02/20/2009 - Wolstein Center
Nothing to mention about the drive or anything like that. All pretty much uneventful.
I will mention one problem with general admission in the winter -
What the heck do you do with your coat?
My daughter left hers in the car. I opted to wear mine because it was only 22 F and the doors hadn't opened yet. But then of course, I had to hang onto it all night. Which meant tying it around my waste. Not exactly comfortable, or all that practical as I had to keep adjusting it and tightening it as it would loosen up and start falling down.
Had to wait forever in
line to get the wristbands to go down to the floor.
That was really the only bad part of anything leading up to the show itself.
We got down to the floor
area and walked out to the edge of the crowd.
It wasn't very full yet and we had a really nice spot. Dead center. Close enough to get a really good view of everything. But far enough back so that I could just see the whole stage in my feild of vision. It was also a good spot for the sound. So, that is where I set myself up for the entire night.
It was kind of odd really. This is the first time I have been on the floor where I wasn't trying to work my way up as close to the barrier as possible. (well other than Maiden in NY and there was no way we were going to spend most of the show trying to work through that huge crowd)
I was there that night more for the music itself than to actually get up close to see the performers. And as it worked out I could still see them very well. I was close enough to see their eyes and where they were looking, but not so close that I had to fight for my spot, or deal with the multiple mosh pits that errupted through the night.
One odd thing about holding the same spot all night, was watching all the other people around me. Seeing them move up, move back, side to side, etc.
Kind of reminded me of one of the scenes from Queen of the Damned. Where they show the vamps standing at the concert, while eveyrone else around them is moving in time-lapsed.
Intro - In God's Eyes
02. Beautiful You
03. New Tattoo
04. 18 Days
05. Intros and Drowning (Face Down)
I was surprised by Saving
Able. They were quite good. I knew 2 of their songs from the
radio, but both were slower songs so I didn't know what to expect
for the rest of their set.
It was a good tight set. Fast paced and hard hitting. With some good stage presence and showmanship thrown in for good measure.
Intro - Between Angels and Insects
02. To Be Loved
03. Getting Away With Murder
06. Hollywood Whore
08. Dead Cell
09. Last Resort
Papa Roach was even better
than at Cruefest.
Not sure if it was just because I was closer, and 'in the thick of things', or if the performance itself was better.
At this point I was solo, also. My daughter decided to move up. It was her favorite group after all and she wanted to get up front, and in the thick of things.
They hit the stage and took instant control of the crowd. The singer had everyone's attention and had the place rockin and going crazy.
Couple songs in, and we had the first mosh pit of the night. With a whole lot more to follow all through P-Roach's set.
The main one was directly in front of me. And a lot of the time, I ended up on the outer edge of the pit, where I would just hold my ground and shove people back in, as they came my way.
One of the kind of cool things was all the girls that were left around me. As I was something of a protective barrier, I ended up with a lot of girls huddled up behind and beside me through their set. Sure, I'm a happily married man. And a lot of the girls were way too young for me anyway. But I don't think any man is going to complain about being surrounded by pretty women.
I had a blast. They played a great selection of tunes. Interacted with the crowd well, and had a lot of audience participation and shows of support. Between the pits, the fist pumping, jumping, and arm waving. It was just great being part of it all.
One of the things I noted was their song selection. They did a great job of mixing it up.
Putting in enough of their slower songs to let you catch your breath and gather your strength for the next rocker that was coming up. I've notice this with a lot of the groups I have enjoyed. They realize that you can't just drive full steam through your whole set or the audience will get burned out. And if you strategically place your slower selections it will enhance the entire set instead of hinder it by dragging it down, or drawing it out.
After their set was over,
and while waiting for Buckcherry, my daughter returned to our
spot. Kind of surprised me as she came up from behind me, when
she was in front of me.
She had retreated to get some gatorade after the set to combat dehydration. (thanks to our years at faire, she knows the warning signs and how to get a handle on the situation before things get bad)
Seems she managed to get up to the barrier and also took part in some of the pits up at the front. She was definitely psyched to get up close, especially since that was also when the singer came down from the stage and was right at the barrier to interact with the crowd.
Intro - Tired of You
02. Next to You
03. Broken Glass
04. Lit Up
05. Talk to Me
06. Rescue Me
07. Don't Go Away
08. Too Drunk
13. Crazy Bitch
Now we come to Buckcherry
Sigh. Where to start?
Well, you know how Papa Roach had the crowd amped up and eating out of the palm of their hand. Complete opposite for Buckcherry.
The crowd was listless, bored, and almost completely unresponsive.
And it wasn't just isolated areas. It was almost whole place. I spent a lot of time durring their set just watching the crowd. All that I could see were like that. Up in the seats. On the floor in every direction, except for a small throng off to my far right. Even when the screen in the back of the stage was showing footage of the front of the crowd, they were almost all that way also.
Since I was up close, and in the middle of it all, I had a chance to reflect on why that was.
Because Buckcherry is not that bad of a band. They are pretty good actually.
But this is almost exactly what happened at Cruefest, except worse.
I think there are 3 main reasons for this.
First - position in the line-up. They are supposed to be co-headliners with A7X. But in reality, they should be on before P-Roach. Their show does not have that high-octane rock-your-head-off feel to it. So following a band like that, makes them seem very flat and boring.
Second - song selection. Their first 2 songs were weak! Your opening song should be something that grabs the crowds attention. I saw some people trying to get into the show at first, but you just couldn't with those songs. I know, because I tried too. I wanted to like the show and have a good time. And along the same thought, they need to trim their set down. Too much filler. Songs that people don't care about, and the extended Crazy Bitch just seems to drag.
Third - quit trying so hard. I know this seems wrong, as a performer should try to please their audience. But if you try to hard, you come across as strained and not in control. And that is exactly what was going on. He had no hold on the audience. And he knew it. He kept trying and trying to get some life from people. With comments about it being a Friday night, and how everyone should be cutting loose, etc. He just kept hitting on it for the first half of the set. And you could see it was really bugging him. I'm sure it really has to suck to be up there in front of a crowd that could care less. But after he seemed to give up and quit caring what the crowd thought, they seemed to respond better. That was about the last 1/3 of their set. I'm sure it also helped that they were firmly into their hits at that point. But I also think a big part of it is that he had given up on trying to work the crowd and was just putting his energy into performing.
I really think they would be better off paired up with different bands. They are not a hard rock band, and should be playing with those types. Especially slotted between 2 like that.
Intro - Critical Acclaim
03. Beast and Harlot
05. Dear God
06. Guitar Solo
07. Bat Country
10. Unholy Confessions
11. Almost Easy
Now, for my biggest
complaint of the night.
An excruciatingly long wait for Avenged Sevenfold.
I mean, we had already been there for something like 4+ hours. On our feet, in the pit.
And we had to wait forever between BC and A7X.
We're talking like 30-40 minutes easy. That's a long time when you are already tired. Your feet are sore, and you back is killing you.
As for their show?
I liked it. I was impressed at their stage presence. I mean they weren't the best I ever saw, but considering they just hit it big enough to get attention recently. And last I knew they were just opening. To headline and do such a good job was surprising.
They had a very high energy show, except the guitar solo. Which some might see as just a little filler. But I actually like it. It was fun and unique. And not boring at all.
They did a great job of working the crowd, and really incited the pit, which made for the biggest one of the night. Also lots of crowd surfing during their sct.
The show production was pretty cool. They had multiple screens on the stage, and behind the stage. The ones behind would move up, down, and pivot.
A couple overall
Not one group used any type of pyro. Noting at all.
And only a little smoke.
Buckcherry was the only group not to give props to the other groups on the bill.