• Jimmy Eat World Concert Review - Oct. 30, 2014

    Nov 26 2014, 5:35

    Thu 30 Oct – Jimmy Eat World

    Ah, this review is so late! I’ll try my best to remember the details...but it was definitely pretty monumental to see my favorite band play in their hometown.

    The concert was very sold out at the Marquee Theatre, so it was definitely pretty packed in there (much more so than the Yellowcard concert I had went to a few weeks before). The crowd definitely skewed a bit older - it seemed like everyone there was at least my age. I guess which is why the crowd was a bit tamer than I expected. I think the crowds are also a bit regional...there was some crowdsurfing when I saw JEW in Seattle in 2012. I went with my sister, who only knows a few songs by them but I think she enjoyed it. I’m not sure who the opening band was but they weren’t that good.

    Just Tonight…
    The World You Love
    Drugs Or Me
    Night Drive

    Encore 1:
    My Best Theory

    Encore 2:
    I Will Steal You Back
    A Praise Chorus
    Bleed American
    The Middle

    Futures is an amazing album and is currently still my most played album of all time. I love the extended intro riff of “Futures”...I feel like they need to do rerecord it with that intro. It was definitely cool hearing some lesser played tracks like “Just Tonight”. “Work” is always a highlight - “can we take a ride, get out of this place while we still have time?” “Kill” is my most played song. “The World You Love” is one of my all-time favorites (well, a lot of their songs are), and I really resonate with the lyric: “I fall asleep with my friends around me, the only place I know I feel safe, I’m gonna call this home”. That lyric got a special applause in Phoenix since they are home here! It was awesome hearing “Polaris” live for the first time, and I really sang along to the lyrics of that one: “You say that love goes anywhere, in your darkest time it’s just enough to know it’s there…” And it was definitely cool to hear “23” live this time around, since I’m 23 right now.

    Definitely cool to hear some tracks from the Stay On My Side Tonight EP as well. I haven’t listened to the tracks too much recently, but I should! Classic Jimmy Eat World but a little bit darker. “Over” is great, and hearing the repeated drum rhythm in “Disintegration” is pretty much trance-like. Definitely a highlight. “My Best Theory” also got a decent crowd response.

    BUT I think all that was overshadowed by the epicness that was “A Praise Chorus”, “Bleed American”, “Sweetness”, and “The Middle”. When they started playing the opening guitar part of “A Praise Chorus” you could tell something epic was going to happen. “I’m on my feet, I’m on the floor, I’m good to go, so come on Davey sing me something that I know…”. “Bleed American” fit in perfectly at this point of the set: “I’m not crazy ‘cause I take the right pills everyday!” I think the opening guitar riff that accompanies “Sweetness” when they play it live makes that song even better. “If you’re listening whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!....sing it back whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh!”. And just the way that it gradually grew to their biggest song “The Middle”....everyone in the crowd was going “It just takes some time, little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride, everything, everything will be just fine, everything, everything will be alright, alright!” So yeah, that was pretty awesome and I was completely wiped out after it. :P

    Thanks for reading and thanks, Jimmy Eat World!
  • Relient K Concert Review - Nov. 7, 2014

    Nov 26 2014, 4:06

    Fri 7 Nov – MMHMM 10th Anniversary Tour

    Ah, this is quite a bit delayed! But yeah, I’m really excited and glad that I got to see my three favorite bands in the past month. I went back to Seattle for the long Veteran’s Day weekend, and one of the first things I did was see Relient K at the Neptune Theatre! It was cool going to a concert with a big group of people - I ended up going with nine friends from church.

    The Neptune Theatre has a nice bluish atmosphere, but man is it packed! I got there even before the opening band had started playing and it was already really crowded.

    The first opening band was From Indian Lakes - sounded pretty similar to Relient K I think. The second opening band was Blondfire - I thought they were fine, but they are pretty different from Relient K...they mentioned that they’ve opened for Foals and Surfer Blood, and I think I was the only one there that listens to those bands haha.

    Relient K’s setlist:
    The One I’m Waiting For
    Be My Escape
    High of ‘75
    I So Hate Consequences
    The Only Thing Worse Than Beating A Dead Horse Is Betting On One
    My Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend
    More Than Useless
    Which to Bury; Us Or The Hatchet?
    Let It All Out
    Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been
    Maintain Consciousness
    This Week The Trend
    Life After Death And Taxes (Failure II)
    When I Go Down

    Sadie Hawkins Dance
    Mood Rings
    Come Right Out And Say It
    Devastation And Reform
    Forget And Not Slow Down
    Look On Up
    Don’t Blink

    Matt Thiessen has some pretty crazy hair now! I also recognized the drummer.

    It was definitely cool hearing mmhmm from front to back - it was one of the first albums I bought back in 2004/2005, and is still one of my favorite albums today. “Be My Escape” got a big crowd response, and so did “High of ‘75”. “And I’m sunny with a high of 75, since you took my heavy heart and made it light!” It was cool seeing everyone sing along to the lyrics - I stood next to a few guys who knew the lyrics to every song which was pretty awesome. “I So Hate Consequences” was definitely a highlight - they ended up making a 10 year anniversary video of this song, and you can hear the crowd singing along to the bridge. My friend Edwin actually made it into the music video. :P “More Than Useless” was another standout - that track got me through some tough times when I was job searching during the past year. “Let It All Out” still kind of reminds me of the bathroom…”Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been” was good. “This Week The Trend” didn’t get a huge crowd response but it’s one of my favorites by them.

