So if the 5 mile Nike race weren’t enough activity for one day, and the rap/hip hop assortment wasn’t enough music, we headed over at about 4 pm to the LA Invasion concert. Note that I haven’t really followed music in many years. I got some pleasant surprises.
The first guy we saw was Perry Farrell. Apparently this guy was from Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros, and is batshit insane. He had a chick singing with him who displayed some excellent side-boob and who was also careful to give equal time to her ass and face as far as what was pointing at the crowd. He was entertaining, but mostly because he was insane.
The next group was Cypress Hill, and I’m positive that I’m still high from that. It’s like everyone in the stadium lit up at once to welcome them to the stage. The entire Home Depot Center looked like it had been hit by a smoke bomb. They did a good job, but I’m still convinced that the most talented guy on that stage was the guy on the bongos.
After them came the guy from Soundgarden. He seemed to enjoy name-dropping (“this one time I was talking to Johnny Cash”), and looked like he didn’t belong. He played a decent set, but his eyes were wandering a lot. He also seemed a bit bitter.
The next thing I remember is Kid Rock, and this was the worst show I’ve ever seen. It’s like the guy has a modicum of competency with several instruments, and goes around playing them a little at a time. It's like Helen Keller on a stage. Nothing super impressive, but enough to say he did it. He’s likely the worst DJ I’ve ever seen perform in public as far as spinning, sucks at the guitar, and so on. It was disgusting.
At the point when he came on stage, I was in a state of having just realized that certain people were from certain old groups (Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction) and thought “this tool was from both Metallica and AC/DC?” He played a lot of covers (including the Duke’s of Hazzard theme song), and had some terrible rap songs that I think he did himself.
It really sucks that I have to bag on a guy from Detroit, but hot damn this guy has no business in the music industry.
That said, it was like he could control the crowd. Where I was there wondering why I was standing up to watch this guy, people were going nuts for him. They were cheering, and responding to his antics in a positive manner. That solved the mystery of Kid Rock to me. He’s second to none when it comes to controlling a crowd.
Oh, and he had 2 cages with strippers in them eating each other out and dancing erotically. That made the act bearable, I suppose. It’s like a bad forum post that the author knows is garbage and that includes a link to porn to make up for it. Well done, Mr. Kid Rock.
The next act that I remember was Velvet Revolver, and I had never heard of this group. Apparently, it’s Guns N’ Roses with Axl replaced by the singer from Stone Temple Pilots. About 15 minutes into their set, I asked a guy that came with us why the guitar player was trying to look like Slash, and he told the story (it was Slash).
Anyhow, this was one of the highlights of the show. We were there for about 7 hours, heard a ton of music, and when they played Patience I would have been happy to have spent 10 times what I actually spent on the ticket. They played more old STP stuff than GNR stuff, but that’s fine too.
The lead singer had an interesting SS uniform on (think Luftwaffe and not the US Secret Service), and was absurdly skinny. He was jumping around like a maniac, and at one point fell down pretty hard. I’m pretty sure he broke an ankle, since he had to finish the set sitting down.
This was a great show in itself, and that’s without counting the earlier entertainment. Slash was playing very well, and the singer was a better Axl than Axl - especially now that Axl is chubby.
I feel bad for writing more about Kid Rock than this group (whose CDs I will now religiously purchase), but sometimes understanding the success of mediocrity takes more words than it does to describe excellence.
After Velvet Revolver came the Foo Fighters, and this was the best show of the night. If this were a battle of the bands, these guys would have won.
Apparently the Foo Fighters are fronted by the ex drummer for Nirvana (but who now seems to play the guitar very well), and I have never actually heard one of their songs. Every song in their set was new to me, though the rest of the stadium seemed to know them by heart. They were just all great songs, and their lead was a terrific performer. He just kept on following awesome with more awesome, and kept the crowd into it.
It seemed like they played a few of the songs twice - once slow and quiet, and once fast. Maybe that’s how the songs happen to be, but it was a great way to present the music.
I wish I could say more, but these guys are just so good that there isn’t much to explain. See them if you can. I will be trying to see them again.
Oh, and they kinda reminded me of “Stillwater” - the fake band in Almost Famous. That’s a great movie by the way. See it. Then go see the Foo Fighters.
Back to Kid Rock for a second: he reminded me of Spinal Tap. I think some of his schtick was inspired by that movie.
The final act of the night was the Smashing Pumpkins, but they’re not really the Smashing Pumpkins anymore. I think the drummer is the same, and obviously Billy Corgan is the same, but he replaced the Asian dude with some other guy who may or may not be an Asian dude, and the chick with another chick that may or may not be of the same nationality as the first. I know next to nothing about the Smashing Pumpkins, but Cindy is probably their biggest fan in the world anymore.
The song of theirs that I like the most is that “Tonight” song, and I didn’t recognize it for half the song since it was played faster and more metallically than I have ever heard before.
When Billy plays the guitar he looks like a character in Guitar Hero. There’s something inhuman about his motion, and I think it’s more than just him being tall.
Billy did Disarm all by himself with an acoustic guitar, I think, so that was neat, but he apparently messed up while playing 1979? the same way.
^ this comment is apparently completely wrong, though he did mess up during 1979. Disarm was never played, so that says that either they were screwing up the sound of their songs, or that I do not know their songs very well. I'll go with a combination of both.
He also looks like he’s dying. He’s apparently always looked a bit like Jack Skellington because he’s fairly tall and gaunt ($12 word from Cindy), but he used to have some meat on his cheeks, at least. His head looked like a skull, and his striped tights made him look like he belonged in the pages of a Dr. Seuss book.
Like, I enjoyed the show, and liked the new songs more than I thought I would (I think he played that Future Embrace song that he did on his own, as well as about 4 or 5 new songs from the new album). But it should have been more. I want the guy to do well, since I think he’s very talented and I want to hear good music, but this didn’t really cut it. The real stars of this show were Velvet Revolver and the Foo Fighters, and not the last act of the night.
And I really wanted them to be.