Move Festival - Old Trafford Cricket Ground - 11.7.02
Green Day, No Doubt plus guests
As I make my journey through the hoards of kids fresh out of school I realize just how out of touch I am with youth culture. At the pensionable age of 24 I still can't get my head round the fact that the 2nd day of the Move Festival featuring Green Day, No Doubt, Less Than Jake, A, Rival Schools and Hoobastank has sold more tickets than the respective days for Bowie, Weller and New Order. I start to accept my place in society as one of those old people and hence try and get down with this youth thang going on, but give up when I realize I've left my obligatory Nu-Metal T-Shirt and Boots Punk Hair Dye at home. I did decide to be a transvestite for the day but the idea of walking round with a pierced lip and T-Shirt with "Bitch" written across it didn't appeal.
Still I must persevere and for the plain and simple fact of not looking like a sad old man I head down to the pit for Hoobastank, one of the few bands on today's bill that have the passion and fire of old skool rock albeit processed through a Nu-Metal blender and hence contributing to the continual evolution of the genre. Straight out of Cali they tell a tale of lost love and the typical fragile male ego, but deliver it with such passion that you can't help be drawn in. Melodies sore before the crunch of the chorus and a pit is all moshed out. But it's not until they deliver the kiss of "Crawling In The Dark" that the more, shall we say fashionistas amongst us, start to realize that they just missed one of the bands who names they unwittingly write on their school books each week. Hoobastank are a band who define rock music in the year 2002 and yet will survive long after the kids have found a new genre to champion.
In order to preserve my sanity I skip the depressing rock of emo head boys Rival Schools and return to my British roots with A. Surprisingly with British rock music at an all time high, thanks to the likes of Lost Prophets and Hundred Reasons, A are the sole UK rockers representing and it's with this knowledge that they set out to "destroy the pitch, so they can never play cricket on it again". It's a short-lived success as apart from recent singles "Nothing" and "Starbucks" they fail to really win over the crowd despite the leads singers attempt at Thunderbirds gone rock dance manoeuvres. Less Than Jake can't fail to win over the crowd with their blend of ska-rock despite that fact that like A they seem to have a set of forgetable set of greatest misses.
Breaking out the post Tank Girl feminism rally is No Doubt's Gwen Stefani towering above us in bringing out a chant of "I'm just a girl in Manchester". On one hand a little girl lost and a voice to melt the hardest of hearts for "Don't Speak". And on the other hand the only white girl to chill with Eve and have a crafty left hook to boot. With a set that the Glastonbury crowd got to experience just over 2 weeks ago they work on the idea that if it's not broken, why fix it? And what better philosophy to work with when you mixing up old classics like "Sunday Morning" through "Hey Baby" and onto the next single "Underneath It All" which despite sounding like Peter Andre's "Mysterious Girl" is a return to the old ska roots of old and leaves the electro R&B as just a indiscreet diversion.
For me Green Day lost the plot the day they picked up acoustic guitars, but still killers on the live circuit they work their way through classic album "Dookie" with "Welcome To Paradise", "Basketcase" and then resuscitate "Minority" from it's recorded whimper by way of Lulu's "Shout". The anyone can do it with 3 chord punk spirit is still alive when the band take a back seat for three members of the audience out to take over the drums, bass and guitar respectively. After a few lazy fumbles and the ritual humiliation of losing the plot in front of an audience of thousands an unknown walks away with Billie Joe's guitar and the punk spirit lives on when he does the same thing 10 years down the line in his band.
After an hour and thirty the band leave the stage. I look behind me and find and empty pavilion where us media types are supposed to stand. I guess it says more about us that while an audience of thousands get down on the scene we are still that out of touch we don't know what's going on in real life. Certainly true for some and they are conspicuous by their absence, but we just saw the past 10 years of rock pass us by and while Green Day must certainly be on their last legs we saw the future of rock - they are called Hoobastank!!!
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