Everything In Transit

Jack’s Mannequin kicks off the 10 Years In Transit tour at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco with supporting act, She Is We. 

 

A lot can be said to sum up the weight of ten years. This is no understatement when it comes to Jack’s Mannequin’s Everything In Transit which was first released in August of 2005. Ten years later: a sold out Regency Ballroom in San Francisco is the first destination on the celebratory 10 Years In Transit tour. As one could guess, the evening was nothing short of magical. 

The night begins with a performance from She Is We, who takes a moment in between opening songs to tell the crowd about their 15 hour drive to perform for us and how they worried the entire time only two people would be into their set. Oh, how they were mistaken. 

Their 45 minute set list was filled with plenty of ups and downs — from explaining what beloved He is We song, ‘Radio’ was written about (according to Rachel it was for a kid who wore Slipknot t shirts to school so she thought he was, and I quote, ‘legit’). To the shift in energy from talking about her father and the time he first heard her song and cried. Then to her mother whom she dedicated ‘Porcelain’ and ‘Boomerang’ to, encouraging the crowd to visualize throat-punching someone. 

Their performance was the best warm-up for Jack’s Mannequin. They closed their set with ‘Lead The Fight On’ which Rachel playfully teased at their adding something a bit ‘urban’ just for us. The song began with a beautiful piano to the strong vocals causing the chandeliers in the venue to shake. Mid-song, they break into another completely nostalgic throwback and rap the verse from Eminem’s 8 Mile: opportunity comes once in a lifetime

 

The crowd is given just enough time to soak in She is We’s amazing performance (and plenty of laughs due to a stage mishap and the confetti shooting off prematurely). The lights dim and all that can be see is the large, glimmering asterisk above the stage. Sounds of venice beach echo throughout San Francisco as Andrew McMahon and the original members of Jack’s Mannequin take the stage, jumping right into ‘Holiday From Real’ and ‘The Mixtape’ before performing Everything In Transit in it’s entirety, track by track.

McMahon slows down only once it is time to perform La La Lie — which he explains is done best with friends. The stage is crowded with numerous friends, fans and loved ones to help Andrew McMahon sing along to this harmonica hit. McMahon leaves his piano numerous times to jump around, sing with everyone on stage and as the song comes to an end, everyone is given hugs all around for what is truly a memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience for Jack’s Mannequin fans who may have dreamed of that very moment for the last ten years. 

Transit comes to an end, complete with the cue tracks that wrapped up the actual record (“Well, that’s the record…”). Andrew McMahon takes a moment to explain to us, with the assumption so many fans already know, that Everything In Transit was an album that meant everything to him in a time when he needed anything. Us too, Andrew.

He continues on to explain the aftermath of Everything In Transit left him banging his head against his piano, not knowing what else could be said which later became the next song performed: Crashing. The venue is dark and fans are left to wonder, is that it? Of course not. Jack’s Mannequin goes hard into songs off of their sophomore album, The Glass Passenger, starting with Crashing and working their way through a very emotional six songs. 

Just prior to performing the emotional track, ‘Swim’, Andrew McMahon takes the time to open up to fans about his own personal journeys. He highlights the Dear Jack foundation and their commitment to love, hope and strength. Swim is then dedicated to us, to anyone who has ever felt like there was a mountain they couldn’t climb…but they climbed it. His piano echoes beautifully throughout the two-storey venue, the message: just keep your head above, an incredibly powerful one. 

We finally see Jack’s Mannequin exit the stage, leaving the crowd begging for more. After just a few minutes, Andrew McMahon and Bobby Anderson return on a dark stage with just a single spotlight illuminating them both. McMahon takes a moment to say what a pleasure it is to have Bobby back on stage with him before giving us a story of their next song. A theme song of sorts. To the shortest movie in which Andrew was so excited to write for. ‘Channing Tatum is going to be in it! It’s going to be amazing!’ he tells us, but the song was not accepted for the movie and McMahon was glad for that, saying the song was so much better. It wasn’t a song meant for the piano, but something more acoustic. They perform ‘Restless Dream’ for us, a beautiful acoustic performance leaving us with chills. What else can be said other than a single word: perfection.

