Saturday: 94.5 The Buzz "Weenie Roast" Feat. AWOLnation, Chevelle, Trapt & Hoobastank Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion July 28, 2012
Summer is here, folks. And it's in full effect.
The very people who have been complaining about the amount of rain we've been getting will be grumbling and whining, "It's too hot! #damnyouhouston." Saturday was proof of that much.
By the time I got from my car to the Woodlands Pavilion -- less than a quarter-mile walk, mind you -- I was already soaked in sweat, wondering aloud to a friend about how quickly we could grab a cold beverage and find shade.
A few minutes after we arrived, Aranda took the stage. While I was previously unfamiliar with their music, the rest of the crowd -- which was still relatively thin at this point -- seemed well acquainted with the Oklahoma City natives, and the group's music fit right in with the rest of the festival's lineup.
It was pleasing to the ears with accessible lyricism, sprinkled with a bit of angst. I'm not sure if these guys are getting any radio play, but after their performance Saturday, they really should be.
Trapt went next, beginning their set with 2002's "Headstrong," which sent fans into a frenzy. It's been nearly a decade since I knew (or even heard) anything about the band, and I had all but forgotten about them. Which is why I was so surprised by how many of their songs I knew by heart.
At least half of Trapt's set made me feel a bit euphoric, as I caught myself singing along a lot more than I had anticipated. The rest of the crowd was right there with me, banging their fists high in the air as Trapt's vocalist coaxed us all into chanting, screaming and singing along to countless choruses.
Hoobastank, meanwhile, is apparently still together. News to me, and the crowd seemed to agree. It was during their set that a lot of people silently agreed that it would be a good time for a restroom break, a refill or to stretch their legs. Thought the music itself isn't for my palette, the California-based four-piece executed a solid recital of their hits including the impossible-to-escape "The Reason," as well as a few cuts of their upcoming album, Fight or Flight, scheduled to come out in August.
Mark your calendars, people.
It was when AWOLnation appeared that the evening really began. From the beginning of their set to the end of Chevelle's, the crowd's energy level seemed to peak. "Sail" is still, without question, the group's best-known song, and it still has the ability to make women's bodies swoon as their male counterparts slowly bob their heads while watching the ladies.
But that song really isn't indicative of the rest of AWOLnation's repertoire. It has some teeth to it, but their sound is much more eclectic that the synthesizer-heavy radio hit would imply.
The band is still in its infancy, really. And hopefully, they'll be around long enough for the rest of their music, which may actually be better than "Sail," to be appreciated.
Closing out the festivities, Chevelle kept the crowd screaming and moving with their high-energy performance, full of sing alongs like "Shameful Metaphors" and heavier but still melodic hits like "The Clincher."
By the time they got onstage, after a short and sweet thank-you from a few of the Buzz's radio personalities, the sun had set and, against all odds, the crowd still had plenty of energy and combined vocal ability to make these gentlemen feel at home.
If these guys don't love Houston, they must be crazy. Every time they come here, they're well-received and for good reason. While the members don't move around too much onstage, their abilities with their instruments is a sight to be seen and, put more aptly, a sound to be heard live.
For some, this was the first time they saw Chevelle live; for others, it was far from that. But both sides will surely see them again. Peformances like the one they gave Saturday night make it almost certain.
Personal Bias: These people really should go to more shows. A lot of them were beyond wasted before the sun had even set, and the poor Pavilion employees had their hands full. All. Day.
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Overheard In the Crowd: "And that's why I'm never using Nair on my balls again."
Random Notebook Dump: I'm pretty sure that some of the people in attendance hadlittle to no interest in the music and were just looking for an excuse to walkaround without shirts. Jus' sayin', brah.