Closer look at X96’s Big Ass Show

Vladimir does the pictures, I do the write ups. And this weekend, we went to X96’s Big Ass Show, which  included scary face painting from Castle of Chaos, food, skater and biker tricks, food, man sized plastic runabout balls on water, beer, and of course food. Even Waldo made an appearance. But what we were really there for was the music and meeting the bands. Buying an album from Graywhale guaranteed a meeting. Here is a quick recap of the bands that played.

I caught Shrink the Giant before when they were competing for the BASH 2012 opening spot at Battle of the Bands in Graywhale, and they did equally as well in the bigger venue. If I want to be a rock star, I think need to grow my hair down to my waist for epic hair flipping. Wow. That takes a lot of energy, and the music wasn’t half bad either. Their lyrics are fun and their music shows sophistication beyond their youth.

The secret to weight loss is to buy a guitar, rock it with a couple of thousand people, and then smash it. This workout works best if you do it several times a week. But seriously, as one twitterer put it, Dead Sara was siiiick. Emily Johnston has skills and a fantastic voice. It’s good to see a woman powering it up.

Life tastes sweeter when it’s wrapped in accents from Liverpool. I think every girl’s heart beat a bit faster with every word The Wombats spoke or sang. But it wasn’t just words that moved the crowd. This band played their instruments with passion and owned the stage, giving us a set with clean sound and a great show.

A crew cut, some colorful arms, and a voice to match. It was a Situation Infatuation with Eve 6. I didn’t get to see these guys much, but a lot of people did.

Imagine Dragons is a band that knows what it means to be men. Real men. The kind of warriors that aren’t just wearing shining armor. They’re living it. They’ve been to the bleak battlefield, wielded their instruments with power, and raised the standard. And then, when I watched them with their fans at a meet and greet they were totally sweet and kind. Like I said. Real men. But there’s a problem with watching Imagine Dragon’s in concert. Their albums are just shadows of the real thing, tiding their audience over until they can catch another live show.

When it comes to Aaron Bruno of Awolnation, maybe some ADD is a good thing. With live sound that roughs it up a bit more (in a good way) than the synth sound we’re used to on the radio, Aaron Bruno (whose face totally surprised me when I saw it) sings with intensity that hits his audience right in the chest.

Sadly, I missed Group Love’s  set, but I did get to see them at the meet and greet. Besides having great fun on stage (or so I’m told) and in their videos, these artists are full of class. In an environment where they have the time, they really talk with and engage their fans. Before they came in, when my mustached husband asked if I wanted a pic with the band, I shrugged a non-committal no. Whatever. And yet, after seeing the band, yeah. I wanted to be Itchin’ on a Photograph with them. Dude. Corny. Sorry.

 

Who knew that Orem could generate such an emo band like The Used? With a sound and lyrics that scrape out a hollow in the soul whether they’re shreaking or crooning (and they do both equally well), The Used have turned anger and pain into a reason to jump in the air, pump some fists, and lay down some money for a CD.

Neon Trees gave us the grand finale. I’d been looking at those neon animal print balloons all day. They were delivered at the end of a set full of intense glitz with a more epic rock sound than their recorded music. Tyler has some serious charisma. He’s blond this month with an amazing studded leather jacket, and Chris Allen had purple hair that matched the atmosphere of their stage show.  Orem’s music scene appears to be some kind of primordial soup, with all the right stuff to generate some great music.

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