Dashboard Confessional and The Rejects deliver everything you didn’t know you needed on a Friday night!

Several studies have outlined the benefits tied to Himalayan Salt Lamps: helping with anxiety, reducing stress, purifying, relieve migraines… these salt lamps have been sworn to boost moods, helping users live a happier life. Perhaps this is why Dashboard Confessional lines their stage with them? Perhaps they just enjoy the feng shui vibe. One thing we know for sure? When the Salt Lamps are brought out, paired with the calming aroma of lit incense (was it Sandalwood, boys?) — our lives are seconds away from getting a whole lot happier. 

It may be ironic, to boast about increase happiness while discussing bands that helped define “emo” as we knew and loved it. This is 2017, after all. And “emo” has gotten a whole lot brighter. 

In recent years, several memorable tours rocked the ‘emo community.’ Dashboard teamed up with Third Eye Blind in 2015, Jimmy Eat World and The Used headlined a Taste Of Chaos festival in 2016. Brand New made an epic comeback to feature The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me in full for a select lucky number of cities across the US. It seems as though even as our generation ages, one thing for certain: we’re all still just emo kids at heart, hopelessly waiting for My Chemical Romance’s reunion announcement… 

Until then, Dashboard Confessional has been doing a phenomenal job biding our time. Earlier this year, they announced they’d be teaming up with The All-American Rejects to give us an incredible experience and one absolutely unforgettable night, unlike any Dashboard performances you may have seen before. 

The tour kicked off in California, night two in San Francisco’s Masonic. They are joined on stage (for the first half of the tour) by The Social Animals — a newer band out of Duluth, Minnesota. Lead by lead vocalist Dedric Clark, these boys are gearing up to release their sophomore EP, coined Early Twenties due sometime this year and we cannot wait to hear it! Most impressive is their pluck to tackle on Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” which they adapt beautifully in the middle of their set. 

It doesn’t get much more emo than telling someone you are “crushed by a former love” and to “swing” from the tangled remains… but that’s exactly why we love The All-American Rejects and their first hit, which made it’s way to our airwaves way back in 2002. The band kicked off their set hard, inaudibly announcing: we’re back! And the crowd accepted them as if it hadn’t been a near five years since their last tour (okay, it wasn’t. Remember the Taste Of Chaos festival we mentioned from 2015? They were there. and AAR was as amazing as ever). 

Tyson Ritter flirted with the excited crowd, going from “Swing, Swing” to “Fallin’ Apart,” a track off of their 2008 When The World Comes Down which was an absolute delight to hear live as it’s always been one of our personal favorites! 

“How does it feelto be watching us as adults now?” Ritter teases the crowd, not being shy in the least bit with the hiatus The All-American Rejects took to focus on themselves. They return stronger than ever, having just put out two amazing new singles: “Sweat” and “Close Your Eyes,” both which made their second-ever live debut tonight. 

The band is full of smiles as they joke on stage that their own music is like a blast from the past, painting vivid pictures of college dorm walls (or even your bedroom at your parents… I was only 12 in 2002 when AAR first hit the scene) and days not forgotten. Tyson shares his own pang of nostalgia: a story of his first ever concert… The Anniversary with openers, Dashboard Confessional. The band powered through an amazing set list of all their best, including a song that many may have never heard of: “There’s A Place” off of the motion picture soundtrack for “Miss You Already” starring none other than Tyson Ritter himself. This beautiful, heartbreaking slow song was performed with palpable emotion from the band and fit right in with the general vibe of the evening. 

Oh, the salt lamps. 

After a short intermission, the stage is prepared for Dashboard in a similar fashion to those who have been lucky enough to see Dashboard Confessional perform before. Salt lamps are placed at the foot of where each of them is to stand, decorating the stage which features a vintage, pillowy looking backdrop. Tonight is by far the largest production we’ve had the pleasure of seeing Dashboard Confessional in… but here’s the thing about Dashboard Confessional: regardless of the venue, Chris Carrabba has an incredibly unique ability to make you feel as though you’re the only one there in the room being sung to. Take it from someone fortunate enough to have caught Dashboard at a number of events in the past few years: massive outdoor amphitheaters for the Taste Of Chaos tour, the small and intimate Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco or the even smaller Independent bar/venue where Carrabba played just months ago with his other project Twin Forks. It hardly matters the setting. Dashboard Confessional is committed to making each and every performance unique, personal and unforgettable. 

The band take the stage and show they’re not wasting time. They begin immediately with fan favorite, “Vindicated,” which we all know and love from the Spiderman soundtrack back in 2004. The show is begun in such a fashion that some three-thousand fans are singing along so loudly that Carrabba can take a step back from the microphone and allow the song to carry on flawlessly. Guitarist Armon Jay, bassist Scott Schoenbeck, and drummer Ben Homola each have such a memorable presence on stage, leaving no doubt in our minds that there is absolutely nowhere else these men would rather be, even as Chris informally addresses the crowd with a casual “hey… thanks for listening.” 

It wouldn’t be a Dashboard show without some one-on-one with Carrabba and he never fails to disappoint. He performs a few of Dashboard’s most memorable songs acoustically: “Ghost Of A Good Thing” and a new song titled “Heart Beat Here” which Chris has been playing experimentally recording the fans singing it back live, sharing his plans to include the fans on Dashboard’s newest upcoming album. 

“This next song’s about…” Carrabba is cut off by an enthusiastic fan screaming her heart out and jokes, “Oh yeah? I love that one!” He mimics, teasing how could she know and yet following it up with a smug…but totally suave and pulled-off grin, “Nah, you know [you love it]” before kicking off “The Places You Have Come to Fear The Most.”

The sentiment is never wasted with Carrabba who shares how grateful he is for the fans who have allowed him to be a part of something special. “And by that.. I mean you,” he says just before explaining his plans to mix the fans on “Heart Beat Here.” He shares that over the past year he’s been asking fans to sing along, for this experiment and if it sounds terrible… he promises it won’t be our fault. “I’ve heard it. It’s tremendous,” he says with a glimmer in his eye, and you know that he means it, singing his heart out to this new, intimate song. As he hits high notes many vocalists can only dream of and holds the notes in perfect pitch for well over a minute if not two. It’s as impressive as they come, enough to bring goosebumps and/or tears to those witnessing such raw and emotional talent. 

You guys wanna sing the lead? I’ll sing back up…

It is so apparent that tonight is for the fans. As the band joins Chris back on stage, they continue through their impressive nearly 20-year catalog of songs. With a single chord, the fans cheer for each and every song, one after another. The stage illuminates from purples to golds, looking regal and yet… as the band kicks off into “Remember To Breathe,” Carrabba is hardly shy as he sneaks in a Justin Bieber cover of “Love Yourself,” to the end of the song. 

