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  • Festival Review: KROQ's Weenie Roast Y Fiesta 2008 - Irivine, CA

    Fri, 23 May 2008 12:44:56

    Festival Review: KROQ's Weenie Roast Y Fiesta 2008 - Irivine, CA - Punk rock and metal's Godfathers and giants take a road trip to the desert

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    Halfway through Scars On Broadway's set at KROQ's Weenie Roast Y Fiesta 2008, frontman Daron Malakian screamed the lyric, "I'm fucking dying!" The near 100-degree heat in Irvine may have had something to do with Malakian's forceful wail, but the line resonated beyond that. It's "death" in the most beautiful sense of the word, since Scars is a musical rebirth for Malakian and his System of a Down cohort, drummer John Dolmayan. Quite a rebirth it is. The band tore through a 30-minute set of psychedelic, melodic hard rock that was trippy, unsettling and evil at points. However, the "Scar power" lay in the hooks. Malakian's voice carried the choruses of "Universe" and "Cute Machines" from the stage all the way to the lawn seats. The psychotic, surf guitar on "I Like Suicide" snaked through pounding drums. After a frenetic "Chemicals," the creaky, sedated delay of "Universe" conjured more death imagery as Malakian and Co. continued their march onward to Hades. Right before launching into the first single "They Say," Malakian barked, "Fuck it, we all deserve to die!" The song possessed a violent vibrancy live, and one thing was clear, Scars on Broadway are primed to leave a mark. Scars stood out on the bill, playing a set that wouldn't be topped until headliner, Metallica hit the stage nearly four hours later.

    SOB's Daron and his signature wail | Seether's Shaun Morgan | Photo: Kevin Estrada

    However, right before Scars, Seether put on a solid set of the heavy, infectious modern grunge that they know how to do so well. The sun shone bright on the stage, and frontman Shaun Morgan was drenched in sweat, but he belted out the chorus to "Fine Again" perfectly. After that, Shaun hit the stage alone with an acoustic guitar during "Broken," which was the perfect balance to the sludgy riffs that were strewn throughout the rest of Seether's show. Taking a step back and turning down, Shaun's voice especially stood out. Meanwhile "Rise Above" and "Fake It" kicked everything back up to 11, and Seether started to really get the crowd going. It was a very worthy set from Seether and a fitting preface to Scars.

    The Offspring's Dexter Holland | The Offspring's fan-favorite guitarist Noodles | Photo: Kevin Estrada

    Until The Raconteurs hit the stage, the bill consisted of one punk band after another. Rise Against and Bad Religion blended together, staccato riff piled on staccato riff. However, Pennywise sparked up the crowd with cuts like "Western World" and "Bro Hymn." They separated themselves from the other punk bands on the bill, because guitarist Fletcher Dragge's got a sharp sense of humor and kept cracking one drinking joke after another.

    Jack White at the Raconteurs helm | Photo: Kevin Estrada

    The Raconteurs put on a jam-y, bluesy set, whose original '60 R&B and indie rock sensibilities may have gone over the heads of most KROQ listeners, but was solid nonetheless. Guitar solos abounded, and "Steady as She Goes" got the biggest response. The Offspring followed The Raconteurs with a set chock full of the '90s punk that made them famous. However, the energy on the stage could've been higher, as most of the dudes stayed stationary.

    James Hetfield's searing scream | Photo: Kevin Estrada

    Metallica made it all worthwhile. They launched into a near two-hour set heavy on their classic '80s material. It was just what the fans wanted. The Four Horsemen of heavy metal kicked it all off with a fiery rendition of "Creeping Death." The song's percussive, thrashing violence on the chorus of "Die Die Die" sent a surge of energy through the crowd. The band commanded the stage with a tangible intensity. Hetfield's rasp has never sounded sharper and more jagged. Kirk Hammett ripped solos with precision as Robert Trujillo crab-walked across the stage, while executing his fast and funky bass lines. Lars Ulrich pounded away propelling the songs to epic heights.

    James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett | Photo: Kevin Estrada

    Right before "Fuel," Hetfield yelled, "Irvine, Metallica is with you. Are you with us?" The audience roared, and the band added a thrashier edge to "Fuel" matching the song to their earlier material, by speeding everything up. A bombastic "For Whom the Bell Tolls" was followed by a ripping solo from Hammett. Hetfield began "Unforgiven" by playing the "Fight Fire with Fire" intro on his acoustic guitar, bringing everyone back to the early '80s. After a huge sing-a-long on "Unforgiven," "Wherever I May Roam" simply destroyed. "Harvester of Sorrow" was next, and it ignited the rabid fans. "Fade to Black" gave way to the epic orchestral thrash majesty of "Master of Puppets" and "Battery." After "One" and "Enter Sandman" closed the set, the band returned to Kill 'Em All with a fiery "Seek and Destroy."

    Hetfield does acoustic Metallica-style | Photo: Kevin Estrada

    At one point, Hetfield asked the crowd, "You're glad you stuck around?" Of course they were. It's Metallica, and they're back and better than ever.

    —Rick Florino
    Photos: Kevin Estrada

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    Tags: Metallica, The Raconteurs, Pennywise, Seether, Scars on Broadway

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