Photo: Kelly Swift

Jack’s 13th Makes For A Spectacular Sunday

October 15, 2018

By Ramon Gonzales

The 13th shindig hosted by Jack FM had a few elements working against it in that the concert landed on a Sunday and happened to fall on a rare weekend in Southern California that endured some rain. By the time the gates opened at FivePoint Amphitheatre however, the sun provided the perfect shine for what would be a memorable punctuation to the weekend.

Performing as the first of six bands on the roster, Alien Ant Farm utilized their knack for dynamic songwriting and some quick wit to generate a swell of energy from the jump. Frontman Dryden Mitchell made his intentions clear, “We are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from here in Huntington Beach. We Ubered here so we could get (expletive) up with you all.”

Alien Ant Farm (Photo: Kelly Swift)

Selections from AAF like “Sticks and Stones” and “Courage” felt fresh in their delivery despite being nearly two decades old. Heaving on helpings of the hits like “Movies” and the unmistakable homage to MJ in “Smooth Criminal,” Ant Farm quickly set the bar early in the program.

Everclear (Photo: Kelly Swift)

The first stage rotation ushered in a set from Art Alexakis and the gentlemen of Everclear. Making proper use of their time, the band skipped the filler and pieced together a succession of singles with “Everything to Everyone” really kicking things off. The band even managed to include a few selections from their Sparkle and Fade era like “Heroin Girl” and “Strawberry.” The latter of which was requested via twitter from one of the “Old School Orange County Everclear” fans that Art made mention of. 

Everclear (Photo: Kelly Swift)

There were a few instances that tugged at the heartstrings more than the typical rock show might. Prior to performing “Wonderful,” Alexakis asked the fans who had children only to send his wishes that none of those who cheered would have to sing this song to them. Again, Art evoked more warmth when he dedicated “I Will Buy You A New Life” to the people most important to him in his wife, daughters, and bandmates.

Neon Trees (Photo: Kelly Swift)

Likely considered the wild card of the evening, Neon Trees proved to be the ideal act to transition into the evening hours of the party. Among the more convincing moments of the band’s set were the infectious melodies of “Everybody Talks” and the singalong of “Animal.” The enthusiasm on the floor was such that frontman Tyler Glenn was about to take a quick break leaving the fans to take on the vocal duties without missing a beat.

Neon Trees (Photo: Kelly Swift)

The band scored a direct hit during the middle of their set with a cover of The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.” From behind the drum kit, Elaine Bradley worked overtime tackling both percussion and vocals on the pop music anthem. The song tallied another highlight on the evening as thousands of fans sang along from beginning to end.

Stone Temple Pilots (Photo: Kelly Swift)

For those that make the assertion that rock is dead, the first minute of “Wicked Garden” quickly refutes claim. When followed immediately by the menacing guitars of “Vasoline,” there really is no room for an argument. There are few bands that enjoy the longevity of Stone Temple Pilots and Sunday night’s performance plainly reiterated why. Each song in the set continued the climax and though a lull had to be around the corner, an entire set passed by without a one.

Stone Temple Pilots (Photo: Kelly Swift)

The band slowed the tempo just enough on “Big Empty” for the drums to feel like a sledgehammer when they finally hit. Nixing drums almost entirely from “Plush,” frontman Jeff Gutt and guitarist Dean DeLeo performed an intimate version “Plush” that left the audience fixed. The gospel was in session at the Church of Jack and STP was at the pulpit. 

Stone Temple Pilots (Photo: Kelly Swift)

The band was so good that even their newer tunes keep the momentum at a feverpitch. The band performed their 2017 release in “Meadow” and never lost the fans. By the time standards like “Dead and Bloated” and “Sex Type Thing” hit, the amphitheater was collectively on high.

Third Eye Blind (Photo: Kelly Swift)

Skipping the subtleties, Third Eye Blind stepped onstage and immediately went for the jugular with a rousing rendition of “Graduate.” Nurturing a bit more melody while keeping their foot on the throttle, the band performed the essentials including, “Never Let You Go” and “Losing A Whole Year,” both of which sent a shrill well into the highest seats in the house.

Third Eye Blind (Photo: Kelly Swift)

Multiple times during the set, Stephan Jenkins made mention of the energy that was evident throughout the evening and genuinely thanked the fans for it. He responded in kind with convincing gems ranging from “Crystal Baller” to “Motorcycle Drive By.” In a near hour set, the band couldn't miss. Keep in mind, had yet to perform “Jumper” yet.

RELATED: JACK'S 13TH SHOW PHOTOS

For the band’s victory lap, Jenkins managed to better explain the energy he felt from the audience by using a four-letter expletive of which he asked to fans to repeat at the top of their lungs. The f-bombs proved to be the perfect accouterment to “Semi-Charmed Life,” as San Francisco band jockeyed for potential performance of the night.

311 (Photo: Kelly Swift)

Considering the band’s extensive catalog, a 311 set makes for a convincing reason to party late on a Sunday night. Charging ahead with “Come Original” right out of the gate, it became very clear that the band was not planning on phoning this one in.

311 (Photo: Kelly Swift)

Even more impressive than the amount of hits the band has in it’s arsenal is how well the crew uses them to create peaks and valleys to keep the set interesting. From the hard rock rumble of “Down” to the sonic swoon of “Amber,” from “Beautiful Disaster” to the band’s nod to The Cure in “Lovesong,” every selection prompted nothing short of elation from the fans. 311’s fanbase is cult-like and to see the band’s range vary from songs like “Creatures (For A While)” to “Beyond The Gray Sky” is a testament to why the band receives such praise.

Especially late on a Sunday night.

BACKSTAGE MOMENTS

311 (Photo: Shannon Santos)

311 (Photo: Shannon Santos)

Alien Ant Farm (Photo: Shannon Santos)

Everclear (Photo: Shannon Santos)

Neon Trees (Photo: Shannon Santos)

Stone Temple Pilots (Photo: Shannon Santos)

Stone Temple Pilots (Photo: Shannon Santos)

Third Eye Blind (Photo: Shannon Santos)