Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Music Review

Guess what? 

Warped Tour came to Milwaukee. 

Guess who was there?


First of all, a better day for outdoor concerts could not have happened--blue skies, no chance of rain, warm but still cool enough to wear pants and not feel overheated in the lakeside Milwaukee air. I actually opted for no band shirt and just wore some leggings, black Dr. Martens, and a floral tunic with funky jewelry. It was comfortable and still punk enough that I didn't look like I missed Coachella and showed up to Warped. 

My brother and I arrived at about noon, when most people were already inside and the concerts were just starting up. After we bought our schedule and found out who was playing when and where, we set out toward the Ampitheater to scope out the grounds. We found out we would be oscillating between the Ampitheater and the Pavilion, which actually wasn't too bad. After that, we had about an hour to kill before The Summer Set started at 1PM, so we set out to find our merch. 

Surprisingly, it wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be based on our previous concert escapades. I got a Summer Set teeshirt that looks suspiciously similar to my The 1975 shirt (though I should have gotten the one that said, ‘Much chill, very summer’), a Bayside tank top in a floral print, and a The Maine tanktop. Zach got his beloved Anberlin shirt as well as a copy of Lowborn, which he would later get signed (but more on that later).

The Summer Set opened the day for us, and it was a good’un. I have loved this band since they started making music (think way back to The Boys You Do), so seeing them live was great. Each one of them can play their instrument so well, and Brian is hilarious as all hell (as well as polite as fuck, as his shirt stated). My favorite song was either Chelsea or Lightning in a Bottle. But seriously. The whole set was amazing. I wish I could have met them, but we sadly had other bands to hear and things to get signed.

Uhg. Fan life.

Next up was The Maine at 2PM. We went straight to the Pavillion and listened to most of Air Dubai’s set, which was actually quite good. I’m going to have to look them up sometime when I’m feeling a little hip hop crossover, because they were catchy. 

Anyway, we got right up next to the stage because we got there so early, and it totally paid off. If anyone ever asked me my favorite band, I really should be saying The Maine, because they have never failed me. They were with me through my entire middle / high school career, and they were with me at Warped Tour. They were so close I could almost reach out and grab them, giving them the hug that they so deserve. It was incredible. 

My favorites were Into Your Arms and Right Girl, plus all of John’s hilarious commentary. He might look like an even broodier version of Kurt Cobain at the moment, but he’s really just a giant teddy bear. John, this one is a shoutout to you. My Facebook and my Instagram might not really be me, but this is me, saying thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I really wish I could have met you and given that stupid hair of yours a ruffle. I had to get Zach to his Anberlin tent, though, because that was the most important mission of the day.

(News update: the boys are releasing new music in 2015, taking one last tour before then. I'm excited for both!)

After The Maine’s unbeliviable set that almost had me in tears (inwardly, of course, because crying at Warped Tour would be weird), Zach and I went to get lunch: a deep dish piece of pizza and a water bottle each. At 2:30PM. Such health. We ate while listening to an interesting band called Issues, waiting for Anberlin to hit the stage, then rushed up there and got our front row spots back as soon as they came on stage.

It was insane. They opened with Feel Good Drag, the obvious crowd favorite, and then just got better from there. It was amazing to see them perform—each one of them was so focused but also visibly having fun. Each and every one of them is so talented that I about died. It might be approaching the end of an era for Anberlin, but I feel so grateful to have seen them perform and just have a blast with it. 

And then we got to meet them.

They announced that they would be back at their tent for as long as they possibly could to sign stuff and meet us, so as soon as I knew the concert was over, I basically dragged Zach out a side entrance and high tailed it to their tent, where a line was already forming. But since we hurried, we got into probably the tenth spot, which was great. Zach already had his teeshirt, but we both agreed that a signed CD would be better, so we got him Lowborn and me a poster. 

And then we both shook Stephen’s hand, got everyone’s signature, and then proceeded to freak the frack out afterwards. Sadly, I got a little starstruck, so I didn’t even tell them that they had a great show. But truly, guys, that show was amazing. I could tell Zach was awed the entire time, and that alone made the whole day worth it. To get him to see you all live and meet you and shake your hands… that’s what music is all about.

Oddly, Anberlin wasn’t the last show of the day, so after we met them, we went straight to the Ampitheater to see We the Kings, Mayday Parade, Less Than Jake, and Yellowcard. 

We the Kings was pretty animated and got much better as the show went on. They also did a little dance lesson, in which Travis instructed the crowd to do the Sorority Squat as low as possible and then jump up to do the Inflatable Arm Man ‘visciously’. That sight was probably the funniest thing we saw all day, and it made me laugh. Though I still appreciate their music and their talent and they did well, it wasn’t really as great as the previous acts.

Then Less Than Jake went on stage, which totally made waiting for Mayday Parade and Yellowcard worth it. They have been a band for 22 years, have done Warped Tour a ‘shit ton of times’, and were all around hilarious guys. The trombone player made my day pretty much whenever he did something. But they were also a really good band. I love when that happens. Zach and I were laughing out loud by the time they left the stage with their toilet paper leaf blowers, inflatable Rasta hats, and water guns. It was great.

Mayday Parade was probably the biggest letdown of the day, only because they didn’t play a lot of the songs that I listen to. They did an okay job, but by that time, Zach and I were incredibly tired, our ears hurt, and we were all the way across the Ampitheater waiting for Yellowcard, so we didn’t really get all that into their show. Jersey was really good, but honestly the only song I knew all the lyrics to was Oh Well, Oh Well (which was also good, but a little lackluster). 

I still love songs like Terrible Things, Kids In Love, and I'd Hate to Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About, and I still love them as people and musicians, but it was just the wrong time in our day for them to take the stage. We were both pretty much done at that point, ready to see Yellowcard and then hit the road.

Quick sidenote: before Yellowcard actually went on stage, I noticed that the drummer looked a lot like the drummer from Anberlin that we had just stood two feet from, and I told Zach as much. He didn’t believe me.

Let’s just remember that for later.

Yellowcard took the stage with a bang, jumping all over and playing the hell out of their instruments. Sean did this incredible back flip off of the blocks, Ryan got so excited, and the whole show was flawless. My favorite was either With You Around or (obviously) Ocean Avenue, but Only One was also amazing. All in all, they did a bang up job of ending out day on the highest note they could. 

Absolutely incredible, boys. 

More music announced for this fall? Even more incredible. 

(I have to say that at the end of the show, the guitarist from Saves the Day came out and then Ryan said, “And how about our drummer, Nate Young from Anberlin?” and I just turned to Zach and did an utter I told you so. I was so right. Hah.)

At the end of the day, whilst walking back to the car, Zach and I both rejoiced the day. It might have been slightly expensive, but it was oh so worth it. Nothing could have made the day any better, and I’m so glad we could go and see all of the bands that have been so influential to us. I got to see The Maine live and tell them they had a great show—probably the show that has had the most impact on me yet. 

And not only did we get to see Anberlin in action from five steps from the stage, we got to meet them and share their last album with them. That was unforgettable. 

We might have been tired and we might have had bleeding ears, but it was definitely worth every struggle that we endured. In fact, we didn’t even mind that we couldn’t hear, because we had that day to remember forever. Even if we go to Warped Tour again in the future, nothing will compare to that one.

It was absolutely extraordinary.

To see what merch I bought and tell me about your favorite Warped Tour memories, check out this haul I did! 

No comments:

Post a Comment