The opening band was called "The ShutDowns". They reminded me of the "punk" I would have liked to listen to circa '96-97. They were a pretty decent opening band, considering some opening bands just plain suck. These guys had potential and what few people were already in the arena seemed to take to them pretty well. They played "GPC" for the smokers and passed out free demos to the kids on the floor.
Now for what was for the beginning of the "real" line up. Hot Water Music out of Gainesville, Florida. I swear these guys have been touring nonstop for what must be the past 2 years. It seems like every show I go to, they're there, or they're coming soon. There wasn't really a large crowd yet for HWM. That must be nice for the die-hard fans who still want a somewhat mutual performance in such a large venue. We received some previews of the upcoming album; one of the songs was called "All Related".
Less than Jake had the stage and their entry set up in the most interesting of ways. They had television sets all over the stage. For their entrance, they played a recording of "This is a Test of the Emergency Broadcast Systemâ?¦" and then the TVs had a countdown.
This was my very first time seeing Less Than Jake, so I was excited to see what they were going to put forth. I was very please and disappointed with them at the same time. LTJ kept referring to the venue [cox arena] as the "Penis Arena" which gave me a good laugh. I've always wondered how long it would be before a band made a crack about it. The band asked the crowd if the people had payed more money to be on the floor, so they said "What the fuck? Get down here". By then, the venue was getting full and the crowds just swarmed over the railings and down the stairs. There was nothing the limited security could do about it. I thought Less Than Jake and Bad Religion was a weird line up, but it seemed everyone loved it.
I had really hoped For "Dopeman", but I didn't get it. I was so sure they'd play that song since it is a well known one. We got quite a few songs from "Hello Rockview" including "Nervous in the Alley", and "All My Best Friends are Metalheads." They also played a new song.
Bad Religion has been making music since I was a wee tot, so for them to be putting out anything other than good times would mean they have been doing something wrong this whole time. For these guys to be old enough to be my pop and still put out "cool" music, and still appeal to a wide audience of people ranging from early teens to their 30s and beyond is an achievement in itself. My dad likes them for crying out loud. There was a guy in line in front of me to get in and he was with his (about) 14 year old daughter. This guy had long hair and a Bad Religion jersey on. It scared me a bit.
There was a huge, yellow banner with the crossed out cross for a back-drop to the stage. With the start of the very first song, the crowd again poured over the railings and stairs and the security could not stop them. The crowd just went crazy. The band did so well, although I didn't expect any less of them. I was with someone who hates the band and even he admit they did great. One of the guys cracked a joke about nickelback, which got people laughing. They played (in no particular order) "Sorrow", "No Control", "You", "Super Sonic", "The Defense," among others.
This was overall a pretty darn good show, it just left something to be desired in the massive arena.