Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Big Giant and The Extravaganza

Big Giant and The Extravaganza
Crocodile Rock
Allentown, PA
October 25, 2008

Originally, the draw of seeing The Casualties and From First to Last play on the same stage on the same day was too much for me to stay in Jersey, wondering what exactly was going on at The Croc.

Turned out that FFTL had to cancel, but we still feared the rain and headed over as my sister enjoys Jet Lag Gemini & Just Surrender.

It was an all day thing, with some really great bands and even if you went not familiar with any of them, there was always someone playing who was interesting. Advertised were 4 stages, but there were 3, maybe due to the weather. I felt bad for the downstairs stage as it seemed out of the way and I only passed it to leave the venue or head to the bathrooms. Upstairs was the main stage and right outside the doors was the outdoor mini performance area.

To start, Throw Money was on the Main Stage. They were a fun rock band that held my attention. Double Entendre was next and they are really something. Great vocals and you could just feel this band is heading somewhere, so check them out.

Kelsey and the Chaos strated setting up and my sister said they were like Paramore. Maybe b/c it's a girl-fronted band, but the music is a tad heavier and she pushes her vocals a bit to have more growl and bite.

Halfway through - The power went out for almost an hour. It was kind of cool though.

Their set got cut short and the lead singer entertained the crowd by starting sing-a-longs. The next handful of sets had to have songs shaved off to catch up on time.

So, Jet Lag Gemini was the first band back after the outage and this was my first time seeing them. Jersey love for this band. Great rock music, with an entertaining lead singer, but tough talented, the moments of shredding by their guitarist seemed cheesy. Still awesome though.

There were a few bands here and there, but the two to take note of - Nobody Yet and Motionless in White.

Nobody Yet comes across as a suburban band who nods towards classic punk bands like Buzzcocks, but remain relevant in today's rock scene. I was happy we stepped outside to check them out.

Motionless in White was the highlight of the day as any meoldic screamo-faux metalcore bands today crack me up. The lead singer was a tall Davey Havok, the other members were styled just right and the keyboardist rocked out as much as a keyboard player can. It was great. But hey, the music wasn't all that bad either.

Punchline was up and I was hoping to hear some old favorites. They basically stuck to songs from their new album and being that I haven't heard it yet, I must pick it up. They're still the same poppy, upbeat rock band and the new stuff sounds even better than what I remember.

So we headed out and went to Friendly's. This was probably the greatest thing about the day - They left you LEAVE AND COME BACK. Unlike Warped or Bamboozle, you could park for free and leave to eat somewhere nice.

We returned to see Just Surrender and The Casualties - yea, odd huh?

Never listened to Just Surrender till this show. They had a hype man, who either worked at the venue or was tour manager/roadie or band person, who knows, but he was so excited about them. They were really good and I completely got into their music and danced along. They're on tour with The Higher and two of their members came on stage to sing along.

Ok, now I'm not a real 'punk' kid or know their entire catalog, but The Casualties are a band I'll never pass up seeing. We hung out in the back and watched the punk kids make a circle pit and dance around. Unlike the other pits of the day, the kids here picked each other up and looked out for one another.

The one band member had to open the show by explaining who they are and how they're different from every other band of the day. It was all true, but all the kids on the floor were there for them and not waiting for the last band, Mae.

We left halfway through, as their songs runs right into each other and the noise was bothering the ears (did I mention I'm going deaf?).

All in all, the festival was good. Mainly younger kids, so I felt old. It was just weird b/c it felt like half the people of the already tiny crowd, were band members. It was cool. Wonder what's in store for next year.

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