The night is closed out by the one and only “Hands Down,” but not until after Carrabba has had the opportunity to gush about how important his band members are. “These are my friends… I dreamed of playing in a band with them for a decade. Every night is a dream. This is the best drummer and I can’t believe I’ve got him to be in my band,” he says in a full genuine confession, pointing back to Ben and taking moments to also mention how many bands Scott has been in, including The Promise Ring to which Carrabba says, “if you don’t know The Promise Ring, you’re not emo-ring correctly.” and of course, last but not least, AJ’s very own solo project by his own name which he recently released an album under Del Rio which deserves to be checked out here: http://armonjay.com/ 

To commemorate their tour, Dashboard and The Rejects decided to treat fans with covers of their biggest hits. You can catch Dashboard’s cover of “Move Along” and The Rejects take on “Hands Down,” on Consequence of Sound!

 

Check out our photo gallery from the night here! 

Be sure not to miss this epic tour as they make their way through North America. Check out the remaining tour dates below! 

Dashboard Confessional and The All-American Rejects 2017 Tour Dates:

WITH SUPPORT FROM THE SOCIAL ANIMALS:
07/17 – Boise, ID @ Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Garden
07/17 – Sandy, UT @ Sandy Amphitheater
07/21 – Maplewood, MN @ Myth
07/22 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Casino
07/23 – Saint Louis, MO @ The Pageant

WITH SUPPORT FROM THE MAINE:
07/25 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live
07/26 – Detroit, MI @Fillmore Detroit
07/29 – Big Flats, NY @ Tags
07/30 – Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Event Center
08/03 – New York, NY @ Central Park SummerStage
08/04 – Mashantucket, CT @ The Grande Theater at Foxwood Resort Casino
08/05 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook
08/06 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
08/08 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
08/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Festival Pier
08/10 – Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap
08/12 – Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater
08/13 – Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
08/15 – Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia
08/16 – Indianapolis, IN @ Indiana State Fair

Twin Forks brings Americana Folk on Folsom Tour

It’s unnecessary all the same, as Twin Forks doesn’t need to ride on the coattails of any former acts. Their American roots music vibe are perfect for singing along and dancing and as much fun as the crowd is having tonight, Twin Forks is having double that amount on stage. “I don’t remember where we’re from…” Chris jokes with his bandmates before addressing the crowd, “I’ve had a strange day… should we discuss it? Later?” He muses as Kelsie stands jokingly impatient with her mandolin to encourage Chris to just ‘start the song!’ 

Twin Forks make their way through San Francisco mid-May with support from The Social Animals and songwriter/artist Dan Layus (of Augustana) for the First Annual Folsom Tour. 

CHECK OUT OUR FULL PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE SHOW HERE

The Independent began filling up even before the openers, The Social Animals took the stage. For kids who are still someone new at the game (and they proudly show it — taking carefree moments between songs to joke with the crowd, “This is what we call a transition between songs. It separates the good from the great…”) there is no question why they’re rounding out this Folsom tour, whose aim was to bring like-minded musicians with a passion for playing for like-minded fans.

The Social Animals show their comfort on stage as they tackle a cover song so few would dare to attempt: “When Doves Cry” by the late Prince. Lead vocalist Dedric Clark stays cool and collected as he powers through their rendition of the song, and it’s absolutely beautiful. There are murmurs of laughter as Clark thanks “whoever” it is lighting up the stage — who decked out the number in Prince’s deep signature purples. 

Their debut EP, “Formative Years” was released just a few months ago — but familiar fans sing and dance along, even screaming for an encore once the band has wrapped things up. Even if you weren’t familiar with The Social Animals prior to the night’s events or if you’re reading this and still haven’t a clue — stream/download/purchase their EP. You won’t regret it. 

After a short intermission, Dan Layus takes the stage. This Augustana frontman is welcomed with a wave of home-town-admiration as fans crowd their way towards the stage to say their hello’s, shake his hand, and offer drinks after his performance. Layus’ face lights up every time a familiar friend or fan presents themselves, and it’s a sentiment that doesn’t fade away once his performance begins. Even as Dan performs his songs off of his late 2016 release, Dangerous Things, he ends each song with a grateful bow and a smile from ear-to-ear, thanking the fans for coming out and lending our ears. 

Layus’ voice echoes through The Independent, his songs spilling with emotion as he sits behind his piano. He plays a collection of songs, released and brand new. Beginning the night with “Enough For You” to title track “Dangerous Things,” “Four Rings” and “You Can Have Mine” as he makes his way through his catalog of songs. 

A quick silent drapes over like a blanket as Layus shares that he’s from Salinas area with family in San Diego. He jokes that he feels very comfortable here, very comfortable playing a new song he’s written about raising a voice to the ‘union in the south.’ He jokes that the next song, while partly satire…is also partly terrifying, as it was written as he climbed inside what he imagines to be our current President’s state of mind. He laughs, his eyes glimmering, “I knew you’d quiet down.” He jokes, at the suddenly hushed voices and ended conversations. “That’s good. Your priorities are in check.” The new song takes way, with lyrics along the lines of a man thinking he’s God’s greatest gift to mankind, that everybody seems so entertained even when you haven’t a clue what you’re doing and even threatening to be the one to lock people away and eat up the key. The song ends with the line that people aren’t laughing anymore and Layus falls dramatically on the keys, a loud crescendo of crashing notes to end the song that took us all by surprise. 

He ends his set with a song that fans were literally shouting for since the beginning: “Nightbird.” And the beautiful performance leaves us wishing there was time for more, as Dan thanks the crowd sincerely and shares love to each and every bright-eyed face looking up from the crowd. 

 

There isn’t too much of a wait for Twin Forks to take the stage. This folk/roots/Americana collective may have been founded by Dashboard Confessional’s own Chris Carrabba, but other than a familiar face, one would never know he was in both bands. While Dashboard may be the more seasoned and recognized of the two, Carrabba’s presence within Twin Forks is only as loud as his band members: Jonathan Clark, Kelsie Baranoski, Sara Most and Shawn Zorn. There is never a mention directly to Dashboard or Carrabba’s success in other acts (only a short nod to the most ‘emo’ days back with Further Seems Forever), a gesture that seems respectful, yet surprising. The venue itself advertised the night as “Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba,” but his respect for the artist he shares the stage on tonight is an obvious one as he refuses to belittle or overshadow them with his claim to fame under different names. 

It’s unnecessary all the same, as Twin Forks doesn’t need to ride on the coattails of any former acts. Their American roots music vibe are perfect for singing along and dancing and as much fun as the crowd is having tonight, Twin Forks is having double that amount on stage. “I don’t remember where we’re from…” Chris jokes with his bandmates before addressing the crowd, “I’ve had a strange day… should we discuss it? Later?” He muses as Kelsie stands jokingly impatient with her mandolin to encourage Chris to just ‘start the song!’ 

They begin their set with the less predictable “Good and Slow” as Carraba jokes, “Hey! I like that band a little, I hope they play that one song I definitely don’t know first!” as he looks to the crowd, and continues the playful nature as he turns to his bandmates, laughing all the while as he questions, “What are the first words? How does it go? Oh yeah…” before finally kicking off the night in what is one of the best ways we’ve ever seen.

