After a non-stop night of hard-hitting rock music during Night #1 of the annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas concerts, Night #2 (held at the beautifully remodeled Forum in Inglewood, Calif.) slowed things down a bit, which did not mean it was short on equally as memorable performances.
When scheduled headliner U2 had to drop out due to the serious injuries Bono suffered in a bicycle accident, the entire show could have fallen apart, if there hadn’t been a suitable replacement. But then, Orange County natives No Doubt – a band that’s practically synonymous with the alternative rock station – came to the rescue. With a highly energetic set of fan favorites, including “Hella Good,” “Sunday Morning,” “Ex-Girlfriend,” “Just A Girl,” “Spiderwebs,” “Underneath it All,” and the beautiful “Don’t Speak,” singer Gwen Stefani strutted, danced and jumped all over, much to everyone’s delight.
Another of the night’s biggest crowd pleasers was Weezer, who turned in a playful set of songs that can’t help but put a smile on your face. Songs like “Buddy Holly,” “Beverly Hills,” “Say It Ain’t So” and “Undone – The Sweater Song,” are so absurdly catchy that you find yourself compelled to sing along.
Earlier in the show, Imagine Dragons performed a compelling set of songs that clearly connect with their fans. They are a band that have been consistently growing in popularity, and thankfully, their talent has caught up with their clear and obvious passion. Kicking things off with “It’s Time” and closing with “Radioactive,” singer Dan Reynolds even ran out into the crowd for a bit, before slowing things down with fan favorite “Demons.”
The biggest stand-out surprise of the night has to be the set of ‘80s classics from longtime Brit-rockers Tears for Fears. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” “Mad World” and “Shout” got the crowd dancing and singing along to every word. After Aussie singer/songwriter Vance Joy started the night’s ball rolling, Smashing Pumpkins, Modest Mouse, Interpol and Alt-J also impressed. All in all, it was another great year for rock music.
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