If day one of Rock 105.3’s Operation Kickass Festival was a look at newer talent in rock music and the bands currently on top, then day two was a nod to the veteran acts.
Walking Papers is actually a fairly new band but features famed Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan. The band played on a smaller stage at the venue but had a loud aggressive sound, and keyboardist Benjamin Anderson played with wild intensity.
Circa Survive is a Philadelphia band with a progressive math rock type of feel, their vocalist being former Saosin singer Anthony Green. The band’s most recent album, Violent Waves, was released in 2012. Although it marked a departure from their previous sound, it is definitely worth a listen.
Coheed and Cambria followed these bands later in the evening with their iconic front man Claudio Sanchez playing his Gibson Explorer in fine form. This ever-evolving act seems to always be on tour and comes though southern California fairly often. Coheed and Cambria fans are super loyal and seem to relish both the music and the mythology.
Famed L.A. band Jane’s Addiction, definitely a veteran rock act, followed Coheed. Perry Ferrell and company started their set with an elaborately themed stage featuring spinning cirque-like performers. The music sounded good and they seemed energetic, but the show was not very surprising. Drummer Stephen Perkins and guitarist Dave Navarro are always highlights, playing solos and developing a strong groove.
Headlining the evening was another classic Rock 105.3 staple, Alice in Chains. The band played a set heavy on the classics “Man In The Box,” “Rooster,” and “Down in a Hole,” but also highlighted songs from their 2013 album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. I don’t think they are referring to themselves as dinosaurs necessarily, but this veteran act did put on one hell of a show. Overall this was a great weekend of rock music in San Diego and a showcase of great bands, both young and old.