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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Rock Riot

    Alternative rockers Paramore are among bands performing at KFMA Fall Ball 2007. The musical collision will take place at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way on Sunday. Doors open at noon.
    Alternative rockers Paramore are among bands performing at KFMA Fall Ball 2007. The musical collision will take place at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way on Sunday. Doors open at noon.

    KFMA’s Fall Ball brings ’90s alternative legend the Smashing Pumpkins to town along with best-selling rap group Cypress Hill. Other bands to hit the stage include Against Me!, Silverstein, Operator, Paramore and Scary Kids Scaring Kids.

    Fall Ball is the second-largest annual outdoor music festival in Southern Arizona, beat only by its sister festival, KFMA Day.

    Matt Spry, a disc jockey at KFMA, said he is pumped about the bands on the lineup.

    “”The most exciting thing is that the Smashing Pumpkins are coming to Tucson for the first time. They’ve been around forever,”” he said. “”I think we have a great variety. I mean, Paramore is on fire right now – they’re selling tons of records, Against Me! already has a built in audience – kind of that underground thing and they’re bubbling up mainstream – then a great variety with Cypress Hill thrown in there as well.””

    Fans get to not only hear their favorite bands but also meet them in person. There will be a Zia Records tent where the majority of the performing bands will be signing autographs and talking with fans, Spry said.

    “”It’s just a big party,”” he said.

    Spry said he feels that the festival has a positive influence on Tucson’s music scene.

    “”The great thing about KFMA Day and Fall Ball is that we’ve kind of helped put Tucson on the map,”” he said. “”We’re seeing the larger national acts that will now come through Tucson, whereas in the past they have skipped the smaller market like Tucson for the bigger payday, like Phoenix or Las Vegas.””

    “”We don’t put these shows on to make money,”” he added. “”We put it on to bring the artists through town and to thank our listeners for making our radio station great.””

    Insane in the membrane

    One of the most hyped bands coming to Fall Ball is the multi-platinum group Cypress Hill. Known for its eclectic style of hip-hop, Cypress Hill was the first Latin-American rap group to have a platinum-selling album.

    Rapper Sen Dog said that he and his band are excited for the festival.

    “”We’ve played (in Tucson) a bunch of times, and we’ve always dug the Arizona crowd,”” he said. “”I’m looking forward to it.””

    Sen Dog added that Cypress Hill enjoys playing in festival settings, which allows the band to see new, potentially influential groups from music genres other than its own.

    He said Cypress Hill’s live show is like a semi-political roller coaster, chock full of high and low points to keep the audience guessing.

    “”Our live show is one of the best in hip-hop or in today’s modern music,”” Sen Dog said. “”You get your money’s worth when you come see Cypress.””

    Although the band has done their fair share of touring and enlists seasoned musicians, even it is in awe of rockers the Smashing Pumpkins, he said.

    “”It’s a serious honor to play with those guys, and I’m glad that they’re back on the scene,”” he said. “”We did a lot of touring with (them) back in the ’90s, and I always thought they were one of the heavier yet melodic bands.””

    Sen Dog said he’s thankful for the 12,000 fans who are expected to attend Sunday.

    “”That means more to us than anything else in this business, and that’s why we still keep the band going because people want to see us, and we love them for that.””

    The crest of a new wave

    Another band to hit the stage is the up-and-coming Against Me! This quartet from Gainseville, Fla., has just released their first album on their first major label, New Wave. Featuring the single “”Thrash Unreal,”” New Wave debuted at No. 57 on the Billboard 200.

    “”We’re really just looking for a good time,”” said bassist Andrew Seward. “”We’ve never been to (Fall Ball) before, this will be our first time. I like Tucson. I expect a good time.””

    Lately the band has experienced the sometimes draining side effects of being rock stars.

    “”We’re touring for the record now, but we’ve been on tour forever,”” Seward said. “”We started (touring for) this record in fall of this year – even going in the studio a lot of times seems like a break.””

    Regardless of any lethargy the band members might be experiencing, the group still appreciates the opportunity to play at a festival.

    “”Its totally different when you play inside a club,”” Seward said. “”It usually sounds better and the sun’s not in your face, but festivals are great because you get to play to people who have no clue who you are and a challenge is always a good thing for a band.””

    ‘Soulcrusher’ don’t give a damn

    Hard rockers Operator will also be jammin’ out Sunday. Guitarist Paul Phillips, previously of Puddle of Mudd, said his band is excited to play to a new crowd and catch up with some old friends.

    “”We do a lot of the big radio festivals,”” Phillips said. “”They’re always fun. Anytime you got that many bands on the bill, there’s going to be a gang load of people.””

    Operator’s new album, Soulcrusher, seems to be causing quite a stir. Singles such as “”Soulcrusher”” and “”Nothing to Lose”” are clear nods to the old days of rock.

    “”People comment on MySpace with great compliments, (like) ‘Best rock record in years’ and all this, and you know I’m the last guy to ever toot my own horn, I’m just not that guy, I’m a pretty modest guy but you know I’ll take it,”” Phillips said.

    The details

    Fall Ball will take place at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way, on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door for $50.

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