Date: May 19, 2013
City: Mountain View, CA
Venue: Shoreline Amphitheater
Main Stage Artists: Passion Pit, 30 Seconds to Mars, Stone Temple Pilots featuring Chester Bennington, Silversun Pickups, Of Monsters and Men, AWOLNATION
Bud Light Stage Artists: Jimmy Eat World, Fitz and the Tantrums, Capital Cities, Atlas Genius, The Neighbourhood, Twenty One Pilots, Youngblood Hawke, Wavves, The Mowglis, New Politics
Subsonic Tent: Diplo, DJ Shadow, C2C, Wallpaper, Limousines, Dirtybird / Justin Martin vs J Phlip, Robert Delong, St John, Gold Fields, Miles the DJ, Nick G
Local Band Stage: Tumbleweed Wanderers, Picture Atlantic, Finish Ticket, Anya & The Get Down, Mister Loveless, Doe Eye, The Trims, Rin Tin Tiger, Bonnie + The Bang Bang, Curious Quail
Live 105’s BFD is the official kick off to summer that I look forward to it every year. Where else can you see 30+ bands in a single day for less than what some bands charge for their shows with one or two openers? With 30+ bands on the bill it’s impossible to see them all. The following is my review of the bands I saw and a couple that I only heard.
WARNING: This is a lengthy blog post.
I’m not a fan of Passion Pit. While I like the music of Passion Pit, I find the high pitch of Michael Angelakos’ voice grating. When he sings in a deeper tone I’m not put off, but as soon as he hits the higher pitch I’m ready for the song to be over.
I was very disappointed that their set time was switched with 30 Seconds to Mars who were supposed to be the headliners of this show. But the bonus of the switch was that I could leave early and beat most of the traffic trying to get out of the parking lot.
30 SECONDS TO MARS
I always think of “My So Called Life” when I think of Jared Leto. More specifically I think about how Claire Danes’ character Angela Chase saying “I just like how he’s always leaning. Against stuff. He leans great.” about Jordan Catalano. Jared Leto has done so much more than “My So Called Life” that I’m sure a part of him wishes the role of Jordan Catalano would be forgotten.
The first time I saw 30 Seconds to Mars was in 2006 at the second Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park. I’d heard a song or two on the radio and was skeptical because to me he was an actor turned rock star. It turned out that he was actually a rock star turned actor. I was very impressed with their performance.
Sunday night’s performance was no different. I was sitting in the first row of Section 200. Jared Leto in a black trench coat, fedora and his hand over the bottom half of his face walked right past me to prepare to start the show at the soundboards. They started with “The Kill” which was a surprise to me because it is one of their most popular songs. I would have thought that one would have been saved for a little bit later in their set.
I don’t know many songs, but Jared Leto really knows how to get the crowd going. He got us all off our seats and told us what he expected us to sing along. I love to hear an entire audience sing along at shows. 30 Seconds to Mars are definitely a band to see live.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS FEATURING CHESTER BENNINGTON
This was the surprise band. I’m a HUGE Linkin Park fan so when I heard Chester was going to be here I was hoping that I would get to hear at least one Linkin Park song. Sadly that was not the case.
I saw STP in the mid 90s when Scott Weiland was still fronting the band before he was kicked out for his drug abuse. I was disappointed with the Scott Weiland performance because he literally sat on a couch on the stage and sang. He did not work the crowd or acknowledge the side stage crowd (which included me).
Chester has been a great performer since the first time I saw Linkin Park in 2003. He brought all that enthusiasm to the stage with him as he fronted STP. While they sounded great, it was a bit weird for me to see Chester, but not hear a Linkin Park song. He did do his signature scream a couple of times during the show.
I’m grateful that Chester tweeted “FYI, I will never leave LP. We are currently working on a new record and its awesome!” It would be heartbreaking to find out my favorite band was breaking up.
