Monday, August 16, 2010

River Riot 2010 was a blast!!!

Okay, I'll admit that I wasn't too keen on going to a concert at Westfair Amphitheater in Council Bluffs. I was there back in college and I don't remember having a good time. Maybe it was the traffic or the heat, but I was a little wary about slapping down money for those tix. BUT, how many times do you get the chance to see Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, and Blue October all in one show? Never. Let's just say that I was very glad that I went. Quite possibly one of my best concert experiences in my life. I can finally check off Weezer as one of my favorite groups that I've wanted to see. Bands that I've seen in the past include 311 (my photos and write up here), Foo Fighters, RHCP, NIN, CCR, Tom Petty, DMB with Timmy Reynolds, System of a Down, Limp Bizkit, The Urge, George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars, Moby, Goo Goo Dolls, Bush, Ben Harper, Cake, Black Eyed Peas, Smashmouth, Third Eye Blind, even Elton John. DJs I've dance to include Ferry Corsten, DJ Rap, Steve Smooth, Max Graham, and Christopher Lawrence.
The day had finally arrived!

Grabbed a bite at Chicago Dawg House before heading out to CB. I had the awesome chili cheese dog and Emily had the traditional, complete with spicy peppers, onions, relish, tomato and all. Topped it off with a can of Pabst and we were ready to roll.

Yesterday's River Riot artists included (in the order they came on stage) Something to Burn, Paper Tongues, Flobots, Spose, Emphatic, Cage the Elephant, Blue October, Weezer, and then finally Stone Temple Pilots. Woohoo! Only one band that I've never heard and the lineup was great! Luckily the weather cooled down for us just a little bit, high of 90 I believe. Tiny bit of raindrops while waiting for Weezer to come on stage, and even saw a double rainbow overhead. Could we ask for anything better?

We made our way to the fairgrounds. Parking Nazis on horse were aplenty. Guy was yelling at some girl for parking too far away from another car. She corrected herself, got out of the car and he continued yelling at her, saying that they needed to get cars as close as possible to fit everyone in. Pretty sure I heard her say sorry. Give it a break man on a horse with a pointing stick. Whatever, I sprayed some bug spray on and we continued on our way. I could hear The Paper Tongues playing, I was getting excited! Walk through security without a hitch, give them the tix, and there we were. Carnival type food vendors everywhere, StereoWest, Midwest Wake and Skate, KXVO, etc were there trying to promote their services.

Ahh...the grassy hill with the mainstage at the bottom. I look up and I see the huge "W" with wings on the back of the stage. Did it stand for Westfair or was it the Weezer logo? We concluded that it was the Weezer logo, oh how happy I was!

Flobots taking the stage when we got there at 2pm 

The Flobots put on a great show, pretty cool to see the girl on stage with a violin with two rappers, drummer and electric guitar. They played Handlebars (how appropriate for the Bikingfools blog!) and my favorite song by them, Rise. I would best describe the Denver group as a cross between Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine, using their hip hop styled lyrics to convey change and a message to the public in many of their songs.

Spose consisted of a 24 year old rapper, turntablist, and a friend on the mic. They were from Maine, and the kid joked about not knowing that there were casinos in the midwest. He sang a song about money and it was funny because people started throwing their change up on stage. And I'm talking about hucking the money up on stage. He said to keep it coming, despite getting hit in the face with a quarter. Even joked about the dollar bill that made its way up on stage and how they were going to clean up and head to the casino with his new earnings. Of course they played their popular tune Awesome.
Rapper Spose trying to keep cool with water and mic in hand 

Next came local Omaha boys Emphatic and then Cage the Elephant. Emphatic's style was a little hard for me, although their one song Dirty that gets airplay on 89.7 doesn't really sound like their other tunes. Cage the Elephant was good, playing most of the their tunes that get airtime.

