A Day to Remember, Bring Me The Horizon, Chiodos, Motionless in White NRG Arena October 1, 2014
It's always good to see a band, no matter how big or small, swing for the fences. The reality is that while you can start a rock band and tour the world, you won't always be able to pull of your dream stage show. For every Kanye-built mountain or Gaga multi-floor castle, there are dozens of rock bands stuck with little more than a banner and a dream.
And so it's nice to see a band like A Day to Remember in a venue like NRG Arena, because while they might not be able to sell the venue out, they can certainly make good use of the space. For the Parks and Devestation tour, that meant building a Mount A-Day-to-Remember-Rushmore with the band members' heads, a fake campfire, a human hamster ball and a fancy graphics package.
It may not be Mount Yeezy, but by God it's good to see a band that teens love celebrating the fact that rock music is awesome.
A Day to Remember walk an interesting tightrope. Their harder songs keep real mainstream success at bay while their more pop-punk material has made them among the kings of the scene circuit. It's not a matter of being a better band than anyone necessarily; it's just that they play a style of music that is relatable to a bigger net of people.
Five albums deep in to their career, they're a band with a lot of songs to choose from when building a 20-song set list, and to their credit do a fairly good job of mixing in stuff from most recent release Common Courtesy with older jams like "Monument" and "Have Faith In Me." The end result is a lot of people singing a lot of songs with a lot of volume.
From the outside looking/listening in, that they're able to draw a couple of thousand kids to a show on a school night without anything really resembling a traditional hit seems crazy, but when the fans start singing or jumping around or separating for a Wall of Death, you realize that young music fans, be it of rock, pop or rap, are among the most passionate. Energy is one of the benefits of youth.
It helps, much like in the world of pop and rap, that ADTR have personality. They're fun. They're silly. It's hard not to at least appreciate a band that designs their stage around giant projected versions of their faces that smile or frown depending on whether or not the song is happy or sad.
It also helps that they put together a pretty great lineup to hit the road with them, including what almost amounts to a coheadlining spot for Bring Me the Horizon.
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BMTH are a fascinating band, almost at the opposite end of the spectrum from ADTR. Whereas ADTR keeps it simple and on the nose musically, BMTH shoot big musically. Their songs are mini-epics, almost having a prog-rock sensibility the way they're structured. They're heavy, aggressive and confrontational, and yet incredibly melodic and catchy at the same time. They write massive hooks that most bands would be jealous of that are surrounded by punches straight to the face.
And it sounds really, really great live. Their presentation may not be elaborate -- they play in front of what amounts to a giant movie screen that their graphics are projected on -- but some smart video editing is sometimes all you need when you've got great songs to go with them.
Together, they are not bands that feel like they belong on a tour together that isn't the Warped Tour, but judging by the crowd response they share a lot of fans. More importantly, they share a lot of passionate fans. And yeah, maybe they'll grow out of it the way that some folks eventually grew out of New Found Glory and Saves the Day, but guess what: by the time they do, a new generation of kids who love rock music will have their own bands to obsess over.
By then the scene will probably need some elder statesmen. And wouldn't you know it, A Day to Remember already have their own damn Mount Rushmore.
So, How Were the Openers? I'm aware I'm taking the past of least resistance on this one, but if someone was making a Marilyn Manson bio-flick, Motionless in White totally look the part. I thought they were quite enjoyable, although more so when they were focusing on the more electronic aspects of their music than the straight-up screaming. Would nod my head approvingly again. Chiodos were all right, perhaps a bit too chaotic for their own good. There were moments that were sublime, but mostly it felt more like digging through noise to find the signal. Their drummer is boss though.
Personal Bias: Homesick is one of my favorite albums of the last six years. Sempiternal is one of my favorite albums of the last two years. I got chills during "Shadow Moses."
The Crowd: Good at following instructions. Plenty of kids with cool parents, judging by the amount of cars waiting outside the venue in the drop-off/pick-up zone.
Overheard In the Crowd: "It's so loud you can't hear anything in my Snapchats," said a girl behind me, doing the Lord's work of sending clips of the show to a friend who couldn't make it out.
Random Notebook Dump: Why do all circle pits flow counterclockwise?
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