Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins perform at the Forum on August 30, 2018

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Get to Know the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night 1 Bands

November 8, 2018

By Scott T. Sterling

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas lineup is here!

The weekend is sure to be one big, beautiful and wonderfully diverse rock and roll holiday party packed with all of your favorites under one roof. And not just any roof, but the legendary and always fabulous L.A. Forum. It’s one of the few arenas in the country where you can sit in the very last row and still feel like part of the show.

Grab your tickets this Friday at 12pm, because when they start to go, they’re gonna go fast, Like, really fast. Just look this lineup and you’ll understand. Santa Claus is coming to town, and he looks a lot like Stryker!

Purchase KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas tickets here

Let’s take a look at just who exactly is going to be melting your face off this year.


The world is a vampire, and Billy Corgan and company are armed and ready with sharpened crosses, holy water, and a whole lotta garlic. They’ll also be bringing a bunch of guitars and stuff, with a somewhat reunited lineup touring their asses off to be in tip-top shape for the big AAC show. You saw them crush it at the HD Radio Sound Space earlier this year. Just imagine what Corgan and crew will do headlining L.A.’s biggest Christmas party. We have a feeling he’s going to dig deep into the SP back catalog for some very special holiday surprises. A tantalizing blast of “Frail and Bedazzled, perhaps? Maybe the gentle sway of “Whir”? The entire 11 minutes of “Starla”?! The possibilities are endless. You won’t want to miss this one. Because it’s on, son.


Mmm, what’s that tantalizing aroma? Oh, it must be Jared Leto sweeping into the room, his poncho swirling in his Gucci Guilty-scented wake. That’s right, the new face of Gucci Guilty (maybe he’ll bring along his partner in Gucci-ness, Lana Del Rey?) and the whole Thirty Seconds to Mars gang will be in the house to offer soul salvation to their dedicated flock of followers. Get ready to fly, Los Angeles, because Thirty Seconds to Mars is going to take you all the way THERE.


Who loves the ‘90s? No cell phones, no social media—it was kind of like heaven on Earth, really. That decided lack of technology meant folks would often get together, start bands, write songs and make albums. That was the case with Third Eye Blind, you shot straight to the top with their red-hot debut, introducing the world to such instant classics as “Semi-Charmed Life,” Jim Carrey favorite “Jumper,” “Graduate,” “How It’s Going to Be”—you get the picture. Stephen Jenkins and crew nailed it right out of the San Francisco Golden Gate and haven’t looked back. The last time we caught them live, they rolled an entire set of David Bowie covers at Outside Lands as a tribute to the legend. Expect the unexpected when these guys take the AAC stage. They like to keep things interesting.


How are these guys a real live band and not the stars of the coolest Disney rock and roll Christmas movie ever? They come from Frankenmuth, which is basically the North Pole in Michigan—it’s literally Christmas every day there. It’s a tourist attraction known for German fried chicken. And now, it’s the birthplace of the most dangerous new band in America, if certain critics are to be believed. With a sound that brings Led Zeppelin II right back onto the radio airwaves and packed concert halls where it belongs, Greta Van Fleet even got the thumbs up from Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant himself. With Led Zep also being the constant victims of critical thrashings while they ascended to rock legends, we think Mr. Plant can relate to what they’re going through. When Robert Plant says you’re cool, well, who cares what some dude sitting at a desk thinks? Plant was backed up by fans who sent the band’s debut album to the top of the charts. You can’t kill rock and roll, man. You just can’t.  


Nothing but respect for our punk presidents! These bona fide Los Angeles legends really need to introduction. Bad Religion has been a KROQ cornerstone for literal decades, led by the irrepressible professor himself, Greg Graffin. With a catalog of classics as long as your arm Bad Religion is your favorite band’s favorite, the influence for an entire generation and genre. Where do you think Rise Against got their name? Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is among their biggest fans. Get like Ed and pay homage to true punk rock royalty with Bad Religion hit the AAC stage.


Ukiah, California represent! Davey Havok and the guys are longtime members of the KROQ family ever since they blasted onto the scene in the early ‘90s. The band that brought you such timeless rock radio classics including “Miss Murder” and “Girl’s Not Grey” will keep their legacy alive with a sure-to-be fiery performance to warm up the December night. With more than 25 years in the game, AFI knows very well how to rock you, and you will be rocked righteously when they light things up at Almost Acoustic Christmas.


Everyone at KROQ is so very excited to welcome these local L.A. natives and newcomers to the AAC stage! Bringing back the super-fun and upbeat vibe of classic ska-tinged alt-rock back to the block, Aimee Interrupter leads her fellows into battle like Courtney Love and Beatrice Dalle had a baby and Gwen Stefani was the godmother. Yes, she’s that good. With a red-hot new Tim Armstrong-produced album, Fight the Good Fight, and a killer single—”She’s Kerosene”—that we can’t stop spinning, anticipation is through the roof for the Almost Acoustic Christmas debut of the Interrupters.


Oh, brother! We’re sure AJR has heard just about brother pun in the book, so we’ll spare them… for now. The New York City boys just like making quirky cool indie pop music together, so they got themselves an apartment in Chelsea to do just that. They’ve spun a series of hits from that apartment, including “Turning Out.” They’re cool enough to snag none less than Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo to come hang and help them make a song, “Sober Up.” Maybe Adam, Jack and Ryan (get it?) can get their pal Rivers to stop by for their set at AAC? Hey, we’re not making any promises here. We’re just saying. That’s all.


L.A. all day! Another band of local natives, our very own Badflower is ready to set things off on the first night of AAC 2018. You know they’re good, because just this week A Perfect Circle hit them up to come open a show, which of course they did—even though the gig was 2000 miles away. Now that’s dedication to rock and roll! The guys are getting ready to share the band’s debut album, “OK, I’m Sick,” on Feb. 22 of 2019, so mark your calendars. It’s gonna be a good one. In the meantime, brush up on these burgeoning rock stars with their smash hit, “Ghost,” which you’ve probably heard once or twice on KROQ. So don’t dawdle—get your pregame activities taken care of so you can hit the spot and catch Badflower when they open Night One of Almost Acoustic Christmas 2018. You’ll be glad you did.