No matter what you think of KLOL's often too-tame playlist or the obnoxious retards who host its puerile morning show, the radio station's annual Fall Jamm consistently offers a solid lineup of rock bands on all rungs of the fame ladder. Though this is headliner Lenny Kravitz's third trip to the Bayou City in recent memory, he never fails to, umm, rock. His Aerial Theater concert was one of '98's best, and he shooed the Black Crowes off the stage during their double bill this year. Buoyed by the recent commercial (if not artistic) success of his cover of "American Woman" from the Austin Powers soundtrack and the ubiquitousness of his won't-ever-die chorus of "Fly Away," from his double-platinum record 5, Kravitz has become a huge draw.
The Jamm's support acts are a near-complete sampling of '90s rock, though thankfully without that white-boy-rap-metal crap. Collective Soul continues performing the easygoing Georgia-based melodic rock it purveyed on Dosage, but the band will also play radio hits "Shine," "Gel" and "The World I Know." Smash Mouth's fusion of ska/surf/garage/rap has avoided the sophomore slump with Astro Lounge and the single "All Star." And though the band isn't breaking any new ground, its infectious melodies and all-around shiny-happy-people outlook are the perfect antidote to gloom rock. Kenny Wayne Shepherd and band, Buckcherry and Train will also perform, and other acts (probably local) will be on a second stage.
The Fall Jamm is the closest thing Houston has got to an annual rock package show. But a polite note to the assholes in the crowd that slightly marred Fall Jamm IV: Pace yourself. If you're on the lawn and it's hot and you started drinking beer at lunchtime, it's guaranteed you'll become a bellowing, putrid, frat-boy fuck by 10 p.m. This ain't Woodstock '99, you know.
Fall Jamm V is Saturday, October 2, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Gates open at noon. Tickets are $29.75-$49.75. Call (713)629-3700 or (281)363-3300.