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

The Melvins walk us through Love and Death at a sold out show in SF!

The Melvins have hit the road in celebration for the release of their first ever (in twenty-five releases and thirty years!) double-feature album, A Walk With Love And Death. This week, they played a sold out show at San Francisco’s own Great American Music Hall with support from Spotlights for a sludge-filled bad ass evening. 

The 23-track release (which dropped July 7th via Ipecac) finds Buzz Osborne, Steve McDonald and Dale Crover stitching together two very distinct sides to the band’s music, i.e. Love and Death. As expected from a Melvin’s release, Death is at it sounds, the slow, heavy metal fans crave. The Love side is a score to the Jesse Nieminen directed self-produced short feature by the same name: A Walk With Love and Death. The band has described their project as one “giant, dark, moody, psychotic head trip” to which their show definitely lived up to! 

This sold out night began with high expectations: the walls of the Great American Music Hall were lined with custom Melvins poster, each unique and just grotesque and worthy enough to commemorate the evening. Spotlights warmed up the crowd — this trio a perfect companion with their own slow-tempo metal music with a twist: lead singer/guitarist and bass players Mario and Sarah Quintero founded the band amidst their marriage! Joined on stage by Chris Enriquez on the drums, these New York natives were a treat all the way on the California coast. 

The Melvins took the stage with no tricks, no gimmicks, no flashy lights. In fact, they performed the entire night with the same vibrant red-lighting, leaving us to believe it was a statement towards love and death. The band opened with Flipper’s Sacrifice played at a medium tempo, leading into several of their tracks throughout the years and an unexpected cover in the form of The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

It only took about three songs for the crowd to erupt to life, paying no mind to the small stage, fans were moshing/crowd surfing and coming in close proximity to kicking The Melvins themselves right in the cranium…and from the looks of it, The Melvins loved it, who fed off the energy to provide one epic show. All the while dressed impeccably for the occasion: Buzz in a be-dazzled mumu and Steve in a sleeveless fuzzy top with his accented golden, glitter guitar strap. Dale looked casual — but don’t let that fool you. He had Slyvester from the Looney Tunes helping him keep the beat on his drum kit. 

Check out our photo gallery from the evening! 

 

THE MELVIN’S SETLIST 

Sacrifice (Flipper Cover)
Oven
Anaconda
Queen
Kicking Machine
Savior Machine (David Bowie Cover)
It’s Shoved
I Wanna Hold Your Hand (Beatles cover)
Euthanasia 

Edgar the Elephant
Sober Delic (Acid Only) 

The Bit
Onions Make The Milk Taste Bad
Amazon
Lyson 

You can check out the trailer to A Walk With Love and Death (the feature) below. The album is available everywhere – check out Spotify and Apple Music to stream it! And don’t forget to catch The Melvins on the remaining tour dates! 

 

Melvins + Spotlights remaining tour dates:

07/10/2017 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall

07/12/2017 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre

07/14/2017 – Vancouver, BC @ Venue Nightclub

 

07/17/2017 – Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall

07/18/2017 – Calgary, AB @ The Marquee

07/20/2017 – Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret

07/21/2017 – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium

07/22/2017 – Minneapolis, MN @ Grumpy’s Bash

07/24/2017 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom

07/25/2017 – Chicago, IL @ The Metro

07/26/2017 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme

07/27/2017 – Detroit, MI @ El Club

07/28/2017 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop

07/29/2017 – Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar

07/31/2017 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater

08/01/2017 – Syracuse, NY @ The Westcott Theater

08/02/2017 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

08/03/2017 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza

08/04/2017 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

08/05/2017 – Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony

08/06/2017 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar

08/08/2017 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry

08/09/2017 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle

08/10/2017 – Knoxville, TN @ The Concourse

08/11/2017 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall

08/12/2017 – St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room

08/13/2017 – Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck

08/15/2017 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre

08/17/2017 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

08/18/2017 – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Fest

08/20/2017 – San Jose, CA @ The Ritz

08/21/2017 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst

08/22/2017 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

09/05/2017 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom

09/06/2017 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole

09/08/2017 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk

09/09/2017 – Dallas, TX @ Tree’s

09/10/2017 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger

09/11/2017 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live (Studio)

09/13/2017 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

09/14/2017 – Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall

09/15/2017 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbit’s

09/16/2017 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum

09/17/2017 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ The Culture Room

09/18/2017 – Orlando, FL @ The Social

09/20/2017 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club

09/21/2017 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Hell Stage)

09/22/2017 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley

09/23/2017 – Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone

09/25/2017 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon

09/26/2017 – Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Co.

