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SSMF 2010 Day 2 Recap with POD and Nico Vega Concert Reviews 8/27

29 August 2010 12 Comments

By: Darius

The Key Club

Night 2 of the Sunset Strip Music Fest included two shows for me: Nico Vega at the Key Club and a true throwback to the early 2000’s, P.O.D. at the Whiskey A Go Go. Thankfully, Nico Vega was my first stop of the evening, as they did not live up to the hype. Meanwhile, P.O.D. destroyed my expectations and delivered an astonishing set that will likely be at the top of my SSMF performances from this year.

So, my first stop was the Key Club, which holds around 600 people and tends to host a lot of metal acts. They are also known for their Steel Panther Monday night residency shows, which sell-out each week, all year long. I don’t mind going to the Key Club for shows with the lone exception being its terrible layout, which creates awful traffic jams throughout the club. It’s a pretty narrow room and there are only two exits from the floor, so these exits get jammed with people that are trying to watch the show. Furthermore, the bars sit on either side of these exits so there are people right there ordering drinks. Now, imagine you’re on the floor and you decide to step outside, or go towards the back for whatever reason. Good luck, buddy. You’ll be bumping into people left and right and cause traffic jams of your own just to get out of there. It’s terrible.

Aja Volkman of Nico Vega

Anyway, Nico Vega has been receiving a lot of hype this past year and I have multiple friends that dig them. They find the lead singer to be really hot and apparently she’s got so much charisma, and they are just so exhillerating to watch, etc. Please. I was intrigued during the first song, but than bored after 10 minutes, I was regretful I didn’t choose a different show after 20, and I got the hell out of there after 30. They just didn’t do it for me. Certainly not to my surprise, there were a lot of females in the audience. And a ton of hipster dudes. They didn’t do it for me, although I will admit that lead singer Aja Volkman is an intriguing frontwoman. I should’ve walked the few extra blocks or driven back to the House of Blues for KIX. Whatever, you live and you learn.

Nico Vega on stage at the Key Club

After saving myself some boredom, I walked down the block to the legendary Whisky A Go Go for San Diego rap-metal quartet P.O.D. The Whisky is something to see. It definitely has the most heritage of all the Sunset Strip venues, and rightfully so, it’s one of the oldest live music establishments in the country. The place doesn’t look like its changed much in the 50+ years its been operating on Sunset Blvd. A lot of people like to complain about shows at the Whisky for the obvious reasons: it’s grimey, the bathrooms are disgusting, it’s not set-up that well, etc. But you should love the Whisky for the same reason New Yorkers loved CBGB: it’s a rock n’ roll institution and it commands your respect. You need to look past the fact that you have to fight for a good spot, if you’re in the balcony you probably won’t see crap since there are poles and giant speakers hovering over the stage, eliminating a decent sight of the band, and that it can be really tough to get a drink if it’s a capacity crowd. It’s the Whisky, and it rules. Enough said.

POD on stage at The Whiskey

P.O.D. wasted no time with their set, opening with “Southtown”, the song that put them on the map. Afterwards they delivered hit after hit and kept it heavy throughout. The energy at this show was insane. I’ve never seen them before but Andrew has always vouched for their live show. I was skeptical. I was wrong. They are a sick live band.

Marcos Curiel of POD

Lead singer Sonny Sandoval, rocking a “One Love For Chi” t-shirt for the Deftones fallen bass player Chi Cheng and a newly close-cropped haircut, was the consummate frontman, and worked the crowd effortlessly. He told the crowd that this show was special for them since they last played the Whisky in 1998 in front of Atlantic Records, which resulted in them getting signed to the major label.

Wuv of POD

P.O.D. have been under the radar in the last few years. I haven’t heard anything new from them in awhile and I wasn’t even sure they were together anymore. But these guys were unbelievably polished. It was a flawless set that strung together all of the hits. They worked the crowd exceptionally well. At one point, Sonny Sandoval was crowdsurfing while singing the chorus to “Alive.”

Sonny of POD

I’m not sure what the plan is for P.O.D. at this point. They made no reference to a new record or what their future plans may be. I’m just glad that I was able to see them, in their original lineup at this legendary venue. I walked out of their feeling like I had just accomplished something, because I was neglecting a great live band for many years.

And so concludes Day 2 of the Sunset Strip Music Festival. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!

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12 Comments »

  • 1/4 said:

    Darius: Do you have a setlist for POD?

    Great report bro!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • gcstrip said:

    I’m not commenting on anything hipset as there is enough of it here in Williamsburg.

    P.O.D. is one of the better live acts I’ve encountered. Andrew has really gotten behind Papa Roach and P.O.D. as live acts and I can’t say he’s wrong. You’re on board too so you guys know what you’re talking about.

    They are victims of Atlantic. They fucked the Buckcherry record. They fucked the Cold record. I could go on and on but those are the guys you all seem to focus on.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • cartoons789 said:

    I thought POD was done. Was this a 1-off?

    I was at The Key Club in 07 and the reviewer is so right. Rather die of thirst than attempt to hit up the bar.

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  • Draggers said:

    They don’t even have a label right now.

    What possessed you to attend that shit earlier in the night?

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  • 1942 said:

    POD wanted to headline towards the end of their run when their popularity was fading. They should have gotten a good support tour.

    POD is underrated so don’t give me that nu metal crap. Just a great band.

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  • Flora said:

    Nico Vega isn’t bad. The reviewer was just braced for heavier stuff (see his other reviews)

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  • darius said:

    @Flora. not true. i have a lot of friends that love Nico Vega and i have listened to their stuff before. i was just grossly underwhelmed by their performance.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • darius said:

    POD was outstanding though. i would go see them again in a heartbeat.

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  • JcHc3in1 said:

    P.O.D. setlist:

    Southtown
    Boom
    Lie Down
    Set It Off
    Addicted
    Kaliforn-i-a
    Lights Out
    Youth of the Nation
    Without Jah Nothin
    I’ll Be Ready
    Shine With Me
    Latin Jam (musical interlude including Marcos guitar solo)
    God Forbid
    Alive

    I agree that it was a GREAT show and it’s good to see P.O.D. just as cohesive as ever! They’ve begun writing a new album, according to Marcos, and I believe they are still on the same label as they were when they released “When Angels and Serpents Dance.” The label is probably just not presurring them like Atlantic did. The guys have a bunch of side stuff going on, Marcos with Accident Experiment and Sonny with The Whosoevers, and just really hanging with the peeps these days.

    Thanks for the review!

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  • jones said:

    POD was amazing that night! Damn! There was a local band that I saw that night also with POD that was called Asphalt Messiah.. they were amazing as well! POD and that band should be touring together. I bought their CD after the show and it is killer!

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach said:

    I’ve seen them live multiple times and was always impressed, and that includes the Jason Truby years. I would like nothing more than for these guys to put out some killer new music and then tour the country playing it live.

    If you’ve never let POD into your life, go see them live. Then tell me what you think.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Divine said:

    Good Work Hope YOU come out with a new album soon…. I would love tu hear some new stuff by you guyz…… It would be SWEET……keep the faith MUCH LOVE D*

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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