Woke Up On The Bayside Of The Bed: Bayside Concert Review

Photo Cred: BaysideBayside.com
So, I went to this concert awhile ago. So long ago that I debated if I should even write and post this one. I decided to quit being a baby with my excuses and to start regularly writing again. Sorry to all my readers – a ton of stuff has been going on in my personal life. I might (miiiiight) break it down in a later post, but not here and not now. ON WITH THE SHOW.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Concert Day. Once again, the knight-in-shining-armor and I ventured out to see Bayside. This is our third time seeing them, and second time seeing them at the Concord Music Hall. Yes, it’s a week day. Yes, we had work the following Thursday. No, we weren’t going to miss this.

Before The Show

After picking up knight-in-shining-armor’s baby sister, we headed out! Concert started at 7PM, but since we’re super cool, we didn’t head out to the concert until 7PM. We got to the venue, no problems. We rolled up to the CVS next door where we parked before. There was a Parking Sign for the concert and everything, however, we were denied. APPARENTLY you were supposed to pre-pay online and APPARENTLY they were sold out. SOOOO we parked on the street. It was a whole ordeal with downloading the parking app and – well – it was a mess. But we finally got it all settled, parked, and ready to go.

Ok. The frisking is a bit much. And by that I mean, groping. But, for our safety… it’s ok…? When we got in Senses Fail had just finished their set. Good thing: we didn’t miss any of Bayside. We wouldn’t miss any of Bayside on our trip to the merch table. We were able to find a great spot to stand. Bad thing: We missed Senses Fail. We got our shirts and found a place by a pillar toward the middle-back. (This is when you know you’re old… no longer battling for the front.)

The Show

Bayside just has an amazing stage presence. They feed off our energy and we feed off theirs. This was the 15th birthday of Bayside and they told us multiple times how opening and welcoming Chicago has been. That it’s their second home. The set included everything from their LPs to their newest album, Cult. (Side note: followers of Bayside have often been called a cult because there are not a “ton” of them, but they’re very dedicated. My knight-in-shining armor is the perfect example with the Bayside bird tattoo’d on his forearm.)

Photo Cred: decalsplanet.com

Of course, after mentioning their admiration for the Smoking Popes, Bayside played “Megan”. Guys. It’s my song. You know, in movies or TV shows, when the crowd parts and there’s just a beam of light connecting two people and nothing else matters in the world? That’s definitely what happened during this song. Anthony Ranieri and I had a connection. (Yes, this is a fangirl moment. Deal with it.)

So. Since when did mosh pits get to be so lame. It seemed that most people were concerned with lifting each other up (literally) rather than running around and just being crazy. Guys. Let’s bring real mosh pits back.

After an awesome set, it was time for Bayside to leave the stage. BUUUUT – that just means it’s time for a great Encore presentation. We were not disappointed. A beam of light came on, but not pointed toward the stage. Confused, we turned around. There he was. Ranieri with his acoustic, right in front of us. The masses pushing through couldn’t get past us. We had prime positions for serenading. (More fangirl moments – I’ll just fast forward through.) After another beautiful moment between Ranieri and me, he met the rest of the band back on stage and brought the house down.

Until Next Time

I only got beer spilled on me once, though I’d been standing in a beer puddle the whole set. I had sweat, mine and the sweat of others. Raspy throat. Crazy hair. Smeared makeup. Elation.

I went to work the next day with the same concert grunge and the tour shirt I bought. I couldn’t be happier, nor more tired at work.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If you get the chance to see them live, do it. What if it’s during the week? Do it. Don’t miss a chance to rock out with these boys from New York. Do It.

What’s a concert you’d love to go see? Who have you seen recently? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow rockers!

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I’m Walking On Sunshine With All These Songs This Summer: What I’ve Been Digging

In the summer you’ll find me driving with my windows all down, the sun on my skin, my music turned way up, and me singing so loud the guy next to me rolls up his window. So, what have I been singing? Quite a lot actually. I had to amend my list. It was HELLA long. This is the abridged version. You’re welcome. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Evidence by 2AM Club

Funny story about this one: I shared it with a friend and he automatically went to the idea that the guy has to clean up after a murder of his girlfriend that left. Now that’s all I can think of. Hoping that’s all you can think of now too.

2. I Don’t Wanna Be Here Anymore by Rise Against

Their newest album, The Black Market just came out earlier this week. Being from around the same area, of course I’m even more proud to be listening to these rock activists. I could go on for days about how insanely awesome Rise Against is, but I’ll refrain (for now).

3. The Three of Us by Streetlight Manifesto

Whenever I listen to Streetlight Manifesto, I just get so happy. Doesn’t matter what mood I’m in. They do ska and they do it right. Pretty much any of their songs could be substituted, but I’ve definitely been singing this one at work, in the shower, standing in line at the grocery store. It’s that fun.