09/27/2017 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s

09/28/2017 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room

09/30/2017 – Ft. Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre

10/02/2017 – Albuquerque, NM @ The Launchpad

10/03/2017 – Flagstaff, AZ @ The Green Room

After 50 years, The Moody Blues are as unique and impressive as ever

Imagine this: a world without concept albums. Strange thought, right? Especially considering concept albums are all the rage nowadays (and admittedly they have been for quite some time but c’mon, most kids think concept album and credit American Idiot or The Black Parade or even Beyonce’s take on a visual and conceptual album, Lemonade). Concept albums have a sense of unity — the collection becoming more about a theme, movement, narrative or any artistic media that becomes so much more than just a collection of songs. No one does it better than The Moody Blues who helped shape and define exactly what a concept album is with their release of Days Of Future Passed back in 1967, just months after The Beatles’ own Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Imagine this: a world without concept albums. Strange thought, right? Especially considering concept albums are all the rage nowadays (and admittedly they have been for quite some time but c’mon, most kids think concept album and credit American Idiot or The Black Parade or even Beyonce’s take on a visual and conceptual album, Lemonade). Concept albums have a sense of unity — the collection becoming more about a theme, movement, narrative or any artistic media that becomes so much more than just a collection of songs. No one does it better than The Moody Blues who helped shape and define exactly what a concept album is with their release of Days Of Future Passed back in 1967, just months after The Beatles’ own Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

1967. Fifty years ago, The Moody Blues were perfecting the lush, cohesive song cycle and introduction to fusing together a rock band with a full orchestra (later to be credited as one of the first examples of ‘progressive rock’). They were a band ahead of their time, which leaves no surprise that fifty years later, The Moody Blues are still selling out venues and spending their summers celebrating the 50th anniversary of Days Of Future Passed on a full tour, which kicked off this month in California! They played two back-to-back evenings in Saratoga at The Mountain Winery for a trip back to when music was inexplicably great. 

The 50th Anniversary Tour has been one in the making for quite some time. Back in 2015, bassist John Lodge publicly entertained the idea of bringing former band members back to the lineup in any capacity for a series of special shows — an idea that unfortunately seemed to be unable to make happen, but still goes to prove a truly impressive comprehension of the band’s thoughts, ideas and the consideration of what would make this worthy of a 50th year anniversary tour. 

The sentiment is not one that is lost tonight. At only three days into The Moody Blues’ tour, there is a quick and obvious realization to just how special this tour truly is. As fans flood into the Mountain Winery’s beautiful seating, there is a hushed conversation amongst early-birds: “is there an opening band?” Of course, there isn’t. There is no need for one, not tonight. Instead, The Moody Blues played a two-hour, two-part, beautifully crafted set which perfectly reflected the band’s success and the album in celebration. It may have taken Days Of Future Passed approximately five years to reach the top of the charts — but little did they know then that this album would prove to be timeless for decades to come. 

The Moody Blues kicked off the night with a daring challenge. The show opened with their high-energy, fun-loving “I’m Just A Singer.” The first half of the show is scattered with an amazing selection of some of the band’s most beloved hits. They jump around from the ’70’s, ’80’s and ’90’s as they perform songs off their albums of each respective decade: Prelude (1987), Sur La Mer (1988) and Keys Of The Kingdom (1991) an album began with their hit: “Say It With Love,” which when performed tonight, vocalist Justin Hayward doesn’t hold back the affection, paired with the hearts and peace signs floating on stage behind him. For a band that formed back in the psychedelic era — The Moody Blues have something to offer to everyone as they perfected the art of switching from synths and guitar riffs to orchestrated pieces and heavier sounding rock songs and everything in between made evident by their vast range of repertoire which they have no troubles flying through tonight. 

“YEAH! Now we’re getting there! Take us back!” An excited fan screams as the band progresses into their track, “Nervous,” off their early ‘80s album, Long Distance Voyager. Bassist John Lodge can be seen dancing all around the stage before teasing flutist Norda Mullen — who replaced original flutist Ray Thomas quite some years ago and continues to encapsulate the beauty and uniqueness The Moody Blues are known for with having a rock and roll flute player — by mimicking a violinist as scores from an orchestra accompany the band’s set. 

The Moody Blues continue to showcase the unusualness that has always distinctively set them apart, with a complex four-part choral vocal sound paired with a wailing falsetto surging to harmonies (thanks to Lodge’s strong falsetto range, which sounds just as good as it always has, and Hayward’s beautiful voice falling somewhere harmoniously just beneath it). As they perform one of their bigger hits, “Your Wildest Dreams,” for the first time there are several photos splayed across the screen behind them — photos of original members, of days on the road 50 years ago. Nostalgia. And it’s absolutely beautiful. As the crowd sings and dances along, there is a shared inside-look to the band’s life, which helps signify what is about to come. The emotion is nearly palpable as Hayward and Lodge trade off the spotlight on vocals, each of them unable to hide the gratitude and admiration on their faces. They perform beautifully, as the song’s lyrics loosely follow about ‘once upon a times’ and ‘I remembers,’ the old photos of their legacy and time as a band, the three original members expanding this special Anniversary tour to the two members not with them on stage… it is incredibly touching and unlike anything we’ve seen before. The band sing beautifully, too. They achieve their unique sound today with the help of drummer, Graeme Edge as well as Norda Mullen (flutist, guitarist, all around amazing musician), Julie Ragins (singer, keyboardist, saxophonist, amazing musician who also has her own duet project with husband, PEAR), second drummer Billy Ashbaugh (who has toured with several big artists – including Nsync!) and main keyboardist Alan Hewitt (big thanks to Shirley and Pamela for providing these names)! 

