The city of Pomona, named after the Roman goddess of fruit trees, was home to the debut of a potentially annual, concert event: Epicenter ’09, subtitled “So Cal’s Rock Explosion.” Two stages and concessions were set up at inside the racetrack at Fairplex Park.
Being inland 27 miles east of Los Angeles, Pomona is expected to be hot in August, but the day started of unusually humid as well, with claims of a 20% chance of rain and thunderstorms. To combat the heat, my friend Ted and I made sure to load up on “fluids” in the parking lot.
As we made our way in, Street Sweeper Social Club got the main stage started a little after one, playing a short set of songs from their debut album. Their music was rockin’, as expected with the talented Tom Morello on guitar leading the way with his trademark pyrotechnics that make you wonder how he makes some of those sounds. The lyrics were filled with messages that likely work better for the have-nots.
A lot of attendees wore black, but the commitment to their lifestyle should have given way to comfort, considering how hot the day was getting. We sought shade in the two-story Monster VIP booth, which was placed behind the soundboards, and drank their energy drinks and ate their appetizers.
Hollywood Undead came out wearing masks and sounded like a heavier version of Linkin Park, which in part means they seem inorganically manufactured by a producer or music label. I was surprised a good portion of the crowd was into them. After a couple of songs they took off their masks, so I didn’t get the point of having them in the first place nor why five guys were running around on the mic. I found them very boring and was concerned that in combination with the heat I was going to pass out regardless of their volume.
Atreyu also created forgettable, loud noise. When they first hit the stage, it didn’t sound like their guitar and mic levels were set right, and a background vocal track could be heard, but we couldn’t tell who was singing. Maybe a recorded track? Later, the bass levels were off as well. Near the stage a nice size mosh pit broke out, so some people must have either enjoyed the music or having hot, sweaty, dirty, man flesh banging into them in a homoerotic manner