KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night One
December 8, 2012
The landscape of modern rock radio has definitely changed over the past few years.This became evident when examining the line-up for the first night of KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas. Historically, the first night has been a mix of hard rock, punk and metal bands. While Linkin Park, Rise Against, and Bush fit into those genres, bands like Two Door Cinema Club, Walk The Moon and The Lumineers fall into more of an alternative genre making it one of the more eclectic first nights of Acoustic Christmas in years.
Do you remember the band Iglu & Hartly? The remnants of the band have wisely reformed as Youngblood Hawke and have started to make waves which scored them an opening slot at Acoustic Christmas. Powered by their current radio single "We Come Running," Youngblood Hawke did what all bands should do as openers and play their heart out like it was a packed stadium.
Having recently played a headlining gig at the Hollywood Palladium, Two Door Cinema Club impressed with their upbeat dance rock in the same vein as Phoenix playing such familiar radio tunes like "Sleep Alone," "What You Know," and "Something Good Can Work." Shout out to the girl in the black dress dancing to their whole set and singing every word.
The overall volume was turned up a notch for the raging call to arms songs of The Gaslight Anthem. Fresh from their tour with Rise Against, The Gaslight Anthem were in prime touring shape knocking out such tunes like "Handwritten" and "Mae". The first guest surprise of the evening was Jakob Dylan who added guitars and vocals on "45." Only later would they be upstaged by another guest artist.
Walk The Moon have had a phenomenal year going from one of the first bands to play the KROQ Weenie Roast to a mid slot at Acoustic Christmas. They have toured tirelessly which recently included a sold out show at the Observatory. Numerous fans were spotted with their faces painted like the band as they worked through "Anna Sun" and "Tightrope."
With bands like Mumford And Sons selling out two nights at the Hollywood Bowl, it isn't surprising to see some bands channelling an Americana sound. The Lumineers have done well with their self-titled debut album and admitted that it was weird to be on the same bill as Linkin Park and Bush. "Ho Hey" and "Stubborn Love" were some of the highlights from their set.
Another KROQ Weenie Roast Alumni that has done well is AWOLNATION. Formed from the ashes of Hometown Hero, Aaron Bruno led his group through a unique batch of songs that has sonic moments similar to that of Cage The Elephant and Foster The People. It was impressive to see them command the crowd as they whipped throug "Megalithic Symphony", "Sail" and "Burn It Down."
Slightly Stoopid changed the mood of the evening with their laid back grooves and feel good vibes. The air soon thickened with the smell of weed as they dispatched their mix of reggae, punk and dub. "Top Of The World" got people moving and shaking and provided a nice change of pace.
Garbage were phenomenal. Shirley Manson is still a rock goddess and commanded the stage as they closed out their tour in support of the new album Not Your Kind Of People. It was a mix of hits and new songs as everyone went wild hearing "Push It" and "Only Happy When It Rains." It was also encouraging to see Eric Avery from Jane's Addiction crush it on his Fender Jaguar bass.
Bush have had a number of memorable appearances at KROQ shows throughout the years but none as special as last night. Gwen Stefani emerged from the shadows to help her husband sing "Glycerine" in one of the most memorable moments in the history of the twenty-three years of Acoustic Christmas. Stefani had mentioned at the No Doubt show that she met Rossdale nearly seventeen years ago at Acoustic Christmas and they paid back the station very nicely as the air the building was electric.
Coming out with plenty of fire, Rise Against ripped through their adrenaline-fueled punk anthems "Help Is On The Way," "Ready To Fall" and "Satellite." Tim McIIwrath got the mosh pit stirring slashing out the power chords to "Saviour" on his Gibson Les Paul. They easily proved why they can play the Honda Center.
If you looked at their tour itinerary prior to their cancellation of dates, Green Day was slotted to headline this particular night. With Billy Joe Armstrong in rehab, KROQ rang up perennial local favorites Linkin Park who came in to save the day for the station. Linkin Park dialed up their KROQ hits like "Numb", "Papercut" and "In The End" to close out the eclectic evening that will go down in the books for the station.
Critical Bias: KROQ always puts on the best holiday parties.
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Crowd: As eclectic as the line up.
Overheard In The Crowd: Screams of joy when Gwen Stefani appeared on stage.
Random Notebook Dump: Zach Blair of Rise Against had a sweet tattoo of a black sheep from the Minor Threat "Out Of Step" album cover.