Photos By: Sylvia Garcia Borgo
Review By: Brian Strauss (Foxx Press)
ListenSD was at XFEST San Diego, co-headlined by recent rock hall of fame inductees Cheap Trick and punk rock legends The Offspring.
Local indie rock band The Young Wild, an emerging talent in the San Diego music scene who began the festival in the middle of a hot afternoon as concertgoers were barely beginning to filter into the stadium, opened the day.
Later, Grace Mitchell delivered soul-searching electro pop hysteria, The Frights brought the sluggish heat to an explosive apoplexy of rhythmic inebria, a riotous throng of flailing limbs and scatterbrained chords to the pulse of a throbbing ADHD consciousness, and Oakland natives SWMRS dove unabashedly into anxiety driven punk rock ballads, reminding everyone that it’s alright to sing along to songs about the depressing truths inherently evident in each of our own lives.
The Shelters then opened up the main stage, channeling their inner 1970s era Tom Petty and kicking out the jams like “Rebel Heart” and “Fortune Teller” before passing the torch to one of the the most affable cover bands, Chevy Metal. They opened with their rendition of “My Sharona” before transitioning in to their cover of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” in an amazing feat of guitar work and simultaneous singing.
Wolfmother opened up their set with one of their latest offerings, “Victorious,” and proved exactly why, over ten years since their debut album, they’re still hitting their stride. The Australian trio invoked the savage dominion of primitive rock n’ roll with their hits “Woman” and “Joker & the Thief” as the afternoon began to stretch into the evening. Following Wolfmother, Kongos brought their brand of country/folk infused psychedelic rock in what was easily the most difficult to categorize band of the festival. Iration gave San Diego exactly what they love, the laid back sonic equivalent to feeling waves wash over you while you run your fingers through someone’s hair.
Rock legends Cheap Trick co-headlined the festival with The Offspring. Cheap Trick took the stage first for an eclectic set spanning their 40-plus years career featuring the classics Dream Police, Surrender, and of course, I Want You to Want Me. The Offspring closed out the night with a raw, energetic performance to the roaring applause of thousands.