The annual KROQ Weenie Roast Y Fiesta took place at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Irvine, Calif. on May 16th, with a line-up that had enough variety that there was something for just about everyone, including the bands themselves, who were not only clearly appreciative to be there, but who also expressed their own excitement about getting to see their fellow artists.
Not to jump right to the headliner, but when Muse is the star attraction, it’s hard not to get right to them and come back to everything else after. With their next album, Drones, releasing on June 5th, and their first single, “Dead Inside,” showing very promising things for what’s to come, you could feel the anticipatory energy in the crowd, as the band took the stage. The British trio, with a sound much larger than should be humanly possible from three people, kicked things off with “Psycho,” before making their way through such hits as “Supermassive Black Hole,” “Uprising,” “Resistance” and “Starlight,” before closing with “Knights of Cydonia,” and were spot-on throughout their set. Watching frontman Matt Bellamy communicate through his guitar is truly a thing of magical beauty, as it seems like another limb extended from his soul.
Another real highlight of the night was listening to the pure voice of Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine. Still recovering from a broken foot that she got during her performance at Coachella, she had to remain seated for her performance (and later even had to be carried off stage), forcing all of the attention onto her vocals and showcasing her power and skill. Whether it was with “Ship to Wreck,” “Shake It Off,” “What Kind of Man,” or “Dog Days Are Over,” she had everyone in the crowd hanging on her every word and was clearly appreciative of the fact that they were all dancing for her.
Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, whose new album Beneath the Skin will be released on June 9th, overcame unfortunate technical difficulties to prove that they are continuing to grow as musicians, singers and songwriters. Kicking things off with the moody and atmospheric “Thousand Eyes,” they performed a mix of new and old songs that included “Crystals,” “Empire,” “Eye of the Storm” and the ultra-catchy, can’t-help-but-sing-along “Little Talks,” and sounded great throughout.
After side stage performances by up-and-comers like All Time Low (joined by Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus), Big Data, James Bay, Saint Motel and X Ambassadors, any of which you could expect to find on the main stage next year, Cold War Kids kicked off the big show, turning in a solid set of new songs and radio smashes. Vance Joy, AWOLNATION, Walk the Moon and Death Cab for Cutie followed suit, with Panic! at the Disco delivering the surprise of the night, killing it with their stand-out, impressive performance of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Once all was said and done, it was a night of truly great music, with the promise of even better and more exciting things to come.
– By Christina Radish