    Another highlight of the concert was “Sadie Hawkins Dance” - all Matt had to do was say a few words from the song and everyone sang along to it. “All the girls in the bathroom talking, who they gonna take to the sadie hawkins…” They didn’t play any songs from “Four Score…” the first time I saw them so it was cool to hear a couple, especially “Devastation and Reform”! “Forget And Not Slow Down” is another meaningful track by them, although not quite danceable. I did enjoy their new song “Look On Up” and I think it’s a step back in the right direction. “Collapsible Lung” hasn’t been too well received, but I’m glad they played “Don’t Blink”. “Hold on now don’t you blink or it’s gone, I’ve been terrified of life for way too long!”

    Thanks for the concert, Relient K!
  • Colbie Caillat Concert Review - Oct. 24, 2014

    Ott 25 2014, 19:18

    Fri 24 Oct – Colbie Caillat

    Busy concert season! I ended up going to the Arizona State Fair (for the third time, lol) with some friends (4 friends and 2 friends of friends, to be exact), and Colbie Caillat was playing. For $10 it’s a pretty good deal - I’m glad we paid the extra $25 last week when I saw Weezer there, but you still get a pretty good spot for general admission!

    Her setlist for last night hasn’t been posted, but it was probably similar to this:
    Live It Up
    Fallin’ For You
    If You Love Me Let Me Go
    Lucky (w/ Jason Mraz)
    I Never Told You
    Never Gonna Let You Down
    Think Good Thoughts
    Land Called Far Away
    Favorite Song
    Brighter Than The Sun

    If I was famous, I wouldn’t mind being like Colbie - she’s definitely well-known and people know her songs, but she seems to have a good image and her songs are really meaningful. On some songs she just does vocals, while she plays the piano and acoustic guitar on the other ones. There are about five guys in her back up band.

    “Fallin’ For You” was good, and it seems like she might have being going through a breakup when she wrote “If You Love Me Let Me Go”. “Lucky” was definitely a highlight - she puts up a video of Jason Mraz and they do the duet. I’m pretty sure Jason Mraz isn’t playing on the video live, but they time his recording and speaking so it seems like he was there. Pretty cool!

    “Try” is really good. Colbie talked about how one of her friends came out as gay after 30 years, and the song is about how we shouldn’t try to be someone we’re not. A string of songs I didn’t really know after that...one of them seemed more country/rock party-ish.

    “Realize” is another good song by her: “Take time to realize that your warmth is crashing down on in…” For a lot of her songs the music video was playing in the background, but there were also pictures of oceans/nature which fit in with her music. “Bubbly” was a big hit of course - there was definitely a big cheer when she said: “will you count me in?” It was also nice to hear everyone’s voices during the chorus.

    “Favorite Song” had a rapper in it. Before her last song, she thanked us all for coming and told us not to eat too much unhealthy food at the fair. Everyone stood up for her last song, “Brighter Than The Sun”, which is probably my favorite song by her. I’m glad she ended with that one, but I kind of felt like the concert was just getting started at that point...haha. Thanks for reading!
  • Weezer Concert Review - Oct. 16, 2014

    Ott 23 2014, 6:22

    Thu 16 Oct – Weezer

    If I was 5-10 years older, I think Weezer would probably be my favorite band. Out of all the 90s alternative bands, they’re definitely my favorite. Their guitar riffs especially in “Say It Ain’t So”, “Hash Pipe”, and “Island In The Sun” are really iconic...I’m hoping we can add “Back To The Shack” to that list. I think they also kind of remind me of myself...i.e. nerds that like alternative rock. Rivers is really shy and polite on stage which is probably how I would be too. :P

    Weezer was one of the performers at the Arizona State Fair - my sister and I headed there after work. We walked around the fair a little and saw the animals, then went into the concert. The coliseum is huge, it can hold almost 15,000 people! It wasn’t sold out but there was definitely a big crowd - glad to see Weezer is still going strong. Our seats were on the side so the angle was a bit strange, but you could still see and hear everything.

    Weezer Setlist:
    Ain’t Got Nobody
    Hash Pipe
    Perfect Situation
    I’ve Had It Up To Here
    The British Are Coming
    Island In The Sun
    Beverly Hills
    Dope Nose
    Say It Ain’t So
    Back To The Shack
    Undone (The Sweater Song)
    (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
    Da Vinci
    Pork and Beans
    The Waste Land

    Buddy Holly

    Pretty good setlist - they played a lot of songs from their new album which I’m not too familiar with yet, but I think they covered pretty much all their older hits. Wouldn’t have minded hearing “My Name Is Jonas” or “Cleopatra” though. Opening song was alright…”Hash Pipe” was pretty good. “Perfect Situation” was one of the better songs of the night - the crowd was really into the “whoa-oh, whoa-oh!” part.

    Around this time, Rivers was talking about their new album, and he signed someone’s poster from the audience kind of awkwardly, haha. He did a short impromptu song about this, which lead to “Island In The Sun”. Another song with an iconic opening riff…”on an island in the sun, we’ll playing and having fun!”. “Beverly Hills” was another highlight, although I have to say that the first half of the song sounded pretty out of tune.

    I got really excited when Rivers started the opening riff of “Say It Ain’t So” - such a great song! “Back To The Shack” is amazing - it is kind of a back to their roots song, with silly lyrics, “Patch will play the drums!”, and their signature sound. “If you want to destroy my sweater…!” was next, followed by “I Want You To”. Out of the songs off the new album, “Da Vinci” stood out the most to me - it has some pretty clever lyrics! “Even Da Vinci couldn’t paint you, and Stephen Hawking couldn’t explain you…”

    “Pork and Beans” was the best song of the night in my opinion. Another unique opening riff on this one...Rivers introduced the band members while the guitarist repeated that riff. It was really funny when Rivers tried to connect with the Hispanic population here and introduced himself as “El Rios”. This song also got a big crowd response…”I eat my candy with the pork and beans!”.