4. Where Have You Been by Reel Big Fish

Keeping with the theme of awesome ska bands, we have some Reel Big Fish. This song is definitely one of my favorites from them. It just feels so good to have this one blasting through the speakers. There’s also a delicious acoustic version they do of this song too. Delish.

5. Arizona by Hey Monday

Getting a little lighter we have Hey Monday. It could be that I always associate this song with summer because Arizona is warm. It could be that I just like when the sun hits me in the face and this song is in the background. It could be because I saw them live in Arizona and they played this song. Whatever the reason – it’s on the list.

6. Arrows by Fireworks

This is another semi-pop rock song that I can’t get enough of. First off, the music video is delightfully dark and twisted yet somehow still fun and upbeat. This song is associated with summer, for me, because the first time I heard it was off of the Vans Warped Tour album. So what if that was two years ago?!

7. California On My Mind by Wild Light

This song was recommended to me about a year ago when I was looking for new music. This song. I played on repeat for a solid two weeks. That’s all I listened to. It happened. It’s on here for the simple reason that California is sunny (we’re getting super deep here).

8. Time Has Come by Bayside

Of course there’s a Bayside song on the list. For those who have been following me for awhile, you’ll know that I saw them in concert with Alkaline Trio and wrote a blog about it. The concert was semi-summer time so here it is!

9. Anything with whistling. No, this isn’t a specific song. Any song that has whistling is automatically a summer song.

10. Anything that makes me do this silly non-dancing dance. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s basically any song that makes it impossible for me to sit still. The elbows get involved, throw in a little shoulder, and some weird hand gestures and you’ll get the idea.

There are a TON more songs that I could put on this post, but we don’t have time for that. So, I’m leaving it up to you! Tell me in the comments below what song gets your engine revving? What have you been listening to and just dying to tell anyone and everyone? What’s your go-to summer song?

Like. Comment. Follow.

(This is where my sign-off would go, but I can’t think of something clever. Ideas?)

Ummm…. Hello? Where Have You Been?

So, I’ve been on kind of a hiatus. I would like to say that it was planned and I meant to take all of April and most of March off, but it’s not. I’ve just been a horrible blogger and not feeding my birds. (Figure of speech: while I don’t have any birds, if I did, I would feed them.) Since that time: I’ve been to ANOTHER Bayside concert where they were headling, which was ridiculously awesome. BUT I decided not to write about this since the concert was over a month ago. The tour is over and they’ve moved on to touring with Alkaline Trio overseas. I know. I’m super behind. What else have I been up to? I’ve been reading! My last blog post I talked about Goodreads and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Getting my young book lust out in the open. I have a goal of reading 50 books. Which in theory is like “Hey, 50 books in a year! Psh! Easy.” No. It’s like one book a week. I’m scrambling. Reading at least two books at a time. (‘Cause I’m a wizard and can do that.) This is me rambling and trying to come up with reasons to validate my absence. BASICALLY what I’m trying to say is that I’m coming out from under my rock and am ready to join the blogosphere!

“So, what’s coming up on the schedule?!” – you. Well, first of all, there’s no need to use that tone with me. Second of all, BOOKS! After reading all these books, I have a lot to say about them. Some were awesome and some I gave two stars, horrible. And I’ll probably sprinkle in some writings about music and movies. Gotta keep it interesting and exciting.

With that, I should get back to my actual work. I’m sitting at my desk in a cube. Gross, I know. Pot and Kettle.

Until next time!

My Shame Is True and We’re Just Killing Time: Alkaline Trio and Bayside Concert Review

Alkaline Trio and Bayside on Tour

Been On Top Of The World Since About One Week Ago

Which marks the first time I saw Alkaline Trio and Bayside live at the Metro in Chicago. This is true. May 31st I ventured into the second city to see two bands that truly rock. Perhaps you’re wondering about my Alk3 and Bayside cred. (I’m going to tell you whether or not you’re really wondering, so just go with it). I dabbled with Alk3 since high school. I didn’t really get into them mostly because I was still figuring out what kind of music I liked. I knew I liked a couple of their songs. Mostly the ones that everyone knew (like “Help Me”). I was young and dumb and didn’t recognize greatness and the insane amount of literary references and morbid clarity and truth they bring to their lyrics. For about the past year I’ve been a hardcore Alk3 fan. I have all their records and listen to them on the daily. I quote them as much as I can and recommend them whenever someone says they need music to listen to. That being said, Bayside is also a band that I recommend frequently. They aren’t hugely known, but their following is very dedicated and very passionate. (If you haven’t heard of or are not familiar with either of these bands, you need to be.) So, when pre-sale came around in February I jumped at the chance to see them. Both in one concert, it was like a gift from the rock Gods special for me.

