One of the bands is Alt-Rock royalty, and the other, the hottest band on today’s Alt-Rock charts. The result is one of the most anticipated summer tours of the year.
Fall Out Boy and Weezer Headline Big Orlando Fest
As the temperatures dipped, the steady stream of alcohol began to take its toll on more than a handful of concert-goers and the drizzle started up, the action on the Big Orlando stages began to heat up.
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(For my afternoon session reviews click here: Sleeper Agent, Bear Hands, Big Data, Know Hamilton, Crazy Carls, The Hip Abduction, Kasson, A Hero’s Fate)
I covered the first eight Big Orlando Festival bands that I saw in my summary published yesterday (you can see it here), and today, I focus on the last six acts, which included three killer performances. Here they are in the order I saw them.
- Dirty Heads – Saw these Huntington Beach natives at last year’s Big Ticket in Jacksonville, and loved their unique blend of ska and hip hop. The band revolves around front men Jared (Dirty J) Watson and Dustin (Duddy B) Bushnell. In an interview before the show, Watson summed it up perfectly, “Nothing compares to live music. There’s something magical in the energy of a live show that I just love so much,” and it showed, as the band seemed to be having a blast from the first moments of “Franco Eyed” to the final notes of “My Sweet Summer,” and the crowd had just as much fun. Check out our interview with Watson here.
- J. Roddy Walston and The Business – Long hair and rugged-looking, they took the stage looking like a classic Southern Rock quartet spit out of the seventies. As it turned out, they were not exactly Southern rockers, but definitely boasted a cool, classic rock vibe. Walston deftly bounced between guitar and piano and ripped off impressive throaty vocals. Their set seemed to wrap up a bit more quickly than planned, but their closing offering, “Heavy Bells,” was one of the best songs we heard throughout the day.
- Young The Giant – Coming into the show, I suspected that I wouldn’t be crazy about this set, despite the fact that I really enjoy the band’s first two albums. Their music sounded good, the band was tight, and lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s voice was excellent, but their performance just didn’t impress me. It was a nice backdrop for chilling in the food tents, but not the kind of moving performance I hope for in a festival headliner.
- New Politics – Wow! One hell of an entertaining set. This Copenhagen trio stole the show with an extremely energetic, unpredictable set. Their set boasted half a dozen great songs, which had the crowd bouncing and singing along throughout. Drummer Louis Vecchio spent more time on his feet than on his stool, guitarist Soren Hansen flew around the stage with reckless abandon, and lead singer David Boyd was an acrobatic madman, back-flipping, break dancing, crowd surfing and doing headstands. He was an athletic freak, but also a fantastic singer and entertainer, and the entire crowd loved him and his mates. There were many highlights, but “Everywhere I Go,” “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” and “Harlem” ignited the crowd. My favorite was the Beastie Boys cover of “Sabotage.” Killer stuff!
- Weezer – Last time I saw this band, they were supporting their second album 18 years ago, and honestly, they did not impress me at the time. Fortunately, their live act is aging nicely. From the moment Rivers Cuomo grabbed his guitar and ripped into “Hash Pipe,” he seemed to be having a great time. Their set featured a killer mix of old and new and left the crowd thoroughly satisfied. Early in the set, Cuomo invited Sleeper Agent’s Alex Kandel to join him for a nice version of the new single “Go Away.” Deeper into the set, I loved the versions of “Say It Ain’t So” and “Pork and Beans,” but the highlight was a fantastic sing along version of “Undone.” Surprisingly, a good number of fans left after they closed with their encore “Buddy Holly,” apparently more intent on beating the rain and traffic than catching Fall Out Boy.
- Fall Out Boy – the thousand or so fans who split early missed a blistering set. From the minute they hit the stage, the crowd was totally engaged. I think the set started off good, but they kicked it into a frenzy with a tremendous four song stretch, that went like this: “Sugar, We’re Goin Down,” “Centuries,” “Immortals” and “Dance, Dance.” It was the highlight of a fantastic set. Pete Wentz gets a ton of attention and soaks up the spotlight, but he was literally the least important performer on the stage. Andy Hurley’s hard driving drums powered the band and Joe Trohman’s guitars punctuated most of the selections, but lead singer Patrick Stump absolutely blew me away with his vocals and is clearly the heart of this band, and on this night was the most impressive performer to grace the main stage.
So, there you have it – I caught 14 very talented alt-rock bands in one incredible day in the fields of Orlando, spent the day with thousands of happy, satisfied fellow rockers and can’t wait to see what next year holds.
Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos from this festival. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂
Big Orlando Festival Recap
As soon as we heard that Orlando had an Alt-Rock station, I began dreaming that a festival like The Big Orlando could someday be hitting a venue in our area. This weekend, I saw that dream realized, and it had a happy ending.
