Last Saturday: KROQ Weenie Roast at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Last Saturday: KROQ Weenie Roast at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Andrew Youssef

Last Night: KROQ Weenie Roast at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater; Saturday May 16, 2009. (More pictures here.)

Better Than: Wango Tango.

Download: Videos from the day at

The KROQ Weenie Roast is typically full of surprises. With Blink 182 reuniting the night prior at a private party, the fact that TRV$DJ-AM were closing the evening led to rampant speculation that Blink-182 would be the final act. But the Blink-182 reunion didn't happen.

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A last minute shuffling had KROQ move all the acts from the scorching asphalt area of second stage to the main stage  which caused some confusion among the fans. Big B was the first act to go big on stage and jostled the crowd with his heavy rhymes. Scott Russo from Unwritten Law would later come out to perform his song "Sinner" and keep the audience content.

Anberlin would have more success on the Warped tour or Bamboozle Left but did valiantly try to stir the crowd. It's ironic that their current radio single, "Feel Good Drag," is from their 2005 album. Talk about not escaping the past.

Is Asher Roth going to be the next Eminem or Vanilla Ice? He's got a chance of landing somewhere in the Afroman domain with his pro-marijuana raps. Asher was dancing wildly onstage but it was probably because the stage was black and he was in bare feet. 

What do you get when you combine Slipknot and Linkin Park? I give you Hollywood Undead. If they can play the Weenie Roast and make money, more power to them. I guess it's better then kids listening to Jonas Brothers?

3:30 in the afternoon is way too bright for the dark-leaning British troupe White Lies. It's difficult to be melancholy on such a gorgeous day with beer flowing. Still, their single "To Lose My Life" had my foot tapping.

Cage The Elephant gets points for one of the more energetic performances of the day. Matt Shultz ventured out into the audience twice as he shredded his vocal chords covering material from their self titled album. They properly gave credit for KROQ to being the first radio station to play their popular single "No Rest For The Wicked." The album is a little heavy handed on the production side, but their live performance is viscerally raw. 

I have to give credit to The Airborne Toxic Event. Things continue to snowball for them, after playing a free residency at the Detroit Bar only a few years ago. Fresh from a successful appearance on the main stage at Coachella, The Airborne Toxic Event were confident enough to reveal some new material before dipping back into their debut album with "Wishing Well" and "Sometime Around Midnight". Overall, it was a solid set.

Champions of the Silverlake scene, Silversun Pickups brought the fuzz and their catchy songs to the masses of KROQ fans. They also thanked KROQ for their support of their new bass groovy song "Panic Switch" from their stellar second album Swoon. Brian Aubert was bounding across the stage unleashing his feedback solos to the delight of the crowd before running back to the microphone. It is refreshing to hear the fuzz and distorted guitars of the Silversun Pickups on the radio dial. The radio needs more bands like Silversun Pickups.

All killer, no filler. That sums up Weezer's set at the Weenie Roast. Never looking back after opening with "Undone (The Sweater Song)," Weezer pummeled the crowd with hit after hit. Patrick Wilson looked like a kid at the candy store riffing on his Gibson Les Paul while drumming whiz Josh Freese took over the drums. With Patrick on guitars, Rivers Cuomo was free to roam the stage and flail around. I was puzzled by the amount of synthesizers on stage as I spotted three keyboards. I couldn't stop laughing when Rivers told the crowd to get their groove on as they covered MGMT "Kids" and inserted Lady Gaga's "Pokerface" into the mix. Only Weezer could pull off such antics. I only wish they could have played longer.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs blitzed the crowd with their damaged art rock. Karen O captivates your attention with her wild mannerisms and outlandish outfits. I especially enjoyed her black spiked leather glove circa Motley Crue from the '80s. "Zero" and their self- proclaimed love song "Maps" were some of the highlights of their set. In the best use of props department, they launched red confetti "Y"'s into the crowd to punctuate their set. 

Having successfully ended their ten year anniversary tour celebrating Clarity, JImmy Eat World did not let up opening with the drop-d tuned guitar riff of "Bleed American". They played the greatest hits of their hits by storming through "Lucky Denver Mint", "Blister" and "Sweetness". Their legions of Twitter followers were abuzz during their performance and they even did a twitpic from the stage at the end of their set. Technology at its finest!

Some of my friends didn't know the Kings of Leon will be playing the Forum later in August. When did Kings of Leon become so huge? I would attribute it to the radio incessantly playing "Sex On Fire" every hour on the hour. Jared Followill even quipped "You probably hate this song" before tearing into "Sex On Fire". You would be surprised how many songs you would recognize as they played "Molly's Chambers" and "Charmer". Kings of Leon were really hitting their stride when they said that their set was getting cut short. They will be back on August 20th at the Forum.

Rancid made the most of their later set time by proving they still a prime force in the world of punk rock. "Time Bomb", "Ruby Soho"  and "Roots Radical" were lead by Tim Armstrong's gravel strewn voice that adds the venom to his poisonous real life experienced lyrics. Rancid don't care if you like them or not they were there to cause havoc. I was surprised how vital and urgent they sounded. They will make a worthy touring companion to Rise Against.

I didn't know how much of TRV$DJ-AM I was going to take but I had to see if the Blink 182 reunion would happen. To my surprise, I actually dug TRV$-DJAM. DJ AM has come a long way from his days in Crazy Town by assembling a mix of Does It Offend You Yeah?, Jay Z, Bloc Party, Queen, Metallica and Daft Punk. Travis Barker was earning his money pounding the skins and fluidly changing his rhythms to what DJ-AM was spinning.  

The lights immediately went up much to the chagrin of the audience. I guess Blink-182 are going to hold out for top billing in December at KROQ's Acoustic Christmas. I played "Dammit" in tribute to Blink 182 on the way home.

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