Since it's nearly the middle of August, it's time to begin reflecting on my summer. Most notable moments for me? Painting the walls of my new apartment Disney underwater blue. Being out on Warped Tour for a few weeks. The simplicity of July 4th sparklers with friends. Killing a man in Reno and then those brief weeks spying on Russian intelligence. The usual. I've been thinking - it's been an AWESOME summer.
No, let me rephrase that. It's been a summer.
We know this season is historically a good time, but what is it about this summer that has been particularly top-notch? Our economy BLOWS and my 'check engine' light has been on for two months, but I'm still thinking that this summer should win an award for an exceptional amount of fun. Fun fit for my wallet, too. And I don't just mean for me - this is for all of us.
But don't let me read too much into this. It's obvious where this fun is originating: the tours. Blink 182 decided to give it another go, causing pandemonium and the most united musical front I've seen in this Internet culture in forever. Maybe even ever. And it wasn't just any line-up for their super summer tour with Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Taking Back Sunday, All American Rejects, and Panic at the Disco (Chester French and Asher Roth don't count in the 'super'). The band made sure that ticket prices were low because we're all broke now, and those low ticket prices even included fees and parking. Even if you didn't care to attend, it was the tour of the summer even before the dates were released.
At BBQ Across America, The Gay Blades (currently my favorite live band) played with The Dangerous Summer (currently my favorite pop-punk band). They were the main support for Person L and Ace Enders, which, as you probably know, is kind of a big deal for anyone who used to own a Drive-Thru t-shirt. Both Kenny Vasoli and Ace Enders have payed their dues, and now they get to play whatever the fuck they want on smaller but successful national tours. Good for them. And you can tell they're happy about that - both Kenny and Ace were hoppity and gleaming on that stage, content with fulfilling a new creative outlet. Person L, a genre-blending experimental outfit of old friends, showcased material from their upcoming full-length, The Positives. Ace Enders even played Early November material for the nostalgic folk. All in all, the vibe was cooperative and supportive, the signs of a tour going well and a line-up picked well.
And then there was the Giglife tour, which took the cake for 1) energy and 2) moisture content. Sold out and at a small venue (Ottobar in Baltimore, MD), my date of Giglife with co-headliners Set Your Goals and Four Year Strong was bustling with sweaty bodies, muscles and fist-pumping. Never have I seen a crowd go so wild, and that might just be because I decided to spend some time as close to the pit as I could get. Tour supporters Fireworks, The Swellers and Drive A were the right pick for the crowd and the whole night was constant roll of intensity, crowd surfers with no barrier and dudes jumping off the balcony. Moreover, because it was the summer and 450 perspiring boys were sardined into a small room, the humidity inside the venue was like cutting through jello, the floors slick with mini-puddles of human secretion. And I don't think any of us would want it any other way.
It's been a summer. What about you? What shows and festivals made your summer a kick and a punch?
I'm listening right now, and they're really solid thus far. The three tracks I'm listening to are the most poppy on the album (according to the band), but they're still incredibly earnest. I should be able to hear the full album very soon, and I'll be sure to produce more thoughts. I think I'm doing a review as well, hmmm.
I don't care what anyone says in any news threads: these dudes are good people and I hope they never break up (again). Baltimore, ftw.