Yes, no, maybe? True to form, the 2010 KROQ Weenie Roast lineup has incredible buzz bands juxtaposed with washed-up has-beens. Here’s a handy guide to acts you should see and ones you can skip (go to the bathroom, buy beer, argue with the pothead blowing smoke into your hair).
SUBLIME WITH ROME: Yes
Who doesn’t miss Sublime? The band who wrote songs that were the staple of every frat-boy/stoner/hippie’s dorm room in the ’90s lived on after singer Bradley Nowell died in 1996 of a heroin overdose. Last year, sick of all the tribute acts capitalizing on their fame, the band reformed as Sublime With Rome. Although 21-year-old singer/guitarist Rome Ramirez doesn’t really evoke the original “fuck-all-y’all” spirit that made Nowell’s work so appealing, there’s something to be said about seeing the remnants of a band hardly anybody got to see live, since most of their albums were released and reached platinum status after Nowell’s death.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS: No
The Stone Temple Pilots owned 1992, when they released Core and won a Grammy award for the ubiquitous “Plush.” Unfortunately, we wish the band had stayed in 1992, instead of repeatedly trying to overcome singer Scott Weiland’s drug addiction and make a comeback. This year’s release is a self-titled album that draws from ghosts of rock bands past—such as STP.
Instead of just performing as Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain’s former wife reinstated the band that made her famous and released Nobody’s Daughter this year. Although the crew who helped Love create the life-changing Live Through This and Celebrity Skin aren’t part of this year’s lineup (Where’s Eric Erlandson? Bassist Melissa Auf der Maur?), Hole are worth watching just because you’ll see an actual zombie singing onstage.
If you have more room in your nostalgia bank, you’ll at least be happy to note that instead of playing state fairs across the nation, goofy synth-punk rockers Devo, best known for their 1980 single “Whip It,” are instead performing at a respectable stage at the Weenie Roast. Watch them: You owe Iggy Pop and David Bowie (Devo’s original backers) that much.
Paramore’s vocalist Hayley Williams has an amazingly strong voice, but unless you’re 13, there’s not much else that’s appealing about this band. Their generic rock riffs could eventually be the staple of arena rock. Until then, skip it.
If there were such a thing as intellectual alt-metal, the Deftones would be playing it. With their latest release, Diamond Eyes, nu metal never sounded so anti-Korn.
Ear candy—that’s what each hit from this Texan indie-rock band is bound to be. They don’t always put on the best live show, but when the audience is inspiring Spoon to give their all, it’s a nonstop dance-a-thon.
Are you into emo-core? Teenage angst? If so, you’ll like Chevelle. If you have a job and a life and can live without anger, you probably think this is the worst band on the bill.
THE DIRTY HEADS: Yes
Huntington Beach’s the Dirty Heads want to be the new Sublime—and they could do it, with their bro-tailored reggae/rock/hip-hop/stoner sound. As long as they don’t go the way of the Kottonmouth Kings, that’s just fine by us.
AGAINST ME!: Yes
After Tom Gabel got angry, he turned his one-man acoustic act into an exclamation-point-loving hardcore-punk band. It’s also worth a couple more punctuation marks to watch Against Me! live.
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PASSION PIT: Yes
Lead singer Michael Angelakos wrote a bunch of songs for his girlfriend. Then he formed a band. Then his band blew up on the Interwebz. Now Passion Pit are playing Weenie Roast. Support the cutest backstory of the day and watch them so you can go, “Awww.”
CAGE THE ELEPHANT, THE TEMPER TRAP, SILVERSUN PICKUPS: Maybe
Bluesy garage funk, Kentucky Australian alt-rock and a neo-psychedelic rock band from Silver Lake. None of these bands may turn out the most exciting performance of the day. But at least they’re not Stone Temple Pilots.
Weenie Roast at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine. Sat., 2 p.m. Sold out.