Simply famished (after Halloween Horror Nights, the evening prior) and in the mood for something worthy of the expense, I found myself at Ginza Japanese steak and sushi, 1101 E. Colonial Drive, and discovered a hidden bastion of authentic, quality food, with a very welcoming and attentive staff. Who even offered a quick lesson to the “gaijin” who was making the wait staff chuckle as he fumbled chopsticks in his hand (me).
At 6:45 outside The Plaza, a mere 15 minutes before the doors were scheduled to open, the line sought shelter under the buildings awnings in response to hurricane Sandy’s attempt at an impromptu shower.
When the doors opened, the overly eager crowd surged in and huddled near the merch tables, previewing and purchasing clothing and albums.
Promptly at eight, Chicharones took stage and, after a brief act, featuring antics by their keyboardist, in a pig mask, opened with an energetic song, lively moving about stage, as they performed. Several audiences members began dancing and skanking in response to the sort of “punk Limp Bizkit (minus douchebag Fred Durst) rap/rock” sound, put on by the six-piece ensemble.
They proceeded to put on quite the show, with a lot of movement that energized the large crowd, who were now taking up about three quarters of the massive venue’s interior stage.
When they left stage to thunderous applause, the band members traveled to their merch table and mingled with fans, who were adamantly pleased with the performance. During an “exclusive interview,” I became privy to a brief history of the group: hailing from and first formed in Portland Oregon, Chicharones, consist of the front men of several other bands, who all came together because they believed that no one member should hog the limelight. They were also handing out cards that made available a free download of their album as well as being biodegradable and plant-able for the growth of a flower. After all was said and done, it was apparent why Spin magazine recently named them “best bar band in America”
Back on stage, when the Lionze’s guitar struck its opening cord, many in the audience found themselves scrambling to get back inside, for the, more traditional, sounding “stoner rock of the sequel artist. After a “Moby Dick” reminiscent drum solo, more songs were played, leaving the crowd both amped and anxious for the forthcoming headliner.
As the lights dimmed and the six piece Streetlight Manifesto got on stage, the crowd erupted with fanfare, jumping, cheering, and singing along with the opening number. That energy followed into the next piece, with the addition of moshing and a bit of crowd surfing even.
As the setlist unfolded, revealing more and more crowd favorites, the energy reached immeasurable levels, and remained there until the closing notes of “Forty Days,” when a candle(lighter)light vigil was erected and things grew somber mid-set.
However, this didn’t last as fans sprang back into their previous fervor, and there they stayed, throughout the closing notes of the final song, which brought about an even greater, ear-piercing, cry of “one more song,” which resulted in an encore of twice that.
As that concluded, this resulted in an, even more, insatiable outcry, with participation from every single fan in attendance.
Afterwards, we headed to the nearby, 24 hour (on Friday and Saturday), Bananas Diner, 924 North Mils Ave, for some fresh coffee and friendly service while the torments of Sandy, raged outside, one-upping Universal’s attempt to strike fear into the hearts of men (which is to blame for the delay of this report, by the way).
Now including a slideshow by professional photographer Brittany Fournier