Live: Buzz Bake Sale 16 at Cruzan Amphitheatre, December 3

Buzz Bake Sale 16
With Awolnation, Seether, Chevelle, Hinder, Everlast, Adelita's Way, Art of Dying, Middle Class Rut, Falling in Reverse, and One
Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach
Saturday, December 3, 2011

View a slideshow from the event here.

Better than: Being so far away.

Awolnation saved the 16th edition of the Buzz Bake Sale -- let's get that straight. Staind, the scheduled headliner for the show, announced on Thursday afternoon it would have to cancel due to illness. Not only did the much-lesser known Awolnation step in to fill the hole left by Staind, it actually took over the headliner spot, even though they were kind of busy -- consider the fact they played in Tampa earlier in the day before rushing down to West Palm Beach.

To the oodles of fans that left after Seether's set because Staind wasn't performing: Joke's on you.

The crowd under the main stage was maybe half to one-third of what it was at the show's peak, but no matter, Awolnation told everyone to come down to the front. With an empty lawn and sparsely populated second-level seating, the party really started and ended with Awolnation.

A few hindrances from the audio equipment didn't foul things up a bit, as Awolnation still seemed cleaner and more technically sound than the preceding groups that were still relying on the recycling of decade-old material.

Awolnation's frontman Aaron Bruno was refreshing, to say the least. The live renditions of their more popular songs, like "Sail" and "Guilty Filthy Soul" are more satisfying live than they do on the group's first full-length album, Megalithic Symphony, which was released earlier this year. Bruno's energy and performance gave a second wind to what seemed like a previously beleaguered audience. Rad, dudes.

Seether, which preceded Awolnation, still relies on its old hits -- as it should -- despite relatively new albums.

It opened with four songs present on the original Disclaimer album, which was released in 2002 -- "Gasoline," "Fine Again," "Driven Under," and "Broken." Those first three are more than a decade old, as they made their debut on the Fragile album -- when Seether was known as Saron Gas.

Seether's commercial effect with Disclaimer II may have carried on to the relative success of Karma & Effect, but it's not quite working and more.

Chevelle, which played before Seether, covering nearly a decade's worth of their stuff, ranging from four tracks off of 2002's Wonder What's Next -- "Family System," "The Red," "Forfeit," and "Send the Pain Below" -- to two tracks from Hats Off to the Bull, the new album that's dropping next week -- "Same Old Trip" and "Face to the Floor."

Unlike Seether, Chevelle's new material always seems to be comparable in quality to the rest of its discography, so if you've seen Chevelle before, we can nearly guarantee this performance was as good as that one.

As for some of the other groups in attendance, like Everlast, Adelita's Way, and Art of Dying -- they are what they are, and they were there.

Critic's Notebook

The crowd
: When did mom stop telling the kids they're not leaving the house dressed like that?

Random detail: Chevelle played a few random audio soundbites between songs, most memorably, and excerpt of Dan Deacon and Liam Lynch's "Drinking Out of Cups."

Personal bias
: Chevelle needed to play more songs from Vena Sera. All we got was "I Get It" -- we needed "Brainiac" and "The Fad" at the least.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley