Coors Amphitheatre – San
Diego, Ca – Friday Sep 28, 2001
WBA - The Trilogy
featuring Linkin Park, Staind and Deftones.
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
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.
Linkin Park Photos
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
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.
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
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.
music for Linkin
Deftones at the iconoSTORE
out the House of Blues Concerts website for info on other shows they have
in the works across North America.