Keep Your Shirt On

Photo by Jack GouldWhenever we're dissatisfied with our lot in this increasingly fragmented society of CEOs and worker drones—the baby hungry and bawling, the miserable coals keeping just the ends of our toes thawed, our hair lifeless and our roots showing—we like to head to a big corporate-sponsored event like the KROQ Weenie Roast and Luau™ at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre and let ourselves be transported to a worry-free place where all that matters is that Kid Rock will indeed fulfill all our expectations and be an asshole of the first order. Hurray! (Sneak peek at the delicious Kid Rock pomposity to come: “You know what, Cali? I made a lot of records in this 10-year career! And every one of them was blood. Sweat. And tears!” And then he told all the ladies in the house he was gonna put his balls in their mouths. Class-ee!)

We wandered with our partner in crime, music editor Rich Kane (who hates everything; he's damn fun to go to concerts with!), toward the side stage, where local heroes Lit were kicking off the afternoon. Now, we're tireless defenders of the weird-bearded wonders: we likethat song, and we're proud of the boys for having the No. 1 modern-rock single right now, and aside from all that, they're friends with Steve, the dreamy drummer from Burnin' Groove. But, really, did A. Jay Popoff et al. have to keep shouting out to the girls in the audience to show their tits? It was far too early in the day for that sort of thing (it was barely 12:30 p.m.), and tit showing should be an organic thing, perpetrated because, damn it, the girls just can't keep them inside their blouses a second longer, like at an Ozzy Osbourne show (Hessian girls are the undisputed tit-showing champions of the world), not because some guys who think that's how rock stars are supposed to act are naggingat them. It made Lit look sort of pathetic, desperate, stupid and sleazy. But aside from that, they were great!

Then came a couple of bands during which we ate a taco and bought a ring and a pretty shirt with a Hindu goddess on it and drank a lemonade and saw Bear, one of the cuddly bouncers from Club 369.

And then we saw Pennywise, the Hermosa Beach band whose bassist, Fletcher, drunkenly held the Loveline folks hostage a few weeks ago and almost got kicked off the bill for it, but co-host Dr. Drew prissily explained they kept 'em on to prove there were no hard feelings. Dr. Drew may be handsome, smart and kind, but he's got a sense of humor as broad as Al Gore's. (In fact, Al Gore is very funny, but you wouldn't know that from his hideous, earnest interview last week with smug, judgmental Diane Sawyer, who proved to be as prudishly prurient as the Meese Report, smiling a ghastly, knowing smile while dredging up Starr Report details that no one cares about except Diane Sawyer and the rest of the patrician, blond news establishment. God, what a snatch. Of course, we still won't be voting for Gore, funny or not, because he and Dick “Dick” Morris were the two major forces in the White House pushing for icky Bill Clinton to sign the welfare-reform bill, throwing millions of children below the poverty line. Did you know one in three children in California now lives in poverty? Tra, la, la. But was Sawyer asking about that? Like she and her millions care. No, she was pressing for details about steamy illicit sex from the man who by all accounts is the lovin'-est husband in the entire damn world. Whore. Larry Flynt should offer bounties on the sex lives of bitchy Puritan news anchors. Whaddaya say, Larr?)

So we sat in our really good seats (loge, but only two rows behind the sound guy) and considered cribbing notes from the reporter for UCLA's Daily Bruin, but in eight hours, she and her friend neither danced nor smiled once. Yeow! And then, uh, Orgy came on, so we went and bought some beers. And then came Smash Mouth, whom we like very much: their loopy, poppy, hippy, dippy melody swirls were like honey-glazed goodness and we couldn't stop frugging, which probably annoyed the Daily Bruin girl within an inch of her sanity. And they may not be an OC band, but they sure look like Huntington Beach rats, which surprised us because, you know, we really like their music, and besides, when's the last time you heard honey-glazed melody swirls from Drown or the Kottonmouth Kings?

Ooh, ooh! And here's when Kid Rock played! And he told us that the media think he's misogynistic because he's always talkin' 'bout bitches and hos, but you know, he's not. And then there was that thing about his balls and our mouths. And then he continued his “songs,” which amounted to him spelling out his name: “K-I-D is the name,” quoth he, not misspelling it once! We were very proud!

Then came Live, which had about as much in common with Kid Rock as Tipper Gore does, singing songs like “The Dolphins Cry.” No, it's true! They are a bunch of damn dirty hippies, spouting a bunch of dirty-hippy millennial-destiny talk and causing us to shout, “Destiny! Yaaaah! Millennial destiny!” and “We are ready to rock!” But they also said we were an arena full of angels, and we're suckers for that. Wasn't that a sweet thing to say?

And then came Sugar Ray. Mark McGrath: we understand that you're just a sucker with low self-esteem and what you really need is a hug, but sweetie, you are really hard to take, and you can't blame the critics for despising you. You're just so easy! You keep lobbing up these giant grapefruits, telling us things like, “I tripped on acid up on the lawn, blah, blah, blah.” We mean, who really cares what the rest of the quote was because you're so pompous and blas about the whole thing, trying to prove how cool you are, and you dedicated a song to your sister or something and said you weren't cool back then, and someone in the audience shouted, “You still aren't cool,” and people clapped? Okay, it was us who shouted that, but we couldn't help it. We mean, what were you talking about, how you were locked up in “the joint”? It sounded really poseurish. Listen, Mark, honey: call us. We will be your friend and give you positive attention so you don't have to sneer things onstage like, “I hate my new blue hair.” We will teach you that it's okay to love your new blue hair—and yourself. You will be a happier person. And then maybe you could float us a few bones for our electric bill? And did we mention that we've got a hungry, bawling baby? Yeah. Needs new shoes.

We survived the lemon shower during the Blink 182-alooza that lasted their entire 45-minute set, and we were shocked—shocked!—to discover that they're pants-off charming and say things like, “This song's called 'Don't Leave Me,' and it's about not leaving me, and it goes like this.” They were darling, and Lit got naked, coming out during their current hit “Nobody Likes You When You're 23,” which is true, and at least one of the guys from Lit has a bodyon him! Plus they had Gap Kids in khakis lindy hopping. Cute!

And we didn't like Limp Bizkit because they're stupid and they suck.

And we were surprised by how thoughtful and intelligent Metallica's Lars Ulrich is.

And the Chili Peppers were okay; we really like their new stuff a lot, but we left in the middle of their set in hopes of avoiding the traffic holocaust that is the Meadows' post-show parking lot. Didn't work: we counted seven lanes attempting to merge into one. We should file a class-action lawsuit! Then we could buy more coals.

Thanks to all the women who e-mailed our dad (oddly, our e-mail runs about 5-1 male/female, yet Dad's was the other way). Sorry, ladies: there's already a chick working on becoming the fifth Mrs. Schoenkopf. But still, that was nice of you! You can e-mail us at Co**********@ho*****.com">Co**********@ho*****.com.

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