This weekend is Buzzfest XXVII in Houston, 94.5 The Buzz's bi-annual all-day throwdown at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Rocks Off has covered a few of the shows in the past few years, including the May 2010 edition where we took along Buxton's Chris Wise and met Fred Durst before Limp Bizkit's triumphant return to Houston.
Hearing thousands of people scream "Break your fucking face tonight" was chilling and, well, fun.
The festival began in 1995 just as the station, then at 107.5 FM on your dial, was beginning its domination of Houston rock radio. That first year the line-up included Bush, Our Lady Peace, Matthew Sweet, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The Nixons, Face To Face, No Use For a Name, and Phunk Junkeez, who you may remember from their cover of the KISS klassic "I Love It Loud" on their Injected album and the Tommy Boy soundtrack.
In 2001, the festival started being bi-annual, with one in April and one in October, allowing for more saturation of the market for bands. There has always been a local and Texas presensce at the shows, with Los Skarnales, RiverFenix, Electric Touch, and The Hunger making appearances. This Saturday, thelastplaceyoulook, who played our BestFest last month and are nominated in a few HPMA categories, will be opening the main stage.
Rocks Off Sr. and Jr. compiled their dream line-ups from the past 16 years of festivals. It wasn't easy... OK, actually it was pretty easy. Who wouldn't want to see Los Skarnales open for Foo Fighters circa The Colour & the Shape? Duh. Craig Hlavaty
Foo Fighters (1998) Los Skarnales (1998) Spacehog (1998, Spring 2001) Boxcar Racer (Fall 2002) Everclear (Fall 2002, Fall 2006) Audioslave (Fall 2005) and/or Chris Cornell (Fall 2007) Alice In Chains (Fall 2006, Fall 2009) Smashing Pumpkins (Fall 2007) Deftones (Spring 2010) Jane's Addiction (Spring 2011) - Craig Hlavaty
Buzzfest isn't all grunting, brooding, bellowing and white-guy rapping. Every so often a potent piece of power-pop sneaks onto the stage. There's even been an actual woman or two, if you can believe that.
Matthew Sweet (1995) Lush (1996) Poe (1996) Old 97's (1997) Abra Moore (1997) Spacehog Soul Coughing (1999) Dexter Freebish (Spring 2001) Remy Zero (Fall 2001) OK GO (Fall 2002) Fountains of Wayne (Fall 2003) Metric (Spring 2010) Neon Trees (Fall 2010) - Chris Gray
Before winning the hearts of soccer moms everywhere, these Buzzfest alumni were once marketed as "alternative."
Train (1999, Spring 2001) Tonic (2000) The Calling (Fall 2001) Fuel (Fall 2001) Maroon 5 (Spring 2003) Switchfoot (Spring 2003, Spring 2010, Fall 2011) Snow Patrol (Spring 2005) Fall Out Boy (Fall 2005) - Chris Gray
Or, The Bands That I Secretly Liked.
Silverchair (1997) Eve 6 (1999, Spring 2001, Fall 2003) Orgy (Spring 2001) Sugarcult (Fall 2002) The Used (Fall 2002, Spring 2005) Billy Talent (Fall 2003, Spring 2008) Velvet Revolver (Fall 2004) The Bravery (Fall 2007) Korn (Spring 2009) Jet (Fall 2009) - Craig Hlavaty
Odd and occasionally unnerving trivial tidbits about lesser-known past Buzzfest players.
Modern English (1997) - that's right, the "I Melt With You" synth-poppers you may remember from Top Gun (and Classic Numbers) played the
first two second Buzzfest.
Too Much Joy (1996) - singer Tim Quirk was once detained by the Secret Service for making a joke about strangling President Clinton.
Pressure 4-5 (Fall 2001, Spring 2002) - Adam Rich, singer for these California alt-rockers, went on to become principal at Paradise High School north of Sacramento.
Joydrop (Fall 2001) - after this Canadian group broke up, singer Tara Slone appeared on the CBS reality show Rock Star: INXS.
Aranda (Spring 2009) - Kelly Clarkson recorded two songs from these Oklahoma rockers' 2008 self-titled debut, "All I Ever Wanted" and "Whyyawannabringmedown," on her 2009 LP All I Ever Wanted. - Chris Gray
Putting the "Houston" in "Houston's New Rock Alternative." Let us know if we forgot anyone.
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Crazykilledmingus (1995) The Hunger (1996, 1998) The Suspects (1997) Los Skarnales (1998) RiverFenix (1998) Chlorine (1999) Glass Intrepid (Spring 2005, Fall 2007) Blue October (Spring 2006, Spring 2007, Spring 2009) thelastplaceyoulook (Fall 2011) - Chris Gray
Buzzfest is sold out. See the station's Web site for possible opportunities to win tickets.