As the holiday season rapidly creeps on us, L.A. radio station KROQ hosted its annual Almost Acoustic Christmas show at the Forum on Dec. 9 and 10. Proceeds from the show benefit local charities Para Los Niños and the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center. Tickets for the show went on sale months in advance and to no surprise, the show sold out in minutes. And it definitely makes sense why! This year KROQ delivered one of it's best lineups in years. From Muse to Run the Jewels, the diverse lineup was refreshing
Saturday's lineup was the night for those old-school rockers. The lineup included Royal Blood, Judah & the Lion, Cold war Kids, Run the Jewels, Prophets of Rage, Rise Against, Queens of the Stone Age, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Muse.
The show opened with up-and-comers Royal Blood and Judah & the Lion, who gave stellar performances. The crowd absolutely loved Royal Bloods hard rocker style and Judah & the Lion's infectious energy. It wouldn't be a special show without a few surprises. During Cold War Kid's set, the band surprised the crowd with Bishop Briggs who performed a cover of Rhianna's "Love on the Brain."
As the night progressed the messages of unity and change was always front and center. Prophets Of Rage's political message and music resonated with the audience. Especially with their guitarists showing off "Fuck Donald Trump" on his guitar. Rise Against's outspokenness had the crowd cheering as frontman Tim McIlrah screamed, “It’s okay to say f**k racism in 2017,” McIlrath said. “It’s okay to say f**k homophobia in 2017.”
Although, love and unity was the main focus, there was a moment in the show that shocked everyone. Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme was the main talk of the night as video surfaced of him kicking a female photographer in the face during the event. Chelsea Lauren, a photographer for Shutterstock revealed that the incident was unprovoked and that Homme was even smiling before he struck her. On Sunday, Dec. 10, Homme released a statement regarding the incident. “Last night, while in a state of being lost in performance, I kicked over various lighting and equipment on our stage,” the statement read. “Today it was brought to my attention that this included a camera held by photographer Chelsea Lauren. I did not mean for that to happen and I am very sorry. I would never intentionally cause harm to anyone working at or attending one of our shows and I hope Chelsea will accept my sincere apology.”
As information of that event kept unfolding, Thirty Seconds to Mars took the stage next and left the crowd dazzled. Dressed a flowy afghan, looking Jesus Christ, frontman Jared Leto interacted with the crowd as much as possible. Emerged in the back of the audience at the end of “Kings And Queens” and at the end of the show he brought several audience members to the stage for a sing-along of “Closer To The Edge.”
English rockers Muse closed out the show with all their hits including "Dig Down" and "Starlight." The band gave a solid performance, with frontman Matt Bellamy giving his best modern rock-star persona with light up glasses and guitar.