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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
The radio rock faithful showed up in hordes at the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre Sunday for 97X’s Next Big Thing 10. Unfortunately, similar to the alternative rock genre, the festival becomes increasingly less interesting, and more predictable, every year. A sea of people clad in skinny jeans and V-necks packed the area surrounding the “Discover New Rock Stage” to hear neo-screamo A Day to Remember. I watched nostalgically as hundreds of crowd-surfers were lifted up, remembering days spent moshing, crowd-surfing, and screaming my lungs out for my favorite bands. The fans went nuts; I, though, felt the whole scream and dance ritual (see: synchronized head banging) grew stagnant about three songs into ADTR’s set.
Next was the punk-rock-gone-pop-rock quartet, Against Me! I was initially very excited about this set. However, problems with the sound mix and an unconvinced radio rock crowd marred the experience.
Ever since the song Lay Me Down hit the airwaves, people have been proclaiming the Dirty Heads as the next Sublime, but I couldn’t help but feel they were trying way too hard. It was more like a mix of Eminem and Sublime, except they lacked the lyrical prowess of Eminem and the melodic soothingness of Sublime, leaving an incredibly boring combination of dull reggae and dumb hip hop.
Thank goodness for Switchfoot, pop-rock veterans who haven’t gained much attention recently. I wasn’t expecting much from the band, as it appeared at 1:25 p.m. to a nearly deserted mainstage crowd. Surprisingly, from the moment lead singer Jon Foreman and company charged on to the stage with their 2005 hit Meant to Live, they dedicated themselves entirely to winning over the crowd. Foreman literally ran all around the amphitheater, stopping to sing two songs including the epic Dare You to Move, at the third level of seats. While Foreman hyped up the entire amphitheater, his band maintained rock-steady synchronicity. The group put on an incredible show, especially given that its set was only five songs long. Those who wrote off Switchfoot and arrived later missed out on a real treat.
Luke Preston is a senior at Tampa Preparatory.