Have you ever had one of those nights when what you were doing was actually really cool, but everything that surrounded it seemed to be going horribly wrong? Well, that was last Friday for me. On 02/22/2002 I went to the Projekt Revolution Tour at Long Beach Arena. Although the three bands involved in this tour may be part of the music revolution, what really needs to be revolutionized is the intelligence, or lack there of, of the people who run these events. But before I get to bitching about all the bad stuff I'll let you in on the good parts of the evening.
First up on the night's bill was the rap-metal band from Bakersfield, Adema. Since they were the opening act, I managed to push my way to the front where I attempted to take pictures for all of you to see. Despite the overly boisterous fans, they put on a really good show. Playing their mainstream hits like “The Way You Like It“, and “Giving In“, lead vocalist Mark Chavez was belting out tunes pretty hard and he seemed very into the crowd. At one point he came down near the security gate and had one of the security guards lift him up and carry him back and forth as he was reaching out to his fans. Being as how Mark isn't a very big guy, this looked kind of funny, but I thought it was cool that he was so into the crowd. I normally wouldn't be so bothered by a rough crowd – I've been to rowdy shows before. But I was sandwiched between a big fat guy and his sweaty, stupid, wife-beater clad friend who seemed more interested in looking at each other and screaming “yeah”, all the while trying to high five each other in front of my face, than actually watching the band. I did manage to slip by them and get a picture of guitarist Tim Fluckey thrashing his head all over while strumming away on his guitar. Adema gave a rocking performance that really got the place hyped.
Then came the annoying antics of DJ Z-trip and friends. At concerts like this DJ's are put in between acts to have something going on while the stage is being set up for the next band; I wish the DJ's would realize this. The way the floor was set up the DJ stand was in the middle facing the stage. In between acts it was DJ Z-trip's mission to entertain an anxious crowd, and although I felt a little bad for him because no one was really there to see him, I think he went a little overboard. After Adema left the stage the crowd pushed closer and closer in trying to secure their spots, and DJ Z-trip kept trying to get everyone to turn around and look at him. His mixes weren't even that good to listen to, let alone turn around and try to watch him over people who are about a foot taller than me.
At this point, not being a very big Cypress Hill fan, I left the suffocating herd of people to return to my seat and watch from afar. This actually turned out to be a better and more entertaining view. Instead of getting a contact high, which at this point in the evening I could have used, I watched as little puffs of smoke started appearing over the crowd. The smoke dramatically increased as B-Real came out with a waist-high bong and started taking hits. What was really cool was when B-Real and another member (Sen Dog, Muggs, Bobo ???), who I couldn't really see from where I was, got on the drums and played for about 3 minutes straight. They were pounding away with their hands on what looked like bongo drums and the lighting was all blue which made for a trippy atmosphere, especially for all those hemp-happy teens on the floor. They closed with “Rock Super Star” and although I'm not really into them, they sounded great and were funny and entertaining.
There was quite a wait between the time Cypress Hill left the stage and Linkin Park took the stage, and this space was filled with more DJ Z-trip. I was too busy running around arguing with the retarded security guards of Staff-Pro trying to get back on the floor to notice if DJ Z-trip was as annoying this time around. Once I finally did get back out there I had to sneak past a bunch of eager fans so I could witness Linkin Park in all of their glory. Now, as much as I am not into this metal meets rap scene, I really like Linkin Park. I think they have serious talent and stand out among all the clones of this genre of music. As everyone was awaiting the headlining band, the anticipation in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Then the boys came out and the crowd went wild. The band was awesome. Although Chester Bennington (vocals) was looking a little sickly, he sang really well. In addition to helping out on the mic, Mike Shinoda, picked up a guitar for a couple of the songs and played the keyboard in “My December“. All the guys looked like they were having a great time, especially Brad Delson (bass/guitar), who had a permanent smile on his face and sang along to every lyric. Mike, Chester and Brad were all over the stage and came out on the side extension of the stage quite a few times. I was really pissed that I had already run out of film by the time this happened, because I was standing right underneath it. Not only are these guys talented, but their sweet too. They seemed very concerned about the well being of their fans. They actually stopped playing “Runaway” three times as Chester shouted out “If someone falls, fucking pick them up. We gotta respect each other out there.” They played all their hits and had special guests X-Ecutioners come out and do “It's Going Down“, which features Mike and DJ Joe Hahn. Then they came back out and did an encore that included “My December“, a cover of the Deftones “My Own Summer“, and closed with “One Step Closer“. All the boys from Adema, Cypress Hill, X-Ecutioners and DJ Z-trip came out and joined in on “One Step Closer” and rocked out for a spectacular ending. I would give the overall show four stars, it was very entertaining and definitely worth the drive.
shannon at unearthed dot com
As you may notice I have very few pictures. We can thank the wonderful intelligent people at Staff-Pro for this. Whoever was responsible for hiring these idiots made a huge mistake. No one knew anything about anything, and even the supervisors were complete jack asses. I apologize for not having any good pictures to share, but the fact that I had a media pass didn't mean much to the security. They would only allow me onto the floor to try to get decent shots with all the pushing and shoving, instead of allowing me in front of the gate where I was supposed to be. Needless to say none of my pictures really came out.
Even though I had to deal with some pretty stupid people and spent the majority of my night arguing, I still had a blast, the bands were all awesome and the atmosphere was friendly. Plus I ran into No Doubt's guitarist Tom Dumont who was just chilling with some friends on the floor after the show ended; that was cool. I'd definitely like to see Linkin Park again, but I think I'm going to stay away from Long Beach Arena for a while, at least until they learn to hire half-way intelligent people.