The lighthearted, joking nature is carried throughout the entire show. Chris shares with us that his cousin is on stage, drummer Shawn Zorn, and as he mocks frustration, he jokes that every night he kicks Shawn out of the band for revenge… and then Shawn’s mother calls. “Christopher!” he yells in a high-pitched voice, mimicking his aunt with a wagging finger that means only one thing: you better behave.

The band decides to play a cover song, Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl, which they all take turns laughing as they explain they have an entire EP you can have emailed to you… “How do they get it?” the band asks, and both girls joke back and forth, pretending to haven’t a clue how the internet works as one yells out “Maybe a carrier pigeon?” The entire night is fun and games such as these as Kelsie laughs, trying to count how many songs they have now… is it 31? And as they let the number sink in for a second, the band is bursting into waves of laughter of their own inside jokes, calling themselves the “Baskin Robins” of cover songs, in every free sample flavor. 

The night never seems to have a dull moment, between the beautiful performance Twin Forks delivers and their happy-natured personalities. At one point, Chris notices his jean jacket has appeared to have ripped severely in both elbows and whines out that they’ve been “lost” before later returning to joke that not everyone has ‘most’ of a jean jacket. “It’s a whole other world out there,” he teases, in regards to his partial jacket, as he recalls back to the days of shitty jobs and bosses daughters and trying to impress the girls who you’re completely enamored by. Chris shades that he had tried to fool this particular girl to make her believe he knew a lot of shit, but she saw the world from a whole different point of view. When he tried to recollect to write a song about it, he just couldn’t find the song in the room…so he thought, maybe the song is on the other side of the wall. So he went and sat on the other side and there, he found it. Waiting for him. The song, “The Other Side,” simply spilled out. 

As “Get Ready Marie” is played, Carrabba gives the story of how so many of his friends are recently married and at a handful of the ceremonies, he’s asked to perform a song. So, instead of picking a conventional love song, he performs “Get Ready Marie,” when asked to play something pretty, he shrugs it off and says they got ‘this instead.’ 

“If you’re waiting for the next band… we’re it. So, we’re just going to keep playing songs. We won’t go behind the curtain and wait for you guys to cheer… because I don’t think you will,” Chris comments as the crowd’s quiet focus seems almost a bit too intense. It is short-lived, though, as they power into “Kiss Me Darling,” which wakes up the crowd as girls begin to dance around, using up as much space as possible to this known song. 

The remainder of the night is filled with more insights, more jokes, more stories of back home and recollection to all the places you can fall in love in life (which include rollerskating, according to Chris). The band play an amazingly energetic cover of the Violent Femmes’ “Blister In The Sun,” which is followed by closing their set with their two most recognizable hits: “Scraping Up The Pieces,” and “Back To You.”  

The night was an unforgettable one, with too many laughs and just as many amazing performances. Thanks, Soda Pop (a childhood nickname of Chris’, you’re welcome) for making us feel like more than fans, and instead like family. We can’t wait for next time. 

 

TWIN FORKS’ SETLIST

Good And Slow

Cross My Mind

Galway Girl (Ed Sheeran Cover) 

The Other Side

Plans

General Specific

Fall Comes

Get Ready Marie

Kiss Me Darling

Tall Green Grass

Something We Just Know

Can’t Be Broken 

Blister (Violent Femmes Cover)

Scraping Up The Pieces

Back To You

Hey Violet kick off their first ever US Headlining tour in SF!

“Miranda’s already hungry again…” Lovelis teases as she asks the crowd for suggestions on where they should grab an after-show snack later that night. The entire band is gleaming with mirth as a moment of silence honors everyone’s passion for food.

This seems to set the mood for the entire show. The playful banter continues, and there’s no mistaking the friendship between band mates as they each seem to be exchanging smiles, laughs and those who aren’t tethered to a keyboard or drum kit dance around the stage to jam together.

After touring the world for years with some of the biggest names in music — the Foo Fighters, The Smashing Pumpkins, Steel Panther and most recently, 5 Seconds Of Summer — and following a well deserved break, Hey Violet returns to the Bay Area, this time on their first ever U.S headlining tour!

If you’re not familiar with the band, maybe you’d recognize them under their previous name, Cherri Bomb. The members formed back in 2008 — back when they were still in middle school! Original members, Rena and Nia Lovelis and Miranda Miller are joined now on stage by guitarist Casey Moreta and Iain Shipp on bass. They took the world by storm, playing some of the biggest venues (did we mention they even have Warped Tour under their belts, from when they played in 2012 and they’ve played some of the biggest festivals overseas including Supersonic and Reading & Leeds Fest) last year, including a sold out show at Madison Square Garden where they supported 5 Seconds Of Summer.

This time around, things are all about Hey Violet. They kicked off the first of their shows in San Francisco at The Chapel (side note: how cool is this venue? A historic 1914 building originally as a mortuary, with beautiful arched ceilings and mezzanine) this Tuesday night, playing to a joyous overly-packed crowd who only solidify what tonight is all about: good music, positive vibes and Hey Violet.

Fans flood in early to catch opener and musician Jessarae’s set. Originally from Los Angeles, Jess launched his debut EP back in the summer of 2016 which came with a sold out headlining tour. He followed quickly with a second EP, “Stand In The Rain” and his latest “The London Loft Sessions” was released this year.

In a day and age where it’s tempting (and almost acceptable) to simply press ‘play’ on a machine, Jess takes a different, more impressing route as he gears up for his set. He begins by building the back-up to his own songs, looping his own voice to support him as he kicks off the night with the title track to his release, “Stand In The Rain.”

From the get-go, Jess’ talents are on showcase, raw and powerful. The crowd show their support, with screams of encouragement and a bit of overflowing excitement as he plays a new song titled “Fishbowl” that precedes a slower track titled “Don’t Let Them In.” It isn’t until Jess pulls a cover out from under his sleeve: Drake’s very own “One Dance” in an acoustic, upbeat rendition that Jess has made completely of his own. He feeds off the energy of the crowd, who dance and sing along, their smiles mimicking Jess’ own.

Allowing no time for the crowd to settle, Jess swaps one acoustic guitar for another: a beautiful, matte black piece. He shares with the eager faces that the next song is brand new, a number he had been practicing backstage before the show and decided then and there, why not just play it for everyone? The lyrics are something like “I feel the weight of the world inside / I was there for the tears you cried / Your innocence drives me wild” and the words “Hover me” as he treats us to this beautiful track.

He performs “No Warning” and has a bit of a slip up, only lasting a second before he recovers, but the way in which he handled this — a smile, admittance, a laugh and a shake of the head — was so genuine, it only added to the track. And a bit too soon for anyone’s liking, his last track, “Milk and Honey” (for which an acoustic video was just released) is performed and Jess leaves the stage, sincerely thanking the growing crowd with an ear-to-ear smile.

