Vegas Rocks 100 (Adolescents, Weezer, and Red Hot Chili Peppers)

It goes without saying that Vegas knows how to throw a party.  As part of its 100th birthday they threw a big rock concert on Saturday.  50000 free tickets where given out to the concert and I was able to get my hands on some.  The concert was originally supposed to take place in the parking lot next to the convention center but in the last week or so before the show they moved it out to the Silver Bowl sports complex next to their football stadium in a grassy field.  My roommate had gone to a Dave Matthews show in the same location a few years ago and following his advice I rented a car because it was going to be a $30 cab ride from the Vegas strip and cabs would be few and far between after the show.  I had had the same experience just going to a baseball game at their minor league stadium and getting a car was well worth it.  Considering I got a car for the whole weekend for less than $50.  The gates opened at 5 pm.  I arrived at 5:15 pm and got a parking spot not too far back.  Fortunately the traffic driving in was slow enough for me to take notice of all of the signs that said no bags could be brought in.  This saved me a trip back to the car with my backpack and I took my bottle of water and a sports drink and I was off to the gates.  Getting out of the car in 108 degree heat really was not that bad.  When I got to the first check point they were not allowing in any outside food or drink so I drank as much fluid as my body would take and moved on.  Inside there were many places to by beer which I thought was a crazy thing.  The worst thing you could do would be to fill your body with alcohol when it was so hot.  About 150 yards to the stage there was a barricade set up and they were handing out wrist bands.  The bands allowed you into the section closest to the stage and when they were gone everyone else was stuck behind that barricade.  Inside of that section they had a barricade they had a second baracade running down the center of the section perpendicular to the stage with a little trench in the middle.  This give the guys at the mixing center direct access to the stage and it also allowed for people to come by and deliver water to the crowd from the middle.  The nice thing was that the stage was casting a big shadow for a large section of this inner section so I was in a sense out of the sun.  There was also a warm breeze and just having the wind blowing felt good.  They did have plenty of misting stages and lots of free water.  Food was also reasonably priced.  The only flaw was that you had to go outside of the inner section to make it to the porta pots.  This made it hard to get back in and in fact between the second band in the headliners they were telling people if they left they would not be to get back in so you would have to be hungry and hold it if you want to stay close to the stage.  The stage was a good distance off of the ground.  There were two big screens on either side of the stage.  There were great video panels behind the bans on stage and dot matrix like light mesh like boards in the sides of the stage that blended to the video being shown behind the stage which was only used in the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s set.
First to perform at about 6:30 pm was the Adolescents, a punk band from Orange County, CA.  These guys have been around for years but I can honestly say I do not think I had ever heard them.  They were pals with Social Distortion and all of them had lived together for awhile.  I never saw them listed on any site as playing the show so it was kind of a surprise that they played.  Most of the crowd did not really like them but I thought they were fun and sounded good.
The mayor of Vegas came out between sets and led everyone in Happy Birthday to Vegas.  Next up was Weezer.  There were plenty of Weezer faithful in the crowd.  This was the first time I had seen Weezer and I was not disappointed.  They played a mix of their songs from over the years including every hit I could think of by them.  They did not play the new album all that much but they did sound more into each new song they played.  It was kind of odd to see their guitar tech, Bobby, playing on about every third song including most of the new songs.  One song off of the new album they made the comment that that was the first time they had played it live.  One of the people standing next to me said as that song began that he thought it was the best song on the the new album.  I wish I knew the songs so I could let everyone know what it was but I am not a big enough fan to know.  Weezer play for over an hour maybe closer to 90 minutes so it was a great set.
The crowd was ready for the Red Hot Chili Peppers when they took the stage.  At the bottom I have included the full set list.  Flea was wearing basically a diaper and a beanie cap with a propeller on it.  The rest of the boys were wearing basic concert wear.  I have to say I was a bit disappointed that they did not play any song from Mother’s Milk or earlier albums.  I was please that they did play two new songs.  After the first new song they said that they had an idea that people could bootleg the song; "For the 21st Century" and then give the money to Live8 since that multi-city concert was going on the same day.  When the played the next new song; "Ready Made" Flea went as far as saying "OK get your minidiiscs ready".  They had done a wand/metal detector search on the way in but there were plenty of people with cameras — not a very through purse search and I have already found video of the concert out on the web, at least the two new songs.  One thing that seemed different to me than the many times I had seen the Red Hot Chili Peppers before was that John Frusciante sang a lot more on the songs.  I swear it used to be Flea but maybe I just have not been playing that close attention.  Anthony did sing less, which I did notice and he did let John take the lead on a few songs.  During the middle of the show Anthony asked John to play a little Thelonious Monster and he just smiled and they all started into a jam with John taking the lead in singing the song and they Anthony joined in.  At another point in the show Flea started into Red Hot Mama and they played a bit of it. Flea also joked that "Brandy" was written by the mayor of Vegas.  Anthony and Flea joked that for Live8 that the hookers should give up one night’s wages and craps dealers should give up all of the tips.  Also there was some comment about drug dealers giving up they money but I did not catch exactly what they were saying.  During the encore John played bass guitar and Flea played the trumpet which they stated to do as far as I can remember when they toured for the last album.  They did not however have a big jam at the end of the show like I have seen them do in the past but it was still fun.
On the way out there was a big fireworks show off to the left side of the field.  It was great to see fireworks so close to the 4th of July.  I was working my way out to the car and the exit was fairly close to the fireworks.  Close enough and with the wind blowing in that direction that the smoke was getting in my eyes and I like many people actually got hit with some of the firework debris.  No big deal.  It was hot but it was not like I was going to catch on fire or anything.
RHCP set list:
By the Way
Scar Tissue
Fortune Faded
Throw Away your Television
"For the 21th Century" — new song
Don’t Forget Me
I feel Love (Donna Summer cover)
Parallel Universe
Thelonious Monster cover
Brandy (Looking Glass cover)
Get on Top
Soul to Squeeze
"Ready Made" — new song
Some unnamed jam
Red Hot Mama (Funkadelic cover)
Right on Time
Can’t Stop
Jam (Flea on trumpet, John on bass guitar)
Under the Bridge
Give it Away
Final jam session

About Aaron Bregel

Just trying to get by
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2 Responses to Vegas Rocks 100 (Adolescents, Weezer, and Red Hot Chili Peppers)

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Weezer has always been my favourite. Cool! It must be good to listen to them \’live\’. Never heard of Adolescent as well 🙂 We do not have many these rock bands coming over to Singapore or Asia. Such a pity!I went to Pearl Jam\’s concert when I was in Australia. Well, as I grow older, it just doesn\’t seem to be the right music for me 🙂

  2. miki says:

    ciao ciao ciao

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