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The festival is a derivative of Jacksonville’s Big Ticket, and Tampa’s Next Big Thing, two regional showcases that present wonderful opportunities for local alternative rock fans to spend a day feting their favorite artists and being exposed to talented new bands. For the inaugural Orlando event, the fans at the Orange County Fairgrounds were treated to a line-up that featured huge acts like Weezer and Fall Out Boy, as well as up and coming artists and a handful of talented local bands.
For today, I’ll just share a couple of key takeaways, but make sure you Like our Facebook and Follow our Twitter, because we’ll have capsule reviews of every band, as well as a boatload of killer photos.
A few thoughts:
- Lineup – This was just about perfect. Diverse, talented and entertaining acts all day; it was a who’s who from today’s modern rock landscape. A good mix of legends, rising acts and local talent. The only disappointment was that Twin Atlantic did not play due to unknown circumstances, but it didn’t take long to totally forget that quick disappointment.
- Best Act – Fall Out Boy was great, Weezer was pretty damn good and half a dozen other bands were quite memorable, but everyone was raving about New Politics, and for good reason; they killed it – sounded great and delivered the most energetic, athletic and unpredictable performance of the night. Their act was rock ‘n roll at it’s core!
- New Discovery – The Hip Abduction. This six-piece from Florida’s West Coast have a unique sound that they call afropop, featuring a handful of eclectic African instruments, most of which I’ve never seen before on stage, let alone on National Geographic Channel, and they sounded fantastic. Fresh, original, and diverse. Great stuff. J’ Roddy delivered a smoking set, too!
- Best Local Act – There was a lot of good local music on both the Axis and Jagermeister stages. The Crazy Carls had the crowd bouncing and thoroughly engaged throughout their set, led by charismatic frontman Alex Baugh (after the set, I interviewed Baugh and will have that published in the near future) who was a whirling dervish the entire time he was on stage.
- The Crowd – I suck at estimating crowd size. My guess is about 7,326 people. Whatever the number, they were loud and engaged throughout and hung in there during the chilly wet evening. It was really a fun, relaxed atmosphere, featuring a great mix of ages.
- Logistics – The promoters nailed the stage rotation. Bands always started on time and for the most part sounded great. Lots of vendors, food and bars, and minimal lines most of the day. Plenty of Port-A-Pots which were surprisingly cleaner than the traditional rest rooms. My only complaint was the bleed through at the Main Stage from the Axis local stage speakers. Next year, they need to find a better configuration for that stage.
- The Venue – The fairgrounds are just the right size. If I were in charge, I’d figure out a way to give the fans access to the lakefront, and maybe make use of the livestock pavillion, but other than that, not sure I’d change a damn thing. I can’t wait to get back here again.
For an inaugural event, The Big Orlando was fantastic. Hopefully, it is only the first iteration of what will become an annual event in The City Beautiful. Great bands, nice venue, killer staff, and an absolute bargain!
Remember to check back this week as we have a lot of additional coverage headed your way!
We’ve added our band reviews:
Afternoon session reviews here: Sleeper Agent, Bear Hands, Big Data, Know Hamilton, Crazy Carls, The Hip Abduction, Kasson, A Hero’s Fate
Evening session reviews here: Fall Out Boy, Weezer, New Politics, Young The Giant, Dirty Heads, J. Roddy Walston & The Business
Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂
The Big Orlando Street Team Needs You!
I caught up with Lauren Luna fro The Big Orlando production team today and she shared a great opportunity for Orlando area alternative rock fans.
The Big Orlando comes storming into Orlando on December 7th (get more festival information here), and boasts a fantastic line-up including Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Young The Giant, Dirty Heads, Big Data J. Roddy Walston and more. The group putting on this event have pulled off similar festivals in Jacksonville and Tampa, and they are well run musical feasts, and now is a great opportunity for a few enterprising Central Floridians to get in on the action, and to reap some nice rewards.
Lauren noted that the festival is looking for Street Team members:
The work? Sounds fun – use your social media connections to publicize the event a few times a week, attend local events to hand out circulars, and help spread the word around time.
The reward: A pair of VIP tickets to the event! You can get more info on the VIP tickets at the link provided above.
It’s a great volunteer opportunity with a killer payoff. If you are interested, ACT FAST, as there are limited opportunities available.
Reach out to Lauren via Twitter at @fmradiochick
And, then Follow Us and Like Us to make sure you are up to speed on any Big Orlando updates, as well as any other local rock music happenings.