The energy is picked back up one last time as the band rejoins the duo on stage to end their set with ‘Resolution’. Just when we think this encore could not become any more special, Jack’s Mannequin closes the night with a Tom Petty cover of ‘American Girl’, Jack’s Mannequin style. Andrew McMahon goes from passionately playing the song on his piano to jumping off from it, crowd surfing above adoring fans, dancing back on stage, giving the night his all to kick off the first date of the Everything In Transit tour. The venue bathes in golden lights, the stars from the backdrop glimmering as a perfect night comes to an end. 

Truth be told; this show left us speechless. And finding the words to sum up the weight, impact, importance of an album that we carried with us these past ten years is no easy task. Thank you, Jack’s Mannequin. For tonight and certainly, for these past ten years. 

 

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99.7 Now! Presents: Triple Ho Show 6.0

One Direction, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Austin Mahone, Fifth Harmony and Nathan Sykes take the stage at a SOLD OUT SAP Center for a holiday show no one could forget. 

 

It’s not often a Wednesday night elicits very much excitement — though if it just happens to be THE Wednesday night that One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, Fifth Harmony and more are returning to the Bay Area for 99.7 NOW!’s sold out Triple Ho Show, well then, I guess you could say Wednesday just got a whole lot more exciting.  

Six acts shared the stage at San Jose’s SAP center, performing to the masses. As fans flooded in to find their seats, there is no way to fully describe the rush of energy filling the arena (which has a capacity for concert that maxes out over 19,000)! 99.7 Now’s very own St. John took the stage, asking if the crowd was prepared for what the night is to entail. Despite the answers of screams loud enough to be heard across the globe — we were not prepared. 

Two screens on either side of the stage are lit up with a 5 minute timer. The energy never fades as the crowd is senselessly screaming with each passing minute. 60 seconds. Panic mode. 45 seconds. 30 seconds. The venue goes dark and without any necessary introduction, 5 Seconds of Summer takes the stage. 

The Australian natives kick off their set with their first single, She Looks So Perfect. Needless to say, the boys could not have picked a more perfect track to get the crowd going. Fans sing along almost loud enough to drown out lead singer, Hemmings, who in typical pop-punk nature is adorn in all black. 

There is no denying the direction these boys have worked hard on taken their music, with their latest album (Sounds Good, Feels Good) and tracks inspired by and written alongside idols in Good Charlotte, Goldfinger and more. They immediately transition into their latest single off the sophomore track, Hey Everybody! The boys are a synchronized machine, all four of them singing in beautiful harmony. Drummer, Ashton Irwin, never misses a beat even as he stands from his kit, obvious passion on his face as he feeds off the energy of the crowd. Irwin later posted an image to Instagram of his bloody knuckles from just how hard he performed this evening. 

Bassist Calum Hood takes the lead as the band slows it down with an older track, Amnesia. The arena is filled with beautiful purple lighting, Hood taking notes an octave higher than when the track was originally recorded in 2014. The reigns are then handed to guitarist Michael Clifford as the band performs their latest emotional track, Jet Black Heart. Clifford’s raspy voice can be heard booming through the arena during each of his solos. The undeniable amount of sincerity in the words leave us with goosebumps, the heartfelt song tugging at every fan’s heartstrings. 

As if on cue, knowing the crowd needed a pick-me-up, 5SOS takes a break from their set to celebrate none other than themselves. We get to share an intimate moment as they share with us that it was four years ago to the day that 5 Seconds of Summer was formed. Irwin can be seen standing behind his kit, arms in the air like an orchestra conductor as his three bandmates sing a version of “Happy Birthday to Us” which, Clifford screams out, “One Direction” during the last stanza, getting an overwhelming bursts of screams from the fans. 

If there was any previous questions as to why the boys in 5 Seconds Of Summer had been selected to open the show, they were thrown out the window as the band wraps up their set. 5SOS definitely knew how to wake up the crowd. Their playful banter (Irwin referring to Clifford as ‘The Human Fire,’ Hood and Hemmings strumming forehead-to-forehead, their Oompa Loompa inspired dancing across stage) and high-energy performance left us eager for more. They perform pop-punk’s latest anthem, She’s Kinda Hot with lyrics that encourage fans to be the kings and the queens of their self-made ‘Broken Scene.’ The band closed out their set with a song that can be enjoyed by all age groups; their cover of The Romantic’s hit, What I Like About You. Irwin nails the drum solo beginning before kicking off into their amazing version of this classic. 

