USC’s Welcome Back Concert is an annual event. It’s excellent. Really. Ra Ra Riot played last year. From the McCarthy Quad, the bands are up close, the atmosphere is one of unity and spirit, and you can’t go wrong with a lineup like this.
Opening was the always excellent Trojan Marching Band. They kicked ass, as usual. Standout performances included “The Kids Aren’t All Right” and “Party Rock Anthem”, in addition to the traditional fight song and “Tusk”.
Following them was the USC band Y Luv, who were easily the night’s standout performers, showing up the bands that followed them. Their alt-rock was unique and interesting. From the fourth row, their energy radiated through the crowd. Their free EP I’ll review for you in a bit.
Pepper Rabbit, from “just up the 101” then showed off their versatility with eclectic instrumentation, ranging from organ/synth/drum combos to more conventional guitar/bass/drum scenarios. I was unfamiliar with them, but I wasn’t blown away by their sound. Tokyo Police Club seemed to like their set, though.
Tokyo Police Club closed with a midtempo set perfect for energizing the crowd…but not to moshpit levels (though there was a crowd surfing epidemic). They improved greatly on their Sasquatch performance, with vocal inconsistencies belonging only to the keyboardist/backup vocalist, which can be forgiven as his keyboard amp is the same as mine. While I’m not a huge TPC fan, they managed to play all the songs I knew and liked and kept the crowd engaged. I’ll definitely listen to them a little more now.
Here’s a right-click download: “Your English is Good”