The second half of the evening takes on Days as though fans are listening to it for the first time on their record player. The album, which was written as a concept of a day in the life in London, is a beautiful arrangement of songs with the beautiful symphonic presence and a build-up to what remains The Moodies’ signature song, “Nights In White Satin.” 

The second act begins with the Days’ album art dispersing into a rainbow to an image of the world spinning. An orchestra piece is played as we travel around the world — images are shown of The Milky Way behind Stonehenge, to city skylines, starry skies and finally a black and white moon, preluding to the narrated words of “The Day Begins,” which the crowd booms awake to, reciting word-for-word: Cold hearted orb that rules the night, removed the colours from our sight, red is grey and yellow white, but we decide which is right and which is an illusion… 

As the band takes the stage, it has been transformed, showing more than just pictures as it becomes a key element in the storytelling of a day in the life. The Moody Blues return on stage with no gimmicks, instead, they stand as blackened silhouettes in front of beautiful meadows and the rising sun, acoustic guitars in hand: “Dawn is a Feeling.”

An impatient (albeit, probably drunk… it is a winery, after all) crowd member yells “PLAY SOMETHING!” and almost as if on cue, the band erupts from “Another Morning” which displayed a busy London street with colorful panoramic shots of pedestrians speeding by, to the hard hitting “Peak Hour” where Hayward and Lodge both add in amazing solo guitar/bass riffs that probably shut up the ‘play something’ gentleman and more. The Moody Blues still have what it takes to rock ’n’ roll… but Days is a conceptual piece of art… and even a live performance, no, especially the live performance of the album in its entirety deserves to be treated as such. For the record: the band did this wonderfully, blending the downtime with their performance in a way that kept our attention and kept the majority of the crowd ooh and awwing at the beautiful scenery on-screen while bringing to life the interludes present in the album by the London Festival Orchestra. 

There is no question that even the smallest detail was thoroughly thought-out as each of the songs have a perfectly accompanying visual behind them. There are marigolds and cattails swaying in the wind for the ‘Morning’s to deep purples, oranges, and reds for a time-lapse sunset over the ocean during “The Sunset” and primary colors whizzing over train tracks, giving an eery vibe for “Twilight Time.” 

The narration — and which is an illusion? — booms again overhead, putting forth “Late Lament” over what the crowd has been waiting for. The beautiful and timeless “Nights In White Satin” is performed with as much fervor as the studio version recorded over 50 years ago. Hayward shows no signs of struggle during the powerful chorus. The crowd sings along with teary eyes to the promise: “Oh, how I love you,” as nostalgia washes over us all to times of when we first heard this iconic piece and those in our lives who we love just as powerfully as this song entails. 

Pictured: Hayward & Lodge perform together, Edge is obstructed by his drum set in background. 
Pictured: Hayward & Lodge perform together, Edge is obstructed by his drum set in background. 

CHECK OUT OUR FULL PHOTO GALLERY OF THE SHOW. 

 

There is an attraction and appreciation that has endured all these years for fans of The Moody Blues. With the band’s performance tonight, someone unfamiliar with their work could argue that they’re still doing a promo tour for the album that has just reached its 50th anniversary. Their songs were hits back in the ‘60s and the following years and remain well-aged and relevant in the present day, in a time where the art of making actual music appears to be getting deleted and somewhat lost with the readily-available sampled beats and noises. 

The crowd roars with applause and cheers for The Moody Blues who have given us an unforgettable performance tonight, one worthy of celebrating the last 50 years and one worthy of celebrating the next 50 years to come. 

THE MOODY BLUES’ SETLIST

ACT ONE

I’m Just A Singer (in A Rock and Roll Band)
The Voice
Steppin’ In A Slide Zone
Say It With Love
Nervous
Your Wildest Dreams
Isn’t Life Strange
I Know You’re Out There Somewhere
Story In Your Eyes

ACT TWO 
The Day Begins
Dawn Is A Feeling
Another Morning
Peak Hour
Forever Afternoon (Tuesday)
Time To Get Away
The Sunset
Twilight Time
Late Lament
Nights In White Satin

ENCORE
Question
Ride My See-Saw 

 

The Moody Blues will be continuing their tour all summer long. Check out their official website for ticket information, and check out the dates below to see when they’ll make their stop near you!

