Okay so, instead of doing my paper, which is 30% of my grade, I'm finally taking me time and writing this review, cause I've wanted to since I went to the show.
The show: All Time Low, Mayday Parade, The Maine, Every Avenue, The Friday Night Boys
Venue: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, New Jersey
November 28th, 2008, 6PM
Funny thing, though, I almost didn't go to the show. Tickets were there on the starland website one day, and then the next *POOF* gone. This was a problem for a couple reasons:
a) I really wanted to go to the show
b) I had been in contact with the lovely Alyx from this site (too lazy to link to her much better blog) and she had gotten a ticket and we were going to meet up.
c) I really wanted to go to the show.
I thought someone was going to get it for me, cause they had said so, but didn't, and I didn't so when my friend Christ told me it was sold out...
Sam: Dude, we haven't been to a concert in a while, you should come too
Chris: It's sold out
Sam: No it isn't
Chris: Yeah it is
Sam: No...oh. Oh fuck. Shit fuck shit.
And so on.
So oh well, this was over a week before the show so I got over it. I was only going to be home for a few days, so I would use the time to see some friends, grab a couple drinks with people, something like that.
4PM, Friday, Day of
I'm on my way up to the Chevy dealership to get my car after an oil change and a tire rotation. My phone beeps. Text message. From Alyx. She told me she had a ticket for me. I did not believe her. But I text back anyway. No, she really has one. Well shit.
After I get my car I go over to her house, not far away. She hands me the ticket "happy birthday."
Um, what now?
So, I'm not good at thinking on my feet. I should've said something witty or cool or at least graceful. I think what came out was something like .
"Uhrm...thanks. What? Really?"
She gave me the ticket. As a birthday gift. She wouldn't let me pay her. How Good Samaritan of her. Though, since this is Jersey and not Ancient Palestine, I think it just makes her fucking awesome--those would be super italics, if something like that existed--(imagine if they had put that phrase in the Bible...'And the Lord said, be fucking awesome in My name and...' etc.).
So we chat, agree to meet up there later and I head home.
It feels good to make the drive to starland again. Since I started going to Elon, I've gone there less and less, usually it is just the Thursday Christmas shows over break (P.S. WTF, why not show this year?). Driving down the parkway, blasting Mest, blasting The Starting Line, blasting whatever, made me feel good. It was like one of those movie montages. In my head I was scrolling through the good concerts---The Starting Line Christmas show...all the Thursday shows, Taking Back Sunday a few days after my 17th birthday, so many. I think i've been to at least 100 there. Anyway.
When I get there, at 6, the parking lot isn't really full, but they're redirecting cars into the VFW lot too. It is six bucks now. Damnit, I remember when it was 2. Back in the day, when my license was new.
Whatever. I'm distracted from this by the line. Which question-marks its way along the building, around the parking lot to the street. Now, this lot is big--this is one big fucking line. Most of the girls are around the age that they could be my illegitimate children--almost. This was worse than that Nintendo fusion tour I went to soph year in Tom's River with FOB et al.
I am the tail end of the question mark, just before where the dot would go. The line is moving, though, thank god. They opened both doors, so it made me a little happy to know I wouldn't miss half the bands waiting in line.
Once inside, I stand in the back. Its about five minutes before the Friday Night Boys go on. I can see fine from the back, so I see no point trying to push through a crowd that is packed so tight you could bounce quarters off it.
The Friday Night Boys:
I've seen them once before, over the summer at the school of rock. They were cool. Feel good and the singer/guitarist impressed me that he was the one playing the leads on most of the songs.
They were lively and energetic and even though the crowd wasn't moving (probably because they couldn't) they were still into it. A qualm I have is that they do not play 3AM. I freakin love that song. Other than that, though, they were fine. I bobbed my head, clapped for them, etc. They did nothing that turned me off. I think the singer did a pretty good job of mixing talking with playing, since some bands just all play or all talk and talk about boring things, like shitty jokes. Not here. Thank god.
The crowd thickens. I contemplate pulling a Jesus, walking on water, but by water I mean the heads of the youth.
Every Avenue was the first disappointment of the night. The singer would do this headbanging thing while he was singing and completely miss the mic. Dude, use your arm and follow your mouth, not that hard. It wasn't like they were the headliner and everyone knew every word. People knew the words, yeah, but so? They weren't loud enough to make up for him missing the mic. Their drummer reminds me of a monkey, with his beard and short hair. But that aside, I just wasn't impressed. They're another pop punk band in the splatter painting that is our scene. Its all the same in different shades so whatever.
While the Maine is setting up to go on, I see Alyx. We hug, I meet her friend and we head toward the back corner bar, where the parents and those of age were.
So okay, sweet. This band was my favorite of the night. I was honestly impressed. I have their cd, and their songs are good and catchy but I didn't expect much of them (I mean come on, they were on punk goes crunk...) But, I was wrong. The banter was fine and the musicians were all energetic. I found myself singing along, swaying, whatever. it had to be the music cause it sure as hell wasn't the 5.50 bud light (gouge me a little more starland, no really, here's my wallet just take it). They played two of my fav songs by them and I was happy.
Okay, I LOVE Mayday's CD. It was one of the most played of the summer, as well as a number of the tracks are on my top 25 most played on my ipod (minimum on there is 55 at last count). I saw them over the summer and they were pretty okay. It was at warped so that's never really a good judge of a show quality, I don't think.
Mayday was disappointment 2 on the night like whoa.
The music was okay, the sound wasn't too great but that's more the sound guy than anything, until, of course, they got to the solo of "I'd hate to be you..." It just sounded crappy. It was muffled by a bad effect and the guitarist standing on top of the monitor did not improve his playing ability. I could play the solo better. As for the vocals, Alyx made a good point. "They sing for themselves, there is no sense of harmony."
True and I couldn't say it better.
So they play and its okay. The entire time we're in the bar, watching and standing and talking. I enjoyed watching the parents dancing.
All Time Low came on next. Opened with 'Popping Champagne.' They were what i expected. Poppy sugary and playing to please fourteen year olds. The music was like it is on the cd. They put on an okay show, nothing spectacular. It may be because I'm older, because I wasn't in the crowd, or because most of the guys in ATL come off as d-bags. Yeah, that could be in.
Okay, so that wasn't really a concert review. Oh well.