    They then played a song with a long intro before leaving the stage, then came back for an encore of “Buddy Holly”. “Ohhhh---eeee--ooo I look just like Buddy Holly, oh oh and you’re Mary Tyler Moore!”. Ended with a drum solo.

    Great show, I’m glad I got to see these guys!
  • Yellowcard! Concert Review - Oct. 19, 2014

    Ott 20 2014, 9:14

    Sun 19 Oct – Yellowcard, Memphis May Fire, Emarosa

    Ah! Yellowcard is always great. I actually wasn’t planning on going to this tour since I saw them at Warped, and the lineup was a little strange with two harder bands opening up for them. But my friend and I ended up winning free tickets and we both really enjoyed it, so I’m glad that it all worked out. :D It was great to hear both old stuff and new stuff!

    The show was at the Marquee Theatre which has a capacity of about 1,000. It’s a pretty good place to see a concert - they just have a bar (no food), but there’s a nice patio at the back. It’s also pretty clean. But yeah, an interesting crowd at the concert...it definitely seemed like some people left after Memphis May Fire, and some came just for Yellowcard.

    The opening band was Emarosa - they were alright. The co-headliner band was Memphis May Fire - my friend and I tried to stay for it, but it was just way too loud so my friend and I went to the patio and chatted for a while which was nice. No disrespect, just not my cup of tea…

    Yellowcard Setlist:
    Transmission Home
    Crash The Gates
    Lights and Sounds
    Only One
    Make Me So
    Light Up The Sky
    The Deepest Well
    One Bedroom
    Way Away
    Ocean Avenue

    Really proud of these guys - there’s just something amazing about Yellowcard concerts! Ryan is a really great performer; he does a great job of revving up the crowd and thanking everyone for joining them on their musical ride for the past 10-15 years. The Yellowcard fanbase isn’t as large as it used to be but I think it’s a very loyal one, and it was great seeing people get into the new songs and not just wanting “Ocean Avenue” (although someone really wanted “Back Home”, which is a great song).

    “Convocation” was a great opener - Sean Mackin came in playing the violin melody with the background string section on. They then played two more songs off their new album Lift A Sail, “Transmission Home” and “Crash The Gates”...both pretty rocking tunes, but I prefer “I will send a transmission home, to say that I’ve been out here too long alone...and I wanna come down now.” “Lights and Sounds” is always a great one to hear, because you can really “take a look around...at all the lights and sounds!” with the cool light show and of course the awesome sounds. And then, “here I go, scream my lungs out to try to get you...you are my only one!”

    Ryan got the crowd to all jump together during “Make Me So”. “Illuminate” was fine, although I’m not too familiar with it yet. During this songs, Ryan talked a bit about how Sean has battling cancer (I didn’t know that), and that Ryan’s wife is in Russia recovering from an accident...wow, they are basically on opposites of the world. Best wishes to all of them!

    The best part of the night for me was “Light Up The Sky” followed by “Awakening”. “Light Up The Sky” was my favorite song for a long time when it was first came out...and “Awakening” was up there with Jimmy Eat World’s “Sweetness” as one of my favorite concert moments. “Bottoms up tonight, I drink to you and I, cause with the morning comes the rest of my life…” It just sounded so amazing and great to see Ryan go, “I want this to be my…” and then everyone going “AWAKENING!”. Mae and Switchfoot have some great songs called Awakening as well, but this one might take the cake.

    Not really a fan of Memphis May Fire, but “The Deepest Well” was pretty good. It has a cool sound that kind of mixes Yellowcard and MMF’s sounds. Ryan dedicated “One Bedroom” to his wife, and the lyrics to that song are definitely pretty personal...its Invisible Children music video is also pretty cool. I think they added back “Way Away” into their setlist which is definitely a good move. Similarly to “Awakening”, it was great to hear Ryan go “feels to be alone and not believe…” and then everyone going, “anything!”

    Of course they played “Ocean Avenue”. :P And they ended it with “California” - it’s a slow one with just Ryan playing the piano and singing. Time will tell, but I think it might become one of my favorite songs…”and I….I’m holding on to you…”. The whole band came out at the end and bowed together.

    Thanks, Yellowcard!
  • Summer Ends Day 1 Review - Sept. 26, 2014

    Set 27 2014, 20:03

    Fri 26 Sept. – Summer Ends Music Festival Day 1

    Good night! I managed to win tickets to this through the radio station 99.1, which is a new alternative station in Phoenix. It’s a great lineup, although I will say that $65 per day seemed a bit expensive since there was only one main stage. I was allowed to pick between Day 1 and Day 2...I went with Day 1 because I’ve always wanted to see Andrew McMahon, and American Authors has been one of my favorite bands this year.

    I was originally planning to go with my sister, but she wasn’t feeling well so I went with a friend instead. Picked up our tickets at will call, and were walking around the booths...where apparently one booth was just handing out free tickets to other concerts?! So I guess I’ll be going to Yellowcard in a few weeks. :O :D

    First up was Andrew McMahon! I’m not as into him as I used to be, but I realized that between JACK’S MANNEQUIN and Something Corporate I do like a lot of his stuff. There aren’t any setlists online yet so this will be incomplete, but I’ll try my best:

    Dark Blue
    Watch The Sky
    The Mixed Tape
    My Racing Thoughts
    Amy, I
    Cecilia and the Satellite
    The Resolution
    I Woke Up In A Car
    La La Lie

