Karl's Corner - 07/16/2005
07/16/05 I wanted the audience to feel the heat
...MB '05 Tour: Day 54: Atlanta, GA - Underground Atlanta - 99x festival
It was big, it was free, it was crazy. It was the latest installment of the 99x Downtown Rocks Festival at Underground Atlanta, and it featured Second Shift, The Dead 60's, The Bravery, and of course Weezer.
This was one of a series of free shows that 99X hosts every summer in a really cool part of downtown Atlanta, an ex-railroad station thats now a shopping district and public park zone. They block off a street which is turned into the backstage area, and the stage is set up right at the intersection.
With the heat, the massive crowds, the beer, and the free unrestricted access by the public, it wasnt too suprising that things got progressively rowdier as the day went on into the night.
The first band up was a local band who are getting airplay on local stations, Second Shift, who got things started properly including a cover of David Bowie's 'Suffragette City'. Then came Liverpool, England's Dead 60's, who killed it with their Clash-like flavors ranging from aggro punk to dubbed out reggae. Nice! Then came The Bravery, rising stars of alt-rock, who thrilled their many fans in the audience. During the Bravery's set the skies finally burst open as they had been threatening to do all day and a wild thunderstorm moved through. But just as suddenly as it started, it was over, ans while lightning would flash over the crowd for the rest of the night, no more rain fell.
By the time weezer took the stage, things were getting crazy out in the crowd, which had swelled to somewhere in the neighbrohood of 20,000 people, who took to watching from as far as 3 blocks away on rooftops and parking garages. There was an alarming amount of shoving and rowdyness going down, plus stuff being thrown, streetlights and other unclimbables being climbed and in general a party like atmosphere took over, which was fun for many but unfortunately was at the expense of some peoples good times, who were crushed by crowdsurfers or otherwise had their mellows harshed. This is the thing with free shows - theres really no 'kicking someone out' for misbehaving - its on the streets and only the police have real jurisdiction, and without a more sophisticated barricade system, people will tend to glom to the center area and get stuck there. Well, the show was rad but the EMTs had their hands full with passed out fans and cuts and bruises. Its really amazing actually that there weren't more serious injuries, what with the high drunkenness quotient, people hanging off lightposts and the threat of lightning in the air, but perhaps the power of the weez kept things from getting ugly.
Weezer delivered a stellar set, which with the dramatic setting, wild weather, and massive crowd really took on what has to be described as an epic flavor - huge, emotional and, dare I say... romantic??? In the classical sense of course. The guys were once again pretty stoked when they walked off the stage at the end of the night. Things are really clicking, everyone continues to fire on all cylanders, from the band to the awesome crew, and those who vacillate between the two. Scott continues to nail 'Fall Together', Rivers is doing a great job leading the crowd though the singalong breakdown of Perfect Situation, and Surf Wax America drove the crowd over the cliff again. Atlanta proved it knows how to rock, though I suspect some of the diehard weezer fans would have preferred having to pay in exchange for a less wild environment!
large size picture: here.
...And definitely check out the 99X site for more pictures from the show and to hear the interview that Pat and Brian did today.
shout out to the 'Quizno's girls'!
The current tour merchandise can be seen here (updated 7/10/05).
...99X's recent top 1,000 fan fave songs countdown revealed these positions for weezer:
El Scorcho - 737
My Name Is Jonas - 401
Island In The Sun - 354
Beverly Hills - 134
Hash Pipe - 89
Buddy Holly - 79
Undone - 50
Say It Ain't So - 23
...Speaking of Atlanta, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) is planning an exhibit called "Graphic Noise", which opens on July 28th. This show features contemporary concert poster art from around the world, and Weezer is one of the bands represented in the show.
...Terra Brasil article re: Weezer in Curitiba.
...a homegrown Make Believe review from 5/10 here.