Despite the intermission, the energy built up and filled the venue, only rising in anticipation for Hey Violet to take the stage. There’s no mistaking the show’s beginning as the crowd erupts in excited screams as the five members rush out from backstage, their presence immediately filling the entire venue as they power straight into one of their earlier tracks, “Brand New Moves.”

These girls (and guys – we can’t exclude Moreta and Shipp) mean business. They play a new track ”My Consequence” and “Pure” back to back, just before taking a moment to express how excited they are to be in San Francisco. Rena gushes over the lifestyle the city has the offer — including the cuisine. They laugh about all the stops before the show and joke that it simply wasn’t enough.

“Miranda’s already hungry again…” Lovelis teases as she asks the crowd for suggestions on where they should grab an after-show snack later that night. The entire band is gleaming with mirth as a moment of silence honors everyone’s passion for food.

This seems to set the mood for the entire show. The playful banter continues, and there’s no mistaking the friendship between band mates as they each seem to be exchanging smiles, laughs and those who aren’t tethered to a keyboard or drum kit dance around the stage to jam together.

Lovelis strips herself of her customized bubble gum pink bomber jacket (complete with a super cool bleeding eye back design) as the band gears up to play a fan favorite titled “Unholy.” This darker, bass-heavy track echoes within the walls of this converted mortuary. The dark, punk rock vibe in the air is almost palpable, but it is quickly broken as Rena shows a softer side. She’s addressing the crowd, laughing about her “maternal instinct” coming out. She insists: don’t push [within the crowd, closer to the stage] and, “hugs are fine, just don’t push.”

Tonight is scattered with surprises and premieres of new music as Hey Violet addresses the next, new track. The band seem pleasantly surprised at the elicit screams when the title is spoken, touched that fans already are familiar with the unofficially released music. It’s a song titled “O.D.D” which Rena explains is all about how everyone feels a bit weird and out of place at times…

“…Like you don’t fit in and that’s okay. It’s okay to be different.”

The track is followed by another completely new song, to which just seconds before Rena is supposed to come in with the vocals, you can see her almost frantic as she mouths to her sister Nia and keyboardist Miranda an ‘I forgot!’ and darts off stage only to return fashioned in an oversized black hoodie, appropriate for the song by the same name, “Hoodie.”

The positive energy floats from face to face, the crowd singing along with smiles spread across their lips. It’s impossible to miss Rena’s glittering highlight across her high cheekbones and the very tip of her nose. She looks almost like a fairy — her energetic, petite nature as she dances around to the band’s songs. The show is interrupted, if only for a second as fans scream, “we have bracelets for you” and a genuinely thrilled Rena exclaims, “bring ’em up!” as she stretches over the small sea of fans to reach the one who spoke out, retrieving the colorful gifts and immediately stashing them in a safe place. It’s a quick moment, but it speaks in volumes to the relationship Hey Violet has already established with their dedicated fans.

Earlier this week, they announced the studio version of a song they’ve been performing live for a while to be released this Friday, March 10th. The track, “Break My Heart” ignites within the venue, the up-tempo rhythm paired with Rena’s impressive high-range vocals daring even the parents up on the balcony to dance along.

No one wants to come to terms with reality, and the fact that eventually the show has to come to a close. The upsetting truth is hard to ignore as the band kicks into two of their more-known tracks, “Guys My Age” and of course “Fukboi” which since it’s release in 2016 has been causing parents of the band’s younger fans to raise an eyebrow. It’s impossible not to enjoy this song, despite the profanity, due to the relatable nature of the lyrics. I would place bets on every one of the fans singing along that they are all too familiar with the type of boy described, the one who is always tagging #beastmode on his gym selfies. Rena teases this lyric, her arm raised high in the air, showing off her biceps as the oversized hoodie drapes off her frame. Even as they wrap up their show, there are no tell-tale signs that this is the second to last song versus the second of the night. Fans jump in waves and are all too ready to catch Rena as she jumps into the crowd, disappearing for a second before being lifted for what would be her first ever crowd surfing experience. She’d later call it invigorating, gushing about the moment on social media after the show.

The band has one final surprise for the fans: not ending the show just yet, as many would expect after their biggest hit. The end their show with “All We Ever Wanted,” cutting their setlist one song short (due to a city enforced curfew the venue has no choice but to follow). We were only a little disappointed not to hear their rendition of The Chainsmokers and Daya’s hit, “Don’t Let Me Down” which Hey Violet performed while supporting 5 Seconds Of Summer last year. As impressive as their version is, it is hardly necessary for the band to rely on covers to prove just how talented they are.

The crowd chants for an encore just seconds after the band exists the stage and they hardly give up or lose their spirits even as the lights flicker on within the venue.

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The band take to social media just moments after the show to express their love for San Francisco. It’s a notion that is widely returned by the overflowed declarations of love in return for the band. They followed their San Francisco show with a sold out date in Los Angeles — which only attests to how amazing this band is. If they’re not already on your radar, please visit their official website and give them a listen. Be on the lookout for the release of their next single, “Break My Heart” officially out on Friday! 

Check out our photo gallery from the show here! 

 

HEY VIOLET’S SETLIST 

Brand New Moves

My Consequence

Pure

Unholy

ODD

Hoodie

Break My Heart

Chained Rhythm (Katy Perry cover)

Guys My Age

Fukboi

All We Ever Wanted

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 

http://www.heyviolet.com/

https://www.facebook.com/heyvioletofficial

https://www.instagram.com/heyviolet/

 

Dashboard Confessional hit us with some beautiful nostalgia

“This song is about the best day of my life. I hope you’ve had one tonight.” 

The show ends with the band’s performance of “Hands Down,” the song which has only matured since it’s release. It is a powerful three minutes, as Dashboard adds a twist to the song, adding a guitar solo and the words, “I still know that you meant it” which only serves to remind us that even though we have all grown up…it has been together. 

There comes a time where most of us look back to high school and reminisce about the ‘glory days.’ For almost all of us, these memories are not complete without a throwback compilation of all your favorite high school hits. It is becoming more and more rare for bands to be able to boast about being around for five years – ten years – twenty years seems unheard of. Which is why Dashboard Confessional is in a league of their own. The band is nearing their 18 year anniversary (albeit a short hiatus back from 2011 to 2016). And it is no surprise that they effortlessly sold out The Fillmore for their show Thursday night in San Francisco.

By some unwritten law, but one abided by many — you cannot simply hear the opening chords to “Vindicated” and not be prepared to sing along at the top of your lung capacity. This is exactly what is to be expected from the crowd Thursday night as they pour in to the historic Fillmore to escape the rain.

