Gene Simmons recently talked about his idea of rock 'n' roll being dead in Esquire magazine. He may have a point about the music industry failing to properly showcase rock bands by getting them on the radio and bringing them the mainstream success they deserve, but real rock is definitely still kicking. That was clear last night at Revolution Live when three talented bands -- the Pretty Reckless, Adelita's Way, and Crash Midnight -- performed for a packed house.
The fact that there were a ton of young kids in the crowd was another sign that rock will live on. These little ones aren't just listening to whatever Y100 tells them to; they're finding what they like on their own. Instead of discovering new finds amid the music-nerd clerks of record stores of the '90s or hearing them on 103.1 The Buzz (remember Buzz Bakesale concerts?), they have the internet. So it's all laid out for them -- the largest sonic buffet.
Crash Midnight opened the night with a ton of energy. Frontman Shaun Soho sported some typical, tight, rocker skinny jeans and a muscle shirt that showed off his ripped arms. The crowd went nuts for the drummer, Andrew Merkle, though, screaming out his name well after the set had ended. We can't deny that the guy was teenage-girl bait.
We got a chance by the merch stand to chat with Soho and lead guitarist Alex Donaldson after their set. They admitted the show had been a little nerve-wracking in the beginning. Due to some technical issues, they hadn't been able to hear themselves during the first song. They were old pros about it, though, and no one noticed a thing was wrong.
Next to take the stage, Adelita's Way. These guys have some devoted fans; when frontman Nick DeJesus held the mic out to the audience, he wasn't disappointed, because the crowd was able to continue the lyrics for him, loud and clear.
Things got a bit rowdy when DeJesus told them he liked to get crazy at shows. He tempted them, suggesting he would do a stage dive for them and some crowd-surfing. Everyone in the pit went nuts and did his best to earn that temping reward. Unfortunately, due to security issues, he wasn't able to deliver on his promise. With a bit of a grin and a laugh, he admitted he'd just been told he couldn't do that.
When DeJesus spoke to the crowd and asked if we had any decent rock stations in Fort Lauderdale or if we just had stations that played a bunch of crap, he got one hell of a response in the forms of screams and groans of understanding. He assured the crowd that rock is alive and that everyone in attendance was doing their part to keep it that way just by being there and supporting these bands. Later on, he asked everyone in the crowd to promise him one thing: When talking to anyone who wasn't at the show that night, they should "tell them what they fucking missed."
By the time the Pretty Reckless took the stage, the place was pretty much packed to full capacity, and fans screamed wildly when Taylor Momsen appeared last onstage sporting some leather leggings, a shirt with the band's logo, and a jacket that she lost after the first few songs. To look at Momsen, you would never guess she can really rock. But in fact, the tiny blond bleeds the genre.
Fans screamed out for the female rocker, who gave it her all last night, singing her heart out and dancing onstage despite having a high fever that night. You never would have known she was sick by looking at her. Her fans are definitely bordering on obsessed, and it was kind of amazing to see how she could play the crowd like puppets. They hung onto her every word and got as close to the stage as they possibly could, sometimes rewarded by her hand reaching out to touch theirs.
Most of the songs were off the newest album, Going to Hell. The band played "Heaven Knows" and "Make Me Wanna Die," the song that first put the band on the map. This extended version of the rock hit "Fucked Up World" (for which Momsen broke out the tambourine) featured a sick drum solo by Jamie Perkins. When the song ended, Momsen repeated her catch phrase for the night: "Thank you so fucking much, you guys!" And we all went home happy.