    The crowd was pretty small at first, but got bigger as people got off work. “Dark Blue” is one of my favorite songs, although I have a bit of a pet peeve when a band plays one of my favorite songs by them first. I was definitely glad to hear “The Mixed Tape”, although he played a slowed down version of it which I didn’t enjoy as much. “My Racing Thoughts” is when it started picking up - not one of my favorite songs by him, but I do really like the piano melody in that song. I kind of forgot about “Ruthless” but it’s a really great track - “but there you go for the last time!”. Andrew debuted his new song “Halls” here, since it has Tucson and Tempe references - pretty cool and I liked the song. He wrote “Cecilia and the Satellite” about his daughter Cecilia. To introduce “Bruised”, he said, “I’m supposed to play this song called Bruised but I forgot how the f*** how to play it…” he had to ask his drummer to remind him what notes to start with, haha. I love “The Resolution”, maybe my favorite song of his setlist - “I need a light in the dark as I search for the resolution!”. “I Woke Up In A Car” was awesome too, and people screamed out the word “Arizona!” when that came up in the lyrics. And “La La Lie” was a great closer: “I’ve got friends who, lalalie, help me pull through, lalalie lalalie…”. Other songs I like that he didn’t play…”Swim”, “Konstantine”, “Punk Rock Princess”, “I’m Ready”, he does have a lot of tracks! “Swim” got me through some late nights of doing homework in college...anyway, he’s a great performer and he even jumped on the piano a few times - glad he didn’t fall down! Thanks Andrew!

    Got a pulled pork sandwich and fries for dinner and found the water filling station. Next was O.A.R. I’m not super familiar with their stuff, but they were pretty good. I enjoyed hearing “Love and Memories”, “Shattered”, and “Peace”. “Love me faster than a devil!” “I want love, I want us, I want you, I want me, I want peace…”. They have a baritone saxophone player in their band which is pretty cool, and have a nice chill-ish rock sound.

    Went to the bathroom after that...ew I hate portable potties. Next up was Lindsey Stirling - she’s a popular YouTube electronic violinist who is also from Phoenix (my coworker was actually friends with her in high school). I...thought it was ok. She’s a great performer, I guess I’m just not really into either classical or electronic music. She performed a cover of “All of Me” by John Legend...ugh, that song is so irritating and overplayed! I did enjoy “Shatter Me”, and her violin part was really good on that one.

    Next up...my friend and I moved the front for American Authors!!! I remember listening to “Best Day of My LIfe” on the radio and really liking it, and their debut album is one of the few albums that I truly enjoy every track. They basically played all the tracks off of the album, although not in order. I think it went:

    Think About It
    Heart of Stone
    [guitar solo]
    Hit It
    Oh, What A Life
    Best Day of My Life

    Yeah, so I pretty much love every song on this album so it’s hard to pick a favorite. Actually I do have a favorite but I’ll get to it. :P “Think About It” has one of my favorite intro riffs ever, although it comes out more clearly on the album than live. “Luck” was really awesome and got a great crowd response - “I am my own man, I make my own luck!”. “I’m just a believer, things will get better…” “Heart of Stone” is one of their catchiest! “You’ve got this heart of stone, I’m never breaking through!”. “Home” is probably their rockiest track - “I’m not trying to stop a hurricane, I’m not trying to shake the ground below, I’m just trying to find a way to make it back home…”. Hmm, I’d like to go home. The lead guitarist had a pretty awesome guitar solo for a bit, and they also had some funny comments to the audience: “I’m glad that we’re back in America so we that we can have Mexican food.” It is good to have American Authors back in America I guess. :P People kept asking the lead singer to take his shirt off though…

    Anyway, “Love” is another great track - “one day we’ll look at the past with lo-o-o-ove, lo-o-o-o-ove!”. “Trouble” has always kind of reminded me of the Taylor Swift song: “I knew she was trouble from the first kiss!”. During “Ghost” the lead singer came into the audience and touched people hands - he also got the crowd to participate in the “hey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey” part. One of the things that makes American Authors stand out is their extended melodies on words. :P I think the best part of “Hit It” is the bridge - “I say if you don’t know then you go slow...just be a no show, just let go, from the top down,...something something...let’s go!” Probably their most danceable track. But my favorite song of the night was “Oh, What A Life”. They wrote that song to describe their journey as a band over the past two years which I’m sure has been amazing, but it can relate to anyone I think...life throws a lot of ups and downs at you, but I’m glad we’re all in for the ride. That song just gives me a chills… and of course, they ended their set with “Best Day of My Life”. Good to see everyone singing along to that one, “this is gonna be the best day of my life, my li-i-i-i-i-i-i-ife”! What an amazing show!

    My friend and I were both pretty tired at that point, but we did stick around for Capital Cities. Their trumpet player is awesome, and the two main members are really great performers. I thought it was funny/awesome when they do dance moves together for a few of their songs. I also got to learn the Capital Cities dance, which apparently is two steps right, one clap, two steps left, two claps. Their cover of “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees is wonderful. I enjoyed their song “I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo”. I like their song “One Minute More” - “I can’t wait one minute more, the sun must shine, the sun must shine…” and of course, “Safe and Sound” was up to par. “I could lift you up, I could show you what you want to see and take you where you want to be!”. They actually had an encore after that, but we left because we were tired. Overall, I enjoyed their performance and I’ll probably be listening to them more.

