When last we left I was out of place at Epicenter ’09 (The Rock Explosion). But perhaps in my own mind, because music really is the great equalizer. It brings folks together, like the guy and girl I saw making out along the fence under the Monster tent/truck thingie… practically knocking it and each other over. Sweet. I remember when I used to do that. No, not knocking fences over… You know! Making out like there was no tomorrow… There was a lot of that going on. Well, there a lot of things going on… Ah, to be young and free.
I forgot to mention that the moment we got out of the car, a golf cart flew by us with a passed out girl lying down on a stretcher. My paternal instincts kicked in and I was hoping it was just from the heat… and then I had a scary flash forward to my own teenager in the making. AAAGGGHHH! Rapunzel, here comes your tower.
So… back to the Monster tent… There were a bunch of celebs I did not know… A WWF dude… big, biker like… wore a kilt… A little person who was signing skateboards and taking a ton of pictures with people… Sen Dog from Cypress Hill… and then in an oddly random sighting, Lisa and Laura Ling walked by. Seemed a bit of an odd place for them to be, but as someone pointed out about Laura… if you were held captive in North Korea, you’d want to go out everywhere, too.
The other thing I’ll say about the tent/truckie thing was that the grass was not just out on the field, if you know what I mean. And even though the contact was second hand… between that and Steely Dan, I would not want to be taking a drug test this week!
Linkin Park took the stage as a huge banner of their logo was lifted up, serving as a backdrop to these awesome rockers. Most of them were elevated on huge platforms, and as they played, so were the fans. Needless to say I had never seen any of these bands live, but obviously have known about Linkin Park for a while. What? I listen to KROQ from time to time. It’s no Jack, but still! What I dig about them is that Chester can wail with the best… his primal scream is powerful, but he also has a great voice. And the balance between him and Mike Shinoda is key! Mike raps, sings and plays like a MF!
And the band started in Agoura Hills! Come on! There’s hope for me yet… LP… Incubus… Maroon Five… all from the area.
“In the End” is a fricking great song… one of my all-time favorites by the way. “What I’ve Done,” “Leave Out All the Rest,” “Bleed It Out,” and the new song “New Divide” were all phenomenal. And while I also really liked the three new songs by Chester’s side project Dead By Sunrise, it seemed odd to break them out in the middle of the LP set. But LP ran off, the new band came on, played the tunes, then they ran off and LP came back. To quote the Beatles… “Very strange.”
(And speaking of that, hell yeah I’m getting their Rock Band game!!! It’ll be a tutorial for the girl.)
It’s funny, and maybe it’s because I like LP, but it seems that a lot of hard core fans, especially those of Tool do not like Linkin Park. There was a lot of on-line dissing going on. What world did I just land in??? Am I actually talking about these bands I’m talking about?
The young folks will hate me for saying this, but after Linkin Park’s set we were toast. We had been there for about eight hours, and it was time to head out. So yes, we only heard Tool do one song and left. Sorry!!!
Out of all the bands, Tool was and is the one I had not heard much from. And I still cannot put my fingers on them. I told someone I thought they were a metal jam band, but as he pointed out… even though their songs tend to be long, they are very precise and clearly delineated. So maybe they are a Metal Soundscape art band… I don’t know… Look at me analyzing Metal!
In retrospect, I wish I had stayed. First off, everyone raves about Tool’s live shows… and especially because I realized after the fact… like right now… that I had met Maynard James Keenan at a charity wine tasting, where we were drinking his Cacadeus wine. The dude is a rock star, has his own winery and is a restaurateur, to boot, being partners in the great Cobras and Matadors. May I be you, sir? No, really! Long live rock!