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Shark Tank (aka Compaq Center; San Jose, CA; 12/07/01

Reviewed by Paco

    Bay Area radio station Live 105 ( sponsored this Christmas charity concert at the home of the San Jose Sharks, the Compaq Center at San Jose. Overall it was a great night of modern hard rock. Some bands did better than others, but by the end of the night, I was quite satisfied.

    A large venue is never a great place to see bands, but once I was able to get around security and get to the floor, it was a great experience. The arena was still set up for hockey, except the glass had been removed from the boards and there was no ice on the floor. The stage was set up over where the goal line would be and I spent most of the night on the floor near the blue line. Here's who played:

AFI ( This local Bay Area band kicks ass. I missed them at this show due to the joys of Silicon Valley traffic. I did see them at last summer's Warped Tour and I would expect that they kicked serious ass, like they always do when playing for their hometown fanatics.

Alien Ant Farm ( Good, solid modern rock. Most of their music is different from their Michael Jackson cover ("Smooth Criminal"), but it's all very good. They were playing as I got to the show, so I only saw about half of their set, but it kicked ass. 

Puddle of Mudd ( This is a very forgettable band that plays generic, uninspired modern rock. It's better than silence, but that's about it. The show was about as bland as the music. 

Sum 41 ( A very entertaining, energetic punk band. They remind me a lot of Green Day. There was lots of crowd surfing during their set. I was still attempting to get to the floor at this point, so I saw their set from a seat that above the side of the stage. It was funny watching security fishing out the crowd surfers as they reached the stage. Unfortunately, the sound really sucked from this vantage point.

P.O.D. ( These San Diego Christian rockers impressed me a lot. I've heard "Alive" on the radio about a million times, and liked it. But, they've got a lot more than that and they put on a very good show. It certainly helped that I was on the floor for their set. 

System Of A Down ( This was both the best and worst part of the show, all in one 40 minute set. The set started out very strong, playing "X," "Forest" and "Chop Suey" from their newest CD, followed by "Suggestions" from their last CD. The three new songs are easily the best songs from "Toxicity" and the crowd was seriously into it ... pits opened up all over the place and everyone was jumping around and yelling the lyrics. Next, the band played a few of the much weaker songs from "Toxicity," which mellowed the crowd out a bit. Then, while the bass player, Shavo Odadjian, left the stage, lead singer Serj Tankian spent the time with generic rants about the evils of rich Americans ... which just happened to be his audience. After that, the band had completely lost them. Even playing their hit, "Sugar" from the last CD couldn't recover the crowd. 

Linkin Park ( The boys from Linkin Park are very nice. They thanked everyone ... the crowd, the other bands, their street team, the other bands' street teams, the radio station, the security personnel. Then they played a song. Then they thanked more people and played another song. Overall, it was a good set to end the night. It was kind of mellow and they played all their hits. All the under 18 girls in the crowd were transfixed by it. For everyone else, it was just OK.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.