The Big Orlando Alt-Rock Festival
After a few years of watching the season’s best alt-rock festivals hit Jacksonville and Tampa, we finally get to see this killer line-up make a stop at Orlando. This is something we hoped for when we heard that X107.3 was coming to Orlando, and couldn’t be happier to see this come to fruition (See our prediction here).
Make sure you Follow our Twitter below, and Like our Facebook to the right for updates on this event and all Central Florida rock concerts
December 7th will be the date which will live in infamy for Orlando rockers. The headliners are a great cross-section of artists spanning the alternative rock scene over the past twenty years. We will get to see two RARA’s Farm favorites, Weezer and Dirty Heads, as well as other stalwarts who we have not caught live yet: Fall Out Boy, Young The Giant, J Roddy, Big Data, Bear Hands, Twin Atlantic, Islander, and more. J. Roddy, Bear Hands and Big Data are three acts we are anxious to see.
The venue for the first annual edition of The Big Orlando festival is the Central Florida Fairgrounds. I absolutely love the Metropolitan Park venue for the Big Ticket in Jacksonville and am curious to see how the The Big Orlando stacks up. And, how long before local fans shorten this to the Big “O”?
“After four years of success with X102.9 in Jacksonville and The Big Ticket, I am very excited to launch this new festival with Cox Media’s new alternative station X107.3 and AEG Live. We look forward to bringing an incredible alternative festival to Orlando,” says The Big Orlando producer Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents.
For those of you interested, the Jacksonville festival, The Big Ticket, which is one of the best run festivals we’ve experienced in the past, is being held on Friday December 5th. Very similar line-up, but substitute Alt-J, Chevelle and New Politics for Young The Giant, Twin Atlantic and Islander. Sounds like a nice long weekend, eh?
A special discounted presale for The Big Orlando runs from Friday, September 19 at 10:00 AM ET through Sunday, September 21 at 11:59 PM ET at www.TheBigOrlando.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. Military discounts are also available as noted below. The presale offers a limited number of general admission and VIP tickets at discounted prices as follows (plus fees):
General Admission: $34.50
Regularly priced general admission and VIP tickets go on sale Monday, September 22 at 12:00 AM Eastern Time at www.TheBigOrlando.com. Ticket prices will be as follows until September 29, when prices will increase:
General Admission: $39.50
VIP tickets include: a VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining; private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate.
Ticket discounts will also be available for active military through The Big Orlando partner GovX. For full details about all tickets, military ticket discounts, and VIP packages, visit: www.TheBigOrlando.com.
Central Florida Fairgrounds is located at 4603 W. Colonial Drive, only 3 miles west of downtown Orlando. The Fairgrounds are set on 87 acres with ample free parking and a Lynx Bus stop at the main entrance.
Below are all of the links that you’ll need, but do us a favor, please, and Like / Follow Us first for continued coverage of The Big Orlando, and all things that rock!
The Big Ticket: www.x1029.com/s/big-ticket-2014/
See you in December…
Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End
Alternative Rock legends, Weezer exploded into the rock ‘n roll scene with the release of their blue album twenty years ago. This September, they’ll release their ninth full-length, Everything Will Be Alright In The End.
Featuring their first hit, “Undone (The Sweater Song),” the Blue album was an integral release in a year that we at RARA’s Farm felt was a seminal point in rock ‘n roll history. (Check out 1994 Rock Albums) The album also featured “Say It Ain’t So,” “Buddy Holly” and my personal favorite, “In the Garage.” The album, which sold over 3 million copies, was produced by Ric Ocasek of Cars fame.
For the next seven years, the band kind of meandered about, before reuniting with Ocasek and adding bassist Scott Shriner. The subsequent release of their third album, known affectionately as the Green album was another huge success, featuring “Hash Pipe” and “Island In the Sun.”
Flash forward to 2014, and twenty years after it all started for Weezer, they’re back in the studio with Ocasek. Based on what happened the first two times this crew collaborated, I am extremely anxious to hear the new tracks. Featuring original members, Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, Patrick Wilson and Shriner, the band is coming off another hiatus. This similar situation and band make-up to the pre-Green album era adds yet another reason to look forward to the release of Everything Will Be Alright In The End. That anticipation will need to carry us thorough the release date of September 30th.
In the meantime, check out the first single, Back To The Shack, on youtube:
Early reports indicate that we’re in store for some of the most heartfelt songs in the band’s history. Meshing this twenty years of maturity with many of the original music-making ingredients lends tremendous promise to the release. The only thing the album is missing is a ‘color’ moniker.
Weezer has announced their initial tour plans in support of the album, as noted below. Keep checking back with RARA’s Farm for updates and a review once the album hits the streets.
