07 July 2006

The Good Old Days?

I wish... I wish... I wish I had attended more Day on the Green concerts. Those were the good old days. Ticket prices were sooo low back then. Yes, I had less disposable cash to buy tickets, but by comparison, the value was HUGE!

I had to research the actual date of this
Day on the Green, but I remember it verrry clearly. It was August 31, 1985 : Scorpions, Ratt, Y&T, Metallica, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, with Victory opening up. Who? Oh, well.

As we were walking in to begin our rock odyssey and first DOTG, a passed-out guy was being carried out by four stadium employees -- one for each limb. It was an awesome sight to see twin mosh pits open up about 20 feet from the stage in an otherwise tight crowd. Metallica all had the same length hair and they all rolled their necks in unison and they RAWKED!

I've been attending LIVE 105's BFD concerts for about 9 years. This year, BFD was held on a Saturday. Historically, BFD is on the last Friday before high schools in the area let out for the summer. Another change for this year, the dull part: fewer global touring bands, more up & coming bands. The shiny part is that if you saw these bands at BFD, you could later say that you saw them when they were "nobody". It was an exploratory event for us. "Let's check out some new music", I said. And that's just what we did. I discovered some bands that I like.

Here was the lineup:

She Wants Revenge
Panic! At the Disco
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Every Move a Picture
Franz Ferndinand
The Strokes
Echo and the Bunnymen

A lot of us felt that Franz Ferdinand outclassed the rest. They had excellent interaction with the audience. Their songs were upbeat and had great hooks. Probably a commercial success for many reasons beyond those. At one point, the drummer performed a solo and was joined by two other percussionists who stood upon the drum riser to add several layers to the solo for what seemed like a solid 5 minutes. Nice work.

The guitarist for AFI could easily be inserted into any top rock band, but I would not categorize AFI as anything other than alternative rock. Excellent control of the stage. Vocal range and presence wasn't my style, but the audience really liked AFI.

The Strokes' lead singer was more sober than last year's BFD, but not "sober" as we heard on the radio on the road to amphitheater. They played all of their hits in reverse chronological order -- and the singer didn't fall off the stage and throw the monitors around like 2005.

I had forgotten that I liked Echo & the Bunnymen. They were entertaining from the mid-80s through today. Good material. Worth a second look for certain.

HIM. What can be said? The vocalist chain smoked through the entire set, looking unsure of himself. Perhaps that's the attraction. I don't like the smoking message for high-schoolers. I wouldn't have cared when I was in H.S., but now I do. I just do. I caught the band on a late night talk show a few nights later, and the guy was wearing all of the same clothes + hat. I was hoping it was a fluke the first time.

Panic! at the Disco crushed all the others at the Festival Stage in the parking lot. They just had the energy. Maybe it was more of a personal connection, but they seemed to have command of their instruments without needing studio assistance. I wasn't alone in my enthusiasm, as the crowd constantly roared!

She Wants Revenge has a hit song on the radio with medium rotation on Live 105.3 and the vocalist has a signature delivery that is repeated on nearly all of their tunes. By the end of their set, I was able to mimic his voice with seemingly any message. If you know this band, just replace a verse or chorus with inocuous lines such as "I want to eat a cheeseburger now" or "I really need a beer for my thirst". It goes on. One-hit wonder? Maybe not, but they need diversity and range in their delivery.

We were able to score seats at the Shoreline and escaped the crushing throng that overtakes the lawn area. As we left halfway through AFI's set, some kids asked us for our tickets. So, we gave them up, hoping this tiny gesture would cap off their night on a high note.

I've been there before.


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