The lead singer, Brian Aubert, mentioned that Nikki Monninger, the bass player found out she was pregnant the day they performed at BFD last year. Nikki has since had twin girls and is not currently touring. In her place they had Sarah Negahdari who is from the Bay Area. I had thought the bass player was a bit more energetic this year compared to last. The original bass player seemed a bit more reserved. Maybe that was because she had just found out she was pregnant. While Silversun Pickups are not my favorite band, they consistently sound solid when they perform.
OF MONSTERS AND MEN
This was the first time I have ‘seen’ Of Monsters and Men. I had previously ‘heard’ them perform at Lollapalooza last year. They sounded just like they do on the radio. It was nice to see them perform this time.
JIMMY EAT WORLD
I saw Jimmy Eat World at The Warfield in 2002 when they were supporting their “Bleed American” album. They toured last year for the 10-year anniversary of this album, which had hits like “The Middle”, “A Praise Chorus” and “Sweetness”. Because of where I was standing I wasn’t able to see Jimmy Eat World perform but I did get to hear them. They sounded just like I remembered in 2002.
FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS
Love me some Fitz! This was the 4th time I’ve seen them – first at Lollapalooza in 2011, then Voodoo Experience also in 2011 and finally at The Regency Ballroom in 2012. All three times I was able to meet the band and get autographs. I didn’t get an autograph this go around, but Fitz and the Tantrums’ performance did not disappoint. They are just a fun band. You cannot help but move when you hear a Fitz song. They know how to work the crowd, get everyone clapping along and of course ‘get down’. They are a must see band!
This is a duo from Los Angeles, but they include three others when they perform live. The set by Capital Cities included a cover of Sinead O’Conner’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Staying Alive” by Bee Gees. The Sinead O’Conner cover was fantastic! You can hear it on their website here.
I missed the first part of Atlas Genius’ set because I was checking out the Local Band Stage. I did manage to catch a few songs including “Trojans”. They are a duo from Australia that consists of Keith Jeffery and Michael Jeffery.
You would think that this band would be from the UK because they have a ‘u’ in their name, but they are a band from California. I admit I didn’t pay close attention to The Neighbourhood’s performance but was able to hear them clearly. I liked what I was hearing. They have their songs available on their website here.
TWENTY ONE PILOTS
I first heard about Twenty One Pilots on the MTV website during their March Madness style voting competition. They are a duo from Columbus, OH consisting of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. This was their first Bay Area show. When they came out on stage Tyler Joseph said something like “We want you to like us, but we know we have to give you a reason to like us first.”
Their Facebook page lists their genre as “Schizoid Pop”. I would have to agree. They screamed, rapped and rocked. As they switched between these I was thinking to myself I wouldn’t know how to classify their sound. I had thought that it was a bit schizophrenic.
They started their first couple of songs with masks. I was a bit turned off by that, but enjoyed the songs. They worked the stage well – getting up on the speakers, encouraging the crowd to move closer and standing on the railing that separates the crowd from the stage. Josh Dun even did a backflip. I haven’t seen that done since Story of the Year in 2003/2004.
Listen to their songs through Spotify and here.
I saw Youngblood Hawke at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas last year. I had no idea who they were. When I saw that the lead singer looked like a total hippie my immediate thought was “Oh no, what the hell is this going to be.” I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were entertaining and not just because of how they looked and were dressed. When they performed “We Come Running” I recognized it as a song I’d heard on the radio.
They had put on a good show in in LA. Unfortunately I missed a good portion of their set at BFD this year, but was able to catch two or three songs. I was reminded of their well-performed set in LA.
They have a few songs on their website that you can access here.
A local band based in Oakland, Mister Loveless had a good set. You can listen to their songs online here.
The Trims are a local band from San Jose. I enjoyed their set so much that I started to follow them on Twitter and am considering seeing them the next time they play in San Francisco. You can listen to their songs here.
Live 105’s BFD never disappoints. I’ve seen some amazing bands at this show over the years and look forward to seeing more for many years to come.