It’s just hours into February (though you wouldn’t believe it by the mass amounts of Valentine-studded propaganda that has decorated retailers since mid-January) and as typically associated with the entire month, love is in the air. It’s safe to say tonight, Dashboard Confessional has Stolen our hearts with ease. There is absolutely no better way to combat this overly-saturated, in-your-face, romance-driven time of year than with songs informally labeled as ’emo.’ The entire genre was built around heartbreak, around unrequited love, loss and the void of happiness. Dashboard Confessional have been kings of this ’emo’ crowd since the start.

 

The night begins with the acoustic-rock duo This Wild Life who share with us that tonight is their first performance in San Francisco despite the fact that they reside not too far from the Bay Area in Long Beach, California. Frontman Kevin Jordan and guitarist/percussionist Anthony Del Grosso may be the only two members of the band, but they have a huge stage presence, winning the crowd over early on with a cover of Blink 182‘s “First Date” where Kevin changes around the lyrics to mock his facial hair — Do you like my stupid beard?

Mid-set list, Kevin shares with the crowd an intimate story about being gifted one of his first guitars. His girlfriend at the time, he explains, bought him a guitar with only one condition…he had to learn a song. Not just any song, no. The request was to learn a track off of the first album ever released from none other than Dashboard themselves. You guessed it — the song was ‘Screaming Infidelities’ and Kevin lights up as he recollects his memories and shares his disbelief that today, here he is, sharing a stage with the very same men.

“We got a call that said…cancel the remaining dates of your tour. You’re going on a national tour with Dashboard Confessional!”

Imagine being told you’re going to be working with your idols? We can’t even begin to grasp the euphoric high that must linger with This Wild Life every night they take the stage as the opening act for one of the very same bands that helped kickstart their passion, their career itself.

The personal sentiment is never once lost on us as Kevin shares with us the meaning behind their track, ‘No More Bad Days,’ which was written for his mother. “This song is very special to me…” he begins, explaining her year through chemotherapy, and describing her as, quote, an “unstoppable fucking woman.” He wrote the track as a means to show his gratitude for her strength, for being their for his family despite her own struggles, for never giving up.

The band near the end of their setlist with the introductory track off their latest 2014 release, Clouded titled “Concrete” before awakening the crowd as Anthony sits behind a drum kit for their final track, “Better With You.”

 

After a very short intermission, Vinyl Theatre, indie rockers from Milwaukee take the stage. These Fueled By Ramen artist start things off strong, their high energy permeating throughout the venue as they treat the crowd to two new tracks, “My Fault” which features pianist Chris Senner on an honest to God keytar and “Day In And Day Out.” New music from these guys is highly overdue — their debut release having came out back in 2014. 

But despite the two year gap, the band fades into “Shine On” off of their Electrogram album and another new one, titled “30 Seconds” which lead singer Keegan Calmes blends beautifully with familiar lyrics from another coined ‘emo’ band: The Killers. Lyrics to “All These Things That I’ve Done” are sang along to as the venue bleeds a beautiful array of lights from blue to purple to yellow and reds. 

This is when Vinyl Theatre gives us the news many has been waiting for, the announcement of their new album which Keegan jokes it’ll drop in a week or so “…buy it, steam it, steal it…whatever it is you guys do, just promise to give it a listen.” 

After powering through two more tracks (“Breaking Up My Bones” and another new one, “New Machines”) Keegan jokes with the crowd… “I’d hate to be putting you guys to sleep.” he teases, looking out to the crowd, “but I say that as we go into a slow song…” The band treats us to a familiar track, Coldplay’s very own “Fix You” which is sung with such beautiful, raw emotion, the band definitely did justice to this incredible track. 

They end their set with three more tracks, including their late 2015 single, “Gold.” For those in the crowd who may not have previously heard of Vinyl Theatre (and we’ll admit, we hadn’t listened to too much of their work) one thing can be certain: when their album drops next week, you can guarantee it’ll make it’s way to my speakers. These guys are extremely talented, Keegan’s vocals are far too impressive to put into words. With musical influences such as Death Cab for Cutie, you might expect things on an easier, more lax side. But this was not the case. The band’s energy never faltered, the three of them always in sync as they jammed through a blend of new and old… There was no question as to why they’ve toured with acts such as Twenty One Pilots or why they’re accompanying Dashboard. They put on an amazing set and we can only anticipate their new release and their eventual headlining tour. Expect great things. We’re warning you now — keep your eye out. 

 

For a band that needs no introduction… Dashboard Confessional take the stage, which is decorated in small Himalayan natural salt crystal lamps. The crowd is beyond ready as the band kick things off immediately from songs recorded and adored over 15 years ago… “The Good Fight” and “Saints and Sailors” off of their 2001 release, The Places You’ve Come To Fear The Most

It is impossible for a second to mistake that after 17 years as a band that things have become routine. This couldn’t be further from the actual truth for Dashboard Confessional, frontman Chris Carrabba makes his presence known around the entire length of the stage, back and forth with each of his band mates, the four of them smiling from ear-to-ear as they perform together, guitar strings to guitar strings and foreheads pressed together, the definition of ‘jam session’ as pure joy and elation simply drip from their pores. 

The band flirts with strobe lights in their set as they go from the introductory track “Get Me Right” off of 2009’s Alter The Ending and the closing track, “Several Ways To Die Trying” off of 2003’s A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar. 

We’re only a third of a way into the set when we’re treated with fan favorite, “Stolen” which is performed, dare I say, even better than the recorded track released over a decade ago. The show is slowed only momentarily, Carrabba addressing the crowd as old friends who have been through so much together, because in a way, we have. He starts off…

“I don’t know how you guys feel about things [happening in the world right now], but this…tonight. This right here feels good.” 

He touches base on how the previous weeks in America, things have gone sadly askew. “Things feel fucked up,” Carrabba admits. He tells the crowd, “If you feel like I feel, that this isn’t right…” and I should note, his speech comes only after addressing that if anyone in the crowd agrees with all that is happening, then that’s alright, too. More power to you, he says, “You have as much right as the rest of us…” but he encourages that those who disagree, this is our time to do something. “I’m at as much a loss as everyone else on how we do this. Let’s talk. Let’s start something.” He relates the changes we’re going through now to the changes in the music scene with Dashboard Confessional first began. Build something, he emphasizes, not unlike how this music scene was built by the acceptance of everyone…for who and what we are. 

“If you want change, you have to fight for it.”

Carrabba’s sentiment echoes throughout the venue as they play a new track titled, “We Fight.” The high energy, empowering, hopeful song seems to end a ‘chapter’ in Dashboard’s set as the lights dim and the band leaves Chris to stand center stage. 

Real Dashboard! A fan screams, and you can hear Chris’ laughter through the microphone. “Don’t scream out real Dashboard just because I picked up an acoustic guitar… that’s fucked up. My band mates are just as important!” Carrabba’s playful demeanor causes an uproar with the crowd, who laugh and cheer. Despite the fact, he admits, sometimes he likes the old stuff better, too. “Let’s play something real old…” he prepares us as Chris begins “Age Six Racer” off of their debut release The Swiss Army Romance back in 2000. 

