The Black Keys, 30 Seconds to Mars, Stone Temple Pilots (featuring Chester Bennington of Linkin Park (surprise appearance), Vampire Weekend, Of Monsters and Men, Jimmy Eat World, Silversun Pickups, Imagine Dragons, Awolnation, Atlas Genius, Fitz and The Tantrums, The Neighbourhood, Capital Cities, New Politics, Twenty One Pilots.
Awolnation's Sail made leaning near the speakers feel like a very aggressive massage chair was attacking me. The crowd got to their feet and sang every word. Getting an
upgrade from their starting position early in the day last year, they did well on the main stage.
Imagine Dragons were greeted by screaming girls and though Dan Reynolds had a broken arm, the band put on a good show. Beginning the set, Reynolds yelled "I cannot clap! I broke my arm. Please help me!" I think that was the first song of the day when everyone got to their feet and joined in the fun. At the end of the set, Reynolds took a, I believe inadvertent, dive off of the stage into the pit. He needed to be rescued by fans and security, but he was all smiles and raised hands when taken back stage. Jimmy Eat World was like a moment from High School and most of the night was fairly tame for KROQ's usual lineups. It was the year that the indi-rock bands took over. With Of Monsters and Men belting their "Little Talks" it was a very calm weenie roast.
Stone Temple Pilots, following some controversy with their frontman, Scott Weiland joined the lineup as the surprise appearance. Linkin Park's Chester Bennington played frontman and did well. Rumors have been circulating since the beginning of the year about the possible firing of the original frontman. Because Stone Temple Pilots were not on the original bill, when the rotating stage made the move and revealed the band to be The Stone Temple Pilots, the audience braced to see who would be belting out the lyrics. Chester came out and without a moment to lose jumped into the set and took over. Chester and his new bandmates the band put on a great show.
The second to last set of the night, 30 Seconds to Mars was the most audience splitting. The one and only delay was before this set and when the music built and finally the band entered, we soon realized that they were not in fact the band, but additional drummers and the band was hidden. There was a lot of creativity put into the production and quite the video accompaniment but I think the part the fans liked the most was the chance to dance on stage.
30 Seconds to Mars and KROQ have a special place in my heart because three years ago, I answered a questionnaire on KROQ.com and, without knowing it, entered to win tickets to a 30 Seconds to
Mars show at The Greek. That concert was the catalyst that brought me here as Ohio and to all of the shows around the country. So, though I was not one of the many girls crying and proclaiming that they wanted to have a Leto baby, I do in a weird little way give them credit for bringing me into music photography and for starting my live music addiction. For their show, they made an entrance with Frontman Jared Leto in the crowd playing an acoustic song before making his way through the crowd to the stage. I am still picking their confetti out of my camera bag from the set.
The Black Keys ended the night with a solid set. These guys put on a great show though I would like some changes in the set list, not because I don't love their music, but because I do! I want to hear more of it live. Playing well to the audience, Dan Auerbach works the stage and is one of my favorite performers.
One accidental stage dive aside, a mosh pit on stage, a few overly drunk audience members and a lot of bands made it a great night to spend with friends out in Irvine. From the rock of the Stone Temple Pilots, to the flashback brought on by Jimmy Eat World and the indi vibe of Vampire Weekend and Of Monsters and Men, it was an interesting line up and a successful and weenie filled night. Cheers KROQ, We'll be back next year!
Enjoy the show! See you in the pit!