    Thanks for reading, great show! :)
  • The Maze Runner movie review

    Set 25 2014, 6:02

    I was really excited to finally see this movie after reading the books in 2011-2012. It was a"maze"ing!! My thoughts:

    - Visual effects and seeing the maze was really cool.
    - The book was pretty scary, but the movie was more intense than I expected. Those Grievers are definitely creatures to avoid...
    - Some changes from the book: there wasn't a scene when Thomas and Teresa were going to be used as offering. I remember Ben being in the pit for a while before being exiled. Gally has a much bigger role in the movie as an antagonist.
    - I thought all the actors did a really good job: Thomas, Newt (Jojen from Game of Thrones), Gally (he was that whiny kid Eustace in the Narnia series...quite a change here!), Chuck, Minho, Teresa, Alby...they were all pretty good.
    - Shuckface! Greenie!
    - In the books you don't really hear anything about the post-apocalyptic flare stuff history until the beginning of the book. It makes sense that they would include some of it in the first movie to make it more clear...although from what I gathered it was still pretty confusing for people who hadn't read the book.
    - I'm glad the movie has been a surprising box office success!
    - Chuck = Charles Darwin, Alby = Albert Einstein, Newt = Isaac Newton, Gally = Galileo, Minho = future famous person!

    Looking forward to reading the books again! Really great movie.
  • Fall Out Boy + Paramore Review - Aug. 8, 2014

    Ago 28 2014, 7:19

    Fri 8 Aug – Monumentour

    I almost snoozed on going to this concert…I had seen Paramore and New Politics before, and I only moved to Phoenix a month ago so I’ve still been adjusting to everything. But I found out that two of my friends were going, so I ended up joining them along with my sister. Really glad I went! It’s definitely pretty “monumental” that Fall Out Boy and Paramore finally toured together – arguably the two biggest pop-punk/emo to come out in the 2000s and have continued popularity in the 2010s.

    We came straight from work, and were stuffing our faces while in line to get into the concert since they seem to have a no food policy. I only paid $18 for a lawn seat, and since we got there early we were pretty close to the front of the lawn. Not a bad deal! It was at the Ak-Chin Pavilion which is huge, and it looked like it was almost sold out. Definitely the biggest concert amphitheater I’ve been to.

    The first band to play was New Politics. The last time I saw them was at a radio show in Chicago with only about 50 people, so it was definitely pretty cool to see them open such a huge show! They always bring a lot of energy to their shows, and seeing David Boyd breakdancing is always great (although from quite a bit farther away this time). Not sure what their exact setlist was, but they did open with “Give Me Hope”, and “Dignity” is probably still my favorite song by them. I don’t really care for “Just Like Me”, but my sister and I both really like “Tonight You’re Perfect”…I think that should have been a bigger radio hit than it was. The “Miss Jackson” cover by Panic! At The Disco was pretty random but I do like that song as well. “Harlem” drew the largest crowd response, and they introduce “Yeah Yeah Yeah” with “hey hey hey hey hey!” to get the crowd involved.

    Next up was Paramore! Their setlist:
    Still Into You
    That’s What You Get
    For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic
    The Only Exception
    Last Hope
    Brick By Boring Brick
    Misery Business (extended)
    Let The Flames Begin
    Part II
    Ain’t It Fun

    I’m definitely glad I got to see Paramore again – they’re amazing live and Hayley has a great stage presence. Also great to see such a huge crowd for them. “Still Into You” and “That’s What You Get” were great as the first two songs. “Ignorance” is one of my favorite songs by Paramore so I got really like into that one – “ignorance is your new best friend!”. It surprises me that “Decode” has the most plays on YouTube…I remember the person next to me being really into that song. “The Only Exception” was one of the highlights of the set – everybody pulled out their phones and waved them back and forth. That song is also nice to sing along to…”You are the only exception...I’ve got a tight grip on reality but I can’t let go of what’s in front of me here.” Hayley introduced “Last Hope” by talking about some of their rough years after their third album came out…she said that if they can get through 2009(?), that we can get through anything. Singing the “badaba badaba bada badada babadabada” of “Brick By Boring Brick” is always fun.

    “Misery Business” was definitely the highlight of their set – it was their breakout song for a reason. Before the bridge they picked someone from the audience to sing the bridge. Hayley picked someone from the audience who was definitely a huge fan based on her hairstyle and outfit, but I thought it was pretty cool that they actually let the fan (her name was Gretchen) sing the verse by herself. “I watched my wildest dreams come true, not one of them involving you, I watched my wildest dreams come true, not one of them involving…!” And then dancing around and singing the final chorus. It was a really cool moment to see!

    They played a few more songs including “Proof”, and closed out their set with “Ain’t It Fun” which is their big hit on the radio. It’s a little overplayed now, but it’s still an awesome song and the gospel choir part is fun to sing along to. “Don’t go crying to your mother, ‘cause you’re on your own in the real world…”

    Trying to compare this set to the first time I saw them – they played more of my favorites from their latest album the first time. But I think the crowd and venue was better this time, and “Misery Business” was way better this time!

    Then, Fall Out Boy!

    The Phoenix
    The Take Over, The Break’s Over
    A Little Less “Sixteen Candles”, A Little More Touch Me
    This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arm Race
    Alone Together
    Death Valley
    Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down
    Miss Missing You
    Drum Solo
    Dance, Dance
    Young Volcanoes
    Just One Yesterday
    Grand Theft Autumn
    We Are The Champions (Queen cover)
    Save Rock and Roll
    I Don’t Care
    My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)

    Thanks For The Memories

    I’m glad I got to see these guys – I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz, but to actually see them in person was pretty cool. I haven’t liked their other stuff quite as much as “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” and “Dance, Dance”, but it’s cool they’re still one of the leading acts of modern rock. Opening with “The Phoenix” was particularly awesome because we were in Phoenix – I definitely remember yelling out that word. I was pleasantly surprised they played “The Take Over, The Break’s Over”, since it’s one of my favorites by them! “Would you rather be a widow or a divorcee?” “A Little Less Sixteen Candles” was pretty good, and “This Ain’t A Scene…” got everyone singing. “This ain’t a scene, it’s a god-damn arms race!” “Alone Together” is one of the better tracks off their new album, and my sister enjoyed that one too.

