Big Ass mess

By By Dan Fletcher

By Dan Fletcher

This weekend’s 10th AnnualX96 Big Ass Show is SaltLake City’s belated manifestationof the nation’s musicalprogression (or, in the eyes ofmany, lack thereof). Placedone month into the schoolyear, precisely at the pointwhere classrooms begin to resembledank, dingy jail cells,the fest stands as a monolithof freedom amid a wastelandof books and boredom.Regardless of the bands orbooths, it seems to have becomea necessary rite of passageinto a cold, hard winterof old fashioned book hitting.X96 has long been Salt LakeCity’s exclusive supplier ofmainstream explosions sinceits humble inception. Whengrunge unearthed from theNorthwest’s fertile soils intothe real world, it was there topush it. When guys with tribaltattoos began misspellingtheir band names and rappingover B-grade (“nu”) metal,it flooded our streets/headswith it.And now that last year’ssensations have started toseek out their own metrosexualstylists, the kids whowere painting on their jeansa year ago have now all begunto scream over bad pop-punktunes-we’re in for a realtreat.Spearheading this new waveof mascara-veiled testosteronewill be the ever-ambiguousPapa Roach (those guiltyof “Last Resort,” now beingplayed at monster truck rallieseverywhere). Supportingits third full-length album,Getting Away With Murder,the Roach is back with morebleeding-hearted anthems offamily turmoil and high schoolheartbreak.Joined by kindred rap-rockrefugeesHoobastank, one obviousconclusion can’t be heldfrom being brought to light: Itdoesn’t take a cool band nameto be a famous frat rocker.This nail is beaten into theground (or our heads) by Britain’sstrongest radio-core import,LostProphets, who hasgraciously been ushered intothis genre’s folds. With thesetroublemakers in attendance,be prepared for a serious brodown.Not to be out done, thepop-punk contingent will, infact, be out in full for ce. Veteranpower chord puncherGoldfinger has been tappedto preach the gospel of politicaldissent to the masses,as the token old (dare we say”school?”) act of the festival.Heading in the oppositedirection will be yet anotherband quickly fleeing the sinkingship of its genre: Sum 41.While its new album throwsup the metal horns in defianceof its pop image, the band’ssweet-hearted anatomy (fart)jokes and hijinks will assuredlyshine through and warm thehearts of young and old alike.California sunshine rockersLit will also be in attendance,spewing forth its Insulin Rockas the comeback kings of thenight. Anyone rememberthese guys?Yeah, neither do we. (I do.-Ed.)Always the tag-along, thesegenres’ cute-but-zit-faced-little-brother-otherwise knownas Screamo-will be along forthe ride, throwing a tantrumthe entire way through. TRL’slatest action heroes Story ofthe Year wow onlookers withtheir death-defying acrobaticsand pristine pop hooks andgolden state rockers LetterKills will invoke the ghosts oftraditional rock and roll withtheir soul searing solos anddistortion driven fuzz. P ittingtheir angelic rock passionagainst nagging screamo demons,Letter Kills will provideone heck of a stylistic deathmatch.Once the bash draws to aclose, the place to be will bethe U’s own Fine Arts Auditorium.Here, Goldfinger and Storyof the Year will step outof character and serve up aone-of-a-kind acoustic performanceto benefit the StudentOrganization for AnimalRights and the Utah AnimalRights Coalition. Regardlessof philosophical disposition,this is a once-in-a-lifetimeopportunity to see some ofpunk and screamo’s greatestmusicians drop the distortionand get personal-not to [email protected]