Moody Blues Days of Future Passed 50th Anniversary Tour

6/03 — Rancho Mirage, CA — Agua Caliente Casino
6/04 — Pala, CA — Starlight Theater
6/06 — Saratoga, CA — The Mountain Winery
6/07 — Saratoga, CA — The Mountain Winery
6/09 — Portland, OR — Edgefield

6/10 — Seattle, WA — Chateau Ste. Michelle
6/11 — Seattle, WA — Chateau Ste. Michelle
6/17 — Los Angeles, CA — Hollywood Bowl
6/18 — Murphys, CA — Ironstone Amphitheatre
6/20 — Denver, CO — Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
6/27 — Minneapolis, MN — Orpheum Theatre
6/28 — Milwaukee, WI — Milwaukee Summerfest
6/30 — Chicago, IL — Ravinia Park
7/01 — Dayton, OH — Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts
7/02 — Cleveland, OH — Hard Rock Live
7/06 — Toronto, ON — Sony Centre For Performing Arts
7/07 — Toronto, ON — Sony Centre For Performing Arts
7/09 — Wallingford, CT — Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theatre
7/10 — Boston, MA — Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
7/12 — Wantagh, NY — Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
7/13 — Holmdel, NJ — PNC Bank Arts Center
7/15 — Philadelphia, PA — Mann Center for the Performing Arts
7/16 — Saratoga Springs, NY — Saratoga Performing Arts Center
7/18 — Bethlehem, PA — Sands Bethlehem Events Center
7/19 — Baltimore, MD — Pier 6 Pavilion
7/20 — Vienna, VA — Wolf Trap
7/22 — Nashville, TN — Ryman Auditorium
7/23 — Atlanta, GA — Chastain Park Amphitheatre 

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

Bowling For Soup show us how to have a good time even after 23 years!

Bowling For Soup, est. 1994, played “1985” in the 215. Here’s the 411.

Here is a great pun that’s never been written: Bowling For Soup played a 300 game at the TLA in Philly tonight. No? Let’s try this one: Bowling For Soup’s Philly show was a real lucky strike! Not that one either? Fuck it, I’ll come back to it.

I would be horribly remiss not to first mention the two high-octane power punk acts that kicked us off tonight and effectively rolled out a flaming red carpet for their headliners. Direct Hit!, out of Milwaukee, played with the kind of frantic, almost manic energy that sets your teeth on edge and makes you want to do something irrational, maybe leap off a skyscraper in a blaze of glory because you truly believe that the pavement would bounce you back up to safety. Guitarist Devon Kay is impossible to ignore, his animated playing style in a perfect marriage with the vicious vocal stylings of Nick Woods. Their effervescence was a blanket over the room, spreading even to the elderly woman a few feet away from me, decked out in a modest floral blouse and glasses. I watched her eye her surroundings warily during the preshow, and I saw her sticking close to her companion (husband?) during Direct Hit!’s driving opener. Halfway through the set, though, when Woods asked who in the room “worshipped Satan,” her scream was the loudest near me. I watched her bounce and headbang through all of “Satan Says” and the remainder of their set, and though I’ll never know whether she was there as a punk fan or a chaperone, I like to think she went home and at least followed the band on Spotify. Direct Hit!: even your grandma’s a fan.

LA’s Runaway Kids are livewires in their own right. Their rambling, urgent lyricism and unorthodox song structure are a welcome reminder of classic thrash acts like Suicidal Tendencies. Vocalist Gage Armstrong let us know right away that he had something to talk about, an important topic that needed to be addressed without delay: “these overalls I’m wearing.” Nine nights on tour in those very same overalls, he told us, with no shortage of teasing from bassist Korey Keeton. Armstrong has a cool charisma about him that seems to be unique to California frontmen, a levelheadedness that still manages to draw you in, keep you amped up through ragers like “No Direction.” Every time he commanded the crowd to open up that all-too-familiar circle, I was genuinely shocked not to see the entire room moshing vigorously. Beyond the overalls, there was a crystal clear message playing out over the course of their set: fuck D*n*ld Tr*mp, fuck anyone who’s ever looked down on or refused to believe in their music, and if you’re in league with any of the above, fuck you, too. (If you were wondering, I lost track of grandma during this set, but I bet she loved it.)

There’s something to be said for bands and artists who aren’t afraid of their catalog or its commercial successes. Bowling For Soup are one such act, making a point to play the hits that we all know and love because “we’re no Foreigner.” (This was later amended to Foghat and/or Journey, lest someone print the quote with a lowercase ‘F’ and embroil the band in controversy.) As such, despite the tour sharing a very clever name with their most recent release, Drunk Dynasty, their set list contained only one tune from the album. (“Hey Diane,” if you were wondering. Listen to it! Buy the album!) Someone near me repeatedly requested “Don’t Be a Dick,” and I secretly wished he would have taken his own advice. Bowling For Soup kept my attention pinned for a soup-er (nailed it!) hour and a half. Their set was the true definition of a well-oiled machine, packed not only with hits, but hilarious banter and well-placed gags like “In-Between Set Surfing,” a ditty about, you guessed it, crowd-surfers catching waves between songs. In the spirit of not shying away from commercial success, and maybe even a little bit of self-deprecation, they fed us not only the true classics (“Punk Rock 101,” “Almost,” “My Wina”), but their anthemic Phineas + Ferb theme song and even “Stacy’s Mom,” which we all spent our middle school years telling people was absolutely, unequivocally not their song. If they played the same list every night, we wouldn’t have known it: they seemed to be having as good a time as we were, if not even better. Chris Burney, whose impressive beard deserves its own review, is a fan of holding his guitar up and aiming the neck at the crowd like a sniper rifle. I lost count of how many times he did it, but never once stopped finding it funny. Truly, there is not a better metaphor for seeing a Bowling For Soup show: no matter how many times you’ve heard Jaret Reddick crooning about high school girls and punk rock, you’re still guaranteed to have a blast.

