After a couple years of not seeing a real BRMC show (in person), a festival set was welcome in spite of the scorching heat. It was over 100 degrees most of the day and even with several layers of sunblock, I was left with some burns near my neck and shoulders. Waiting around all day is nothing new for these events, but the heat was often unbearable. Some moments in the shade were essential as was plenty of fluids: water, shaved ice, and the event actually did provide free Rockstar energy drinks – which I took advantage of a couple times. Some guys tossed me a beer since I returned their frisbee from the other side of the fence. I didn’t open it, but enjoyed the can’s ice-y coldness in the shade.
Since we were there super early (as we often are), Theresa, Jodi and I waited around at the bag check areas until gates officially opened around 2 PM. It was actually not a horrible idea to wait there so early since a staff member was nice enough to give us some water, which we really needed. We were overly warned on the website of what not to bring, so we mostly didn’t have problems with that. Our past bag check issues (combined with bad airport experiences) made us especially wary of bringing in anything prohibited. Of that list, I think the only thing we probably wanted to bring was an umbrella – though a giant floppy sunhat would work almost as well. Lucky for me, Theresa lent me one of her’s.
Once inside, we saw bits of most the bands’ sets playing the Quaid Harley-Davidson Stage starting with the Slidebar battle winner, who was playing when we got in. They were a metal band from Orange County whose name I forgot. I think it started with an A? They had a very metal look and sound, so they seemed to fit right in with this lineup. Paul Cauthen and Tony Joe White were more on the country sounding side, but I was getting a little faint from the heat so I moved to the shade under some trees. It was a nice place to sit for awhile, though we could here the music from the people hanging out in the parking lot better than the people on stage.
Face to Face are more on the punk side, but they seemed happy to play for a slightly different crowd than their usual punk shows. I enjoyed them and I think they audience did too. They probably had some fans there. It seemed like Chevy Metal had a few fans there, but that Taylor guy from the Foo Fighters didn’t even mention BRMC were playing. We all thought he was jealous since Dave Grohl likes them. I’m not too into metal covers, though I guess it depends on the song. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined seeing Foghat, not that I ever dreamt of seeing them. I was a little surprised they were still around and even more surprised that they sounded pretty good. Go figure.
Eagles of Death Metal were not too far from their hometown which explained why Jesse (Father Badass) mentioned his mom being there. They were a lot of fun and I can see why so many of my friends like them. They are probably more well known than BRMC now in the US, but that might be due to their not so great events being in the news. I made a dumb last minute switch bringing a camera I hadn’t charged in awhile, so I only took video of “Cold Wind” on it and a minute of “Awake” on my phone. Most of my photos were taken on my phone, Facebook put together a nice little slideshow from them and I added the Metal theme to it.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ Lost Highway
Seeing BRMC after so long was a real breath of fresh air, and the set had some nice surprises that made it all worth the heat and waiting. The drive was actually not as long as I thought it would be. Based on Michelle Shiers‘ amazing photos, Leah looked kind of tired, Peter looked way too thin, and Robert – well, all my friends enjoyed the view. It does look like he’s pumping iron (or steroids), and their comments were the best (something along the lines of beefy man candy). His hair looked oddly flat for some reason. It was hotter than heck, so I guess that might have something to do with it. The set list was an abbreviated festival set, but still full of new and old tracks mixing seamlessly together. The only difference from the written list was no “Red Eyes.” They did do the extended ending to “US Government,” which is even less common than them playing that version of the song.
“White Palms” and “Awake” are also rare treats these days, so it was a little more special than your usual festival set. Of course, the crazy BRMC fan girls are always going to help get those songs out – though maybe it was just something we needed to hear again since it has been so long. With a full tour in October and November with Death From Above 1979, there’s still plenty to look forward to for us BRMC fans and I’m excited to see what the new songs sound like. I think the US is pretty BRMC starved and I can’t wait to see them touring again! Plus, they recently added a show on Tuesday, October 25th at the Wiltern which I just got my pre-sale ticket through LiveNation’s mobile app!
My videos are below and so are Michelle’s awesome photos, since it’s always nice to stare at BRMC.
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Copyright 2016 Liane Chan