1. The Honda Center made for a suitable venue change.
The shift from the Forum in Inglewood to Anaheim’s Honda Center for the KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas raised a few eyebrows but, after all, KROQ serves Orange County as well as L.A., and the home of the Ducks is within easy reach. Let’s be honest, an arena is an arena.
2. Lovelytheband are perhaps the chirpiest band in history.
Everything about the L.A. indie rockers is uplifting and cheerful, this despite the fact that their best known song, “Broken,” serves to remove the stigmas associated with mental illness. There’s nothing twee or superficial about them, yet it’s impossible not to smile throughout their set. They even have a song about how much they love their friends. I mean, c’mon….
3. The Interrupters overshared.
At one point, one of The Interrupters exclaimed that two of his bandmates happen to be twins and also his brothers. Then he went a step further and pointed out that, therefore, they are both the results of one orgasm. Nasty. Still, the SoCal ska-punks put in a stellar set.
4. The Raconteurs’ Jack White was having a blast.
Notorious grump Jack White shared many a toothy grin with bandmate Brendan Benson during The Raconteurs’ raucous showing. The band was on fire too, blasting out one bluesy garage rock ditty after another, Benson the smooth troubadour to White’s ticking rocker. All the while, the words “Nashville, Tenn.” were hanging behind them despite the fact that White and Benson are famously Michigan men.
5. The 1975 declared rock & roll to be dead, while rocking out.
Manchester band The 1975 arguably received the most rapturous reception from the crowd as they took to the stage, the screams deafening. It’s not tough to see why; the band has a polished indie rock image, and a ton of cool pop-rock tunes. Towards the end, the words “Rock ‘n’ roll is dead, God bless the 1975” flashed up on the screen, ironically during one of their more rockin’ tunes. You little rascals.
6. Mumford & Sons have a lot of great songs.
Often derided by the nose-in-the-air elite for being folky posers, Mumford & Sons made a mockery of all that by playing one killer tune after another. In fact, it’s astounding how many excellent, and memorable, songs they have at this point. For many of us, the band has kinda just been there for a few years. This is apparently the last date on their lengthy arena tour, so it’ll be fascinating to see what’s next for them.
7. Twenty One Pilots had a full-on burning car on stage with them.
It’s like a scene from The Warriors. The aftermath of a riot or something. A car is burning, and the two guys in the band are crouching in action pose, like they’re about to throw a molotov cocktail. Hard not to laugh.
8. Matt Maeson is a star in waiting.
We’d never heard the Virginia singer/songwriter before tonight but apparently KROQ has been spinning his single and the early arrivers were happy to see him. In fact, he has a full set of introspective, great tunes. Expect to hear his name frequently soon.
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