At some point during their set, Reddick mentioned that this coming June will be the band’s 23rd anniversary, to which Burney suggested that they throw themselves a funny hat party. If last night’s show was any indication, I think I’d love an invite to that shindig. I’d probably be willing to even mildly embarrass myself to get one. So happy early anniversary, Bowling For Soup, and if you’re reading this: call me.

 

BOWLING FOR SOUP’S SETLIST

My Hometown
The Bitch Song
Emily
Ohio (Come Back to Texas)
High School Never Ends
Hey Diane
Today Is Gonna Be A Great Day (Phineas + Ferb theme)
Turbulence
My Wina
The Last Rock Show
Punk Rock 101
Stacy’s Mom (Fountains of Wayne cover)
Since We Broke Up
Almost
Shut Up and Smile
Girl All the Bad Guys Want

Encore:
Two Seater
1985

Yellowcard get ready to say goodbye during one of their final shows

As soon as the first note of Way Away played – every thought, every worry, every fear, melted away instantly and I was transcended back to my sixteen-year-old self where there wasn’t a care in the world and Yellowcard was everything…

Thirteen years later, I was brought back to the moment where it all started…I was on the corner of Cherry Street, and I was letting the waves of Yellowcard crash down on me and let them take me away.

Check out our review by Michelle Mungaray! 

I remember the day that I heard Ocean Avenue playing from my stereo. It was early 2004, I was on my bed reading one of my many magazine subscriptions, it made me yearn for the summer almost instantly. I begged my brother-in-law to work his piracy magic and soon, Ocean Avenue went everywhere with me in my portable CD player. It was only a matter of time that a cut out from a magazine was on my bedroom wall nestled among other bands. After all, I was only sixteen and a junior in high school, what else would you expect? The summer of 2004, a year after the release of the album, I proudly purchased it with my first check at a local record store that only exists in my memories, Penny Lane.

When Yellowcard had announced their retirement, memories of that summer in 2004 came flooding back – mainly being in my best friend’s truck blasting Ocean Avenue and singing at the top of our lungs – I knew that I had to be there. My appreciation for the band didn’t stop with that album, every new release got a listen, and got me through some tough times in my personal life – and because of that, I would get to see them for the first and the last time at the same time.

After arriving at The Marquee, I wouldn’t be fulfilling my duty as a Millennial if I didn’t announce across several social media platforms that I was there. Hesitantly, I decided that the merch line would be skipped, it wrapped around the foyer in a snake like formation. “I’ll come back…” I said, but I never did. With a trip to the bar, we patiently waited for the opener Sean O’Donnell to start his set – a set that deserves its own post due to this musician’s talent (and humor – if he ever decided to take up a career in stand up comedy, I’d be front and center for every show)! It seemed only fitting to have O’Donnell kick off this show, who once shared the stage with Yellowcard regularly as he was the band’s bassist from 2010-2012, only making things a more personal affair. 

One minute I’m standing amongst a crowd of 20 somethings singing along to Blink 182, and the next minute, a voice is telling me that every song that I had the desire to film is already available online. Furthermore, the concert experience is greatly enhanced when the band could see my face instead of my phone…I wasn’t being told off or how to live my life, but I needed to put my phone down, put my hands up, and we were going to fucking rock.

As soon as the first note of Way Away played – every thought, every worry, every fear, melted away instantly and I was transcended back to my sixteen-year-old self where there wasn’t a care in the world and Yellowcard was everything.

The burst of energy from the crowd kicked the show off with such magnitude that Sean Mackin’s presence was larger than what The Marquee could hold. Over the next song, every reaction from the band, the crowd reacted to, it was absorbed and pushed right back to us tenfold. The first few personal thoughts from the band by way of Ryan Key was that they were glad they had canceled the original show back in October. As I would find out later, the show had sold out, and fans in attendance were spilling out into the foyer.

Between soaking in every chord of every song and how even now, over thirteen years later, lyrics were still relatable to my adult life, the interaction between us and the band, was so genuine. Every word spoken was so raw and personal – Ryan said he wanted us to dig deep into our souls. He also described the setlist as “fucking relentless” and he didn’t want us to have voices come morning. (Spoiler Alert: I didn’t). 

The band wasn’t just there right in front of us to play their songs and to move onto the next city. With every chance, small anecdotes were shared, Ryan shared that his favorite album is Lift A Sail. With a minor setback of technical difficulties, because every perfect night has imperfections, Ryan spoke to the crowd, “You guys know what song we’re playing, and you’re requesting another song…this is our last show and we’re going to play what we want to.”