The stage looks like a beautiful sunset, purples, pinks, reds and blues surround Carrabba as he takes us through some of the best Dashboard hits, all the while acoustic and alone on stage. His vocals shake the sold out venue, age has done nothing but continue his impressive range. “How about we stick with that era?” Carrabba muses, hesitant for just a second, as though waiting for permission from the lulled over crowd. 

He performs the title track to both The Places You’ve Come To Fear The Most and The Swiss Army Romance, stopping mid-song, again, laughing uncontrollably. “Why are you flipping me off?” he addresses a fan in the crowd, “It’s okay. We’ll figure it out later,” he teases, picking back up without missing a beat. 

Fast forward and Carrabba performs a song we first got a taste of last year…when the band headlined the Taste Of Chaos tour. The track titled “Heart Beat Here” is just as beautiful as we remember, the love song complete with such beautiful tones… this was the highlight of Carrabba’s talent for us — he held his notes with such impressive clarity as the crowd chimed in with the words chanted pre-song. It’s a beautiful, touching moment and it leaves us aching for new music from the band we’ve grown with, we’ve loved with, we’ve had our hearts broken with…Dashboard has been there for us through it all. It only makes sense that through our adulthood, they’re just as present. 

The band then joins Carrabba back on stage (who has his acoustic held high overhead, in all his infinite, beautiful, celebratory glory) and he takes the time to introduce each of his friends, bandmates, brothers. Bassist Scott Schoenbeck, who has been with the band since the beginning. “Have any of you seen us before? I fucking swear this is the same dude. I don’t know what’s happened…but it’s glorious.” he describes his friend, before talking about guitarist AJ Cheek’s upcoming solo release and praising percussionist Ben Homola, who Carrabba proudly boasts, “this guy…we’ve been in several bands together. We’ve also…we’ve been in love. All I know about Ben is that he’s secretly been in every band you’ve ever loved…and what? He’s in Dashboard, too!?”

After taking the time to praise each of his bandmates, he addresses the crowd yet again, “Don’t be shy!” he yells, feeding off the energy of the crowd, “We still have a bit of show left.” The band performs “The Best Deceptions” which is sung so loudly, Carrabba stops several times, beaming as he allows the crowd to carry the vocals. “Again I Go Unnoticed” follows, and the reaction is the same. Several times throughout the show, Carrabba doesn’t bother with his microphone, no. He’s hunched over the crowd, guitar held out, screaming the words to fans who are singing so loudly you hardly miss the vocals through the speakers. 

“Let’s sing this one together.”

It’s all the introduction “Screaming Infidelities” needs. A song adored by many, the star of every early 2000 emo mixtape. We can feel the show is coming to an end, and it’s bittersweet. “You guys have been amazing,” Carrabba expresses his gratitude. And in all his humble glory, he adds, “I hope you’ll invite us back some day” before cutting straight into “Vindicated.”

There is a short tease…the band exits stage right, but we know this can’t be the end. With just enough time for a breather, Dashboard takes the stage for ten more beautiful minutes…

“I’m Chris,” Carrabba says as he slings his guitar back over his shoulder, “…along with you,” he points towards the crowd, “…We are Dashboard.” The sentiment is beautiful, treating the massive crowd as though each and every one of us truly mean something, a message continually repeated throughout the night. 

“This song is about the best day of my life. I hope you’ve had one tonight.” 

The show ends with the band’s performance of “Hands Down,” the song which has only matured since it’s release. It is a powerful three minutes, as Dashboard adds a twist to the song, adding a guitar solo and the words, “I still know that you meant it” which only serves to remind us that even though we have all grown up…it has been together. Through this music. We have all been connected. No matter the many years that have passed since this song’s release in 2003. We were all much younger then…and the song may have meant one thing, and today it means something else entirely. The power behind the song, the memories created, the lyrics embedded in our minds, the shameless cry out of ‘my hopes are so high…’ and ‘so we can get some.’ That is something that will never change. Something that cannot fade away. As well as the influence we’ve all felt from Dashboard Confessional as they’ve been there through some of the most significant milestones of our lives. 

And as we leave the venue back into the rainy San Francisco streets, it isn’t so much a goodbye, but a “we’ll be seeing you.” I, for one, cannot wait for their next album and, fingers crossed, in another ten years I hope to have the opportunity to join Dashboard for another sold out show, screaming along to every line through the band’s amazing catalogue of all these beautiful, emo songs. 

Check out our full photo gallery here. 

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL’S SETLIST

The Good Fight

Saints and Sailors

The Sharp Hint Of New Tears

Get Me Right

Several Ways To Die Trying 

Stolen 

We Fight

— 

Age Six Racer

Scraping Up The Pieces

The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most

Ghost Of A Good Thing

The Swiss Army Romance

Heart Beat Here 

— 

The Best Deceptions

Again I Go Unnoticed

As Lovers Go

Screaming Infidelities

Vindicated 

— 

Hands Down 

 

FOR MORE INFO: 

Dashboard Confessional
www.dashboardconfessional.com
www.facebook.com/DashboardConfessional
www.twitter.com/dashboardmusic

Vinyl Theatre
www.vinyltheatre.com
www.facebook.com/VinylTheatre
www.twitter.com/vinyltheatre

This Wild Life
www.thiswildlifeband.com
www.facebook.com/thiswildlife
www.twitter.com/thiswildlife
 

Disclosure sell out Bill Graham two nights in a row!

Pitch black darkness sweeps over the crowd before bursts of lights give us a teaser of what’s about to come. The stage is set up in multiple tiers; dead-center are two set ups with perfectly placed drum kits, mixers, synthesizers, guitars…even a few cowbells for good measure. The Lawrence brothers hit hard, opening with tracks off their 2013 album, Settle: “White Noise” and “F For You.” 

We’re willing to bet — at the very mention of Disclosure, minds begin racing to the EDM scene, grouping Disclosure (made up of brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence) in with acts they’ve shared the stage with: Jack Ü (who may be better recognized as Skrillex and Diplo), Calvin Harris and Major Lazer to name a few. While this synth pop, house garage duo definitely started out with high tempo, unremitting beats, which had no trouble surpassing the attempts of their competitors (much like those in their 2013 chart-topping hit, “Latch”), Disclosure’s sophomore album, Caracal, released in late 2015, features a more sophisticated sound. There is an obvious drive to separate themselves from a sea of similar sampled sounds and predictable bass drops. Let us be the first to inform you: if you think seeing Disclosure live means watching two brothers hide behind their MacBook screens playing pre-mixed tracks off of iTunes, you are terribly mistaken. 

The Lawrences have had no troubles in setting themselves within a league of their own. These brothers are highly capable of producing the wildly desired, sought after clean pop/dance sound. With compelling drums and beautifully composed chords, Caracal‘s tracks hit on every emotion. Whether you are feeling happy, angry, seeking a sultry vibe or simply want to dance, Disclosure delivers. 

