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

On This Day in History


On this date in history, Part 2: Fifteen years after that Rush show, I traveled back to MSA in 1996 to check out Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Toadies, and Spacehog. Starting from the beginning, Spacehog played a fairly generic opening set. Nothing horrible, but nothing horribly memorable, either!

Moving on, The Toadies were a vast improvement, playing mostly selections from their fine Rubberneck album. My highlights were Backslider, I Come From The Water, and the incredible Possum Kingdom. They rocked hard and got the crowd pumped and didn’t overstay their welcome.

The Toadies – Possum Kingdom


Obviously, the majority of the audience was there primarily for the funky headliners, and Anthony Kiedis and the boys delivered the goods. This was the short period of time when Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction was their lead guitar player. I’ve always been a huge fan of his playing and I thought the album he played on with the Peppers, One Hot Minute, was among their finest. Dave is admittedly more of a rocker than a funk player, and not as suited to the RHCP style as John Frusciante, but he has fantastic stage presence and killed it on this particular night. Getting to play with Flea and Chad Smith would be a thrill for any guitar player. Those guys laid down a bed of nasty funk that had us dancing throughout the show. Total beast mode rhythm section! They played a handful of the songs off One Hot Minute and filled out the rest of the set with crowd favorites from the earlier classics. Two completely different styled shows 15 years apart made for March 11 to be a fondly remembered date in my concert history!

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Red Hot Chili Peppers – One Hot Minute Tour 1996 Bootleg Series




On This Day in History: Part 2