A Weenie In The Ear!

Photo by Jeanne Rice The KROQ Weenie Roast
Verizon Wireless
Amphitheater, Irvine
Saturday, June 14

Nine consecutive hours at KROQ's Weenie Roast somehow didn't completely suck. Hot Hot Heat surprised us early with their Ronald McDonald-meets-the Cure melodic kiddie spunk. Peppy beats, Canadian accents and the lead singer's Cheetos-flavored Afro got numerous toddlers out of their seats and waving their chubby little arms in the air like they just didn't care. The newly famous the Used shot loogies and bashed Evanescence (who reportedly cancelled at the last minute due to illness), proving that Utah still produces boys of real quality. Their music is equally tasteless. So how to explain the band's recent success? God truly loves the Mormons.

Blur made us forget the Used. With three backup singers, drums, two guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion, Damon Albarn's sweet British voice was merely icing on an already decadent cake. They were the most dynamic group of the day, transitioning effortlessly between roots music, bar chants and rock & roll. Like a smooth cocktail binge, they left us buzzed and demanding more, but at these radio fests where all sets are abbreviated, we were left wanting.

Or maybe we were just hungry. Chicken gyros and an unexpected Pink sighting added excitement to our quick jog around the vendor's courtyard, the high point of which was an 8-year-old tossing funnel cakes into a vat of bubbling grease. We chased that image of industrial terror with AFI's half-hour set. Singer Davey Havok's Captain Eo-meets-Trent Reznor and fluorescent-pink eye shadow spell two words: RUNWAY and MODEL.

Then, rapidly downhill with Staind. Guys, can life really be that fucking miserable? We say: suck it up or break up. A weary nation demands it.

The White Stripes pulled off a short lounge act, throwing into the mix "Mister Cellophane" from Chicago and Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz." Listening to the White Stripes is like finally giving in to an insatiable craving for candy—tunes that'll rot more than just your teeth, but in a good way.

Perry Farrell is a rock star, a fact confirmed when Jane's Addiction came out for a surprise set. Physiologically speaking, he's no Dave Grohl—he's not even Lyle Lovett—but blind me if the middle-aged Farrell isn't strangely attractive when he's half naked.

Speaking of Foo Fighter Dave Grohl: he was there, and he is the god. That testosterone! Those guitar riffs! Those vocals! Those heart palpitations! (Or were those coming from us?) Any musician who can grind out a wicked song, belch into a microphone and leave horny women and gay men screaming for more is a fucking hero. Too bad he couldn't use his super powers to rid us of tinnitus.

 
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