While most students were at UCSB’s Extravaganza this past Saturday, I ventured all the way out the Irvine Verizon Wireless Amphitheater to see KROQ’s annual Weenie Roast. This year’s lineup was one of the best, featuring a host of huge names like Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, Rancid and Kings of Leon (who traveled out to the Santa Barbara Bowl Sunday to play another radio-sponsored event, the KJEE Summer Round Up).
This diversity of the bands seemed unorthodox compared to the standard KROQ fare, but it was nevertheless an impressive lineup that kept the crowd engaged. The show featured neo-punk group, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as well as the feedback-loving Silversun Pickups. Kings of Leon unsurprisingly played a great set late in the evening that made the event’s closing performance by DJ A.M. and Travis Barker seem rather disappointing and uninspired.
I arrived at 3:30 p.m., but things didn’t really pick up until the Silversun Pickups hit the stage around 5 p.m. The band brought a great edge to show; the lead singer’s voice is like nothing you have ever heard before.
Weezer came on afterward, and its show proved to be one of the best of the night, though it seems strange that such a well-known band would play so early in the evening. The boys were out in full force, and played every one of their famous hits, including Blue Album favorites like “Say It Ain’t So” and “The Sweater Song.”
After that, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Jimmy Eat World graced the stage one after another. While the Yeah Yeah Yeahs proved to be something of a disappointment (most of the band’s songs started to sound the same after a while), Jimmy Eat World busted out classic tunes like “The Middle” and “Sweetness,” which sounded perfect in the wide-open arena.
Call me biased (I am kind of obsessed), but the performance of the night has to go to Kings of Leon. With infectious tunes like “Sex on Fire” and “Molly’s Chambers,” the band’s set list, culled from its three albums, showed the band’s broad range.
KROQ, as always, knows how to put together a great show with the “it” bands of the moment, and 2009’s Weenie Roast did not disappoint, proving that the radio station has really broadened its musica] spectrum, branching out from its typical hard-rock sound.