KROQ Weenie Roast 2015
Featuring: Muse, Of Monsters and Men, Florence and the Machine, Death Cab For Cutie, Panic at the Disco, AWOLNATION, Cold War Kids, All Time Low, Big Data, Saint Motel, James Bay, X Ambassadors
May 16, 2015
By: Nevra Azerkan
Rating: [The Breakdown]
This was my very first time attending KROQ’s Weenie Roast y Fiesta. I had always wanted to attend, but the lineups were never perfect enough for me—until this year. Even if I was sold with Muse, the addition of Panic! at the Disco, AWOLNATION, Death Cab and X Ambassadors had me really excited. I already knew that Florence and the Machine and All Time Low were great live and the other acts were all bands I wanted to hear more from.
The pre-show was a smaller stage divided into two in order to switch back and forth with little setup time in between. First up was X Ambassadors. I heard these guys when their song, “Renegade” was featured on a few commercials and since then they have been promoted everywhere. They played that track along with “When I Was Free,” “Love Songs Drug Songs,” “Unsteady,” “Naked,” and “Jungle,” which was covered by the Pitch Perfect 2 cast for an NBA playoff promo. They put on a great, but short set. They have an awesome sound, great energy and I am looking forward to the next time I can see them.
British singer-songwriter, James Bay was up next. I only knew his song, “Hold Back The River,” but he quickly captivated everyone with his set. It’s been said that he’s one to watch and I believe it. His set included: “Collide,” “Craving,” “If You Ever Want To Be In Love,” “Let It Go,” “Best Fake Smile,” and “Hold Back The River.”
The next band, Saint Motel, was incredible. Not only are their songs lively and fun, but they just have this feel good vibe about them. I have also never witnessed a band bring up showgirls during their set, but strangely enough it felt like it was meant to be. They played “Feed Me Now,” “Benny Goodman,” “Puzzle Pieces,” “Ace In The Hole,” “Cold Cold Man,” and the party anthem “My Type.”
Next up were, Big Data. I don’t know if it was the heat or what, but I did not get to enjoy their set as much as I was hoping to. I heard a few of their tracks before and it didn’t feel the same. Plus, they were not really connecting to the entire crowd even with their creativeness. Their set included “The Business of Emotion,” “Clean,” “Snowed In,” “Private Eyes,” “Get Some Freedom,” and “Dangerous.”
Last but not least, All Time Low took the stage with “Lost In Stereo,” These guys are always a fun time with their banter in between songs. But the big surprise were the guests they brought up including Mark Hoppus (Blink182) for “Tidal Waves” and Vic Fuentes (Pierce the Veil) for “A Love Like War.” The crowd went wild for both of them and that just got the band more pumped. They also played “Weightless,” and ended with “Something’s Gotta Give.”
That was it for the small stage and then it was time to head up to the main stage. But while I was watching all the bands on the small stage there were contests and interviews going on. I mean it was the KROQ Weenie Roast y Fiesta!
By the time I was seated, Cold War Kids had already began their first song. They provided a nice backdrop to chill and relax with a beer. Their set included: “All This Could Be Yours,” “Miracle Mile,” “Louder Than Ever,” “Audience,” “Hang Me Up To Dry,” “Hot Coals,” “First,” “Hospital Beds,” and “Something Is Not Right With Me.”
The next act was Vance Joy who made a name for himself with his single, “Riptide.” He came out with nothing fancy, just him and his instruments. The girls in attendance were swooning listening to his songs, “From Afar,” “Red Eye,” “Wasted Time,” “Mess is Mine,” “Georgia,” “Best That I Can,” and lastly “Riptide.” Everyone knew the end was coming when he pulled out his signature ukulele. Having the crowd sing every word to his hit song was a great end to his set.
I was really looking forward to see AWOLNATION and I was not let down. Who knew after interviewing Hometown Hero ages ago, that I would be seeing Aaron again years later with AWOLNATION. Their set included the new single, “I Am” along with “Run,” “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf),” “Kill Your Heroes,” “Windows,” “All I Need,” “Dreamers,” and then concluded with the megahit single, “Sail.” The flashing lights on stage and Aaron’s dynamic stage presence made their set one of the best of the night.
The award for best intro goes to Walk The Moon with their nod to The Lion King. I remember seeing these guys at their first shows and a lot has changed already. They still have the crazy, cool energy going on and now they have even more songs that I love. They played one of my new favorites “Up 2 U” along with “Different Colors,” “Tightrope,” “Avalanche,” “Portugal,” “Lisa Baby,” their breakout hit, “Shut Up and Dance With Me,” and the song that started it all “Anna Sun.”
The next act is an act I wasn’t sure I would ever get to see live, but Panic! at the Disco has resurfaced. Brendon Urie is one to watch on stage with his spontaneous backflips and hilarious rants. The set included “Vegas Lights,” “Time To Dance,” “The Ballad of Mona Lisa,” “Girls/Girls/Boys,” “Hallelujah,” “Miss Jackson,” “Nine In The Afternoon,” a fantastic cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “This Is Gospel,” “Positive Hardcore,” which was inspired by Rob Zombie’s insults to the band and of course that one song that seems to define them, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.”
Death Cab For Cutie has been one of those passive bands that have been around forever, but still don’t get the recognition they really deserve. The music, the storytelling, it was all there when they played “I Will Possess Your Heart,” “Crooked Teeth,” “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive,” “Black Sun,” “You Are A Tourist,” “The New Year,” “Cath…,” and “Soul Meets Body.” I probably would not have placed their set right after Panic! When you’re so amped up, you really don’t want to slow down to extreme chill mode.
I had seen Florence and the Machine years ago and it was all flash and overdone musicianship. But this time around Florence had broken her ankle and could only do an acoustic set. The result? Magic. She didn’t have to do anything, but belt out her soul. It was a sight to see everyone sing along and sway to songs like “What The Water Gave Me,” “Ship To Wreck,” “Only If For A Night,” What Kind Of Man,” “Heartlines,” “Shake It Out,” and “Dog Days Are Over.” I am surprised to say that her set was hands down one of the best of the night. Not only is Florence extremely talented, but she overshadowed some of the more energetic bands that night.
I can’t say that I know much about Of Monsters and Men other than their song, “Little Talks” and that they’re from Iceland. The speakers were acting up with their set, which was a shame as it was very distracting and I couldn’t really get into their set. They performed “Thousand Eyes,” “King and Lionheart,” “Empire,” “The Storm,” “Mountain Sound,” “Crystals,” “Little Talks,” and “Six Weeks.” I felt bad that the sound didn’t go as planned and it was definitely not a good setup to introduce Muse.
But then again, who am I kidding? Muse does not need any introduction. They just need to appear and do what they do best: rock out. They came out with a solid performance of one of their new songs from Drones, “Psycho” followed up by another new song from the album, “Dead Inside” and then proceeded to crank out all their massive (Yeah, I said it!) hits like “Super Massive Black Hole,” “Hysteria,” “Resistance,” “Uprising,” “Plug In Baby,” “Reapers,” “Starlight,” and “Knights of Cydonia.” It was pure bliss for any rock lover. Even though they played the longest set with ten (10) tracks, it went by the fastest. There are not many musicians that really embody what it truly means to be a musician, but Muse is the real deal. The ticket cost alone would have been worth it just to see Muse, that’s how phenomenal they were.
Overall, KROQ nailed it this year with their Weenie Roast y Fiesta. I look forward to seeing the lineup for next year, but I am not sure they can top this one.