It’s been a long time coming for me to get myself to a KROQ Weenie Roast because the tickets get sold out faster than you can even spell “KROQ”. This year’s lineup was just WAY too good to miss and I was extremely lucky to get my lovely GA grass tickets for what I hope will be the first of many Weenie Roasts. Since there were so many talented artists, I’m going to go ahead and discuss the “yays”, the “nays” and the “eh, that was alright” moments of the 2015 KROQ Weenie Roast Y Fiesta.
What can I say about Muse’s performance that every music lover probably already knows? Well the rumors are true, they EFFING ROCK LIVE! They played a bunch of well known hits, as well as live versions of their new songs “Dead Inside” and “Mercy”, and got us even MORE excited for their upcoming album Drones. They almost made you feel like you were actually at one of their concerts instead of a music festival with how effortlessly they were able to draw you in with their pure talent. If you weren’t already a fan of Muse before, they would probably win you over from this performance alone. They even got my roommate to buy a shirt for them, and he never buys merch so that says a lot.
Panic! At The Disco
These emo alt-rockers performed the ideal set list that longtime fans would’ve asked for. Like Muse, they, too, made you feel like you were at one of their concerts with how effortlessly they command their audience’s attention with a mix of old classics and new hits. They’ve been in the business for a long while already and lead singer Brendon Urie was seriously on his A-game that night. The man has a natural, enviable gift and Panic! At The Disco no doubt gained some new fans from that performance. Plus, their cover of Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was haunting, intense and absolutely mind-blowing. If you didn’t fall in love with them after that rendition, then there’s just something wrong with your music taste.
Walk The Moon
They were in the same boat as AWOLNATION (who I will discuss later on) in terms of the songs they included in their set list. With such a short amount of time, I’m not surprised that they chose to focus on promoting their recent release Talking Is Hard instead of playing a bunch of old songs we don’t know. Beginning with “Different Colors” and ending with “Shut Up And Dance” and “Anna Sun”, the Ohio indie pop rockers put on a jolly good time from start to finish and totally woke up the sleeping people from Vance Joy‘s set.
Cold War Kids
I personally hadn’t really heard much of their stuff before the show, but I have to admit that they did an amazing job proving to the audience that they’re a band that should be listened to more often. As the first band right out of the gates, it would’ve been understandable if the indie rock band had a few nerves floating about throughout their set. However, they took that stage with so much confidence that you couldn’t help but be entranced by their charisma. They definitely gained a new fan in me.
The Australian singer-songwriter certainly has a lovely voice, but it was tough for him to follow Cold War Kids’ energetic act right before. About 75% of the crowd was really drunk and just wanted to dance around like drunken fools and Vance Joy was WAY too mellow to meet those needs. He actually caused a roller coaster of paces for the beginning of the show and wasn’t really ideal for the Weenie Roast. His summer campy set was less than impressive and his lone hit “Riptide” was the only thing that saved his set from being a complete and total bore.
Of Monsters & Men
The indie-folk band put on a great show with absolutely amazing male/female harmonizing, beautiful stage setup and a perfectly transitioning set list. It was nice to have two upbeat bands end the night, but for the sake of pace they should’ve been before Florence so it would’ve been a slow, then upbeat, then slow, then upbeat pace for the last 4 acts. There was also a broken chord somewhere that kind of screwed up the sound throughout the entire set and made it hard to fully enjoy them, but I give them props for performing as if it were the best they’ve ever performed because it shows they can work under pressure.
I totally understand that they were only allowed a certain amount of songs to perform and they just released their new album RUN, but they should’ve played a little more of their older tracks. It was obvious that they weren’t going their set without playing their biggest hit “Sail”, but it would’ve been nice to hear some other radio hits like “Not Your Fault”, “Kill Your Heroes”, or “ThisKidsNotAlright” because they’re a little easier to sing along with than their newer stuff. Frontman Aaron Bruno rocked that stage like he was a part of AC/DC and they performed well overall.
‘”Eh, That Was Alrights”:
All Time Low
I love those crazy Baltimore pop-punkers, but I wasn’t too surprised that no one at the small stage area knew who they were because they’re a part of a very niche market and fanbase that’s somewhat different than that of KROQ’s. I mean, good for them for getting that long deserved radio recognition for “Tidal Waves”,even though it was probably more because Mark Hoppus was featured than their actual talent. They get an “A” for effort though considering that the crowd didn’t know what to think of their style, but they didn’t even play “Dear Maria, Count Me In” and that was a huge sting for fans that actually went to see them perform.
Florence + The Machine
Poor Florence Welch was still recovering from her broken foot so she was confined to a stool for the entirety of their set. However, I really do give her props for not half-assing her performance because that really is the sign of a true artist. Her vocal power was extremely impressive yet was beautifully ethereal and mesmerizing at the same time. They’re not my favorite band in the world, but they definitely made me (as well as others in the audience) keep both eyes on the stage throughout their performance as if I’ve been a fan for many years. It just would’ve been nice to see her get all crazy energetic like she normally does on stage and maybe not have had so many “feel-sorry-for-me-because-my-foot-is-broken” moments in there.
I very much enjoyed a majority of the artists on the lineup and was disappointed that I missed a few of them. But not every lineup is perfect and there were a few that I was a little “meh” about – Big Data and Death Cab For Cutie. Musically, New York electro-indie group Big Data is very good at what they do. However, their best known track is their most current hit “Dangerous” (which features indie band Joywave) so a majority of their set list was filled with unfamiliar songs and they seemed to not really know how to work their stage to their advantage. In fact, they seemed a little distracted by the fact that people were slowing trickling over towards the side being set up for All Time Low (who was the act following right after them). And I’m not even going to try to explain my “meh”-ness for Death Cab For Cutie so as not to offend any fans who may be reading this right now. Let’s just say that Death Cab is not my favorite band in the world, so I chose to take a bathroom break and drink run during their set.
I honestly had no idea what to expect from the long day filled with extraordinary performances and day drinking with the other attendees, but this year’s Weenie Roast was a musical fiesta that brought together many different types of fans for the sole purpose of enjoying everyone’s favorite art form. I personally wish that I got to see X Ambassadors and Saint Motel to watch their performance technique, but in the end I was very satisfied with the artists that I did get to see. I literally felt like I was at Warped Tour, but with more access to alcohol and more opportunities to bond with the crowd (which is how we ended up getting our lawn tickets upgraded to seat tickets for the last 4 acts). The only thing that would’ve made the day even better than it already was was if Vance Joy had been placed first on the main stage lineup with his lack of energy during his set. Let’s hope that next year will be yet another musical extravaganza (let’s be real, it probably will be). Cheers to the KROQ Weenie Roast!