Songs played seamless together as if a mixtape had been made, the energy never tapered, and Sean O’Donnell joined the band on stage to sing a song he was involved in when he was in the band. “The guy with violin” as known to people not too familiar with the band was still bouncing around on stage continuously kept the crowd on their toes. Praises were given to Brunkvist from Sweden on the drums, Ryan [Mendez] and Josh were sincerely in their element, a small detail that couldn’t be left unsaid.

Reality forced its way back, if only for a second when Ryan spoke to the crowd, he spoke about even though it had been nearly ten, to fifteen years later, some of us had found new interests, but here we were back together again. I knew that it was the beginning of the end. When the stage went dark, the emotions of the crowd poured out, we all knew what was going to happen next and it was something we all fought so hard to do, it was time to say our goodbye.

Thirteen years later, I was brought back to the moment where it all started…I was on the corner of Cherry Street, and I was letting the waves of Yellowcard crash down on me and let them take me away.

From singing along with the guy who stood by me the entirety of the show with no words said between us until that moment, we were immersed in such love and gratitude that words exchanged versus soaking in the moment were a mere after-thought, and I’ll never forget the feeling that I felt in those final minutes. As the music slowly played, the crowd chanted “Yellowcard” knowing that this was the last time we would ever get to see them, and we were ultimately getting our closure. They had taken their bows with such grace, they knew that they made the right decision, leaving us the best way possible…with the last sail lifted high, they were ready now.

Here’s to you, Yellowcard. You will be missed. 

CHECK OUT OUR PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE SHOW HERE!

 

YELLOWCARD’S SET LIST

Way Away

For You And Your Denial

Lights – Sounds

Shrink The World

Rest In Peace

What Appears

Light Up The Sky

Rough Landing Holly

Awakening

Illuminate

Life A Sail

A Space We Set Afire

With You Around

Rivertown Blues

Cut Me Mick

Believe

Hang You Up

Empty Apartment

Be The Young

Southern Air

Back Home

 

Breathing

Only One

Ocean Avenue

Words by Michelle Mungaray

Photos by Christina Ceballos  

Switchfoot and Relient K return as they continue Looking For America Pt 2

It has been quite some time since we’ve experience a performance so passion-driven, so full of love, hope, inspiration. Jon Foreman’s own guitar is studded with the quote — HOPE IS THE ANTHEM — The show is slowly winding down, but you wouldn’t know it from the pure elation on the faces of both the band and those attending. The band wraps up the evening with “The Sound” as the heavy bass riffs vibrate through the structure and “Where I Belong.”

At a time when we undeniably need it the most — hope, love, passion… these forces surround those inside the historic Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz, California. Fans gather in a line that wraps around the blocks of the illuminated town, amidst the rain. Excitement is buzzing for the show tonight: San Diego’s very own Switchfoot, with the support of Relient K. Each band has nearly twenty years since their beginning… and tonight they are here with one purpose: Looking for America. 

The digital clock stage left shows the time; 7:59 PM. As the seconds count down the hour, the crowd counts down with it. 5, 4…3, 2…1! The stage is dimly lit in magentas and violet hues, a beautiful white ornate piano sits in the center. Without much delay, Nashville natives, Relient K shuffle onto the stage. They begin the night straight into one of their older tracks, “High of 75” which immediately gets the crowd moving. There is no pause between this 2004 hit, right to the first track off their latest release titled “Bummin’” off of the album, Air For Free. Lead singer, Matt Thiessen jokes about having a case of the hiccups, but you wouldn’t know it with how he takes a seat behind the stunning piano, his hands dancing in a frenzy to play the upbeat “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been” in a teeter-tottering back and forth between the old and the new on their setlist. 

It has been some time since we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing a band on stage that is smiling every second of it. This is definitely the case for Relient K, who are so clearly feeding off the positive energy from the won over crowd. Laughter echoes through the venue as Thiessen introduces the next song, labeling it as his favorite from Air For Free and warning the fans who haven’t heard the track, “it’s a little weird.” The band performs “Elephant Parade,” and the song ends with Thiessen’s hips shaking wildly as he stands up from his seat in front of the piano, grinning from ear to ear as he moves to hit the final note with guitarist, Matthew Hoopes. 

“Are you guys excited for Switchfoot? We are too — but first, we have a lot more songs.” 

Thiessen teases the crowd, mid-set list. The band performs “Forget And Not Slow Down” which bleeds directly into “Sahara,” a personal favorite track which features the sounds of a metal Easton baseball bat, which is carefully secured to Jake’s keyboard setup. 

After working the crowd up with high tempo tracks (both “Sahara” followed by “I Need You”), things are slowed down significantly as the lights dim, the venue pitch black. A single spotlight shines over the piano for an acoustic introduction to the track titled, “God.” This beautiful song needs no introduction — the lyrics emphasizing the belief in life, love, in peace and fear and in God himself. 

“I think that so far was my favorite experience performing that song… it’s like you cared.” 

