The second day of Epicenter Twenty Ten, with an announced crowd of 25,000 featured a lot of punk.
Main stage headliner Blink-182’s brand of pop punk had the audience at the Auto Club Speedway singing along word for word to songs like “Dammit,” “What’s My Age Again?” “All the Small Things” and pretty much every other song they performed. I actually felt bad listening to “Man Overboard” because it’s reportedly about their founding drummer Scott Raynor’s drinking problems but he has a different story on what happened in their breaking up (here’s a link).
Drummer Travis Barker didn’t really say much during the set but he did have an amazing looking drum solo (he was strapped into his chair like drummer Tommy Lee used to do with Motley Crue).
While he played to vocal samples of Ice Cube, Kurupt and other hip-hop artists he did a forward flip and would go up and down as he slide around in a circle on a platform that really got the crowd going. Meanwhile bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Tom DeLonge kept cracking jokes (which included purposely singing off key at times) but said they were going to head into the studio to work on a new Blink 182 record and would be back which drew lots of cheers.
The other acts at the concert also pleased audiences with their sound and overall charisma.
Rise Against, also on the main stage, put on a strong sounding performance that included popular songs like “Prayer Of The Refugee,” “Ready to Fall,” “Savior,” “Swing Life Away” and many more. Singer and rhythm guitarist Tim McIlrath’s voice sounded picture perfect to me and the fans really responded to him and the band’s punk sound.
Thirty Seconds To Mars were able to get fans to shake off any effects from the triple digit heat and dance or sing along at will. Their songs included “”Kings and Queens (The Ride),” “Escape,” “Night Of The Hunter,” “The Kill” and “Attack” among others but what put them over the top was lead singer and actor Jared Leto who cursed constantly but earned him a lot of cheers with his performance and his band’s tremendous theatrical rock sound. He made fun of his mullet hair style and said he was a “desert rat” which earned both laughs and applause.
Bad Religion’s now 30 year reign in punk was good as usual and they went through many of their hits including “Sorrow,” “Infected” and many more but saving “Los Angeles Is Burning,” somewhat appropriate for the hot day, for last.
Probably my favorite act was Suicidal Tendencies, whose infectious mixture of punk and thrash was started in the 1980’s, headlined the secondary stage. They went through many of their songs including “Institutionalized”,” “Cyco Vision,” “War Inside My Head,” “Pledge Your Allegiance,” and “Send Me Your Money” as just some of the songs. Their performance featured one of the largest mosh pits during the day.
Against Me! started a bit early at 3 p.m. on the main stage (the time they were supposed to go on was 3: 25 p.m.) but they quickly got the crowd behind them with their song “I Was a Teenage Anarchist” and kept the energy going from there with songs like “Suffocation” and “New Wave.”
Florida metalcore/pop punk band A Day To Remember drew mosh pits early in the day on the main stage with their songs “”The Downfall of us All,” “I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?” “Mr Highway’s Thinking About The End” and “Have Faith in Me.” Despite dealing with the nasty heat at 2:15 p.m. they were able to get the audience energized with singer Jeremy McKinnon and the rest of the band’s energy in jumping on stage while McKinnon’s direct criticisms of the heat and trying to get water sprayed on the crowd didn’t hurt their cause either.