Occasionally, tours will throw together a diverse mix of bands, but the Nokia Unwired Tour at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 13 took the cake. The show featured the hard rock sound of Diffuser, the multi-ethnic sounds of Ozomatli, the alternative rock of Hoobastank, and the punk All American Rejects.
Not only was it a strange blend of bands, but it was also a strange blend of fans. (No rhyme intended.) The punk kids stood with their arms crossed until the Rejects took the stage, the alternative-rock kids seemed fairly happy throughout and there was even a mix of party kids who seemed only to appear for Ozomatli and vanished afterwards! The highlight of the evening was the appearance of local celebrity Beatle Bob who got his groove on in the pit and then took the stage to introduce Ozomatli. But I digress; let’s get to the music…
Diffuser took the stage first, and unfortunately – partially due to traffic and partially due to the I.D. Nazi’s guarding the entrance to the Pageant- causing many to miss the first half of their set. If the first half was anything like the second half, they didn’t miss much. It’s not talent they lack, but originality. If you’ve heard any other hard rock band, you’ve heard Diffuser.
Next up was Ozomatli. This L.A.-based band just might be the most culturally diverse and politically correct band I have ever seen. Their sound, an Afro-Latin hip-hop blend, is one all their own. Though they are a talented bunch, they seemed to have a bit of trouble capturing the interest of the entire crowd. This may be due to the fact that they stuck out like a sore thumb on this tour. Lucky for them, Beatle Bob joined them on stage at the end of their set and really got the crowd going.
Hoobastank followed, and frontman Doug Robb knows just how to bring the crowd to life. Playing a mix of old and new songs, the band rocked out their entire set. The crowd never stopped moving, going especially wild for “Crawling In The Dark”, “Running Away”, and their new single “Out Of Control”. Hoobastank’s new album will be available in stores December 9, but for now you can pre-order it on their website www.hoobastank.com.
Last but not least, the All American Rejects took the stage. The fourth time they’ve come through St. Louis this year, and we have yet to be disappointed. Frontman Tyson Ritter has an amazing vocal range that helps strengthen the Rejects original sound. The band drove the crowd into a frenzy, performing hits such as “Swing, Swing” and “Happy Endings” from their self-titled debut album released in late 2002 (Doghouse Records) and re-released in early 2003 (DreamWorks Records) as well as treating the crowd to a few new songs. Watch for “The Cigarette Song” in upcoming shows and new releases. If you still haven’t heard the All American Rejects, be sure to pick up their CD in record stores now!