Category: KROQ

Live review: KROQ's Weenie Roast y Fiesta

Coldplay, Incubus, Soundgarden and more define a rock aesthetic.


What exactly does a rock band need -- and in what quantity -- to distinguish itself in today's exuberantly eclectic pop landscape?

Along with branded beach balls and remembrances of Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, that question seemed to fill the air Saturday at Irvine's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, where KROQ-FM (106.7) presented its annual Weenie Roast y Fiesta. The daylong concert -- headlined by Coldplay, with performances by Incubus, the Offspring and an unannounced Soundgarden, among others -- offered several successful takes on defining a pop aesthetic, but little consensus on the matter.

Still, the Weenie Roast's variety suggested something more promising: that in "a Black Eyed Peas world," as one KROQ DJ put it, rockers are thinking hard about how to specialize their music. A big crowd response, when it occurred, seemed almost secondary to the effort involved.

PHOTOS: KROQ's Weenie Roast y Fiesta 2012

The sole international act on a main stage dominated by Southern Californians, Coldplay matched that geographical distinction with a show far more elaborate than any other band's. Last week, the English group played a sold-out three-night stand at the Hollywood Bowl, and to Irvine it brought a slightly pared version of that high-tech production, complete with lasers, pyrotechnics and heart-shaped confetti. And that was all during the first two songs.

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Coldplay, Incubus, Silversun Pickups tapped for Weenie Roast

Those who missed out on tickets to Coldplay's three early May shows at the Hollywood Bowl will now have another chance to catch the British pop band. Coldplay will help anchor the annual day-long radio station festival in Irvine that is KROQ-FM's Weenie Roast y Fiesta. Joining Coldplay at the top of the May 5 bill at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater will be Southern California rock band Incubus, which last year released its first album in five years.

Like most KROQ (106.7) festivals, the Weenie Roast largely honors bands that have long been staples on the station's airwaves, and it does so while sprinkling in a newcomer or two that seem preordained for heavy rotation. Local punk bands Pennywise and Offspring are slated to appear, as are Blink-182 off-shoot Angels & Airwaves and technologically minded alt-rock act Garbage. The latter has a pair of sold-out dates at the El Rey on April 9 and April 10.

Silver Lake's Silversun Pickups will perform in advance of its May 8 album "Neck of the Woods," and peppy, fast-rising locals Grouplove will celebrate the success of debut album "Never Trust a Happy Song." Rounding out the bill will be electro-rockers Awolnation, reggae act the Dirty Heads, dancey power-pop band Walk the Moon and anthemic, Icelandic folk-rockers Of Monsters and Men. 

Those who sign up to be members of KROQ's street team mailing list will have first access to tickets Thursday at noon. Tickets will be available via and Tickets for last year's event ranged in price from $45 to $75, not including service fees. 


Los Angeles, get to know Grouplove

Goldenvoice's purchase of Coachella festival land applauded

Silversun Pickups debut new track 'Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)'

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Coldplay's Chris Martin performs at the MTV European Music Awards 2011 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on  Nov. 6, 2011. Credit: Joel Ryan / Associated Press

Almost Acoustic Christmas is a gauge of rock's past, future

Jane's Addiction is a parody of itself, while Black Keys and Mumford & Sons wipe out pretenses; Florence + the Machine and Foster the People are embraced.

Florence + the Machine

Guys with guitars roamed freely Sunday night at the Gibson Amphitheatre, where bands including Jane's Addiction, the Black Keys and Death Cab for Cutie took part in KROQ-FM's annual Almost Acoustic Christmas concert. But throughout this sold-out six-hour marathon — the second of two presented by the influential modern-rock station, after Saturday's bill with Blink-182, Social Distortion and others — those durable guitar heroes were shadowed by another musical figure. Witness the rise of the resourceful tech-head, hunched over a keyboard or sampler, tapping out newfangled sounds with near-scientific precision.

Some groups at the show had room for guitar wizards and computer geeks in their lineups; others staged a production around one or the other. Taken as a whole, though, Almost Acoustic Christmas felt like an investigation of where rock is today, what it's made of and what it should do.

One firm conclusion among the many more half-answers: Jane's Addiction has finally turned into the parody act it's been threatening to become for years. Headlining Sunday's show (albeit to a significantly thinned-out crowd), this on-again/off-again L.A. outfit interspersed hits from its original late-'80s incarnation with material from this fall's “The Great Escape Artist,” Jane's Addiction's first studio album since 2003. Yet it all sounded equally terrible, Perry Farrell's adenoidal vocals meandering aimlessly atop Dave Navarro's bludgeoning power chords. Worse still were Farrell's clownish between-song ramblings about Christmas in the era of Occupy Wall Street, which made the presumably unintentional argument that the once-ubiquitous character of the preening rock god has lost all but his comedic value.

