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

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

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

Taste Of Chaos

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

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