Rockers and local Omaha boys Emphatic took the stage 

Cage the Elephant 

Up until this point, we were trying to stay hydrated. Waters down instantly, multiple beers gone. Diet Mt. Dew and huge Tiger Blood shaved ice in bellies. Oh yeah, when the concert promoters say that free water is provided, they mean yellow nasty water that has been sitting in Farmer Brown's spray tank that they wheeled into the center of the field. Lines of people getting the yellowish water from the cart and filling their bottles with the stuff. Numerous occasions I heard people say, "This water doesn't taste right." I thought the water at Creighton was nasty, this was at a whole different level. I told Emily that I would be afraid to even bathe in that bacteria infested water. Pay the three dollars and get yourself a cold Aquafina, would you please?

Next came Blue October who played all of their popular tunes such as Into the Ocean, Hate Me, and Dirt Room. Dark and sad lyrics behind their music if you've never heard of them. Once again, I think the violin makes their songs really stand out. This time, the violinist had multiple colored violins, one was even green/purple fade that he later plucked at the end of their set. Pretty cool to see him holding that on his shoulder, while playing keyboards and having an electric guitar strapped and ready to play.

First time I've seen Blue October perform, great show! 

Might as well pluck the violin for a unique sound! 

Weezer singing MGMT - Kids at RiverRiot 2010 from Misterlime on Vimeo.

Ahh...Weezer's turn. Most people were there to see STP. Not me. Weezer got my attention back in the day with their blue album. Even though I had played that album dozens of times, I only knew the songs by track number. #7 and #10 were my favorites. How much do I like them? Buddy John and I had used the name Jonas as an alias to try to pick up women in St. Louis ten years ago (they have a song called My Name is Jonas). Even played El Scorcho over and over in the dorms while mashing Nintendo 64 buttons during those late night 007 GoldenEye matches. That game was a grade killer.

Weezer's turn to tear up the stage 
Weezer played all of their great tunes plus many others. Some of them were Troublemaker, Buddy Holly, Pork n' Beans, Hash Pipe, Beverly Hills, Say It Ain't So, El Scorcho and My Name is Jonas. Island in the Sun came on and out came the beachballs and tons of rolls of toilet paper from stage. It was like a huge beach party! Rivers Cuomo even stopped the music at one point and got this kid dressed in an all blue outfit (from head to toe) to come on stage. Later, he also got the kid dressed in a chicken costume up there. Is that all it takes to get up there during a Weezer concert? I'm dressing up in an ape outfit or something next time!


The spotlights were on the stage most of the show. Then while watching some kid next to us pass out, wake up, and pass out in the hands of security guards, the lights were shining on them as they got the paramedics and a stretcher involved. I turn around and I see the spotlights on one of the scaffold poles and I saw someone halfway up on the post! I thought it was a jumper! I was like whoa! Turns out it was the lead singer for Weezer up there in the middle of the field. How did he sneak out there? He sang up there for a little bit, then started running straight for us! I tried so hard to get my camera to take the picture while Emily stood in his way. My camera flash went off and Emily said that he had grabbed her hand. More like an awesome running hand shake and less of a high five. I looked at my camera to see what I got. Picture of Rivers Cuomo's hand and Emily's touching in an action shot. How cool is that? Almost as cool was when they played MGMT's - Kids mixed with Lady Gaga's Poker Face.
They let the guy with the blue man suit on, chicken man also!

Stone Temple Pilots were on after that. By now it was 10pm and people started leaving halfway through the set. Once again, they played all of their great tunes plus a few off of their new album. Emily was pretty sure that it was all of the same members. During one of the songs, Scott Weiland announced that a good friend/producer/drummer would be playing a song with them. Josh Freese stepped up and drummed like a madman. Reading up on him, he has drummed for Perfect Circle, NIN, and is currently drumming for DEVO and Weezer on tour.

 Scott Weiland sang into the megaphone multiple times during the show

Josh Freese up on stage, he has drummed for various bands such as NIN, Perfect Circle, and Devo 

What can I say? It was a great show. Beers were $5, weather was great, bumped into a few ex-coworkers, and we left with a few souvenir Weezer shirts on our backs. Traffic was terrible leaving and we got home around 1:30am. Slept until 2pm, missed riding with Dave and Paul in the Corporate Cycling Cup at 8:30am (sorry guys), but it was well worth the wasted Sunday. We'll have to see what River Riot 2011 brings to Council Bluffs. 2010's will be hard to beat!

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