Matt half jokes, half praises to a crowd yelling thank you’s and various compliments to the band performing on stage. They kick off to their title track, “Air For Free” before riling up the crowd with arguably one of their best known tracks, “I Must Have Done Something Right.” 

With a little back story, Matt explains how the band went about their day: being from Nashville, Thiessen says he hasn’t seen much of the sun in over two weeks. Imagine his excitement to see the start of the tour set in California…only to arrive in the middle of one of the biggest storms we’ve seen in quite some time. Though, they didn’t let this hold him back. Thiessen shares a story of his time spent with an old, native Santa Cruz gentleman who said he loved the rain and explained how much California needs it now… after the enlightening talk, Matt jokes he took a trip down to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk (which he playfully labeled as ‘crappy’ and excused it due to it being in transition and the promise that he’d return when it’s all fixed up to retract his statement), saw a bunch of sea lions, the waves, Switchfoot’s own Chad Butler surfing the waves… he paints this whole story to emphasize that there was so much to be done, albeit the lack of sun, there was still a day to be had where he wasn’t staring at his phone… 

…the perfect preface for their track titled “Look On Up” which echoes the lyric: ‘It’s time I put down my devices and I start to live my life.’ 

There is appraisal for the good vibes at the Catalyst. Relient K jokes with the crowd, Matt Hoopes sharing that there are places where they do not feel at home but how tonight, in Santa Cruz, it definitely is not one of those places. The band wraps up their set list with more tracks off of their latest release: “Mountaintop,” “Empty House,” perfectly placed between their older hits, “Sadie Hawkins Dance,” “Don’t Blink,” and of course, “Be My Escape.” 

Their set list ends in blinding blue lights, a ballad which stars off with just the piano. The band performs their 2007 track, “Deathbed,” complete with Jon Foreman of Switchfoot who recorded vocals for the song off of their album, “Five Score And Seven Years Ago.” This ten minute track was anything but dragged out, as Thiessen’s hands criss and cross over themselves, dancing along the keys of the piano. The band hit the middle-point, a mid-break in the song where it picks up, showing pure ecstasy of their performance. Thiessen’s tongue sticks out in a playful manner before singing the song again. Jon Foreman takes the stage, dashing towards the piano to play the notes alongside his friend, helping finishing off the song and their set with absolutely astonishing positive energy and pure joy. 

 

After a short intermission, the curtain beyond the stage drops… Switchfoot. It’s the moment the crowd has been waiting for. The lights are off. Darkness sweeps over The Catalyst as a woman’s voice can be heard — “We are looking for America…and here you are.” — the announcement is cut and Switchfoot takes the stage, kicking things off with “Holy Water” their introduction track off of latest album, “Where The Light Shines Through,” their popular 2003 hit, “Meant To Live” and “Oh! Gravity.”

It doesn’t take lead singer Jon Foreman very long at all to become comfortable with his surroundings… after the first song, he is gushing about the honor to be on the stage with his brothers (including one biological, bass player Tim Foreman) and the high energy is obvious as the band performs a heavy-bass driven track off of their latest release, titled “Bull In A China Shop” which Foreman climbs from off stage — straight into the crowd, surfing above excited fans as he makes his way through the venue and back around, only to reach up to the rafters, the pipelines just below the balcony. His energy is undeniable as Jon pulls himself from the crowd below, up to address the ones high up in the balcony section, walking along the rickety lighting structure as he sings and dance and connects with each fan for such a remarkable experience. 

“This is one of my favorite places on the planet!” 

Foreman praises our historic venue as he takes a moment to speak to the crowd, addressing us like friends rather than fans. He explains, “…this is a weird time to be in America.” He touches base on how there is so much hate and it drives him crazy, it sucks him in…until he realizes, “…My hope was never in Washington DC. It was never in New York. It is in our souls, the unconditional love we share…” he labels the next a song of solace as the band performs “I Won’t Let You Go.” 

The high energy never falters as fans dance and jump, the crowd moving in waves. Blue lights wash over the stage as they take a moment, Jon Foreman introducing each of his bandmates… Jerome Fontamillas comes from the back of the stage, an accordion in hand. Chad Butler brings his snare drum from his kit and the brothers band in front of a single microphone. As San Diego natives, Jon Foreman expresses he knows how desperately California needs this rain, but he teases, ‘it’s been feeling a bit like a hurricane.’ He explains that the next track is from an album created and inspired by their own personal storms and how they realized that those personal obstacles may not always be something you can control, but what can be controlled is your outlook and handle of the situation. 

The band perform an acoustic version of “Hello, Hurricane” around the single microphone, singing with their arms wrapped around each other, smiling and laughing for one of the more intimate moments I have ever seen shared on a stage. The positivity is overwhelming as the crowd chimes in, voices echoing through the old walls, as if a church sermon singing up to the heavens above. 

There is never a moment where the connection between the band and fans cannot be felt. Foreman shares his experiences with the crowd as though we’re old friends gathered. He shares intimate memories which fueled the next song, “If The House Burns Down Tonight” and the firefighters who saved their studio from turning to ashes. Foreman shares how he realizes, in those moments, nothing matters but those you are walking away unscathed beside. That those souls matter. That it is apparent as he looks around to the crowd, in all our infinite youth.

