What's better than sitting at home on July 3rd listening to Black Cat Fireworks setting off all the car alarms in the vacinity? Well for South Florida, it was heading west to Miarmar to catch the Gen-X Tour headlined by Buckcherry with support from California's finest: P.O.D., Lit, and Alien Ant Farm. I headed down for my first visit Miramar Amphitheater at Regional Park just one day shy of it's one year anniversary. The 5000-seat amphitheater has hosted a number of 80's icons since it's opening but the Gen-X Tour marked the first rock show at the venue!
Despite an early start on a holiday eve the fans packed in early to catch openers Alien Ant Farm. It does feel weird to say “openers Alien Ant Farm” as they have headlined plenty of South Florida shows, but with AAF opening, everyone in attendance knew the night was just bound to start strong and hold that momentum. They kicked off the set with “Bad Morning” off of 2006's Up in the Attic, and continued on with their singles from their five album discography. Of course when the band kicked into their final song (and first single which garnered them massive success in the rock scene), their killer cover of Michael Jackson's “Smooth Criminal,” the fans were up in their seats screaming along and playing some serious air guitar.
Bad Morning / Forgive & Forget / Movies / These Days / Glow / Sticks and Stones / Smooth Criminal
Lit was up next coming to the stage with a rap song about being “lit” played through the speakers. Personally I thought they should have come out to Buckcherry's “Lit Up” but I have since been told that that would be totally lame, so we'll stuck with the rap song instead. Surprisingly the band started off their set with a cover of Tom Petty's “American Girl” and while many bands wouldn't dare start off with a cover, it really worked for Lit. Maybe it was the patriotism in the air, or all of the $6 beers that had been consumed, but the crowd sang along loudly with vocalist A. Jay Popoff enjoying every second of the set's energetic opening.
I was pretty shocked with how fun Lit is to watch on stage, not that I anticipated it to be boring, but the chemistry between the members was apparent as they all took turns shredding at the front of the stage. The band's eight song set contained mainly older tracks from their discography but did include two songs from their late 2017 release, These Are the Days. The crowd was extremely receptive to the new music, and the band built on that to keep the energy going until closing out with a boom to their mega-hit “My Own Worst Enemy.” The entire crowd was singing to their friends and dancing with each other, because who doesn't love that song?
American Girl / Ziplock / Someday Maybe / Good Problem to Have / Miserable / Last Time / (Four) / My Own Worst Enemy
P.O.D. members Sonny Sandoval (vocals), Wuv Bernardo (drums), Marcos Curiel (guitar), and Mark Traa Daniels (bass) stormed the stage, starting with “Boom,” off of 2001's Satellite. P.O.D. Is one of those bands that I listened to obsessively as a kid, and the energy of Sandoval whipping his mic around the stage even got me hype. The crowd behind us was not much different as spilled beers coated the front rows from their intense seat-moshing. The band rallied through their entire set, even bringing kids up on stage to jam out, and starting a sing along to an unreleased song that was called “Southern Cali in My Head.” The song had a more reggae chill vibe to it than their latest rap-metal track “Soundboy Killa” but it flowed very well and had the crowd swaying along before breaking down into “Youth of the Nation” which always gets a huge response from the crowd.
P.O.D. Is always a killer performance to see live, and each time I am blown away by the amount of sheer energy they pump out during their sets. It's almost hard to keep track of Sandoval's mic flailing inches from his band mates during break downs and even if they're playing a song you don't know, you can't help but vibe along with it. The band closed out their set with their mega-hit “Alive” leaving the audience as always with a positive uplifting message.
Boom / Rock the Party (Off the Hook) / Southtown / Soundboy Killa / Southern Cali in My Head / Youth of the Nation / Rocking with the Best / On Fire / Beautiful / Alive
Closing out the night was Buckcherry as they came to the stage with House of Pain's “Jump Around” playing. Starting the set was 2001's hit “Ridin'” followed by “Whiskey in the Morning.” In fact, the majority of Buckcherry's hour plus set focused on older singles, I suppose catering direction to the Gen-X fans in the audience. The newest released song during the set was “Gluttony” from 2012's Confessions. Josh Todd (vocals) had all of the ladies in a flutter when he opened his jacket and revealed his tattooed chest with a snarl on his face. Stevie D. (guitar) and Kelly Lemieux (bass) brought their consistent energy to the stage and new members Kevin Roentgen (guitar) and Sean Winchester (drums) fit in just fine despite their recent addition to the group.
The band played a bluesy jam before “Too Drunk” before slowing it down for one of the most popular songs from their 15 album, “Sorry.” The entire crowd was singing along at the top of their lungs with Todd and swaying along with even a few lighters flicked in the air. After the epic singalong, the crowd got to witness the band perform a new song titled, “The Vacuum.” The band has been playing the track frequently, and Todd announced before it's performance that they had written thirty songs for a new album. The album still needs to be recorded, and they are predicting the album will drop in 2019. A medley of “Jungle Boogie” and “Proud Mary” led into the band's final song of the night, “Crazy Bitch.” And while the crowd went absolutely wild, they knew that couldn't possibly end the evening. Buckcherry returned to the stage and closed out with “Roadhouse Blues” and Whitney Houston's “I Will Always Love You.”
The great things about all of these bands is that while we know them from our youth, they're all still putting out new music. This tour is a great way to rock out to some old school favorites while also being introduced to some new songs that may have flown under your radar.
Ridin' / Whiskey in the Morning / Slammin' / Carousel / Lit Up / Say Fuck It / All Night Long / Lawless and Lulu / Too Drunk... / Sorry / The Vacuum / Gluttony / Crazy Bitch / Chaos Is The Ladder / Roadhouse Blues / I Will Always Love You