Weezer Tour Dates
7/24/14 London, ON @ Rock The Park 2014
7/25/14 Belleville, ON @ Empire Rockfest
7/26/14 Rimouski, QC @ Les Grandes Fetes du St-Laurent
8/1/14 Las Vegas, CA @ The Cosmopolitan
8/2/14 Del Mar, CA @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Summer Concert Series
8/9/14 Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest PNC Plaza
8/13/14 Southaven, MS @ Snowden Grove Amphitheater
8/14/14 Lake Charles, LA @ L’Auberge Casino Resort
8/31/14 Los Angeles, CA @ Made In America
9/6/14 Charlotte, NC @ 106.5 The End presents Weenie Roast ‘14
9/12/14 Paso Robles, CA @ Vino Robles Amphitheatre
9/13/14 Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival
9/14/14 Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
9/19/14 Denver, CO @ Riot Fest
1994 – Rock Albums
It was twenty years ago today… I remember the summer of 1994 being a great one for concert going, and the more I think about it, perhaps a year for the ages when you look back on the year’s rock music releases.
There are certain years in rock music history that standout as Generation-Defining years, should 1994 be added to that list?
- 1956 – This was the first of these years, and really the first real year for rock ‘n roll:. Until rock ‘n roll burst onto the radio, we were stuck with Patti Page, Pat Boone, Ella Fitzgerald and Perry Como. In ’56, thankfully, we got Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Bill Haley and His Comets, Carl Perkins and The Platters.
- 1967 – Growing up in the eighties, this was the first year that really resonated as a classic rock year. The Moody Blues Days Of Future Passed was my personal favorite, we also saw debuts from Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Doors, and a crapload more, including two classics from The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour and our #1 album ever Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- 1975 – In 1975, we saw a few American bands grab the torch from the Brits. Bruce gave us Born To Run and Dylan offered Blood On the Tracks, and a little band from Boston exploded into the mainstream with Toys In the Attic. Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Rush and The Who also released classics. It might just be the most balanced year of rock ever.
- 1984 – To me, this year legitimized alternative rock. Seminal albums from U2, Replacements, Smiths, R.E.M., Husker Du, Depeche Mode and The Talking Heads. But, it wasn’t just about alternative rock, we also had Bob Marley’s Legend, Van Halen’s appropriately titled 1984 and Prince’s Purple Rain.
There were a few other good years since, 1987, 1989 and 1991 for instance, but none of them were truly influential years, but then, we rang in 1994.
Green Day’s Dookie, Weezer’s blue album, Offspring’s Smash and Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy are all-time classics, and interestingly, one name titles. Our ears were also treated to excellent offerings from Nine Inch Nails, Oasis, Hole, Blur, Alice in Chains, Live and Soundgarden all of which helped us redefine alternative rock.
But there were other non-Alternative offerings that were pretty damn good. Pink Floyd’s Division Bell was excellent, even if under-appreciated, and we heard great offerings from Nirvana (posthumously) Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and Beastie Boys.
Like most things rock ‘n roll related, there are no rules regarding generation-defining years. I think it’s just one of those things where you know it when you feel it. I’ve been on the fence, but I think I’m ready to make the leap. In any case, there’s no doubt it was a great year, with a tremendous amount of good music. So, what are your thoughts, was this one for the ages? Or, just another decent year? And, what were your personal favorites from 1994? We’d love to see your thoughts in our Comments section.
Hey, who didn’t love the aforementioned tune, or Rainbow Connection, or the Muppets theme? Now imagine them performed by some of the best bands playing these days. It sounds like we are still a few months away, but here’s the track listing for The Green Album to whet your appetite.
- OK Go: “Muppet Show Theme”
- Weezer and Paramore’s Hayley Williams: “Rainbow Connection”
- The Fray: “Mahna Mahna”
- Alkaline Trio: “Moving Right Along”
- My Morning Jacket: “Our World”
- Amy Lee: “Halfway Down the Stairs”
- Sondre Lerche: “Mr. Bassman”
- The Airborne Toxic Event: “Wishing Song”
- Atreyu’s Brandon Saller and Good Charlotte’s Billy Martin: “Night Life”
- Andrew Bird: “Bein’ Green”
- Matt Nathanson: “I Hope That Something Better Comes Along”
- Rachael Yamagata: “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday”
A few thoughts:
- Rainbow Connection, with Weezer and Haley Williams – that’s just cool.
- OK Go playing the theme – nice!
- The Fray doing Mahna Mahna – I’m thinking that’s going to be a fun one
- Sondre Lerche – I just love his voice. It will be very interesting hearing him do this cheerful ditty
- Airborne Toxic Event – Predicting that this will be my favorite.
While you bide your time waiting for the album, I’ll leave you with this wisdom from Kermit: “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”