No Snow Show w/ AFI
Taking Back Sunday, Angels & Airwaves, Buckcherry, Sugarcult, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Kill Hannah
Orlando, Fl • Dec. 1, 2006
The annual O-Rock 105.9 No Snow Show graduated from the House of Blues to Tinker Field this year. With the big jump came a heavy bill of talent topped off with AFI– who did not play the southern leg of this past year’s Warped Tour and so haven’t graced Orlando with their presence in years. Also on the bill was Taking Back Sunday, Angels & Airwaves, Buckcherry, Sugarcult, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Kill Hanna.
Before diving into the music, let me just paint a picture of how shoddy of a setup this festival was. First of all, the beer vendors didn’t handle cash, instead drinkers had to line up in one of three lines to purchase drink tickets. A few thousand concert goers, eight hours of music, three lines. I waited for 35 minutes to purchase my beer passes, missing Kill Hannah‘s set completely! The second screwup- one merchandise booth for the 7 bands on the bill… and one single file line! Good thing I didn’t want a t-shirt!
Between the absurd line situations and the appearance before every single band of radio djs doing their cocky banter onstage, it’s a wonder I can still look back on this show as a success… but the set changes were fast, the bands prompt and there were even a couple moments of auditory bliss.
Jacksonville emo-pop boys Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have got one of the most ridiculous band names in history. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, they are riding a train to fame. Last spring you didn’t know their name, this winter it may ring a bell, by next summer they’ll be on a Fall Out Boy plain of popularity. They play to their crowd, which is horny teenage girls, and it’s working for them.
Sugarcult‘s not a band I’d seek out to see, but they can entertain a crowd, I’ll admit. It’s modern pop with rockstar poses, esspecially from the platinum blond frontman and 70’s rocker lookalike guitarist. They strike some poses, whereas Buckcherry are just posing and trying to convince the world that frontman Josh Todd is the heir to Mick Jagger (which he ain’t). They had a couple of sort-of popular songs in the 90’s, broke up a few years ago and are now back together and touring. Most famous for Todd’s tattooed torso, the band’s cock rock is an odd addition to the modern “punk” and emo bill.
Easily the best band of the night, Angels & Airwaves took the stage as the first of the big name acts. Former Blink 182 guitarist Tom Delonge has been bragging about how his new band is the best thing to happen to music since the microphone, so he had a lot of hype to live up to. While they’re not the monster band he claims them to be, they are damn good- esspecially when compared to his former bandmates’ post-Blink projects (The Transplants, +44). Adopting a U2 guitar sound (check out the song “The Adventure”), the songs are epic in scope and, yes, mature. If Green Day can grow up, so can Tom Delonge. During a touching moment in the too short set, he told a story about watching his grandmother die. “I just hope that she had no regrets… live your life the way you want, don’t let anyone tell you different. Be who you are!”
NY’s Taking Back Sunday took back the crowd with a microphone-wielding Adam Lazzara at the helm of an energized machine of a band. An obvious favorite amongst the youth in the baseball field, the fans’ adoration was encouraged further when Lazzara finished the band’s set by hanging upside down from the rafters- still singing. If only he would have jumped down into the mass of hands below! I guess that sort of mania is reserved for Valient Thorr these days.
At last, on an unusually white stage the unusually dressed in white AFI showed their faces to the now fanatical crowd. Frontman Davey Havok sauntered slowly to center stage wearing lace gloves and green eye shadow, and posed for a moment to allow the fans to get their fill. The band threw themselves into their latest single “Miss Murder” and it was as perfect a performance as you could hope for. Noone in this band could stand still, everyone was pouncing off of the drum riser left and right. Mingled with the white-hot spotlights, and ever-changing color effects, it was an overdose of visual stimulation, with Davey at the epicenter.
As I’ve stated recently in my review of AFI’s latest release, Decemberunderground, this was not a band I had ever shown any interst in. After what I saw at the end of a long night, I just might have to go dig up some old releases. And I’ll definitely see their live show again.
To see photos of all of the bands on the No Snow Show, as well as other concerts, go to www.jencray.com.