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Rock 105.3’s 
WBA - The Trilogy 
featuring Linkin Park, Staind and Deftones.
Coors Amphitheatre – San Diego, Ca – Friday Sep 28, 2001
Live Review by antiGUY

Let’s face it, radio shows usually suck, you have to sit through a number of crap bands just to see a short 20-25 minute set by the band you paid your hard earned money to see. That being said the folks at San Diego’s Rock 105.3 don’t follow the typical radio show formula and their annual When Bands Attack festival has become one of the premier radio station sponsored concerts in the country. How is When Bands Attack different than other radio shows you ask? The biggest difference is they don’t sign up a couple of headliners and fill the rest of the bill with 15 to 20 lesser-known bands; instead they pack the roster with mainly headliners and only a few lesser-known bands. They also don’t stick the bands with a dismal 20-25 minutes to rush through their abridged greatest hits; instead the main-stage bands are afforded a set of over an hour. 

For those not familiar with Rock 105.3, they are San Diego’s answer to the former Los Angeles metal powerhouse KNAC and New York’s KROCK. If there is a radio playing here at antiMUSIC, chances are good that it’s tuned to Rock 105.3. Although antiMUSIC is located in Orange County, about 100 miles north of Rock 105.3’s home base of San Diego, they pump out a signal powerful enough to reach us. Which is a good thing because ever since KNAC went off the air in the mid-nineties the Los Angeles radio market, which services Orange County, has left most hard rock fans out in the cold. 

For some reason this year’s Ozzfest passed San Diego by entirely, forcing San Diegoians to make the 150 mile pilgrimage North East to the tumbleweed infested sleepy desert town of Devore if they wanted to partake in the Ozzness. So really this show initially promised to be in effect a mini-Ozzfest for San Diego with Ozzy performing with other Ozzfest alumni Godsmack, Reveille and Nonpoint. However, there were a few speed bumps along the way. Ozzy and Godsmack had to pull out due to complications arising out of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Luckily, the Deftones signed on at the last minute to headline and Linkin Park, who were taking a vacation between their recently completed European tour and the start of the Family Values tour, decided to take part as well and donate their proceeds to the American Red Cross (I believe the amount is in the neighborhood of $75,000). 

While sitting in traffic on the way to the show, I was able to catch Rock 105.3’s on air antics like an interview with Aaron Lewis, which turned out not to be the Staindfrontman but Pauly Shore making wisecracks about having to ask Fred Durst for permission to play and other good spirited quips. Unfortunately, the traffic was horrendous so I missed most of the early bands like Nonpoint, Clutch and Reveille. I arrived in time to catch Linkin Park take the stage. 

When Linkin Park hit the scene last year, I was impressed with their music as a “modern day hard rock, rapcore/hip-hop, and industrial hybrid”. While I’ve never been a fan of rap, especially the mixing of rap and rock, it was the industrial flavor of Linkin Park that caught my attention. Fortunately, they don’t go overboard on the rapping either, so I was able to take in their debut “Hybrid Theory” as a whole and not automatically write them off as Limp Bizkit Jr., which they are not. I missed most of their set at Ozzfest while I was stuck back stage doing interviews, so I was only able to catch their last two songs, which left me wanting more. That anticipation was more than satisfied with their performance at this show. Their sound comes out much more raw and aggressive live; fueling the energy of the fans as they roar through songs like “Crawling”, “In The End” and “One Step Closer”. Unlike other bands, Linkin Park is fortunate to have two frontmen to whip the crowd into a frenzy.  And that’s just what dueling vocalist Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda do as they bound across the stage like madmen. I’m a big fan of showmanship and Linkin Park did a great job of keeping the audience’s attention not only with their music but also with their visual performance. 
 

More Linkin Park Photos
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As the roadies broke down Linkin Park’s set and erected Staind’s, MC Pauly Shore came out to talk to the crowd. “The weasel” hasn’t changed much since his days on MTV, still employing his off-color banter as he brought out Jay of “Jay and Silent Bob” fame. It was Jay who was silent this night as he spoke a few tongue-tied words to the crowd, but hey it’s rock n roll and people cheered just seeing him take the stage. 

The house lights go down, you can hear muted guitar feedback as Staind takes the stage… one… two… three… they explode into “Mudshuvel” which sends the crowd to their feet. Looking at the audience from the sidelines was surreal; thousands of people pounding their fist in the air in unison with some swaying from side to side, others jumping up and down, it looked like a sea of humanity in rough waters. 

Witnessing Staind live, the reason for their ascension to the top of the nu-metal heap is readily apparent. Aaron Lewis’s wounded man stage presence plays well with the subject matter of the songs as Mike Mushok riffs out power chords and Jon Wysocki pounds out the beats the helps Johnny April apply the bottom end with his bass that Staind’s music needs to achieve it’s heavy power.  Their hour-long set never wavered as they performed songs from their current hit album “Break the Cycle” as well as favorites from their debut “Dysfunctional”. 

Rock 105.3 effectively gave fans a small preview of what’s in store for them as the Family Values Tour rampages across North America this fall with Linkin Park and Staind as well as Stone Temple Pilots, Static-X and Deadsy. 
 

More Staind Photos
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Between Staind and the Deftones sets I decided to take a walk around and check out the scene at Coors Amphitheatre. The place was packed with fans of all ages, from teenagers with buzzed heads wearing Slipknot t-shirts to twenty somethings who spent their $10 to buy the Rock 105.3 “Buck Fin Laden” t-shirts. (you can order one of these humorous t-shirts on the radio stations’ website – see links below). Our special features editor, Debbie Seagle who was there to photograph the show was a bit upset about having to cut-out before the Deftones, but she had another show to cover across town and she had already cut her timetable as short as possible to catch Staind’s full set. I bid Debbie ado and headed off for malt and hops refreshments. 

The beer lines were long despite the $8 price tag, so I stood in line taking it all in as people crowded the Rock 105.3 booth in hopes of winning free swag. But the thing that struck me the most was the realization that this event was about as letter perfect as you can get. The venue, which House of Blues Concerts does a great job of managing, the enthusiastic crowd—which was energetic but not violent—and the late summer weather—which that night was in the 70’s. It all reminded me of the contrast with midsummer festivals that have temperatures in the hundreds, which doesn’t help the mood of the already sweaty and dehydrated fans. You had none of that here, just a great night of heavy rock.

I was still in the beer line pondering the bang-up job all involved had done in putting this event together when the Deftones took the stage. I finally made it back to my seat during the band’s third or fourth song. Chino Moreno mesmerized the audience with his powerful vocals, tapping into what seemed like a limitless store of energy as he swept across the full length of the stage belting out lyrics. Chi Cheng and Stephen Carpenter banged their heads in unison as they churned out their bass and guitar lines. And Abe Cunningham pounded the songs home with his heavy hitting drums. Time seemed to be set on Fast-Forward as The Deftones fast paced hour+plus set came thundering to a close in what seemed like only fifteen minutes.  Time really does fly when you’re banging your head like there is no tomorrow. 

All told, it was an incredible night of music that not only rocked the San Diego hard rock fans but also changed my opinion of radio shows. At least now I know that there is one radio show that doesn’t suck and I can’t wait for Rock 105.3’s When Bands Attack IV. 
 
 

MORE!

Visit Rock 105.3's website for more hard rockin content than you can shake a fist at! (including order forms for their "Buck Fin Laden" T-shirts

Visit the official websites for Linkin Park, Staind and the Deftones.

Purchase music for Linkin Park, Staind and the Deftones at the iconoSTORE

Check out the House of Blues Concerts website for info on other shows they have in the works across North America.
 
 


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