    Probably the highlight of the night for me was seeing “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” live. I freaked out when they started playing that song and I’m pretty sure I know every word to it! One of the most influential songs for me, I think…”We’re goin’ down, down, in an earlier round, and sugar, we’re goin’ down swinging!” Patrick Stump and their drummer did a drumoff which was pretty cool. Then some of the band members came out on a separate stage to play “Dance, Dance”, which is another song I’m glad I got to see live. I remember enjoying “Young Volcanoes”….”Grand Theft Autumn” is an old favorite that gets a big crowd response, although it probably got an even bigger response in the past. They closed out their set with two well-known songs: “I Don’t Care” and “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”. “So light ‘em up, up, up, light ‘em up, up, up, light ‘em up, up, up, I’m on fire!!”

    I’m glad they saved one big song for the encore – my sister and I really enjoyed “Thanks for the memories, even though they weren’t so great!” …hmm, well the memories from this concert were actually pretty great. :P

    Overall, a really great concert! I have some other concerts coming up but nothing confirmed yet. Thanks for reading!
  • 2014 Half-Year Review

    Ago 4 2014, 1:46

    Overall, it’s been a pretty good half-year in music. I went to six concerts, the best ones being Biffy Clyro (they’ve been one of my favorites for the past year or so) and The Fray (they’ve been a favorite for a long time!). I also really enjoyed hearing “This Fire” by Franz Ferdinand, and of course Warped was great since there were so many awesome bands there. Been listening to quite a bit of We Are The In Crowd and The Story So Far since then.

    Concerts I went to:

    Barcelona – Jan. 19, 2014

    Emery, The Classic Crime – Jan. 24, 2014

    Biffy Clyro, Morning Parade – Feb. 9, 2014

    Franz Ferdinand – April 24, 2014

    The Fray, Barcelona, Oh Honey – June 17, 2014

    Vans Warped Tour (Yellowcard, Anberlin, We Are the In Crowd, Bowling for Soup, Four Year Strong, The Story So Far, Mayday Parade, Bayside, Saves the Day) – June 28, 2014

    New Albums:
    There’s also been a good haul of new albums this year!

    Switchfoot (Jan. 14, 2014)
    Fading West is pretty good, I really like “Love Alone Is Worth the Fight” and the lyrics to “The World You Want” are really great. “Is this the world you want? You’re living it, everyday you’re alive.” Reminds me a lot of “This Is Your Life”. “Let It Out” is catchy, and “Slipping Away” and “When We Come Alive” are other standout tracks. This album does lack some harder rock tracks though…”Say It Like You Mean It” is alright, but it pales in comparison to “Dark Horses”, “The Sound”, or “Meant To Live”.

    Young the Giant (Jan. 21, 2014)
    Mind Over Matter is great!! I liked their first album, but it was this album that really made them one of my favorites of the newer group of bands that I like. “Anagram”’s pretty good. “It’s about time…I’m on a tight roopppeee….” is one of my favorite songs of 2014 so far. “Crystallized” is a really solid mid-tempo track. “You’re a daydreamer oh oh…” “Firelight” is beautiful. I agree with the comment somewhere that it’s a really genre-transcending song. And “Eros” has some amazing guitar riffs. I saw them once when they came to my college, but I’d like to see them live again!

    The Fray (Feb. 25, 2014)
    I’m pretty sure Helios is my favorite album by them so far. It’s still their signature piano rock sound, but a little more modernized and upbeat. “They’ll never take my body from your side, love don’t die!!” I can definitely hear Ryan Tedder’s influence in this one. I also didn’t know that Matt Thiessen of Relient K helped write three of the songs…although I have to say they’re the three weakest songs on the album imo. “Give It Away” is probably their catchiest song to date, and “Hurricane” is another of my top tracks of 2014. The echoes in “Keep On Wanting” are pretty cool, and “Break Your Plans” is a pretty good second single.

    American Authors (March 4, 2014)
    Oh, What Is Life. When I first started listening to this album, I felt like my whole life started to make sense. Mix up Jimmy Eat World, Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, and The Fray, and you get American Authors! This is one of the few albums where I love or like every track. “Think About It” has one of the best intro guitar riffs ever. “This is gonna be the best day of my life…my li-i-i-i-i-i-i-ife!” I like how “Trouble” is a folkier version of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”. “Hit It” and “Home” are the rockier tunes on the album, both really solid. “One day we’ll look at the past with lo-o-o-ove, lo-o-o-o-ove!” “Heart of Stone” is my favorite track on the album…maybe? It’s so catchy and danceable. And “Oh, What A Life” gives me chills. “And we tried so hard, yeah we tried so hard!” Maybe my favorite album of 2014, we’ll see.

    Foster the People (March 18, 2014)
    After Torches was so well-received, I think Supermodel was pretty highly anticipated by a lot of people. Overall it has a different feel than Torches – it’s more mellow and introspective, and not as catchy. “Nevermind” is a stand out track: “Never mind what you’re looking for, you’ll always find what you’re looking for…” “Coming of Age” is a pretty good track that I think was overlooked by the radio a bit. “Fire Escape” is a nice closing track with just Mark singing and playing the guitar. “Are You What You Want To Be” is a good opener…but I think the best track is “Best Friend”, which is the catchiest and most Torches-like one. “When your best friend’s all strung out…you’ll do everything you can ‘cause you never want to let them down!”

    Augustana (April 22, 2014)
    I put Life Imitating Life on my Spotify playlist but haven’t gotten around to listening to it yet other than “Ash and Ember”.

    Coldplay (May 19, 2014)
    These guys have been one of my favorites this year, but I actually haven’t listened to this album yet other than the singles since it’s not on Spotify. My friends got me a $40 gift card from Target though, so I’ll probably use it to buy Ghost Stories.

