Set List Bonus: 25th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas
Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Crystal Larsen
For music fans growing up in Los Angeles in the '90s, KROQ-FM was arguably the authority on alternative rock music. It was the first station to put hometown heroes No Doubt on the air, a fact that Gwen Stefani hadn't forgotten when she performed at night two of the 25th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas on Dec. 14 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
"We owe everything to KROQ," the GRAMMY winner said from the stage.
This year marked No Doubt's sixth appearance at the holiday show. Their first was in 1995 when they shared the bill with Bush and Stefani met future husband Gavin Rossdale, to whom she later dedicated "Simple Kind Of Life." The band — who were filling in for U2 following Bono's bicycle accident — treated the audience to a hit-heavy set including several tracks off their breakthrough album, 1995's Tragic Kingdom, including "Spiderwebs," "Just A Girl," "Sunday Morning," and "Don't Speak."
Introducing No Doubt were a slew of notable KROQ DJs, including Kat Corbett, Kevin & Bean, Nicole Alvarez, Stryker, Dr. Drew from "Loveline," and the legendary Rodney Bingenheimer. Earlier in the show Stryker had the pleasure of introducing Weezer, a band the DJ listened to long before starting his radio career. Weezer garnered one of the loudest sing-alongs of the night with a set that included "Buddy Holly," "Undone — The Sweater Song" and "Beverly Hills."
Frontman Rivers Cuomo also didn't go without acknowledging KROQ's impact on their career, saying, "Keep up the good work, KROQ,"
The band who generated the loudest reaction from the crowd were also the most tenured act on the bill: Tears For Fears. After achieving massive success in the '80s, the band's songs clearly haven't grown stale, as fans sang along, word for word, to favorites like "Everybody Wants To Rule The World," "Seeds Of Love," "Mad World," "Head Over Heels," and a surprise cover of Radiohead's "Creep."
But the band who appeared to be the most excited to be onstage were GRAMMY winners Imagine Dragons, who also took time to recognize the evening's host.
"Thank you KROQ for supporting us from the very beginning when we were a small band out of Las Vegas. Thank you for believing in us," said frontman Dan Reynolds.
Imagine Dragons maintained the excitement level, with Reynolds often causing security guards to jump from their positions to follow the singer as he made his way through the crowd, performing songs including their GRAMMY-winning hit "Radioactive."
Before leaving the stage, Reynolds announced, for the first time, that the band's sophomore album, Smoke And Mirrors, will be available Feb. 17, 2015.
Other acts on the bill included rising singer/songwriter Vance Joy, who won the audience over with his single "Riptide," 57th GRAMMY nominees Alt-J, Interpol, Modest Mouse, and the Smashing Pumpkins, who played a variety of new songs along with crowd favorites such as "Zero," "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" and "Tonight, Tonight."
While KROQ's quarter-century celebration was about showcasing some of the music that's given the station its credibility over the years, it was also about the listeners. The people who, as Reynolds noted, support live music.
"Thank you for listening all this year," Stefani said to the crowd before leaving the stage. "You are priceless, magical [and] dreamy, and we think about you every day."