On this date in history, 8/12/1995, a local Indianapolis radio station began an annual tradition called X-Fest, a collection of bands theoretically featured on the airwaves. The show took place at Deer Creek, and featured Bush, Weezer, Sponge, Quicksand, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Material Issue, Letters To Cleo, Sugar Ray, and The Toadies.
I don’t recall seeing The Toadies at this concert, but I can vouch for them as a powerful live band, because I saw them the following year opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers, and they were fierce.
I wasn’t too excited about any of the bands until Quicksand, and they played an outstanding, intense set. Sponge kept the ball rolling with their Detroit ‘take no prisoners’ approach to hard rock.
Weezer surprised me quite a bit. I had expected them to be pretty light weight, but Rivers Cuomo and his crew cranked up the guitars and blasted through a set of really tight songs and made a fan of me.
Bush were pretty good, but I felt (and still feel) that they weren’t really a headliner. The future Mr. Gwen Stefani (Gavin Rossdale) sang passionately and sounded great vocally, but lacked that larger than life quality that all the greatest front me possess.
To be fair, they were only one album into their career and executed everything with precision. For a first time out, X Fest did enough things right that WRZX brought it back the following year and started an event that exists to the present time.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic