97X Next Big Thing Throwback: 97X Next Big Thing 12

97X Next Big Thing 12 took place December 1, 2012 in front of a capacity crowd of over 15,000 fans in Vinoy Park in Downtown St. Petersburg. This was the first year that the show moved to Vinoy Park after six years at the Amphitheater in Tampa. The 2012 lineup has been considered by many as a perfect Next Big Thing lineup featuring both heritage alternative bands and some of the hottest new bands. One of those “hot new bands” was the one that kicked off the morning, Twenty One Pilots. Their 2012 NBT set has become one of the biggest “I was there” moments in NBT history. Their thirty minute, high energy set introduced many in Tampa Bay to what would become one of the biggest bands in the country. Their set included favorites from their album Vessel and featured antics that due to their popularity, they can’t do anymore, including having the pit split in two and lead singer, Tyler run into the space between in the middle of a song. It’s one of NBT’s top five performances and the band referenced it many times when they returned to the NBT stage in 2015 to headline the show. Up next, making their second NBT appearance in two years, was The Joy Formidable. Their bombastic set included lead singer, Ritzy smashing her guitar during their last song. Up next was supposed to be Imagine Dragons, but unfortunately they cancelled the week before the show. Imagine what could have been, a music festival featuring Twenty One Pilots and Imagine Dragons on stage before 1pm! Next up on the main stage was Paper Tongues whose set included their hit “Ride To California.” Grouplove made their second NBT performance (first was 2011) and delivered a 45 minute set including “Itchin on a Photograph”, “Tongue Tied” and “Colours.” As the early afternoon was slowly fading, Flogging Molly hit the stage with what would be their second and final NBT appearance (As of 2020).  Their set was memorable for the amount of dirt and dust from Vinoy Park that was “kicked up” from the dancing and frivolity in the crowd. Iceland’s Of Monsters & Men made their Tampa Bay and NBT debut next. They would return to the NBT stage in 2015. Their set included hits “Little Talks”, “Dirty Paws” and “Mountain Sound.” As the sun was setting, one of the biggest bands of the year, FUN hit the stage. This would be FUN’s second and as of 2020, their last NBT performance. Their set featured a sing-a-long of the year’s biggest song, “We Are Young.”  Silversun Pickups returned to the NBT stage after 5 years but with a lineup that looked a little different. Bassist Nikki Monninger was pregnant and was replaced with Sarah Negahdari for their tour. Silversun Pickups would return to NBT in 2019. Alt veterans, Bush hit the stage for the second time in two years and delivered another amazing set of alternative classics. The Next Big Thing 12 headliner was Rise Against, who as of 2012 was only the second band to headline the show twice. (My Chem in 06 and 10, Rise Against in 09 and 12)  The 1975 would become the third band to headline twice in 2019, having previously headlined in 2016. Their set included all their hits “Give it All”, “Swing Life Away”, “Ready to Fall”, “Prayer of the Refugee”, “The Good Left Undone”, “Savior” and “Re-Education (Through Labor)”
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