Oh Fontana, how I missed your hot summer days, but alas, I only came to bear you because of the musical miasma known as Epicenter 2010. This year brought together an odd assembly of talent, but this didn’t stop the faint-provoking party.
I took the reigns as the photographer/dude-getting-backsweat-while-facing-the-stage, and left the retainer of the oohs and aahs of the festival to Behind the Hype’s fresh flower, Forest Corbeil. But don’t think she’s a softie, as she’s the same flower that bought Bad Religion’s “30 Years of Fuckin’ Punk Rock” t-shirt before the festival end. This girl’s got talent for days, but don’t take my word for it, and welcome her to the family once her debut article drops.
As I said before, Epicenter 2010 was a mash-up of talent that Girl Talk would be proud of. With just over two dozen artists performing over two days, I wanted to share a little bit of my highlight reel from the second annual festival.
I’d never had the chance to enjoy a full set of one half of the legendary Outkast, but what we got was a pleasant surprise. Even with Big Boi recently releasing his new solo album, Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty, Big Boi kept his set diverse, jumping from his first solo album, new solo album, and classic Outkast tracks all in one set. I spent half the set singing along to the catalogue with fellow head bobbers around us.
After almost 8 years of waiting, Bush put on their first live show at Epicenter 2010. While only two of the original members are still in the lineup, it was the same sound that I knew and love. Not only did I get some amazing shots of Gavin (who damn sure isn’t looking his age), but they started their set with one of my favorite tracks in the catalogue, Machinehead.
Hands down, Marshall should have been the leading act for the evening (no offence to Gene Simmons and crew), with a crushed-car stage setup straight from the motor city. Hundreds waited over 9 hours to push their way to the front of the crowd to feel Eminem’s energy throughout his set. Like Big Boi’s set, he jumped around his entire ensemble of hits, while keeping thousands singing along to every word.
What can I say about DMX? The dog himself put on a surprise performance for adoring VIP fans on a small stage in-between Eminem and KISS, and left everyone with a long subdued, but far from forgotten phrase: FLESH OF MY FLESH BLOOD OF MY BLOOD!
I’d never seen Bad Religion live, but they were definitely worth waiting in the 115 degree heat. I finally understand the very core of American punk rock at its finest. I feel like everything they played has been emulated in some way, by the hundreds of modern punk bands who pay homage to them across the country. 30 years of fuckin’ punk rock indeed.
30 Seconds to Mars
I’ll admit, when I heard the bands song on the preview for that owl movie, it threw me for a bit, but after seeing 30 Seconds to Mars live, I had a newfound respect for them. The stage presence was the most fun from these guys all weekend, which I don’t think had anything to do with Jared Leto’s acting ability or his fame in the movie world. In fact, it’s been said he refuses to play venues that only shop the band with his name as the front. Keeping the crowd at maximum power the entire set, he gave me a great photo op for me to share with all of you.
Epicenter’s second year was a great one, with my only real complaint being the insane heat that took a bit away from the experience. Thank you to all the great friends who went with me, whom I met there, and staff of the companies that made it possible for us to attend. We’ll see you there next year…hopefully in cooler climates Check out the full gallery below, and you might spot yourself!
Until next time my friends,