Almost by day, the opportunity to take advantage of what our digital age has to offer presents itself to young, creative minds. Producing tracks in your father’s basement can lead to overnight success. While the Lawrence brother’s story can loosely be traced back to something of similar sound, the pair have always sought out more than just dictating noise. It is not some kept-hush secret that some of the big names in EDM produce, mix and create a track in it’s entirety and, only AFTER it is all said and done, find a voice to match the feel of their track. 

Howard and Guy Lawrence have done things a bit different from the start. Their process includes studio sessions with each of their featured artists: collaborating, writing, recording, reworking the track as a creative process instead of something worked on in sections and sent back and forth through a digital cloud. It is this process that sets them so vividly apart from anyone daring enough to call themselves competition. For instance, take the track “Holding On” which features vocals from Gregory Porter. The song noticeably stands out from the rest of their work. It sounds like an old timely gospel track, dripping with soul. But Disclosure didn’t just pull samples from the past. Instead, they created their own. First by writing their lyrics and recording a slower stripped version of this once-piano ballad. With production came the replacement of the piano, changing it to a synthesizer sound and transforming the song entirely. Still, the song captures the sincerity in all of Disclosure’s work. In a world where EDM music is accepted as fun, computerized, disingenuous noise the Lawrence brothers have a sense of pure, raw, heartfelt genuineness which can be felt in every single one of their tracks. 

— 

It is because of their authentic sound and their veritable success that Disclosure had no difficulties in selling out not one — but two — nights in San Francisco at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. 

Honey Dijon supports Disclosure, warming up the crowd, which can be seen flooding in the auditorium by the masses. The 7,000+ max capacity is threatened at peaked numbers by the eager fans who pack the floor and upper levels of the venue. 

Pitch black darkness sweeps over the crowd before bursts of lights give us a teaser of what’s about to come. The stage is set up in multiple tiers; dead-center are two set ups with perfectly placed drum kits, mixers, synthesizers, guitars…even a few cowbells for good measure. The Lawrence brothers hit hard, opening with tracks off their 2013 album, Settle: “White Noise” and “F For You.” 

The entire venue is an explosion of color, Disclosure’s production never falling short or leaving us in any state of mind except that of absolute awe. They seamlessly switch back and forth from playing numbers off both studio albums, playing “Magnets” and “Omen” back-to-back early on in their setlist to get the crowd at a roaring wave of motion — and keep them there. The stage behind the brothers produces their eerie white-outlined face logos, flashing through in time with the high beats per minute count, only to fade away to deep blues, greens and red hues. During their performance of “Jaded,” the screens display a live feed of Howard and Guy as they sing the track, their faces fading in and out as though in some dream-like state. The peaceful greens and blues are replaced by fiery and seductive reds, oranges and magentas as the crowd reacts to latest hit, “Magnets” while an outburst of virtual fireworks linger overhead.  

Remember when we said that watching the Lawrence brothers perform went far beyond watching two men hit autoplay on a computer mixtape? This is due to the fact that every second of their performance, Howard and Guy Lawrence can clearly be seen behind their set ups; playing their track’s synthesized arpeggios and perfectly melodically matched guitar chords versus simply producing them from previously recorded mp3s. The experience is far more engaging than a man with oversized headphones mixing track after track to get a rise out of those who came to have a good time. Disclosure teases us on Saturday night — amping up the crowd to see if they can out-do Friday night’s sold out performance. Later on, throughout the high energy and positive vibes that are, at any given moment, practically palpable, the Lawrences confirm that second and final night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium outshines the first. 

Thirteen songs into their setlist, Disclosure treats us with a special guest. To perform “Hourglass” is Lion Babe herself — donned in a striking metallic outfit. Her vocals echo throughout the auditorium, even more impressive than the feature on the recorded track itself. The upbeat track, which has a more clubbier feel to it than those surrounding it on Caracal, is a memorable one to witness. Lion Babe can be seen windmilling her gorgeous mane, standing on the tier below the Lawrence brothers as she dances on stage, the spotlight inarguably on her throughout the duration of her song. 

We’re left to believe there is only time for one last track, which begins the slower, previously mentioned gospel number, “Holding On,” to conclude the boys’ fourteen song set. The flood of red lights which swept over the venue for “Hourglass” are adjusted to nothing more than black and white as the brothers wind down to end the evening. Geometric outlined shapes dance on the screens overhead and before long, Howard and Guy thank the crowd for the evening before exiting the stage. But there is no use fooling the thousands of fans who know this can’t be the end without hearing their most-known hit, “Latch.”

An excited buzz never fades from the crowd as applause, screams and cheering await the brothers for their encore performance. They take the stage one last time, satisfying the overall wish for the night to never end. Time seems to suspend itself temporarily as a second special guest takes the stage. Disclosure addresses the crowd as ladies and gentlemen, asking for a warm welcoming for vocalist Brendan Reilly who performs his featured track, “Moving Mountains.” The stage twinkles with an explosion of light in the form of a mountain as Reilly wins over the crowd with his astonishing vocals. Even Disclosure seems to be blown away, who note that of the several times they’ve performed “Moving Mountains” live, they have never heard such impressive noise come from their friend Brendan. 

“It’s that time…” the inevitable has come and the night has a final five minutes. Disclosure holds out for as long as they can, seemingly enjoying the same euphoric state of mind that they have instilled in each of their fans this evening. There is a playful introduction, the brothers asking the massive crowd if they are aware of what the next track is — as if any of us could escape the 2013 hit which skyrocketed Disclosure’s success. “Can any of you tell me what this is?” they play coy as the recognizable ‘dah-dah!’ sample echoes throughout the venue. The crowd erupts, knowing this is their last chance to make tonight count. Disclosure encourages everyone to make some noise, a simple, “this is Latch” (as though any of us need that clarity) before going right into the perfect end to a perfect evening. 

For those who are avid EDM fans and even those who don’t think they’re a fan — if you are ever presented with the opportunity to go see Disclosure, do it. It is hard to fully explain the captivating experience; from the complex production and Disclosure’s awe-inspiring performance coming together in breathtaking harmony. It is almost unreal to take a step back and realize that the Lawrence brothers have only been at this for a little over five years. They are at the top of the game, and seemingly are mastering it. We are confident that what sets them apart is their desire to learn, to do better, to keep their sound changing. We cannot wait to see where the next five years will take Disclosure. While other EDM-esque acts are fizzling out after their sampled beats become tired and mundane, Disclosure will keep delivering in such a unique way, impossible to duplicate or compete with. 

Check out our gallery of the show here

Heartfelt goodbyes from MCS at So Long, Farewell tour

We could comment on Motion City Soundtrack’s beautiful stage presence, the lighting and the overall euphoric state this show left us in, but please don’t take our word for it. The band’s Farewell tour is hitting several cities throughout the U.S as well as stops in the UK, Australia and Japan. This is one tour you do not want to miss out on, or the opportunity to bid Motion City Soundtrack a proper farewell. 

