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CONCERT EVENT ROCKS ON EVEN WITHOUT APPEARANCE BY EVANESCENCE, KROQ'S WEENIE ROAST STILL BLAZES.

Byline: Bill Hetherman Staff Writer

IRVINE - After KROQ-FM radio announced to fans Saturday morning that Evanescence bowed out of Weenie Roast 2003 because of illness in the band, it sounded like another blow to gender parity.

After all, female singers are about as easy to find at any of the alternative-rock station's concerts as are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

However, the absence of Evanescence's Amy Lee only put a brighter spotlight on White Stripes' Meg White and on Pink. The sassy party girl was one of several guest stars during the sometimes uneven, but generally plus-filled music festival at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.

The two women did not disappoint. The barefoot White got up from her drum set to sing ``In the Cold, Cold Night,'' one of the Stripes' best tracks. The song is a superb mix of a haunting melody with the nifty guitar riffs of blues-drenched younger brother Jack White.

As for Pink, she dropped in during the Transplants' set, appropriately offering ``Get the Party Started'' as Saturday afternoon rolled into evening.

Able to out-sing anybody in the house Saturday, Pink found herself on target in another way. Right after sitting in front of the Transplants' drum set, she was hit squarely on the forehead with a beach ball sent in from the audience.

Pink didn't miss a beat, nor did she drop her cigarette.

Also making surprise appearances were Rancid, coming right after Pink's contribution, and Jane's Addiction, which fit into the schedule by cutting 20 minutes from White Stripes' stage time.

``We are Juana's Addicion,'' Jane's lead singer Perry Farrell said, giving a Spanish-language explanation to those who needed clarification and noticed they bore no resemblance to the Deftones, the next scheduled performers.

The group's set, introduced with ``Just Because,'' gave the band a chance to make up for its missteps as headliners of the 2001 Weenie Roast. During that performance, the group was plagued by sound problems and by Farrell's poor wardrobe choice of a brightly colored pimp suit.

The Foo Fighters made every minute of their hour-long set count, opening with ``All My Life'' and injecting humor into the introduction to ``Breakout.'' Front man David Grohl dedicated the song to Evanescence, noting they also canceled out of a show the two bands co-billed the night before.

``Here's the deal,'' Grohl said. ``It was the monkeypox.''

The Used was moved to the main stage by Evanescence's nonappearance and should have been scheduled there all along, judging by the crowd's frenetic response. The fans weren't as kind to Blur, greeting the British group with mass walkouts to the concession stands and restrooms.

Benji and Joel Madden were the only members of Good Charlotte present for a self-deprecating acoustical stint in which they jokingly tried to generate cheers by promising every song was their last.

Sets by The Ataris and Pete Yorn stood above the rest of the performers on the two side stages. However, even with the engaging ``Life on a Chain,'' Yorn did not generate much response from fans anxious to get up the walkway to see The Used after its transfer to the main arena.

CAPTION(S):

5 photos

Photo:

(1) Bert McCracken of The Used performs at Saturday's KROQ Weenie Roast in Irvine.

(2) Pete Loeffler of Chevelle jams on his guitar on the Budweiser side stage Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.

(3 -- 4) A view from the crowd, above, at the sold-out KROQ Weenie Roast; Pete Yorn, above right, during his set; Carlos D, right, of Interpol signs autographs after his performance.

Diandra Jay/Staff Photographer
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Title Annotation:Review; U
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 16, 2003
Words:599
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