    Phillip Phillips (May 19, 2014)
    I think this guy might be the last success story to come out of American Idol, but I think he’s the best one. The standout tracks on “Behind The Light” for me so far are “Raging Fire”, “Trigger”, “Thicket”, and “Fly”.

    Say Anything (June 10, 2014)
    I…haven’t really listened to “Hebrews” yet. I was really into Say Anything in 2010-2011, since I loved their self-titled album. But the album after that was pretty awful other than a few tracks, and this one just sounds weird. I might need some convincing to give it another shot.

    Owl City (June 27, 2014)
    I guess he’s releasing a few EPs this year rather than one long album. So far on Ultraviolet I really like “Up All Night”. To some he might be a two hit wonder, but he’s one of my favorite artists around right now!

    Bleachers (July 15, 2014)
    This album was pretty highly anticipated for me after “I Wanna Get Better” was so good! So far the other tracks on Strange Desire haven’t stood out to me besides the other singles (“Shadow”, “Rollercoaster”), but I have to listen to it more.

    Rise Against (July 15, 2014)
    I like “I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore” and “The Eco-Terrorist In Me” on first listen, but I should listen to it more.

    Anberlin (July 22, 2014)
    Too bad this is the final album by one of my favorite bands. I went out to Best Buy and bought this one! So far I like “We Are Destroyer”, “Stranger Ways”, “Hearing Voices”, and “Harbinger”. Still trying to figure out “Dissenter” though…strange track by them.

    Other Notables:
    Nonono – Pumpin Blood
    Bad Suns – Cardiac Arrest
    Snow Patrol – I Won’t Let You Go
    Surfer Blood – Gravity
    Bastille – Bad Blood
    Lorde – Tennis Court
    Death Cab For Cutie – We Looked Like Giants

    Top 25 Artists (last 6 months, comparison to 2013 in brackets):
    1.Biffy Clyro – 370 plays [+18]
    2.Jimmy Eat World – 354 plays [-1]
    3.Coldplay – 327 plays [+10]
    4.Yellowcard – 306 plays [+1]
    5.Death Cab for Cutie – 300 plays [+2]
    6.Young The Giant – 290 plays [+41]
    7.American Authors – 274 plays [new]
    8.Switchfoot – 238 plays [+2]
    9.Foster The People – 235 plays [+9]
    10.Grouplove – 224 plays [+30]
    11.Anberlin – 214 plays [-7]
    12.The Fray – 210 plays [+12]
    13.AWOLNATION – 206 plays [-1]
    14.Fitz and the Tantrums – 201 plays [new]
    15.Imagine Dragons – 192 plays [-13]
    16.Motion City Soundtrack – 186 plays [-7]
    17.Paramore – 176 plays [-9]
    18.Of Monsters and Men – 175 plays [-3]
    19.Mumford & Sons – 153 plays [+10]
    20.Fun. – 151 plays [+2]
    21.We Are The In Crowd – 147 plays [new]
    22.Goo Goo Dolls - 142 plays [+17]
    23.Relient K – 135 plays [-20]
    24.Local Natives – 128 plays [+8]
    25.Phillip Phillips – 123 plays [new]

    Looking forward to:

    Twin Atlantic – Aug. 18, 2014
    The Gaslight Anthem – Aug. 19, 2014
    Alt-J – Sept. 22, 2014

    So nothing too much…did I miss any? I’m wondering whether SafetySuit or Michelle Branch will ever release another album. But yeah, looks like I can spend more time with the albums mentioned above.

    A LOT are coming up! But I don’t really know anyone in Phoenix yet who is really into my type of concerts. So we’ll see if I end up going…I bought tickets to see Brand New on Aug. 31 back in Seattle, but I’m not planning to go back home that weekend anymore. =/

    Aug. 8, 2014 – Monumentour (Fall Out Boy, Paramore, New Politics)
    Sept. 26-28, 2014 – Summer Ends Music Festival (Switchfoot, American Authors, Andrew McMahon, Foster The People, Fitz and the Tantrums, Taking Back Sunday, Capital Cities, O.A.R., Kongos)
    Oct. 6, 2014 – Anberlin farewell tour
    Oct. 30, 2014 – Jimmy Eat World Futures tour
    Nov. 7, 2014 – Relient K mmhmm tour
  • Warped Tour 2014 Review - June 28, 2014

    Lug 9 2014, 7:43

    Sat 28 Jun – The Vans Warped Tour 2014

    Sorry, this is kind of late – I’ve been busy since I just moved to start a new job! But I’ll do my best to recap Warped Tour 2014, since it was pretty awesome. This was my second Warped, I went for the first time in 2012 but wasn’t back in town in time last year.

    I took the bus downtown and had my friend pick me up and drive us to the White River Amphitheater. I went with two friends this year – we got there a bit later this time than two years ago, so the doors were already open. I bought the $2 schedule which was definitely useful. The weather that day was interesting…it was raining at times and then sunny at times. Overall I didn’t mind it, since we weren’t super sweaty by the end of the day!

    We started by wandering around a bit – I got another free Yellowcard poster, and we saw a bit of Shoreline Drive who I saw open for Emery earlier this year. They set up the stages pretty awesomely this year, so that the two main stages were right next to each other and playing back-to-back sets. I saw 5 bands in a row this way, and it made really easy to move from one crowd to another.

    The first band of these was Mayday Parade. They’re a decent pop rock band in my opinion…the lead singer has very distinguishable long hair. I mostly enjoy their song “Jamie All Over” which they played second. I also recognized “Three Cheers for Five Years”, and kind of recognized a few of the others. Most of their songs have a nice piano/pop-rock sound.

