Yesterday I spent the day enjoying the show and talking to everybody I could. Most of which had the same opinion about Saturday. Bush and Eminem were the reasons they bought tickets for Epicenter day1, and most everybody said that Day2 was the real reason the event would shine. I think I agree with their opinions. While day1 will go down in History because of Eminem and Bush (and maybe KISS, because of their name but not their performance), today’s lineup was stellar from the beginning till end.
With a crowd that easily dwarfs yesterday’s, and heat that made yesterday seem like winter, it was no surprise that people were passing out while in line waiting to get in. Those however that did make it in and were coherent for the day were in for a hard hitting day of punk-rock-in-the-sun.
Headlining the second day of the annual Epicenter Festival was Blink-182, who had no problem continuing the mostly-punk theme of the day started earlier by Suicidal Tendencies, Bad Religion, A Day To Remember, and Rise Against just to name a few. When the group came out, just a few minutes late, “Dumpweed” was played without hesitation and immediately the mosh pits started throughout the crowd. Throughout the 23 song setlist, the band made sure to throw a few curveballs in there with us with different funny voices (and dog barking sounds) to change up songs like with the song, “First Date”, which added a bit of humor to the almost two hour nonstop set. Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus confessed to the estimated 40,000 fans in the venue that after this night, the band would be working on a new album. The band had no problems keeping everybody excited with hit after hit including “First Date”, “All The Small Things”, “What’s My Age Again” and “Jose” just to name a few.
After a brief pause, around song 19, Travis Barker came out for an 8 minute or so drum solo, where he flipped 360 degrees while playing the drums before the band came out to close the set with their encore, “Carousel”, “Damnit” and “Family Reunion”.
Rise Against put on an unforgettable 17 song performance started off with an exciting introduction leading up to opening song “Collapse” which at times was almost hard to hear because of all the screaming girls in the audience. This was the last stop of the bands Appeal To Reason” tour, and its only stop in California this time around. By now, temperature probably somewhere around 98degrees still, and the mosh pit, which was earlier on break with 30 Seconds to Mars, back in effect. The set included hits like “Savior”, “Prayer of the Refugee” but also included the softer side of the band with acoustic songs, “Swing Life Away” and “Hero of War” before closing the set with “Give It all” and “Ready To Fall”
Earlier in the day 30 Seconds to Mars, came out with full crowd participation which might have seemed odd to the punk-rockers in the crowd, but make no mistake about it. Showmanship goes to this band that successfully got the entire audience to jump up and down with hands up in the air a few times in their set, which, while short, included mostly known-hits with the audience singing along. Watching the performance of songs like “This is War” and “The Kill”, which got the entire audience hired on as backup singers, it was almost electrifying to see the energy at the main stage. To continue with the exciting but short set, for the last song, the band invited some 200 or so fans onto the stage to play an unforgettable and very exciting version of Kings and Queens.
The “30 Band Years”group Bad Religion, whom just completed their 2010 House of Blues Tour continued the excitement from the earlier bands with an in your face setlist that was all work and little play for the band, whom cracked out song after song insuring that the mosh-pitters couldn’t take much of a break in the hour long set. Most recently the band released The Dissent Of Man, “These are some of my favorite songs I’ve ever written,” says Gurewitz. “A few of them took me way outside my comfort zone as a writer to a place I haven’t gone since Recipe or Stranger than Fiction.”. The band made sure to play some new songs, like “The Resist Stance”, and KROQ hit “The Devil in Stitches” off the new album. However, the classics is what got the crowd crazy; songs like “New Dark Ages”, “Infected”, “American Jesus”, and “Sorrow” just to name a few. There was an older gentleman standing next to me right next to the pit on stage left, I thought he was going to have a heart attack when it started. It was something very new and exciting, but almost scray for him – for the first few seconds. Then he got into it and enjoyed the rest of the set.
Another classic punk (or Thrash) band, Suicidal Tendencies was at the festival with over 20 years under their belt and many classic songs, busting out an aggressive set which included “Institutionalized”, my favorite song by the band, and “Subliminal Live”. Against ME!’s “Teenage Anarchist” got everybody excited as their first song, before spewing out some 8 other songs in their short set. A Day To Remember was the second band on the main stage playing mostly hard rock screaming stuff before playing the more popular and slightly relaxed songs, “Have Faith In Me” and “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle”.
Sunday, September 26th, 2010, Epicenter day 2 will easily be labeled as the best Rock/Punk Festival days of 2010 with bands that could have filled (and have), amphitheaters on their own but, they were together to make history on this day.Blink-182 selling out almost any venue they play, Bad Religion having sold out almost all of their 14 or so House Of Blues tours, 30 Seconds to mars easily owning the Historic Greek Theatre, Rise Against having sold out many of their World Tour dates just to name a few. Throw them all together with the likes of Against Me!, A Day To Remember, Suicidal Tendencies, New Politics, The Academy Is, Biffy Clyro and The Black Pacific. Throw some 40,000 fans in there, and now you have a great day in California music festival history.