Paramore grow from side stage warm up act to headliner. There is a reason bands like Bad Religion, Pennywise and NOFX come back as often as they can. It is clearly a family vibe, and I truly hope one day I can take my kids to the 30th Anniversary show.
Warped Founder Kevin Lyman w/ Fuse VJ (and event MC) Steven
Warped Founder Kevin Lyman w/ Fuse VJ (and event MC) Steven