Fans express their condolences during the How The Edge Stole Christmas show at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, TX, on Dec. 6, 2016. Sad: The Edge -- 102.1 FM -- is no longer on air.

Fans express their condolences during the How The Edge Stole Christmas show at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, TX, on Dec. 6, 2016. Sad: The Edge -- 102.1 FM -- is no longer on air.

Jason Janik/Special Contributor

The last remains of "The Edge" were buried in a ticket stub.

102.1 The Edge is no more; radio station sends listeners to The Eagle

The stub read "102.1 The Edge Presents 'How the Edge Stole Xmas' " -- the same as it did every year the local modern-rock station KDGE FM put on its annual holiday concert. But aside from the ticket, concert-goers saw no evidence Wednesday night at Verizon Theatre that the Edge ever existed.

In November, IHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) abruptly dumped the station's modern-rock format after 27 years, an unusually long run in the here-today-gone-later-today world of radio. After the holidays, KDGE will become an adult contemporary station, which must feel like a slap in the face to listeners who came of age in the '90s with bands like Nirvana and Weezer, who headlined Wednesday's show.

Instead of sending the Edge off with a proper farewell, IHeartMedia treated the night as business as usual and plastered the theater's entrance, lobby and the stage with banners advertising its local hard-rock station KEGL/97.1 FM "The Eagle." 

In a sense, the lack of respect-paying didn't come as a shock: The Edge hadn't been edgy for years.

Weezer performs during the How The Edge Stole Christmas show at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie on Dec. 6.

Weezer performs during the How The Edge Stole Christmas show at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie on Dec. 6.

Jason Janik/Special Contributor

Rock as a whole has been slowly marching toward the fringes of a landscape dominated by hip-hop, country and sundry styles of pop. When Grammys nominations were announced Wednesday morning, not a single rock act got the nod for album-of-the-year.

How the Edge Stole Christmas went on despite the fact that there's no 102.1 The Edge anymore.

How the Edge Stole Christmas went on despite the fact that there's no 102.1 The Edge anymore.

Jason Janik/Special Contributor

That's not to say modern-rock is dead. How The Edge Stole Xmas proved there's no shortage of up-and-comers still trying to put a slightly new twist on rock.

The show opened with sets by Judah & the Lion, Capital Cities, Kongos and Dirty Heads, with Los Angeles' Awolnation getting the coveted pre-Weezer spot.

On record, the L.A. group tilts toward electronic music in songs like the ear-wormy hit "Sail." But live, Awolnation stormed the stage with a full-rock assault, led by Aaron Bruno, whose raspy-tender voice fell somewhere between Kurt Cobain and Trent Reznor. A charismatic front-man with boundless energy, Bruno made the odd decision to refuse a spotlight and performed the whole set as a silhouette.

Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo was exactly the opposite -- a shy, charisma-free nerd who made sure to drench the stage in bright flashing lights. He's such a non-showman that fans in the pit decided to put on their own show by crowd-surfing, that tired ritual that refuses to die.

The quartet overcame a muddy sound-mix to deliver a fresh batch of songs from its tenth studio album, Weezer, alias "The White Album." From the sunny, Beach Boys-influenced "California Kids" to the creepy, cannoli-themed "Thank God For Girls," the new tunes were every bit as quirky and well-crafted as oldies like "My Name is Jonas" and "Pork and Beans."

As the hourlong set wound down, Cuomo half-jokingly declared that the band had a mission of "keepin' rock alive." He needed haven't bothered. 

The Edge may be gone, but oddball alt-rock anthems like "Undone - The Sweater Song" and "Buddy Holly" will be around for eternity.

Thor Christensen is a Dallas writer and critic. Email him at thorchris2@yahoo.com.

Sift through photos of the How the Edge Stole Christmas concert in Grand Prairie:

What's Happening on GuideLive