Reviews > Concert > WMMR Spring Break 2002
   On Saturday March 16th, the Philadelphia waterfront exploded with some good old-fashioned kick-ass rock 'n' roll. With Molson Canadian sponsoring, 93.3 WMMR blew the roof off of the Naval Ship Yard Cruise Terminal with the sounds of Bush and Default. With doors opening at 4:00 PM, it would only be a matter of time before the atmosphere of the party was set. Reminiscent of Woodstock 99, Spring Break 2002 would play out like a huge Frat party, minus the beer pong. With Molson selling beer all over the place ($5 for a cup that held about a can), and a Body Shot booth with some of the local strippers, this was a drunken fools dream. If all this booze wasn't enough, add to the party, professional wrestler The Blue Meanie with manager Jasmine St. Claire. Yes, that Jasmine St. Claire, the porn star. There to promote the 3PW, the Meanie and Jasmine signed autographs, and posed for all the pictures that were requested of them.

Jeremy Hora of Default
Jeremy Hora of Default
Around 7 PM, the stage was finally put to use as WMMR held the bikini contest. With chants of "Show your tits," and "Take it off," this was obviously a high-brow audience. Girl after girl was brought to the front of the stage and surprisingly the ones who took off their tops were the ones who garnered the biggest response from the crowd. The "contest" was non-existent though as the woman in the American Flag bikini easily won the affection of the crowd. Upon winning her crown, the girl was coaxed into taking it all off (not that it took much) as the crowd exploded with approval. After learning Default would soon hit the stage, I headed to the bathroom and was met with a Philadelphia standard, guys in line to piss in the janitor's closet, one man in the corner, one man in the trashcan, and a couple guys forgoing the line and using the sink. Damn it all goes out the window when beer is involved. So after I went in the janitor closet (it was a shorter line, sue me), I headed back towards the stage.

As the sound of "Slow Me Down" hit the hanger, Default erupted onto stage. The band sounded just like they do on record, which many bands cannot pull off. Unfortunately the acoustics in the hanger were not great as the further away you got, the more it echoed. This did not deter the band as it went right into "Sick and Tired." The band was definitely eating up the strong crowd response that they were getting. The band showed a strong stage presence, which only fueled the crowd more as all members were all over the stage. Default cruised through material from their debut CD, The Fallout, moving quickly from song to song. Now having seen the band, I stick with my assessment that "Live a Lie" is my favorite song of theirs as it sounded amazing. The band closed out their 45-minute set with "Wasting my Time," and their latest single "Deny." Surprisingly, and thankfully, "Wasting My Time" did not turn into the sing along that I had expected.
Dave Benedict of Default
Dave Benedict of Default
You know the one where the band stops playing except for the drums and every drunken ass sings along. Hey, don't get me wrong, I am that ass too but is there anything more annoying that than? Well other than that guy who yells for "Freebird" the whole damn show. The only thing that was disappointing is that lead singer Dallas did not have much of a rep with the crowd in between songs, but then again being on tour with Bush will certainly help this great young band out.

    After about a half-hour of listening to WMMR on the house speakers (including Bush songs, which I thought was dumb since they were about to go on), the lights once again lowered and Bush hit the stage. Touring in support of their latest release, and first on Atlantic Records, Golden State, Bush set out like they had something to prove. Playing without lead guitarist Nigel (who was at home with his wife who had just given birth) the band opened with "Solutions," coincidentally the opening song of Golden State. Unfortunately, it did not seem as if many people in the crowd of about 5,000 knew the song. That problem was resolved shortly as the band started on what soon became a hit brigade, starting with "Chemicals Between Us" and "People That We Love." The latter of course was the first single of Golden State, a title that had to be changing from "Speed Kills" following the awful events of September 11th.

Bush did not lose any steam throughout the set. "Ghost World" sounded amazing and was followed by "Everything Zen," and an extended version of "Swallowed," featuring some killer solo work to end the song. Gavin proved to be every bit of the showman, as he ventured into the crowd at the start of "Hurricane." I can only think of one lead singer that is better at being a frontman than Gavin is right now, and that is Scott Weiland, of the Stone Temple Pilots. You can easily make an argument for either as the best lead singer in rock today, with both commanding your attention on stage. Right as the set was hitting a high point, it was over in a flourish with "Machinehead" and "Comedown" closing the set. You could almost see the crowd wanting to be pissed off about it, had it not been for the fact that it was a free show, although the crowd did bitch about everything else, including a woman complaining about having to pay $1 for a strand of beads.

    After a short break, Gavin emerged once again on stage and commenced the encore with "Glycerine." With a small twist, the rest of Bush appeared on stage toward the end of the song for a more rocking end to the song. Not wanting to stop the surprises, the band flabbergasted just about everyone by doing an unbelievable version of the Cars "Just What I Needed." It was like a big 80s karaoke party as the 3,500 drunks left sang and danced along in delight before the band brought the show back to where it left with a reprise of "Swallowed." It was then time for the band to really say goodbye as they ended Spring Break 2002 with "Little Things."

    What looked like a disaster waiting to happen, Spring Break 2002 pretty much went off without a hitch. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of people that were drunk as shit, I should know since some of them were kind enough to buy me a drink, which never is a bad thing, in fact if you see me at a show, I wont mind at all if you buy me a beverage. A couple of guys had to be helped out medically as they had just a little too much of the $5 beers. Happily once the music started, the majority of people ignored the booze and enjoyed the music. Trashcans were overturned and became go-go platforms for some of the ladies (and a few drunk guys) to get up and show their stuff. There were a lot of drunken knuckleheads though that were copping feels off all the lovely ladies that walked by, which never is an acceptable behavior.

    Bush proved why they have been around for close 10 years and Default showed the skills to have a similar run, as both bands put on great shows. The only thing that would have made the show better was a third band to play in the hanger around 5:30/6:00 to give more of a show. The almost 3.5 hours in between doors opening and Default was a little much, even if I did get to watch guy after guy lick a body shot off of a stripper. You could almost see on every guy's face that he wanted to be that lucky guy the girl went home with, like they ever had a chance. Damn us guys are so stupid.

Scott Hamilton
Editor, EMPYRE Lounge

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