Location: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX.
Date: July 22, 2017
Houston’s very own 94.5 The Buzz hosted the 2017 Bud Light Weenie Roast last weekend. The lineup featured Chevelle, Blue October, 10 Years, Missio, and Dinosaur Pile-Up. Mother Nature tried to prevent Houstonians from enjoying the festival, but with no success. Concert goers filled the Waterway area as rain poured heavily in The Woodlands, just as the Weenie Roast was starting.
I arrived to the venue about an hour or so into the lineup, having missed Dinosaur Pile-Up and the majority of Missio. However, I was warmly greeted by hundreds of gestures in the air as Missio concluded his set with the hit “Middle Fingers.”
Thinking that this would be the perfect time to grab a drink before 10 Years, my group and I headed to the nearest bar at the venue serving beverages. But, due to the lightning in the area, the Pavilion prohibited food and beverage sales for nearly an hour.
“Life is beautiful if you can focus on the light.” – Jesse Hayek
10 Years: I was excited to see this band because “Wasteland” is one of those tracks that still sticks with me even after all these years. The first line, “Change my attempt, good intentions,” leads into that hard rock sound accompanied by lyrics that contain a haunting, yet relative message about “saving someone who can’t be saved” (Hayek). In addition, other tracks such as “Fix Me” and “Shoot it Out” energized the audience. Before concluding the set, frontman Jesse Hasek discussed how music can come from a very “dark” and “emotional place.” He continued by saying, “Some people give everything, like martyrs to the system… bleed out the soul.” He then requested audience members to raise their hands and applaud “people like Chris and Chester.” I think people still mourning these deaths were comforted by the realness and empathy Hayek was giving. He was certainly right when he reminded us, “Their legacies will never fucking die because music lives on forever.” That phrase alone deserves praise.
Blue October: I was honestly very surprised with this band. The frontman, Justin Furstenfeld, has an amazing voice and seems very genuine, according to his lyrics and how he presents himself on stage. He wore a black long sleeved shirt with the name “Chester” spray-painted in white, as a tribute to the late Chester Bennington. After playing their biggest hit “Hate Me,” he asked the entire Pavilion for a moment of silence, as many obliged. Aside from the tributes, Blue October was astounding in their performance. Furstenfeld’s voice, the guitar, the drums, the bass, the lyrics, the lighting… they all complemented each other so well that I became a new fan and would love to see them again. Hopefully I can hear the song “Calling You” next time. 🙂
Furstenfeld concluded Blue October’s set by leading the audience with the chorus from Linkin Park’s “Shadow of the Day.” There was a definite feeling of mourning from both the performers and audience. Yet, there was also comfort in knowing that none of us were alone in our feelings.
“And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you…“
In between sets, songs from Linkin Park, Chris Cornell, and even Nirvana filled the air, reminding us just how prominent depression mixed with drug addiction is. The tragedies we’ve experienced just this year with Cornell and Bennington are not the only ones. There are so many others we have lost and we must remember them, not only as artists, but as people who struggled and battled for years.
Chevelle: I was most excited to see this band, as they have been on my bucket list for
several years. My memories of Chevelle go all the way back to when I was 10 years old. I remember the single “The Red” playing for the first time and being like, “This is music.” The next day in art class, my teacher mentioned how the color red is associated with passionate feelings, such as love or anger. Then the song made sense to me and was stuck in my head the rest of the day.
Chevelle played nearly all of their singles, excluding “Panic Prone,” “Closure,” and “Well Enough Alone.” But, the band gave its audience exactly what they came for: a badass rock show. The lighting was the most interesting to me. I’m always perplexed at how the colors and shapes can appear so perfectly to the rhythm of a song. This is probably why I take a lot of pictures of how light affects subjects (silhouettes, shadows, sunsets, etc.) In addition to this, Chevelle of course played a perfect show. The vibrations from the bass and drums made your heart beat out of your chest. Lead singer Pete Loeffler’s vocals mixed with his guitar gave goosebumps all over your body. Is this sounding a bit erotic? Well, that’s what the excitement of a rock show should do: make you
feel things, internally and externally. The band concluded their set, but came back with an encore set consisting of the tracks: “The Red,” “Comfortable Liar,” “Forfeit,” and “Send the Pain Below.”
This was my first experience at a festival associated with 94.5 The Buzz. I now know what I’ve been missing all these years and look forward to attending the next Buzzfest or Weenie Roast.