97X Next Big Thing Throwback presented by Clean Earth Systems: 97X Next Big Thing 1

The very first 97X Next Big Thing took place on December 2, 2001 in Coachman Park in Clearwater. The show featured 15 bands on two stages for only twenty bucks! A crowd of over 17,000 saw the beginning of 97X Next Big Thing history when the local band, Soulsystem hit the stage at 10:30am that morning. The first national band to play was Abandoned Pools at 11am. The day featured several bands who would go on to become alternative/active rock mainstays including Jimmy Eat World, Sum 41, New Found Glory and Disturbed. The day had it’s challenges including some issues with the barricade in front of the main stage along with audio issues that caused the show to get behind schedule.  Several of the early bands had to shave a song from their set lists to allow the show to “catch up.” The original lineup featured Dave Navarro (From Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers) doing a solo set, but he cancelled the week prior to the show. Disturbed would not allow any photos or videos taken of their performance, therefore, the only photos that exist of them onstage are from the crowd or were taken stealthily by crew from the stage. In the weeks leading up to the show, there were several bands who refused to headline the show because they believed that crowds at radio shows always leave early. Disturbed and Lit both refused to close the show, opting for earlier set times. Alien Ant Farm agreed to be the last national act to play but only if a local band played after them. This created a very unique situation where a local band, Crizzy & The Punx ended up playing the last set of the day from the second stage to a crowd of over 12,000 people! The first 97X Next Big Thing ended at 9pm, making it the shortest NBT so far, clocking in at only 10 ½ hours. The full lineup featured Abandoned Pools, Sugarcult, Lucky Boys Confusion, Stroke 9, Adema, Flickerstick, Jimmy Eat World, New Found Glory, Sum 41, Disturbed, Lit and Alien Ant Farm.

Were you at a 97X Next Big Thing? Share your photos from that amazing day. Did you meet a band? Did you party on the lawn with your friends? We want to see your 97X Next Big Thing photos! Submit them below and we’ll feature them in our 97X Next Big Thing gallery. Don’t forget to use Drizzly and send a Miller Lite to your concert buddy!

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