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12:38 PM on 05/23/14
Zac Djamoos
no shade in the shadow of the cross
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I started off day two by watching my friend's favorite artist Front Porch Step. He's not an artist I've ever given much thought to before, yeah I've had cursory listens, I never paid too much attention. He was a lot different than I expected - although he was armed only with his acoustic guitar, he was probably louder than the awful metalcore band on the next stage, screaming at the top of his lungs over soft arpeggios. It did get a bit tiresome, to hear him yell at the end of every song - dynamics like that only work when used sparingly - but nonetheless the show was enjoyable, and he's definitely an artist I'll need to look out for.

My friend and I parted ways after that - I wanted to watch Hidden in Plain View while he stayed to see Tiny Moving Parts. HIPV's set started earlier than I'd thought, so I ended up missing their opening song ("Garden Statement, my favorite of theirs, damn), and ended up catching "Ashes Ashes." The track retains all the energy of the recorded version, but the song that really stole their show was "An American Classic," which had everybody moving. From the opening notes the crowd was hooked, and Joe Reo never seemed to miss a beat at all in the song (Ed. Note: Joe Reo looks like Stephan Jenkins).

We went off to get some food then (some not-as-bad-as-you'd-expect hot dogs) and stumbled unknowingly into Pianos Become the Teeth's set. Although we only got to hear the last two songs, it was every bit as cathartic as I'd expected. Hearing "I'll Get By" live was perhaps the highlight of the day, and hearing Kyle Durfey scream, "I want to live" was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. I'll need to be sure to catch a full set of theirs sometime, provided I can do so without crying.

A second Midtown set came next, a shorter one than the night prior had given us. Regardless, the band seemed to be having much more fun this time around, perhaps with the knowledge that, as Gabe Saporta said, this was "the last Midtown show." (Cue The Academy Is... jokes.) Tyler Rann, in particular, was all over, rarely even stepping up to the microphone. The band played mostly cuts from Forget What You Know, including the album's closing track, which had to be cut from the set the night before. It was well worth the wait, though. It was nice to hear other tracks that hadn't even been on the previous night's setlist, like the slower "Waiting for the News." Again, the show wound down with "Just Rock and Roll" and I can't think of a better way to ring out the end of the band.

We took the time after Midtown to get more food and merch, because we're cool, before heading back to the main stage to catch the end of Alkaline Trio's set. For a band that looks as old as they do, they sounded pretty damn good. (Can I say that?) Being only a casual listener, I was glad to hear "Private Eye," "Stupid Kid," and the set-closing "Radio." Again, I wish I'd known more of their music, but I guess it's a lesson learned.

New Found Glory came out next, and I was immediately thrown forward. While the band sounded tight, even without guitarist Steve Klein, the crowd ensured I'll have no desire to ever see them again. But as for the quality of the performance, the band sounded great, especially on fan favorite "Hit or Miss." Around halfway through the set, the bride and groom (there were weddings going on in the adjacent hotel) ran up on stage and talked to the band for a while. After the groom stage-dived the band picked right up, announcing a new album via Hopeless Records and throwing stickers into the crowd. After closing with "The Story So Far," the band departed for less than five minutes before breaking into Catalyst's "Intro." As usual, "My Friends Over You" ended the show - and got the biggest reaction of any song of the day.

All in all, it was a fitting close to a great weekend. I hope they're able to follow this up next year.
10:18 AM on 05/25/14
Zac Djamoos
no shade in the shadow of the cross
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What was so bad about the crowd? You got pushed forward?

Yeah, that and I hate mosh pits.
11:59 AM on 05/27/14
Zac Djamoos
no shade in the shadow of the cross
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Then stay out of them?

It's hard to do that when you're constantly being thrown around

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