It was hard to decipher between the boys’ final shredding and the fans’ screaming. What wasn’t hard to see clearly was the band’s grinning faces as they rid themselves of their instruments and give one final wave to the crowd, a “thank you” and “goodnight” in true rock band fashion. 

Nathan Sykes, Austin Mahone, Fifth Harmony and special guests Kalin and Myles all put on amazing sets following the boys in 5 Seconds of Summer. 

Fifth Harmony proved that ladies can rock just as hard as the boys can — performing hit songs such as BO$$, Reflection, Sledgehammer, Like Mariah and closing their nine song set list with Worth It. Even for anyone who had yet to hear of Fifth Harmony before this evening, we are certain they had no trouble falling in love with the five beautiful women who were dressed in all red tonight. 

Each track performed by these talented women came complete with mesmerizing dance moves, and the occasional peek at their sassier sides with dramatic hair flips. We were left completely speechless at the level of ‘boss’ it undeniably takes to move like they did all evening in the sexy stilettos each girl was wearing. Not much else to say except to sum up their set with: worth it. We were thoroughly impressed.

 

After a short intermission, which included a lesson of how to whip and nae-nae by Santa Claus, the moment the crowd is waiting for arrives. No tricks, no fancy lighting, no gimmicks, nothing but the screams of thousands of girls as the four men in One Direction calmly walk on stage. The now foursome happily wave in every direction before stepping to their microphones, wasting no time to start their show with Drag Me Down

Harry Styles also wastes no time with his flirtatious nature, blowing kisses to their fans in between verses. The boys take advantage of every inch of the stage, moving all over the place to ensure each and every fan in attendance gets the best possible experience. Styles spends time in between songs thanking the fans for spending time with them, telling the crowd he’s had “a look around” and that each and every person inside the venue tonight is looking fabulous. He teases the fact that they are only allowed a 43 minute set time, continuing to bring up their time later on during the set (reminding the fans that they have some-30 minutes to go) all in good nature as he tells fans that the band’s job for the next 43 minutes is to entertain and the fans’ job is to have as much fun as possible. 

1D transitions into another track off their latest album (Made In The A.M), titled Infinity followed immediately by their latest single, Perfect. They continue to grace us with their newer tracks, giving fans the opportunity to hear these songs performed live before their hiatus begins. As the band performs A.M, the boys can be seen parading around the stage, shaking their asses with childish grins across their faces. Though this playful nature lasts well after the song, Styles joking, encouraging the fans to ‘go for it’ on the topic of stage diving, but that they will have to opt out due to not being allowed by their insurance. The mood changes with a single question — “who here has been heartbroken?” Liam Payne asks before things slow down for Love You Goodbye

We get a blast from the past, One Direction prefacing their next song as the key to their success. They perform What Makes You Beautiful as bras begin flying on stage, hitting the members as they dance around and sing together. The guys take a short breather to read the highlights of the signs that are scattered amongst the crowd. It is painful to remember we’re watching one of One Direction’s arguable last shows. There is no denying these men wanted to go out with a bang, especially as they play a crowd-requested favorite track, No Control. Remember when we said it was difficult to decipher between the screams and 5SOS’ performance? There was really no question about fans singing SO loud, overpowering One Direction’s own vocals as they perform their self-acclaimed favorite track of the night. This kind of exchange — 1D’s barely audible voices continue on during Story Of Our Life. Lucky for them, the fans carry the song along just fine, allowing the four to jump around, air guitar and dance instead. 

With one final song, the foursome chose to close the night out with History off of their latest album. The atmosphere of the venue is absolutely beautiful, the lighting mocking a sunset. Coincidence? We may never know. It felt more than appropriate though, as if there were no better way to send off and say goodbye to these guys who had no problem gaining a level of mass hysteria before their previously announced extended hiatus. The lyrics “this is not the end” are repeated as they perform their last song, ending the night with this strong message before taking a final bow and leaving San Jose with plenty of tears, lots of sweat and maybe even some blood. 

