Last night my brother and I drove down to the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City to see the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas. For those people who don't know what the hell I'm talking about, KROQ is a radio station in the L.A. area that puts on a concert with some of the biggest names in rock. We got there about an hour early so we both grab a cheeseburger and a beer which cost 34 bucks. No drinking for us the rest of the night. Our seats were just one level up from the pit and just right of the sound booth. The stage was set up on a circular platform so while one band was playing, the roadies could set up and rotate the platform as soon as the band on stage finished their set.
The first was a group called Paramore
I went in not knowing who they were, but they were a pleasant surprise. The music wasn't my cup of tea but they sounded tight & clear and had a great stage presence. If you like the whole punk-pop thing then give them a shot.
Next up was Angels & Airwaves
I have always been a fan of Blink-182 since I was in junior high so I had high hopes for their old front man's new band. I was severely disappointed. First, I didn't like the music, It seemed like they wrote songs to covet the 11-14 year old girl demographic. And secondly, they were off through the whole set. I could barely hear the singer over the sound of the guitar. They changed his mic twice and it still didn't help.
Coming up third they had System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian.
The first thing I should note is that the band playing behind him last night was called The Flying Cunts of Chaos. That got a chuckle from me and my bro, but I don't know how the hundreds of parents in the audience felt about it. As far as the music went he sounded good and the band was on their game. But what bugged me was between songs Serj would go off on long winded rants about the country and its current administration. Rambling about how the "Empire" lies, and it needed to die.I don't mind political music but there are creative ways to say it in your music. He chose to ramble between songs. So out of a 35min set he only played 4 songs. Definite thumbs down for him.
Next up with a 40min set was Rise Against
This band showed how to get a political point across while tearing the house down. They had energy, they were in sync, and they drove the crowd into a frenzy. At one point the singer leaned into the pit to get closer to the fans. I think many girls and a few guys now know the singer a little bit too intimately. Jesus, I think someone started to round 2nd with him against his will. While not as bad as earlier in the night, it seemed that the singer kept getting drowned out by the rest of his band. All in all though I enjoyed them immensely.
Now the bands that could sell out stadiums by themselves had their turn. First up was Avenged Sevenfold.
Holy shit, these guys are awesome live. The singer owned the fucking stage. I wasn't a huge fan like my brother has always been but they won me over with that set. Their lead guitarist, simply put, is an animal. When they played Bat Country, the entire room was on their feet going nuts.
Next up was the reason I decided to shell out 80 bucks for a ticket, Bad Religion.
I didn't realize until last night that they have been around for 25+ years. They made a joke in between songs that they were at the second Acoustic Christmas and they were the reason that it wasn't acoustic anymore. All these guys are in their 40's and I could still tell they still love what they do. Their guitarist came out dressed like Santa which was the first mention of Christmas all night. At one point the lead from Rise Against came out and sang with the band. Anyway they kicked major ass like I new they would playing good old fashioned fast and loud punk. I was actually surprised that considering the average age was probably 14-18, the room was still on their feet cheering everything they did. Best part of the night for me.
Next was the headliners and the reason hundreds of girls dragged their b/fs and parents to L.A. Linkin Park.
I have always been indifferent to Linkin Park and after last night, I still am. Maybe they couldn't live up to what I had just seen from the previous two bands, or maybe it was because they were playing the slowest songs they had, but me and my brother left during their second to last song to beat the traffic. Just like Angels & Airwaves they seemed to be playing for the high school girls.
The night though was a definite blast and I'm glad I went. I know this long post is long and doesn't involve game so for reading it here is the Trampoline Bear!