KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night One
December 10, 2011
Starting off 22 years ago as a one-night affair with a handful of acoustic performances, KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas has swelled into a two-night, predominately plugged-in festival. Night one, usually billed as the hard rock night, boasted the line up of Blink-182, 311, Social Distortion, Sublime with Rome, Bush, Chevelle, Young The Giant and New Found Glory.
Boldly wearing a jacket that read "Pop Punk Isn't Dead," Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory enthusiastically bounced around the stage like it was the year 2000. Vocalist Jordan Pundik was in a Santa suit running around wildly, engaging the crowd. New Found Glory, touring in support of their latest album Radiosurgery released on the venerable Epitaph records, gave those unfamiliar with their catalog a chance to sing along during their cover of The Ramones "Blitzkrieg Bop."
Orange County natives Young The Giant continue to evolve. It seems like only yesterday I saw them at the Chain Reaction opening for Peachcake when they were called The Jakes. Vocalist Sameer Gadhia alternated between two microphones while guitarists Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata drenched their guitars with delay and reverb for such songs as "Cough Syrup" and "My Body." I was surprised to see they were headlining the Wiltern in February, but their performance quickly eroded any doubts they could carry a show.
Chevelle used sheer volume to stir up the crowd with sub sonic bass, ear-crushing guitars and chest-rattling bass drums. Opening with "The Clincher," Chevelle stuck to their assortment of radio singles as Pete Loeffler pounded out the riffs on his Paul Reed Smith Gold top guitar. The audience reacted strongly to their other singles "Send The Pain Below" and "The Red."