“When I was younger I fell in love with the girl next door, back to the beat yo back to the beat of 1984…” 

These were the first words echoing through the beautiful Regency Ballroom as Motion City Soundtrack embark on their final tour: So Long, Farewell.

 

Back things up just a bit — The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco is packed on a Monday night by music lovers of all ages who count Motion City Soundtrack as a staple to helping hone their musical tastes over the years. A band of two decades (and Warped Tour veterans — MCS was featured on the summer festival a total of ten times) is bound to leave behind an incredible wake within the music industry. Especially a band as talented as the Minneapolis natives in Motion City Soundtrack. The band’s retiring announcement in March left us all with heavy hearts. Their announcement of their “So Long, Farewell” tour meant calendars would be marked, highlighted and circled in red to ensure this is one show with no excuse to miss. 

Newcomers straight out of Atlanta in a band called Microwave (which, they ensured us — there’s no reason behind the name, wouldn’t it be weird if there was?) kickstart the night. The guys in the band have an incredible energy, perfect for a night with the expectation to be a little grim (and how could it not? Saying goodbye to any band is bittersweet). Lead singer, Nathan Hardy expresses his adoration for Motion City Soundtrack since his younger years. They band interact with the crowd — pausing after songs such as “Work It Out” off their latest album, Stovall — with playful banter about how honored they are to perform in a venue such as the Regency for their second time in San Francisco. The band closes out their setlist with title track, “Stovall” which leaves the crowd buzzing with high energy and a yearning for more. 

It is no surprise that alongside Motion City Soundtrack are tour-companions in The Spill Canvas, who toured together first nearly ten years ago in 2008 and celebrated Motion City Soundtrack’s ten year anniversary tour of Commit This To Memory in 2014. The dedicated guys in The Spill Canvas drove across-country from the final shows of their own headlining tour to be a part of Motion City Soundtrack’s send off but there was no signs of exhaustion. Their energy on stage was resounding as the band kicked off with “The Truth” and a seamless transition into “All Over You.” The crowd goes wild — and anything less would have been insulting — as the band gears up for, arguably their most famous track. “This is a song about Home Depot,” jokes lead singer, Nick Thomas as the opening riffs for “Staplegunned” hit hard, taking fans straight back to 2005. 

The Spill Canvas never falters once with their remarkable performance. They close out their set with a song from their past “Lust A Prima Vista,” and something a bit more recent; “Hush Hush.” Thomas mentions his battling of strep throat and again, watching the band perform you would never know he was feeling anything less than his A-game. With plenty of thanks given, a round of applause for Motion City, Thomas jokes that their band is still so young, despite having been at it for far too long. They pay homage to friends in Motion City Soundtrack and urge fans, ‘regardless of who you came to see, give it up for fucking music.’ The venue ignites with screams and cheers over these powerful words before The Spill Canvas closes out their set with “All Hail The Heartbreaker.” 

A somberness takes over the vibe of the venue as Motion City Soundtrack’s stage is set up for a final performance. We’ve been to a few Farewell tours —more than we’d like to admit — most recent being Man Overboard’s last month and This Century’s sometime last summer. It is a bittersweet moment in getting to send off a favorite band in the only way imaginable. Motion City Soundtrack has always been a band that breaks away from the norm. Vocalist Justin Pierre has a unique sound, his catchy, high-pitched vocals are distinctive throughout the genre. The band pairs catchy pop-punk hooks and beats with lyrics giving a thoughtful perspective on the darkest subject matter. Their lyrics were always ones fans could relate to. Deep, personal words like those featured in hit, “Everything Is Alright,” “Even If It Kills Me,” “Modern Chemistry,” and so many more. So many of these songs helped shape pop-punk as we know it, with hard-hitting lyrics that often were close to home for the passionate fans who finally felt as though someone gets it. 

There is no mistake about the one last hoorah stigma that fills the air as Motion City Soundtrack takes the stage. The first of their impressive twenty-two song catalogue is “Back To The Beat” which features Justin Pierre center stage with a single, blinding white spotlight until he is joined by band members. Smooth sailing into “Cambridge” which is a track that was released on the band’s very first EP back in 2000. By the time “Make Out Kids” is played, the crowd has forgotten about this night being all there is. It is impossible to have anything but a positive energy, especially with a band such as Motion City. Even with the technical difficulties Pierre faces (“Capital H” seemed to prove a difficult task when Justin could not get his equalizers on the correct settings. He joked that they would just have to have more guitar and bypass the problem, which elicits a joke from guitarist, Joshua Cain: “haven’t we been doing just that for years?”) it is hard to dwell on the fact that this could be one of the last times Motion City ever performs as one. 

“We’re in this together!” yells Pierre as they jumpstart right into “L.G. FUAD” from Commit This To Memory which got a lot of love (a total of seven of the twelve tracks were featured tonight) on the setlist. Pierre promises he is feeling good about tonight — he makes an analogy that his heart is open and full of love, like a baked potato (what??). We have no idea what sparked this comparison, but we are a hundred percent here for it. Those warm fuzzies you get when you’re eating a delicious, loaded baked potato? Motion City Soundtrack definitely left us with those same fuzzy feelings.

The band’s near two hour set is wrapped up with a beautifully pieced together encore of “Even If It Kills Me,” “When ‘You’re’ Around,” and “The Future Freaks Me Out” which Pierre pauses from, taking a moment to step back from his microphone to let the overzealous crowd sing the words back to him. The Grand Ballroom noticeably shakes as the crowd moves as one —this beautiful, emotional performance leaves us in awe. It is impossible to wrap our heads around the fact that this is a goodbye, versus a new beginning.

We could comment on Motion City Soundtrack’s beautiful stage presence, the lighting and the overall euphoric state this show left us in, but please don’t take our word for it. The band’s Farewell tour is hitting several cities throughout the U.S as well as stops in the UK, Australia and Japan. This is one tour you do not want to miss out on, or the opportunity to bid Motion City Soundtrack a proper farewell. 

To a band that I, like so many others, have spent over half my life listening to; thank you. Tonight was a special one. It is so hard to know that this is the end but I am so grateful for the music, the inspiration, the influence and the many years I have to thank you for. In addition to how spectacular the show was — it is just as important to comment on the overwhelming amount of love that is flooding in from fans all over. Motion City Soundtrack has a memory wall — filled with notes for the band, memories to share, highlights of the best years and what MCS has meant to the fans. At the show, it was impossible not to make friends and share the experience, the memories, the goodbyes with everyone in the venue. So many were brought to tears during MCS’s memorable final show. This is what music is all about. MCS leaves behind a legacy impossible to duplicate and one we are certain will not be forgotten. Rather than looking at this as closing a chapter, know that your influences and these precious memories will forever live on whenever a MCS track shuffles on our music player of choice. We know that because of tonight, and the years you gave to us, everything is and will be alright. 

Check out our full photogallery of the show by visiting here

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.