Saturday, May 18, 2013

Weenie Roast 2013: The Highs, The Lows, and The What the Hell Were They Thinking?

Some years the surprise guest at Weenie Roast steals the show, as evidenced by the 2011 appearance of      Foo Fighters who were so amazing you probably can't even remember who else played that year. This year, however, will go down as the one that had people shaking their heads in disbelief. Not because Chester Bennington appeared as the replacement for Scott Weiland, fronting STP, but rather because he performed most of the set in an strangely deep register that came off as an odd attempt to sound like Scott. This seemed shockingly unnecessary from one of the great voices in rock today. Whether this was actually an attempt to sound like Scott or just an attempt to differentiate from his Linkin Park sound, it just fell flat.

This year, stealing the show honors would have to come down to a tie between New Politics and Imagine Dragons. New Politics played second, on the side-stage but performed with a vibrancy that would not have seemed out of place on the main stage (where these boys will likely end up by next year). Originally hailing from Denmark, New Politics have made New York home for the last three years as they've chased the ever-elusive stateside fame. With their album due to drop on Tuesday we've only just begun to appreciate the fun this band has to offer. If you haven't had the chance to seem them live yet, do it. Do it now.

Imagine Dragons performed a similarly show stealing set, despite frontman Dan Reynolds broken hand. Having already stolen out hearts with one of the best live shows of last year, Imagine Dragons brought their percussion-centric set hard to the crowd in Irvine early in the show, but performed like the headliners they are destined to be, outshining later performing bands like 30 Seconds to Mars, who just came off as pompous and overblown, wrapped in their own self-importance.

Props to KROQ for yet again fielding an intriguing mix of bands. Hopefully everyone found somebody new to fall in love with.

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