Rockstar Taste of Chaos Tour
The Used, 30 Seconds To Mars, Senses Fail, Saosin, Aiden, Chiodos, Evaline
Orlando, Fl • Mar. 10, 2007
Beneath the crisp, sunny, clear skies of a Central Florida “winter,” the 3rd annual Rockstar Taste of Chaos Tour once again set down roots deep within Orlando’s Tinker Field. Though the tour had fewer bands than prior outings, co-headliners The Used and 30 Seconds To Mars drew in the masses, and a brilliantly constructed revolving stage kept band changes remarkably prompt so that even if one of the openers fell short of greatness, there wasn’t much time to dwell on the lull.
While the sun still shined, local winners of the Ernie Ball battle of the bands contest — Archers New Rival — got their big break playing in front of the ever-expanding crowd. The homegrown emocore kids play Warped-ready songs that are perfect for this mall punk crowd.
The first official band on the bill, Evaline, really surprised the hell out of me. To begin with, vocalist Richard Jonathan Perry sits down and starts playing the cello. As bold as this soft choice of an opener was, I was concerned with how incredibly dull this band would be to watch (and more to the point, to shoot). When he moved to a keyboard directly after, I could feel the yawns building in my jaw. Then suddenly the Orlando Bloom lookalike singer started projecting his thin frame all over the stage, and into the crowd in a nonstop state of perpetual motion. The music followed his bursts and the sounds became arena rock ambience, perfectly complimented by the approaching sunset. This is a band to keep an eye on.
Which is more than I can say about Chiodos. Actually, they probably will blow up because that’s how popularity in music seems to be these days — the more mundane, the more generic, the better. Just make sure the singer is cute.
Aiden is a strange breed. The formerly painted-up goth rockers (who left their white face paint in the makeup cases for this show) have such a striking look: The Crow backed by a pair of oompah loompahs. I want them to be scary, or at least aggressively punk, but instead they sound nothing like one would expect. Just the same ol’ emocore, with dark clothing. However, the band’s live show is admirable and frontman wiL Francis is perhaps the most captivating of his young generation of peers. Always a crowd pleaser is when he throws himself into the audience and crowd walks — not crowd surfs, mind you, but actually stands and walks on the raised hands of his fans!
After a stirring performance by Aiden, Saosin’s set was a blur during which I remember nothing. Absolutely no impression was made on me whatsoever. Stepping up the energy after that disappointed half hour was Jersey’s Senses Fail. Led by the Henry Rollins-admiring Buddy Nielsen, here is another band that provides a performance that makes up for the flaws in the music. I’ve seen these guys play a few times now, and this was the most jacked up I’ve seen Nielsen. His constant running, flexing, and crowd surfing took a toll on his voice which slipped on more than one occasion, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t entertaining to watch.
As the headlining sets approached and the sun had set, the weather dropped to a cool 60 degrees and the crowd pushed inward as everyone raced to the stage to await 30 Seconds To Mars. This band has played this area so many times in the last two years that I’ve completely lost track (I, alone, have seen them five times at this point) yet instead of getting tired of these guys the Orlando audience just seems to get crazier. A true testament to how constant touring and being good to your fans (they still do meet & greets after every single gig! The line after this night’s show must have kept the band there for hours after their set.), :30TM have found success in spite of all the odds that were stacked against them once word got out that Jared Leto was in the band.
Their performance is always a spectacle, and always entertaining to watch, and this was perhaps the best I’ve seen. When the singer decides to climb the stage setup (which must have been a good 100 ft. or so) and tower overtop of sure death to perform a song, and manage to make it look graceful — I’m sold. My only complaint is that the band seems to have traded substance for flash. The first time I saw this band Jared sang every song and sounded good because he had to prove himself to the skeptics. Now he does a lot of song interruption — talking and talking and talking — and seems to have trouble hitting some of the more difficult notes. I’d be more impressed if he could find a balance between being a showman and being a singer. I should also note that bassist Matt Wachter has apparently left the band (to spend more time with his family), and an unidentified player was filling in.
The Used were the headliners for the first Taste Of Chaos, and here they were back for another run. The scruffy men from Utah, like Aiden, sound nothing like what I would expect. Vocalist Bert McCracken, who looks like Kurt Cobain as portrayed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, is dirty and angry-looking and while I expect a voice like whiskey, he instead delivers a Coors Light. When The Used began the whole screamo genre wasn’t totally played out yet, so it’s not that they’re imitators but rather the originators of a sound I don’t care for… but at least they were one of the first.
So while the light lineup didn’t exactly up the chaos component, it was a near perfect night for live music and I’m sure some noses got bloody in the pit — and maybe there was even a broken rib or two.
To see more photos of this show, and others, go to www.jencray.com.
Taste of Chaos: www.tasteofchaos.com