By Jonathan McNamara
Better Than: All the other bands that peaked while I was in high school.
Make no mistake that the majority of the crowd out for last night's Third Thursday concert at Tempe Marketplace were there to hear one song and one song only: "Smooth Criminal."
The cover of the epic Michael Jackson track released by Alien Ant Farm in 2001 is easily the band's biggest hit. In fact, when this track was released, it hit #1 on the U.S. Modern Rock charts.
Before Ant Farm could get their Michael on, local boys The Hypo Twins hit the stage with a thrashy brand of post-punk noise.
Stage presence went a long way for the Hypo Twins who otherwise played an average set with average-sounding music. One highlight (as pointed out by the band to anyone who might be willing to make a request to 103.9 The Edge) was the band's track "Disco Mary," which a few in the crowd seemed to recognize.
Once Alien Ant Farm jumped on stage, all bets were off. Fans were crowd surfing long before the music even started much to the dismay of concert security. Ant Farm's showmanship was polished to a fine sheen. They circled back through their catalogue dazzling the crowd with "Movies" and "Forgive and Forget" before unleashing "Smooth Criminal" at the climactic end.
Here's to early 2000s rock!
Random Detail: Alien Ant Farm bassist Tye Zamora was an unstoppable mass of energy. If he wasn't jumping bass-first into the crowd, this mad man was up on stage seeing how much he could contort his body while waggling his tongue at break-neck speeds.
Personal Bias: I used up my 15 minutes when I got the crowd to cheer for me while I snapped photos. Must be nice to be a rock star.
Crowd Control: Listen up, crowd! If you don't want the security guards to revoke your beach ball-passing privileges you have to stop surfing over the metal security dividers.