It has been quite some time since we’ve experience a performance so passion-driven, so full of love, hope, inspiration. Jon Foreman’s own guitar is studded with the quote — HOPE IS THE ANTHEM — The show is slowly winding down, but you wouldn’t know it from the pure elation on the faces of both the band and those attending. The band wraps up the evening with “The Sound” as the heavy bass riffs vibrate through the structure and “Where I Belong.” 

Fans beg for just a taste more…and Switchfoot doesn’t hold out for long before returning to stage for their encore. As they perform “Float,” the venue is filled with bubbles, in a playful, exciting exchange. “Live It Well” and “Dare You To Move” follows, with an explosion of red, white and blue confetti celebrating the night, life, love, hope… and of course, America. 

It cannot be emphasized enough, just the sheer passion that emulates from both bands. Each took the time to explain the organization they have on the road with them — CURE International — which is a non-profit that focuses on serving children in poverty, providing them with surgeries for conditions Americans would count as ‘mild’ or ‘simple surgeries’ but are life changing for those CURE treat. Matt Thiessen proudly shared that from the donations on the Part 1 of their tour, 100 surgeries were made possible… 100 lives changed for the better. If you cannot make it out to a show, at the very least check out CURE’s official website, here: https://cure.org/ 

And if that’s not enough for you — to be able to even begin to imagine the euphoric state of hopefulness and compassion that those leaving the Catalyst felt on Sunday night, take it from Jon Foreman himself. In a blog released the following day, about the first day of tour (which was Saturday, three hours away in Fresno, California)… he said: 

Tonight we will sing our songs in an old theater in Fresno. And before we play a note, you’ll find me praying for strength. Strength to live out a life of love and service. Strength to sing these songs of hope. Because our world is splintered with fear and hatred and pain. Because one individual does not define a nation, we the people do. Because the cynic is just a dreamer with a broken heart. Because love tells a better story than my fears do. Because hope deserves an anthem.

Words by Jon Foreman, read his full post here

What better anthem than the inspiring lyrics peppered throughout each and every Switchfoot track? This show was one for the books and we will never forget it. 

Check out our full photo gallery here

 

SWITCHFOOT’S SETLIST: 

Holy Water

Meant To Live

Gravity

Bull In A China Shop

Where The Light Shines

Won’t Let You Go

Worth The Fight

Hello, Hurricane

House Burns Down

The Sound

Where I Belong

 

Float

Live It Well

Dare You To Move 

 

FOR MORE INFO ON SWITCHFOOT: 

http://switchfoot.com/

https://twitter.com/switchfoot

https://www.facebook.com/switchfoot/

The Endless Summer Tour comes home to the Bay

Complete with his classic slicked back, jet-black hair, Bay Area native G Eazy returns home on his co-headliner tour at the Shoreline Ampitheatre. Also on the roster includes Yo Gotti, YG and Logic. The Endless Summer Tour was just that – a lineup of talented artists that left us wishing it could have been endless. 

G Eazy has seemingly swept over the nation. Practically overnight, his name has become a common household entity. It is no surprise then that the Endless Summer Tour was at the top of our list for summer shows you don’t want to miss out on!

The Shoreline Amphitheater was packed this Friday for the Endless Summer Tour. This tour featured four amazing MC’s including Yo Gotti, YG, Logic and the Bay Area’s Own, G-Easy! 

Yo Gotti opened the night with a few of his hits — for being an opening act, he definitely knew how to warm up the crowd. His last two tracks, arguably most known “Down In The DM” and “Wait For It” had everyone on their feet. 

Followed shortly after, YG electrified the crowd, his set including “Bitches Aint Shit” and “Who Do You Love.” Included in his set list was his track with Nipsey Hussle, “FDT.”  The Shoreline Ampitheatre came alive with YG encouragement towards the crowd to stick both middle fingers high in the air and sing along to the chorus: “Fuck Donald Trump.” 

Both co-headliners G-Eazy and Logic had an amazing show that included very intricate lighting displays. Logic featured some of his songs from the newly released mix tape, “Bobby Tarantino” which had the crowd go crazy. One thing that stood out from Logic was his preaching about Peace, Love, and Positivity. It’s amazing to see artists with clout such as Logic stand for something our nation needs; specially in the times where our nation has suffered some extreme losses. 

Finally, G-Eazy closed the night off with a packed venue. For G-Eazy, who was raised in Oakland, this was considered a hometown performance. His set list included an impressive 20 songs – starting off with “Random” and playing through his best tracks, including new single “Drifting.” The Bay Area pride was obvious with the way the crowd received G-Eazy. Coming out with the classic slicked back hair, G-Eazy performed with a high energy, putting a perfect close to the evening as the Amphitheatre exploded with the final song of the evening, his hit: “Me, Myself and I.” 

 

Review courtesy of Elias Pasillas

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

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.