    The second band was Finch. I’ve heard of them but I can’t say I’ve ever really listened to them. They sounded okay – their crowd was definitely the smallest one I saw for a main stage band.

    The third band was Bowling for Soup! Probably not the most sophisticated pop punk band – they made a lot of inappropriate jokes and did a weird song with a lot of swearing, but they’re a bunch of older guys having fun. Their joke that Bowling For Soup waves back to you was pretty funny, as well as their “photo opportunity”. They opened with “Almost”, and the highlight of their set for me was “High School Never Ends”: “The whole damn world is just as obsessed with who’s the best dressed and who’s having sex!”. I also enjoyed hearing “Stacy’s Mom” and “1985”. I sang along to pretty much every word of “1985”, although they played it kind of fast.

    The fourth band was Yellowcard, my second favorite band!! This was my fourth time seeing them and they always manage to amaze me. We moved close to the front of the crowd for them, and seeing them walk in with the “Game of Thrones” intro was epic. They lost their drummer Longineu Parsons but had Anberlin’s drummer Nate Young play with them. Their setlist was: “Lights and Sounds”, “Way Away”, “Light Up The Sky”, “Awakening”, “With You Around”, “Only One”, “Ocean Avenue”. They do say pretty similar things at their concerts (“we want you guys to lose your voices tonight!” – Ryan), but Sean Mackin’s wife was also backstage and they made a shoutout to her. Also a bunch of crowd surfers even though it’s apparently against the rules now. It was pretty rainy during the first two songs, but it started brightening up during “Light Up The Sky”, and they did a great job of making the crowd sing the word “awakening” while the sun was starting to break through! A duet of “Here I Am Alive” with Tay Jardine from We Are The In Crowd would have been awesome, but “Awakening” is another solid song choice from the new album. And of course the crowd goes crazy for “Ocean Avenue”: “We’ll be together for one more night somewhere, somehow…” These guys have definitely still got it and I hope they stick around for a long time!

    The fifth band was Four Year Strong. They also played at Warped 2012, but I’ve only gotten into them in the past couple years. They have a pretty awesome harder pop punk sound. I was kind of tired by this point but there was definitely a lot of moshing going on here as well. “Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die” is pretty good, and I really like “Stuck In The Middle”. They made a joke about it being raining before playing “It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now”, and closed it out with “Wasting Time”.

    After that, I took a little break and walked around. I met up with my friends for a bit of The Devil Wears Prada – not bad I guess, but too much screaming for me. Next up was…

    Bayside! You could definitely tell the crowd was a bit older, since they’re one of the older pop-punk/emo bands still around. Overall, they have a pretty good sound - I kind of knew their song “Blame It On Bad Luck”, and I really like their most famous song “Devotion and Desire”. There was the most movement in the crowd for that one: “…your eyes were just the match I used to set myself on fire!” After that, it was really easy to move over the next stage for…

    We Are the In Crowd! They’re a band I discovered pretty recently due to their duet with Yellowcard. Their music is like a slightly mellower version of Paramore, and I think their songs are really catchy! Tay Jardine is a great performer. It was really interesting to see the difference in crowd between their set and i.e. Four Year Strong’s set though. The second song they played was “The Best Thing (That Never Happened)”: “I won’t settle, settle, settle, you are never gonna hold me down!” They played quite a few songs off their latest album, although not my favorite track (“Come Back Home”). “Both Sides of the Story” has some pretty bold lyrics: “You’re not quite Satan but I really think I hate you!” “Kiss Me Again” was pretty good, and they ended with their well-known track “Rumor Mill”. Overall, I really enjoy this band and I’m sure I’ll be listening to them more.

    After that was a band called Issues…apparently they’re really popular but I’m not sure why. Then we walked around a bit (my friend got a picture with the singer of Echosmith), and we saw a bit of Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!. Then a couple bands I was moderately excited to see…

    The first was Saves the Day. Another one of the older emo bands still around, although their crowd was surprisingly small. Their band is really diverse which is cool, and the singer has a distinct voice. They didn’t play either of the songs I like (“Anywhere With You”, “At Your Funeral”) by them, but I did recognize “Freakish”. We left halfway through their set to see…

    The Story So Far! I only really knew “Quicksand” going in, but these guys really impressed me. I’d say they’re one of the leaders in the newer wave of pop punk, and their lyrics and vocals are solid. “Trying hard, real hard, every day not to lose my temmm-ppperrr!” Now I also like their songs “High Regard”, “Roam”, and “The Glass”.

    The final band we saw was another one of my favorites, Anberlin! They’re doing a final farewell tour in the fall but played at Warped this year as well. This was my second time seeing them, although I have yet to see them as a headliner. Their setlist was “The Feel Good Drag”, “Paperthin Hymn”, “Impossible”, “Self-Starter”, “Never Take Friendship Personal”, “The Resistance”, “Godspeed”. The first two tracks were great of course: “I thought you said forever over and over…a sleepless night becomes bitter oblivion.” I hadn’t listened to “Impossible” in a while but it sounded really good. Self-Starter” is one of my favorite songs to rock out too…it’s so good! I had never heard “Never Take Friendship Personal” or “The Resistance” live before – they both have very awesome guitar riffs, especially the outro of “The Resistance”. And I love the “oh-oh-oh-oh” part in Godspeed. Overall a great performance, but I like too many of Anberlin’s songs so I definitely plan on seeing them headline one last time!

    Listened to a little bit of Volumes on the way out…got KFC on the way back. Congrats if you got this far in reading! It’s difficult to compare Warped 2012 and 2014…I liked more bands in 2014, but perhaps there were more “must sees” in 2012 (i.e. glad I got to see lostprophets once before that whole fiasco with the singer…). Overall, I had a great time!!