With less than a month until Riot Fest and Rodeo descends on Denver once again, the after shows' ‘who, where, and when’ details emerge. Tickets go on sale this Friday for a chance to see bands from the big festival stage perform on slightly smaller stages at the Marquis and Summit in downtown Denver, and slightly south at Hi-Dive.
The cat’s out of the festival bag. This morning before the eggs were ready off the skillet, Riot Fest got out their line up news following yesterday’s cryptic teaser videos ("Been Caught Stealin" was one hint). Jane's Addiction fans should be happy to hear the band will perform the classic album, Ritual de lo Habitual, in its entirety, and the Hold Steady will break out the beloved tracks from Boys and Girls in America, with with Franz Nicolay no less, for the Denver (September 2 - 4) and Chicago (September 16 - 18) girls and boys.
Yes, I did just quote Tom Waits in the context of a Lagwagon review. Why? Well, Lagwagon is the original Fat Wreck Chords band, the one you can blame for thousands of imitators and possibly even that nasal, high-school smart-ass voice. So even when there’s a new record claiming new influences, new sounds, new emotions, you know exactly what you’re going to get.
Once again, I'm faced with the task of trying to review a live album that doesn't sound live (aside from the between-song banter, exhortations to the crowd to "make more noise," and the applause that comes in response), full of songs everyone's already heard (except one and a half tracks), and make it sound new and interesting.
What I dig most about groups like Lagwagon is they bring back distinct memories of an even more distinct era. It was the mid-‘90s and the world hadn’t yet tired of sugary punk melodies and harmonies. We still loved the incessant bap-bap-bap of the snare drum while the double bass drum thundered through yet another patented West Coast melodicore tune. All the while, Poser and I were wiping sleep out of our eyes while we drove over the hill into Santa Cruz at 7 a.m. in search of an outside set at Twenties.