91X Wrex The Halls 2014 – December 12, 2014
Concert Review -91X Wrex The Halls 2014 @ Sports Arena San Diego
Upon arriving at the 91X Holiday show braving the recent rain storm in So Cal I was excited to see some, if not all of the acts that were scheduled to perform. It was unclear to me pre-show who would come away as the BIG act of the night. I’d already seen ‘Interpol’ in Vegas and ‘Alt-J’ at the Fox Theater in Pomona earlier in the year, both shows were great. Cage the Elephant I have seen several times as well, including this years Coachella Festival, and they never disappoint.
The first act I made it in time for was ‘Banks’. She sounded amazing and had a very heavy cool vibe about her. Her hit song “Brain” resonated with the crowd and she moved like a hip vampire across the stage backed by deep beats.
Next up was ‘Spoon’, and man they killed it. Opening with the new song “Rent I Pay”, everything came together as Jim Eno’s drums pounded away leading was to front man and vocalist Britt Daniel to connect the dots with the crowd that was forming in front of the stage and throughout the building. Spoon is a band that just gets better with age. Old songs even sounded fresh and revamped including “Got Nuffin” and “I Turn My Camera On”. The crowd dug it, it was a stone cold groove.
The biggest guest by far of the night was up next. The artist that every band gave props to and shouted praises and the most notable and famous artist playing took the stage. And it was a doozy. Billy “Freaking” Idol took the stage to Steve Stevens famous guitar chords of “Dancing With Myself” and it was sonic rock n’ roll genius. The energy level was off the charts as Billy tore through the opening number as the crowd went nuts.
He followed it up with a new song, which led into “Flesh For Fantasy”. It was so great to see Billy Idol on stage and rocking so hard after all these years. He is a big part of my youth and as he played songs like “Eyes Without a Face”, “Rebel Yell” and “White Wedding”, it was apparent why he is one of the living kings of rock. He even tore through a very old ‘Generation X’ song “Ready Steady Go” which goes back to the 70’s but was still as vital as ever. Billy Idol closed his set and brought the crowd to their knees with “Mony Mony”. Vital Idol indeed!
Next up was a band that had a great year in 2014 with the new album ‘El Pintor’ and tour of the world. Interpol took to the stage tearing into “Say Hello To The Angels” off their first album ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’. They sounded great, and as they rocked through killer versions of “Evil”, “All The Rage Back Home” and “PDA” it is obvious why they are one of the best bands on Earth. Love these guys, they can do no wrong.
After Interpol there was a surprise guest in Vance Joy, singer songwriter who took to the stage for two numbers, one on guitar “Mess Is Mine” followed by his popular song played on Ukulele “Riptide”, it was a nice surprise and he sounded great, look out for this cat in the future!
Following the semi-acoustic interlude from Vance Joy was the amazing and unstoppable ALT-J. They opened with the dramatic and visually stunning “Hunger of the Pine” from 2014’s ‘This Is All Yours’.
Alt-J is a band that I promise you within so many years will be headlining festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella. They have full control of the fans and crowd when they play live and it is a full blown event. These guys are the best! “Fitzpleasure” was the second song and it got things pumping in the crowd. One of my favorite songs they did from the first album “Dissolve Me” sounded so good as their visuals complimented all the numbers they did. Including “Tessalate”, “Left Hand Free”, “Something Good”, “Every Other Freckle” and closing with the crowd favorite “Breezeblocks”.
Cage the Elephant brought down the house to close the night with their blend of rock n roll mania and crowd surfing. Showing San Diego that their “Aint No Rest For The Wicked”, as well as the fact they are a force of nature! 91X puts on one hell of a Holiday Pow Wow indeed!