ANAHEIM, California — The Mighty Ducks may have fled Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, but swarms of music fans flocked to it Friday night for a big show benefiting a big cause — tsunami relief.
The all-star lineup for the Music For Relief: Rebuilding South Asia show included No Doubt, Jurassic 5, Story of the Year, Camp Freddy and Jay-Z performing alongside organizers Linkin Park.
Ozzy Osbourne was scheduled to appear (see “Jay-Z, Justin, No Doubt, Linkin, Blink, Peas To Play Tsunami Benefits In California” ), but due to a reported family emergency, he was unable to make it. Blink-182 were also supposed to perform, but dropped out with no explanation and only a couple of hours’ notice.
Although Linkin Park offered a refund, they hoped everyone would check out the show and support the cause despite the cancellations. With few empty seats in the crowd, it seemed that Blink’s absence didn’t keep many away.
After enduring grueling traffic, fans were treated to an early DJ set by the Crystal Method, who took the stage at 6:30 p.m. Immediately following were Story of the Year, who, along with their hits ” ’Til the Day I Die” and “Anthem of Our Dying Day,” also did a few covers, including a rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama,” changing the beloved state to California — a crowd pleaser, to say the least. A rotating stage left no lag time between sets, so with little pause, Cali locals Jurassic 5 went on to get the now much-fuller arena jumping.
The stage didn’t rotate after their set, but instead out came “Charmed” hottie Alyssa Milano to talk about where the money was going (to UNICEF and Habitat for Humanity International) and to introduce Chester Bennington’s own video of his trip to Phuket, Thailand, after the tsunami hit.
After Bennington’s mini-documentary, the stage rotated once again to reveal the man himself and his band, Linkin Park, who went into a set of hits including “Somewhere I Belong” “Breaking the Habit” and “Crawling.” They also played a rarity, “Frgt/10,” which required Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na to reemerge to exchange verses with Mike Shinoda.
Hip-hop was in the house, but where was the promised Jiggaman? About halfway through the set, the lights went out and the beat to “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” pumped through the arena. The fans went wild as Jay-Z appeared, smoothly delivering his lines, “If you’re feelin’ like a pimp n—-, go and brush your shoulders off.” This was the first time since July 18 that Jay took the stage with Linkin Park to do Collision Course, so it was a rare treat for those willing to shell out the $85-$125 ticket price. The boys stuck to the script laid out on their EP, except at the top of “Izzo/ In the End,” where Jay changed the lyrics to say “F— it; I’m guilty.” Wonder which charge he was talking about.
The crowd got almost no break from this hard act to follow, as the stage spun to reveal No Doubt. Gwen said, as if to herself, “I can’t believe I’m out here playing with No Doubt,” and after a seven-month hiatus from one another, the band may well have shared the sentiment. The group ran through its greatest hits, fully ignoring the fact that its lead singer has her own album to promote these days. Highlights included Stefani’s lament, “Girls, girls, girls …” with the crowd roaring, knowing it would lead into “Just a Girl,” and the finale of “Spiderwebs” that brought Gwen to the center of the crowd to smack hands with the most devoted. The band took a final bow together — the last time as a group for who knows how long.
To give the crowd a moment to catch its collective breath, actor Jared Leto talked more about the charities, and then Jason “Wee Man” Acuña of “Jackass” introduced Camp Freddy, a collective of musicians who do a radio show on Los Angeles’ Indie 103.1 and hold jam sessions with a rotating cast of characters (see “Dave Navarro’s Cover Band Wants Britney, Christina To Sing” ). Their set began with Camp Freddy regulars Dave Navarro, Chris Chaney and Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, Billy Morrison of the Cult, and Donovan Leitch along with friends Cypress Hill to do “Rock Superstar.” B-Real had mic problems, but Sen Dog held his own over Navarro’s guitar riffs. After Leitch led the band for Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz,” out came Adrian Young from No Doubt on a second drum set, Billy Duffy from the Cult on guitar and Richard Patrick of Filter to do Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.”
Rob Zombie joined to do the White Zombie track, “Thunder Kiss ’65.” Halfway through, he stopped and prodded the audience to go crazy and “make it at least worth the drive — two hours of traffic!” The last surprise occurred when Gwen’s hubby, Gavin Rossdale, came out to sing Bad Company’s “Feel like Makin’ Love” — on the opening night of his film “Constantine.” Despite a serious case of white-boy shuffle-itis, he made up what he lacked in dance moves by jumping into the crowd, just as his wife did earlier, to get close to the fans. They closed the show with Billy Morrison and Rossdale together doing the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” — a final lesson in rock history to conclude a great night for a great cause.