1998.06.20 – KROQ Weenie Roast & Fiesta, Irvine, USA

Date: 20th June 1998
Event: KROQ Weenie Roast & Fiesta Festival
Venue: Meadows Amphitheater
City: Irvine, CA
Country: USA
Support: n/a

1. Run DMC Intro
2. Their Law
3. Funky Shit
4. Breathe
5. Voodoo People
6. Voodoo Beats
7. Firestarter
8. Climbatize (Link)
9. Mindfields
10. Serial Thrilla
11. Smack My Bitch Up
12. Fuel My Fire

Extra info:
other on stage: Green Day, Wallflowers, Crystal Method, Madness, Third Eye Blind, Deftones, Everclear, Ozomatli, Save Ferris, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Marcy Playground, Blink 182, Sprung Monkey, Harvey Danger, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Report by Kevin Raub:
Once the smoke cleared, Prodigy assaulted the audience with their barrage of aggressive techno grenades and sinister gazes. Strangely, they have added a live drummer to their arsenal this time around, even though he’s useless when pitted directly against the deafening beats of Liam Howlett. But other than Maxim Reality’s annoying chants of “Where the fuck is the West Coast?” Prodigy’s thunderous set, although a tad lengthy for the restless, was a convulsion-inducing treat.

Report from www.dailybruin.ucla.edu:
Prodigy’s performance thrilled the die-hard fans of electronic dance music but did not give more than what can be derived from their album. Providing little more than synthesized tunes and strobe lights, the band’s talent remained evident, though their excitement as a live act remains questionable.

Review by Mike Boehm, LA Times:
There can be no joy in modern-rockville when the mighty KROQ has struck out, and that was the outcome of the sixth annual Weenie Roast & Fiesta (or was that Siesta?) on Saturday at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre.
Previous editions of this daylong benefit were so strong that it could be taken as a fair indicator of modern rock’s general health. The main-stage bill of 12 bands in eight hours equaled past Weenie Roasts in spanning the stylistic breadth of this ever-more-diffuse genre, but lacked the creative leaders and exciting up-and-comers who customarily highlight the series (the Weenie Roast alumni list includes Hole, Elastica, Rage Against the Machine, Garbage, No Doubt, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, Foo Fighters, the Offspring, Radiohead, Stone Temple Pilots and Beck).
One wouldn’t want to generalize about the state of modern rock based on the unspectacular Weenie class of ’98. Green Day and Prodigy were the main attractions on a bill way overstocked with inconsequential newcomers (Save Ferris, Marcy Playground, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Creed, Blink-182, Third Eye Blind). Also on hand were several acts that are worthwhile or promising, but proved to be not all that exciting (Everclear, Wallflowers, Fastball). Occupying the festival’s heritage slot was Madness; the stylish English ska-rock progenitor put in a likable but not very sharp or commanding appearance.
Amid pervasive doldrums it was left to Green Day, nobody’s idea of a leader among rock bands, to steal the show. The puerile but feisty Bay Area trio played with the fire and authority that everybody else lacked, packed plenty of action into its set, and let a catchy array of tunes do the rest.
Green Day’s solid new album, “Nimrod,” finds singer Billie Joe Armstrong advancing from shiftless adolescence into a more mature stage of post-adolescent disillusionment. But on stage, Armstrong was his usual antic self, mugging and scampering cartoonishly, cussing to be cutely naughty, stripping to his undies and serving as ringleader for assorted pranks.
Prodigy’s set conjured the fires of hell, as the English electronic rock act’s two MCs barked like hellhounds while programmer Liam Howlett and a drummer and a guitarist hammered like denizens of the devil’s industrial workshop. Keith “Maxim Reality” Palmer proved a more effective howler than Keith Flint, the gremlin-like apparition who is the band’s most famous visual focus.
The performance had its moments, especially “Breathe” and the controversial “Smack My Bitch Up,” but 55 minutes of unyielding, outrageously loud and nearly undifferentiated audio overkill was far too much. Auteur Howlett’s soundscapes never provided a glimpse of the more poignant side of hell: the regret and anguish that would have lent Prodigy’s performance texture and feeling, not to mention tempering its assault and battery on eardrums.
The Wallflowers gave capable renditions of hits that added nothing to the recorded versions; Jakob Dylan sounded like Tom Petty struggling on a hoarse night. Two songs about social upheaval and struggles for freedom–David Bowie’s “Heroes” (a highlight) and the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (a creaky attempt)–seemed to yearn for higher stakes than are possible right now in an American scene devoid of galvanizing ideals.
Maybe that explains all the trivial acts on the bill.
On record, Third Eye Blind’s crafted hits lack depth, stature and believability. Live, they lacked even craftsmanship in a clumsy performance that singer Stephan Jenkins tried to explain away as rustiness after a monthlong layoff. Billy Idol showed up for some male-bonding, jumping and sparring with Jenkins at the end, rendering the angst-ridden hit “Graduate” totally meaningless.
Everclear’s records are tuneful, plain-spoken slices of ironic or anguished life, but on stage leader Art Alexakis and his mates were blunted by a foggy sound mix (basses and kick drums rumbled out of control for most of the day) and their own decision to emphasize sloppy energy over attention to detail. Another worthwhile song-oriented rock band, Fastball, reinvigorated hoary Petty/Stones influences and played with an unpretentious garage spirit that never succumbed to sloppiness.

Some parts of the gig were aired by KROQ Radio.




Photos from the show:

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