Live review: 2014 Weenie Roast, PNC Music Pavilion (9/6/2014)



2014 Weenie Roast f. Weezer, Foster the People, Fitz & The Tantrums and more
PNC Music Pavilion
Sept. 6, 2014

Another Weenie Roast, another summer come and gone. The 2014 Weenie Roast featured a great lineup with a solid mixture of talent to keep Charlotte entertained in what would otherwise be just a long, very hot, day. Bands like Foster the People, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fuel and Wild Cub made appearances this year, but here's a few of this Weenie's not-to-be-missed shows (and if you missed them? You missed out).

Obviously, the big highlight of this year's Weenie Roast was rock staple Weezer. They drew a much more mixed crowd, teenagers and middle-agers alike, but what's cool is that everyone knew the songs. Weezer delivered and brought the generations together in a way a lot of bands on the docket couldn't; they've been around since 1994, they've had a lot of time to bridge the gap. The band that made it cool to be geek whipped out a lot of their old hits (where it seemed that lead singer Rivers Cuomo relied heavily on the crowd during them) but honestly? Those hits are what made people love them, and what people came out to see. The end of summer is a time of nostalgia, after all, and Weezer brought what they're known for and gave a great performance of it.

Foxy Shazam
Foxy Shazam is another group that's been around a while. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary as a band this year, time has not slowed them - if anything it's made them even crazier. And made for an even better live performance. A mix of piano, guitar, percussion and horns (yes, horns), the live performance - though on the side stage this go-round at the Weenie Roast - was phenomenal. They tore the stage up with dance moves and theatrics that seemed near impossible in the heat of the day. Lead singer Eric Nally, who literally ate a few cigarettes that were thrown on stage — is just as good live as he is in the studio and combined with Alex Nauth on the horns and doing co-vocals, in a strange way, it felt like there were two front men. They put every bit of themselves into their set for the Weenie Roast and they were rewarded with a growing crowd that loved what they saw. Their performance was definitely one of the highlights of this year's end of summer bash.

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless
The Pretty Reckless is still considered a young band, especially when compared to other Weenie Roast bands, but they've proven themselves over and over again. This time around they were especially notable - they were unfortunate enough to go on right when security got tight and the people were only starting to trickle into the stage area; most of the crowd during its set was on the lawn, a hard thing to perform to. But they rocked it. Taylor Momsen is always known for her sexuality, and she brought it of course - but she also brought the gravelly vocals that work so well on the band's new record, Going to Hell, against heavy guitar that almost sounded metal. They played a great set amidst what was probably an intimidating situation.

Sir Sly
Sir Sly hasn't been around long, but they have an intriguing mix of electronic, pop and indie-rock sound that lead singer Landon Jacobs performs great live. His voice, a bit low and sulky, is great anyway, but when he has eyes on him in a live show? He really turns it up. They're one of those bands that make a real effort to connect with the audience, moving around constantly during the set to interact, and that's the kind of showmanship that matters; the Weenie Roast crowd seemed to love it. These guys have a lot of great, catchy songs that definitely fit the theme of a lazy summers day. They're just engaging on stage, simple as that, and if Charlotte's lucky? They'll come back around.

J Roddy Walston

J Roddy Walston & The Business
J Roddy Walston & The Business were just fun, plain and simple. They constantly had the audience wondering is it rock? Is it soul? Is it gospel? Answer: it's just good music. J Roddy works the piano like Jerry Lee Lewis and wraps guitars around vocals in a way that music was made for. These guys, though not taking the top billing, will probably find their way to to headline one day - they were probably the best performance at the Weenie Roast, a difficult honor to bestow because this year's lineup was filled with so many great bands that give great live performances. But J Roddy? They earned it.

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