KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas 2019 @ Honda Center – 12/08/2019
Link to Night 1 coverage here.
Having sold out much faster than night one, the final evening of the KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas 2019 on Sunday, December 8th was notably the more anticipated night of the weekend. The influential Los Angeles alt rock station stacked an eclectic lineup—offering fans ample reasons to pack Honda Center in Anaheim for a second consecutive evening.
Again benefiting Para Los Niños and the Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center, the festive evening again saw an early parking lot tailgate party that welcomed fans with interactive booths and music. Inside the arena Matt Maeson, lovelytheband, The Interrupters and Of Monsters And Men were showcased early during the non-stop 5 hour show. Each act was granted 30 minutes of stage time, making for a nice and tidy sets that allowed the performers to spotlight their hits as well as new material. These warm-up acts helped set the stage for the second half of the night which included The 1975 along with The Raconteurs, Mumford & Sons and Twenty One Pilots (the evening’s headliners).
The acoustic artist from Virginia Beach was accompanied on stage by only a drummer and strummed his way through an entertaining set that included “Go Easy”, which is currently receiving decent airplay currently on KROQ. The 26 year old threw in his 2017 hit “Cringe” before closing with “Hallucinogenics”, providing a great start to the evening.
SoCal’s indie rock darlings found themselves on the bill for a second straight year. The band known best for their widely popular crossover hit “Broken” used the Acoustic Christmas stage to debut a new single “Lonliness For Love” (which will be include on a new album due in 2020) while a cover of My Chemical Romance’s “Teenager” helped round out their set.
Quickly becoming a fixture on KROQ shows, the band brought an immense amount of energy that helped perked up the Honda Center. Much like lovelytheband, this LA-based ska band performed at last year’s Acoustic Xmas. Lead singer Aimee Interrupter along with a trio of brothers (Kevin, Jesse and Justin Bivona) were immediately able to get the crowd on their feet with their opening tract “A Friend Like Me”. A brilliant cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” helped fill out the set that never saw a drop in energy from the quartet that continues to tour in support of their 2018 release Fight The Good Fight. Their biggest hit to date, “She’s Kerosene” put a huge explanation point on their 9 song set.
Of Monsters and Men
Iceland’s folk/pop quintet showcased their growing catalog with a strong six song set that included “Alligator” and “Mountain Song” early. The familiar rhythm of “Little Talks” resonated with the crowd, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Alt Rock chart in 2012. Trading off lead vocal duties, Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdóttir and Raggnar Þórhallsson used the catchy “Dirty Paws” to close out their set.
The Manchester UK-based rockers have built a fan base that continues to grow exponentially each year. With music that directly connects with their rabid supporters, the band opened with their latest single “People”—a brash hit that was appears to be a direct response to critics that said that they had gone ’too soft’. With another album due in 2020, the band has created a solid collection of hits and this show they clearly stuck to their most familiar songs to fill up their 45 minute stage allotment. Lead singer Matt Healy has emerged as a lovable and endearing frontman who has a stage presence that rivals the industry’s best. The haunting “Somebody Else” was a mid-set highlight while their breakthrough hit, 2014’s “Chocolate” was a winner with the crowd.
Mumford & Sons
Filling arenas and headlining festivals has become customary for these British folk rockers. They felt right at home this evening as they blasted through their 50 minute set which opened with “Guiding Light”, the lead single off their 2018 release Delta. With their touring cycle in support of that album nearing completion, the band took the opportunity to span their catalog and present a solid 10 song set that also included “Believe” and “Little Lion Man”—which saw lead singer Marcus Mumford defer to the vocal crowd for chorus lines. By the end of the show they had the entire Honda Center in the palm of their collective hands. “I Will Wait” is easily the biggest rock and roll jam that is highlighted by a banjo, the infectious tune filled the arena with an energy that helped fuel the band through the closing song, “Delta”.
Night Two of the KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas 2019 brought with it an entirely different feel than the previous evening, Twenty One Pilots (no photos allowed) helped close out the evening with a fire-fueled performance that was a perfect conclusion to another spectacular weekend party thrown by the World Famous KROQ.