The Metro

Being my first time at the Metro I feel like I should review them too. I’ve heard mostly bad things about this venue. They aren’t as good as others. Their sound sucks; the acoustics suck; they have too much bass. Their staff is mean and insanely douchey. So, of course I was a little apprehensive, but I’d go to a dumpster to listen to Matt Skiba and Anthony Raneri. On arrival, our first stop is straight to the merch. Cons: You have to hold your shirt during the show. Pros: You don’t have to worry about a crowd. You don’t have to worry about them running out of your size. (Sounds like a no-brainer.) I could deal with holding on to a shirt. Tickets were at will-call, so I walked up to the little guy in the window (the window was little, not the guy) and he waved us through. Con: We (me and the guys I went with) did not get ticket stubs. The place was exciting. Already smelling like sweat, pot, and alcohol. We got there a little late and missed the first band, Off With Their Heads. From the sound of them, they sounded pretty good and I’ll look them up for new music. They seemed to have a pretty nice following. The place was packed and we stayed toward the back. Con: Not up front. Pro: Not up front. A/C breeze. (I could deal with this.)

Concert Dos and Donts

As always there are people who just don’t understand what to do at concerts. Something about a concert makes people go crazy. I understand the adrenaline rush and the whole group think and energy, but here it is:

  • The place is all general standing room and packed. When someone is trying to get through, whether it’s to be closer to be by their friends or out to go pee whatever, let them through. Don’t be a jerk.
  • If you’re in the mosh pit, you’re in the mosh pit. There is no reason to be pissed off when someone bumps you. Yes, this really happened and a mini fight broke out. If you can’t handle it, leave.
  • If you’re on the balcony don’t sit. Yes, you have seats, but you’re at a punk concert. Why the hell are you sitting? Sit while the bands are setting up. Are you so bored during the sets that you have to sit? If this be the case, why did you come?
  • Don’t look cute after a concert. If you look cute after a concert it means you weren’t having fun and you probably shouldn’t have come. (I came to the Metro with completely straight hair and left with a fuzzball for hair.)

Bayside

Now, on to the show. First of all, before we even talk about how amazing they are musically, let’s talk about their stage presence. They are insane. They are so energized and very “in the zone” (for lack of a better phrase). They pull you in and shake you up. If you aren’t sure whether you like Bayside based on their albums, go to a concert. They are so much better live. Raneri (lead singer and guitarist), as well as the rest of the band truly love playing in Chicago and it’s clear they love their fans. When one of the members announced they bought a Blackhawks jersey there was an insane amount of “WOO”s and “YEAH”s. Moshing ensued (of course) during songs like “Montauk” and swaying happened during the beginning of “Walking Wounded”. They played a variety of their songs, from their newest album, Killing Time, and from their older ones, thus ensure fans of time periods are pleased. This also got a bunch of people who didn’t previously know them pumped (ie the group of girls next to me). They even played “Megan”, a song they recorded with the Smoking Pipes. Of course, I was overjoyed. (My name is Megan). Obviously they were playing directly to me. You know that moment in movies where the protagonist is at a concert and the crowd parts and all that’s there is the protag and the band and there’s this glow. That’s exactly what happened.

Alkaline Trio

The main event. Honestly there are a ton of words and ways I could describe their performance. But, putting it into writing takes away from their energy, passion, and excitement. The whole set was one big exciting blur. What felt like a ten-minute set, really ended after 1 am. Their set was insanely varied. They played everything from “I Wanna Be a Warhol,” from their newest album (My Shame Is True) to “Sadie” (yes, the sound bite from Sadie herself was included). When we thought the show couldn’t get more exciting, out comes a man by the name of Tim McIlrath (lead singer from Rise Against). They recorded “I, Pessimist” on My Shame Is True together. It was beyond amazing to have a band from Chicago performing with another lead singer originating from the Chicago Area. (Fun fact: McIlrath went to my high school, different times, but still awesome.) What threw me over the edge, the band announced this will be the last time they perform this song with McIlrath. And I witnessed it!

Over and Out

Like all great things, there was an ending. The band left the stage and many people left. The lights didn’t come back on, which meant one thing and one thing only. (Well, it could mean that their lights were broken, but I highly doubt it.) An encore. Cheers of “TRI-O! TRI-O!” erupted and I was right there with them. And sure enough out came the band and rocked my world one more time. I left the Metro with a sore throat, sweat (mine and from those who pushed passed me), frizzy hair, smudge makeup, and a fire within. (Yes, I know that sounds lame; deal with it.) I am super pumped for summer concert season and will definitely go see Alk3 and Bayside live again. It’s definitely worth it. So, should you get the chance to see them, do it. Do it! Take off work, skip school, do what you have to. You need to see them.