Dan Siebold

KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2017: Night 1 @ The Forum – 12/09/2017

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Muse @ KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2017When the lineup for the 28th installment of the was announced last month it was clear that night one of the weekend would rock the legendary Forum in Inglewood, which has served as the host since 2014. Per usual the event sold out immediately and Saturday December 9th, the legendary Los Angeles alternative rock station threw a party for the ages with ticket proceeds going to local charities including Para Los Ninos and the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center.

The station compiled another stellar lineup with NIGHT ONE participants Prophets Of Rage, Rise Against, Queens Of The Stone Age, Thirty Seconds To Mars and headliners Muse. Those that made it into the venue early enough were treated to brief sets by the evening’s opening acts and kicking off the proceedings at exactly 5pm, UK rockers Royal Blood, Nashville’s Judah & The Lion and local boys, Cold War Kids each had less than a half hour to impress the early arriving crowd. To view coverage of KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2017 Night 2 click here.

The rock vibe was disrupted briefly by Run The Jewels, the hip hop supergroup comprised of El-P and Killer Mike. The duo has been a constant on the festival circuit, finding themselves included on virtually every lineup poster over the past few years. They rushed quickly through five songs during their short set, giving away to the first truly epic performance of the evening from another supergroup, Prophets Of Rage.

Run the Jewels Photo Gallery

Comprised of the original members of Rage Against The Machine (minus lead singer Zack De La Rocha) with Chuck D (Public Enemy) and B Real (Cypress Hill) taking over vocal duties. With politically charged influences and a staple of combined hits they definitely brought the show to a house party level with some classic hits. During their nine song set they worked in three RATM songs, “Testify”, “Bulls On Parade” and “Killing In The Name”, a House of Pain cover “Jump Around”, the Cypress Hill classic “Insane In The Brain” as well as two songs off their recently released debut album “Hail To The Chief” and “Living On The 110”.

With ties to Run The Jewels and his old bandmates, there was hope that De La Rocha would make an appearance—but sadly the dreams of many RATM fans were dashed as the night progressed. KROQ has a history of curveballs at their events but this evening no real surprises surfaced…in fact, the only true surprise of the evening wasn’t really a surprise to anyone familiar with the track record of night two headliner, Morrissey. The English crooner and former leader singer of The Smith’s abruptly announced he was cancelling his appearance on Sunday due to an illness.

Prophets of Rage Photo Gallery

Originally hailing from Chicago, Rise Against brought a new album of material to play—but instead used a majority of their time to tear through their multiple KROQ classic hits. Lead singer Tim McIlrath and his band mates easily put on the most energetic set of the evening, with crowd favorites “Ready To Fall”, “Prayer Of The Refugee” and set closer “Savior” packing the most punch. Two new songs, “House On Fire” and the lead single and ultra-aggressive “The Violence” fared well, especially the later which has received heavy radio rotation.

Rise Against Photo Gallery

Queens Of The Stone Age and their lead singer Josh Homme made national news as an ugly incident occurred during the band’s fourth song of the set, “The Evil Has Landed”. Homme intentionally kicked photographer Chelsea Lauren, which later landed her in a local ER. Although video and written apologies have been posted to the band’s social media accounts by Homme, the erratic actions by the band’s frontman throughout the entire set were noticeable to all in attendance. In addition to purposely cutting his face, he knocked over two light rigs onto an unsuspecting security staff member in the pit and verbally degraded the night’s headliners, Muse on multiple occasions. This negative publicity no doubt will follow the band as they head out in early 2018 on a world headlining arena tour.

Queens Of The Stone Age Photo Gallery

After a short break to set up additional stage props, Thirty Seconds To Mars and their Oscar winning frontman Jared Leto hit the stage for a high energy 7 song set that had the sold out crowd on their feet from start to finish. Opening with “Up In The Air”, Leto sprinted across the stage in a tasseled white cape—while looking an awful lot like Jesus these days with his long hair and beard. During “Kings And Queens” Leto disappeared only to reemerge in the center of the general admission floor where he proceeded to bring one of the only ‘acoustic’ treatments the weekend would see on “The Kill”. The band’s latest single “Walk On Water”, introduced confetti streamers to the crowd. Leto also broke news that the band would be back in summer 2018 to headline the Forum. A quick cover of Metallica’s “Sad But True” led into “Closer To The Edge”, the set closer which saw dozens of fans from the pit joining the band onstage.

Thirty Seconds To Mars Photo Gallery

With only a 6 month old single “Dig Down” to promote, Muse put together a straight forward headlining set that closed out night one. Granted a much longer set, the English trio quickly showed why they are widely considered one of the biggest bands in rock today. Coming out of the gates with “Psycho”, “Hysteria” and “Supermassive Black Hole” lead singer Matt Bellamy brought additional energy to the building with his constant activity. Using the entire stage and catwalk throughout the performance, Bellamy killed it on their blockbuster hits “Starlight”, “Madness” and “Uprising”. The 13 song set provided a complete history of Muse’s greatest hits. After 6 hours of performances and 9 bands, the night ended with Muse’s standard set closer, “Knights Of Cydonia”.

Muse Photo Gallery

KROQ again was successful in assembling a majority of today’s largest and most relevant mainstream rock bands for their annual December blowout. The revolving turntable stage again proved its worth in gold as the show had little to no slowdowns. One night down, one more to go with KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2017 NIGHT 2 promising sets from Weezer, Foster The People, Phoenix, The Lumineers and headliner The Killers.

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