99.7 NOW!’s sixth Triple Ho Show was not only a beautiful way to end 2015 but a astonishing, beautiful, memorable performance, should it ring true to be one of One Direction’s last.

 

Returning West Tour

The Rocket Summer comes back west with guests Paradise Fears and San Francisco locals, Future Twin. 

 

Almost three years in the making – and nearly that long since The Rocket Summer performed in California but here they are at last, Returning West to promote upcoming album, Zoetic which will be released late February 2016. 

 

The Rocket Summer set out for their west coast tour, selecting local acts from each city to open for them and Paradise Fears. In San Francisco, the two females of Future Twin take the stage. When we later saw The Returning West tour at Strummer’s in Fresno, local band Second To Last played an amazing set (even dedicated their songs to a proud mom who showed her enthusiasm the entire night). 

It has been some time since the kids from South Dakota who make up Paradise Fears had performed back in the Bay Area. Lead singer Sam Miller is highly enthusiastic as he dances around the stage, opening their set with Battle Scars and a seamless slide right into their angsty track, Fought For Me. For a band known equally for their original tracks as much as their amazing covers, Paradise Fears does not disappoint as they place a Fleetwood Mac cover right in the middle of their setlist. Their acoustic version of ‘Landslide’ is nothing short of amazing before, calming down the entire venue before picking things back up with ‘You To Believe In’ and their newest single, ‘Back To Life.’ 

When we later met up with the Returning West tour in Fresno, we were lucky enough to spend the day with Paradise Fears at a house party where Sam brought his dog, Addison for us to enjoy. After hanging out, talking sports, video games and the hard work that goes into releasing an album, Sam and guitarist Cole Andre played acoustic versions of their best songs for us — including a Taylor Swift mashup and a hilarious cover of Fetty Wap’s ‘Trap Queen.’ We wish we could share with you just how life-changing hearing the South Dakotan sing a slowed down, acoustic version of ‘Hey what’s up, hello, seen yo pretty ass soon as you came in that door…’ though, you just have to believe us. Revolutionary. Maybe if we beg a studio version could be in the making? Fingers crossed.

Also, the show at Strummers later in the tour was a much smaller crowd, giving Paradise Fears the freedom to goof around a bit more, interacting with those there to dance. Sam Miller gave us his all — twirling and nearly falling off the stage, violently dancing around with his tambourine and changing lyrics in the band’s song to those from the theme song of Fresh Prince of Bel Air. 

 

Transition back to San Francisco. The Rocket Summer takes the stage, beginning the night with a very fitting opening song, ‘So, In This Hour…’ lead singer Bryce Avery is a refreshing, energetic, smiling face as the band performs old and new songs alike. ‘Do You Feel’ gets the crowd going, total nostalgic for these young adults right back to 2007. 

Avery is as polite as polite can be as he asks the crowd if it is alright to begin playing songs off the upcoming album. We get to hear a song titled ‘Same Air’ and later, the track, ‘Help Me Out’ which is recorded with amazing looping sound effects by Avery and the crowd. 

The emotional evening is taken to a complete new level as Avery explains the upcoming release of The Rocket Summer’s latest project. He explains the special offers that were included with the preorder, including the chance to come and sing with the band. A very special fan was a part of the crowd this evening and was brought on stage to sing ‘That’s So You’ in what was one of the most beautiful, harmonic duets we have ever heard. 

By the end of the night (and a set list of a remarkable near twenty songs), Avery asks the fans what it is we want to hear. The crowd screams various titles from the earlier days and Avery is left to pick, ending the night with ‘So Much Love,’ ‘Cross My Heart’ and ‘Hills and Valleys’ before thanking the crowd and expressing what an honor it was to him to play to a city that had been neglected by the band for far too long.

Zoetic will be released on February 26th, just in time for the Zoetic tour where The Rocket Summer will be returning to The Bottom Of The Hill on May 19th. Do yourself a favor and be sure not to miss the show. 

 

Taste Of Chaos

The Used, Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional, Thrice, The All-American Rejects and more come together for one night to relive the glory days of pop-punk! 

The early 2000’s come to life as the very legends who help build the structural bases for pop-punk/alternative rock as we know it today return for one night. The Used, Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional, The All-American Rejects and more prove they still have what it takes.