PHOTOS: KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas

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Death Cab, Foster the People to close KROQ's Acoustic Christmas

Foster the People

Death Cab for Cutie, the Black Keys and Cage the Elephant will headline the second and final night of the yearly Almost Acoustic Christmas presented the weekend of Dec. 10 by KROQ-FM (106.7). Other acts on the bill for Sunday night include local breakout stars Foster the People, the rock theatrics of Florence + the Machine and veterans Jane's Addiction, among others. 

Also on the bill for Sunday is local pop act Grouplove, folk rockers Mumford & Sons, Noel Gallaher's High Flying Birds project and glossy New Zealanders the Naked and Famous. Saturday night's bill, as previously announced, will feature Blink-182, Bush, Chevelle, Incubus, New Found Glory, Social Distortion, 311 and Young the Giant. As has been typical for the station's annual holiday event, the second night represents more up-and-coming artists while the first night showcases acts that have, generally speaking, long been KROQ fixtures. 

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Blink-182, Bush, 311 tapped for KROQ's Acoustic Christmas


Recently reunited acts Blink-182 and Bush are among the initial names unveiled for the annual Almost Acoustic Christmas concert presented by KROQ-FM (106.7). The '90s-era survivors will headline the first night of the two-day event, set for the weekend of Dec. 10-11. 

Artists sharing the bill Dec. 10 include Chevelle, Incubus, New Found Glory, Social Distortion, 311 and Young the Giant, the latter being the only relative new-comers among the initial crop. Pre-sale tickets for Night 1 will be available Wednesday via Ticketmaster for those who are members the KROQ street team.

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Live review: KROQ's Weenie Roast stays true to itself and its acts

KROQ-FM (106.7) isn't known for curveballs in its well-cemented playlist of angsty '90s survivors and modern takes on SoCal punk. Even at Weenie Roast, its annual summer-heralding showcase of the station's mainstays and scrappier newcomers, a "surprise" unbilled performer is its own tradition.

So when the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre's stage rotated on Saturday night to reveal an unadvertised Dave Grohl and his moppety band of Foo Fighters, no one seemed entirely shocked. But the Foos' sincere and swaggering set was kind of revelatory in its own way: Being a genuine rock star among today's pop synthetics is a tough slog.

After a day of eccentric newcomers and some dragging main-stage fare, when Grohl cheekily admitted midset that "They're all hits. We've got too many hits," the truth of that wisecrack was its own pleasant surprise.

To its credit, KROQ does an admirable job of championing L.A. locals and ushering them from indie bustle to the arena circuit. Acts such as the suspiciously underrated O.C. anthem-slingers Young the Giant and the quirked-up synth pop of Foster the People definitely benefit from a showcase like this.

Silver Lake's Airborne Toxic Event is a living example of the career arc KROQ can offer an artist -- which is what Airborne's bleary, sometimes furious racket deserved. Singles such as "Changing" and "Sometime Around Midnight" scuff up the station's formulas just enough to intrigue and seemed even more adventurous juxtaposed against the local quartet Neon Trees. The latter's proficient neo-Sunset-Strip hommage seemed calibrated to annoy any wandering Echo Parkers who thought they time-warped into a Coachella side stage.

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The Airborne Toxic Event, Lykke Li, the Strokes, Linkin Park tapped for KROQ Weenie Roast 2011


Linkin Park
, the Strokes, Rise Against, Lykke Li, the Airborne Toxic Event and Neon Trees are all slated to headline KROQ's summer rock showcase, the KROQ Weenie Roast

The full lineup for the concert, set for June 4 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, was announced by the radio station Monday.

Other featured artists playing the concert, which was launched in 1993, include Bad Religion, Cage the Elephant, Foster the People, A Day to Remember, Face to Face and Young the Giant.

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Concert review: KROQ's 2010 Weenie Roast featuring Hole, Paramore, Stone Temple Pilots and more

Alt-rock nostalgia hung heavy in the pot-scented air Saturday night at Irvine’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, where recently resuscitated versions of Sublime, Stone Temple Pilots, Hole and Devo played KROQ-FM’s annual Weenie Roast concert.

“You guys remember this little ditty,” Courtney Love assured the sold-out crowd before revving up the serrated grunge pop of Hole’s 1998 hit “Celebrity Skin.” And sure enough, the audience roared in recognition, seemingly grateful for something familiar after a handful of tunes from “Nobody’s Daughter,” the unremarkable Hole album Love and a cast of new bandmates released earlier this year.

Other acts echoed Love’s acknowledgment of a creeping sense of cultural obsolescence.

“Here’s one you might remember,” said Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, introducing that group’s early-MTV staple “Whip It.”

Later, Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland pulled a telling fake-out, baiting fans with the prospect of “another new one” from the group’s just-released self-titled effort, then launching into “Plush,” its 1992 smash. The feeling of relief inside Verizon was palpable.

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