Jingle Bell ROQ: This Year’s 13 Best KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Moments
Arcade Fire [photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]
It's that most wonderful time of the year: holiday radio concert time! Yes, 'tis the season for all the hottest alt-rock bands in the land to work the radio-gig circuit, and this past weekend they made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles to play KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas at the newly renovated Shrine Auditorium.
The two-night stand was in fact not acoustic at all — the station's annual Xmas show went electric years ago, although it started off as a humble, unplugged event back in 1989. But that was just fine, considering that the big headliners were typically cranked-to-11 bands like Kings of Leon, Phoenix, Fitz & the Tantrums, and Lorde.
Here are the merriest moments from the 24th annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas:
13. New Politics' singer danced like he'd just guzzled 10 egg nogs.
Danish new wavers New Politics are one of those rare bands who can play top 40 station KIIS FM's Jungle Ball on a bill with Miley Cyrus (which they did this past Friday), then the very next night rock out at KROQ with Foals and Grouplove. Their secret? The universally crowd-pleasing dancing of rubber-limbed frontman David Boyd, who seems to have picked up his moves from classic R.E.M. videos, Sinead O'Connor's "The Emperor's New Clothes," and Yoko Ono. I just wish someone had caught on video the eye-popping moment when David actually ran up the completely vertical side of an amp and then did a backflip. Yes, that actually happened. A Christmas miracle!
12. AFI brought back ghosts of Christmas past.
Every spectator in the KROQ crowd seemed to be reliving those carefree days of emo youth when AFI, who recently their first album in four years, took the stage. Worshipful fans in the aptly named Shrine practically sobbed as frontman Davey Havok (still every inch the red-Hot Topic rock star) belted very Christmas-worthy song selections like "Silver and Cold" and "Love Like Winter." But I'll always have an especially nostalgic spot in my heart for the sparkliest and glammiest of all AFI anthems, "Miss Murder."
11. Vampire Weekend played their unintentional, accident holiday hit.
"Holiday" was never meant to be a Christmas song; it was supposed to be the summer soundtrack for the indie Ivy Leaguers' vacations on Martha's Vineyard, or wherever Vampire Weekend spend their between-semester downtime. But when the jaunty tune was featured in Christmas commercials for Tommy Hilfiger and Honda, it became an unofficial Christmas classic. The fact Ezra Koenig and company performed it this time in front of a brocade needlepoint background somehow made it even more preppily festive.