Monday, August 9, 2010

A Look Back: The Shows of 2010 (So Far)

>> I haven't been reviewing every show I attend this year, and I realize that they were all worth writing about. Well, I'm making up for that now, and I'll be sure to add to this list as I attend more shows until the year ends.

  • 3/21/10 - This was one of the best days of my life. It was more than going to a show and seeing an amazing band perform. On this day, the band came to me. At the time, The Bay State was doing a "Couch Tour" where basically they went around and played on people's couches, or at parties and things like that. Before they had announced it, Tom had asked me if I'd be interested in having the band play at my house. I don't know how anyone could say no to an offer like that. A few weeks later, The Bay State played a show for my friends & me in my basement. It was something I'll never forget. After introductions, they started out by playing "Haunted". The 3-part harmonies gave me chills, and I knew it was going to be a good night. They went on to play some of their popular songs including "Baby Girl (This Is A Stick Up)", "Liars", & "Hey Hey Glamour Kills". They also played some of their older songs, such as "I Swear To God If I Get One More Knock At The Door" and "Broadcast." They even played a super secret song for the first time ever. That just added to an already incredible experience. They took a break after the first half of their set and just had pizza and hung out with my friends & me. It was basically a party with live music. Everyone had so much fun, and overall I couldn't have asked for more. Anytime I mention this show, people are still amazed to hear that I had a band play at my house, and in reality, I'm amazed, too. The band drove over 5 hours to play this show. They didn't do it for money, they wanted to do this to thank me for supporting them all this time. They even gave out free CDs to my friends. They might not be making music together as The Bay State at the moment, but this day was a highlight of my life. Susanne, Tom, & Drew are some of the sweetest and most talented people I’ve ever met. I fully support them in all of their future endeavors, and you should too.
  • 4/9/10 - This was a day I won't forget for a long, long time. It was my first show in New York City. I got to see A Day To Remember with Silverstein, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, and Veara at Nokia Theater Times Square. ADTR always puts on a great show, but I had yet to see any of the other bands live. At this show, I was introduced to Veara - both musically, and personally. This was also the day that I truly fell in love with Enter Shikari. It was an amazing night. Click here to read my full review.
  • 4/24/10 - I had been invited to go to 3 shows on Long Island that day, and instead I ended up venturing into NYC to see Owl City & Lights @ Terminal 5, a show I was informed about the night before. Sometimes the most unexpected opportunities turn out to be the best experiences. Both artists were able to play a lot of songs considering it was a Matinee show, and they were the only 2 performing. Lights was great, she played "The Listening", "February Air", "Ice", "Saviour" (a personal favorite), and more. I had already seen Lights at Warped Tour 2009, but I'd been interested in seeing Owl City ever since I first heard "The Saltwater Room" a while back. Plus, the album Ocean Eyes actually got me through a hard time this past fall, to the extent that it was the only thing I listened to for about a month & a half straight. Being able to see & hear these songs performed right in front of me was just incredible. They started the show with "Umbrella Beach", and the audience went wild when Adam came out in an owl suit. This show really hit home for me, especially when they played "Vanilla Twilight." I was really glad they played "Dental Care", it's super cheesy and full of puns, but it's one of my favorites. They also played "Cave In", "On The Wing", and of course, "Fireflies" among others. Adam seemed to be in his own little world while he was on stage, occasionally spinning or walking around. The performance itself was great, and everyone really got into it. As I had predicted, they played "Hello Seattle" for the encore. Overall, I couldn't have asked for more.

  • 6/26/10 - (Pictures) - I went to two shows in one day. First, I got to see All Time Low perform an acoustic set at Looney Tunes. I hadn't seen them since 2008, and the acoustic version of "Jasey Rae" is my absolute favorite. They played that, and so many more songs that drove the crowd wild. It was mostly girls ages 10 & up, but hey, the screaming just made it fun. After watching them play and meeting the band, I attended this year's Bamboozle Roadshow at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Aside from the fact that it's Bamboozle-related, I felt like I HAD to attend because of the line-up. Where else are you going to be able to see bands like Good Charlotte, Third Eye Blind, Mercy Mercedes, Simple Plan, The Ready Set, and so many more all in one day? One of my life goals was to see GC live, and I was far from disappointed. Third Eye Blind was amazing as well, playing the classics like "Jumper" as well as one of my newer favorites, "Can You Take Me." The show only took up half of the parking lot (seeing as how the other half was occupied by a fair), so there was less to do, but overall it was still a good time. Read my full review here.

  • 7/13/10 - (Pictures) - When 3 bands that I really like announce they they're playing a show together at a local venue, you can pretty much guarantee that I'll be there. Down With Webster played at The Vibe Lounge with Let's Get It, Stay, The Blue Pages, and Under Spinning Lights. Each band had more energy than the last, the atmosphere was electric. I've seen USL before, they're from Long Island just like me. They had a great set, and you could tell the crowd really loved them. By talking to them after they played, I found out that Dom is actually a pretty big fan of this site. Thanks for telling me that, & hopefully they'll see this. :) A friend had told me about Stay a while back, so I knew they were pretty good, I just never paid as much attention as I apparently should have. I was glad they were playing this show, and they were a lot better than I had expected. Aside from DWW, Stay had the best stage presence of the night. They played some of their newer songs such as "Power Lines" and "Confection", and they really went over well. I got to talk to Anthony (the singer) for a while after the show, and you can tell that the band is truly passionate about the music. They all seem like really great guys. I didn't know much of anything about The Blue Pages before this show, but they were good. The one thing I have to say though is that if you close your eyes for a minute, you could mistake them for Cobra Starship. Not a bad thing, but the resemblance was uncanny. I picked up a copy of their EP at the show, and you should look into doing the same. The next band to play was the highlight of my night - Let's Get It got on stage and just killed it. I've been meaning to see them play for a while, and I couldn't have been happier. The stage at The Vibe is about 5 inches off the ground, so if you're "front row", the band is literally RIGHT in front of you. This can either make things incredibly awkward, or really interactive. It was a great experience being able to sing along with the band, and having them react to the big smile on my face. I got to talk to Joe & Taylor after they played, and they were both still hyped on the show... and the fact that I knew all the words haha. (PS, Taylor's more than a member of Let's Get It, he's also a very talented photographer.) The band must have had just as much fun as I did that night because they actually posted one of my videos on their Tumblr. Last but certainly not least, Down With Webster came on to end the show with a bang. I've loved DWW since last fall, and I happen to know that they put on an amazing show. This time was no different. Let me just put it this way - my legs were sore for the next 3 days. The crowd was one huge party, in more ways than one. Everyone was dancing & having a great time like at any DWW show, but this one just happened to fall on Bucky's birthday. At one point, he left the stage for some birthday shots at the bar before getting back up there to play some more songs. Also, Kap & Bucky performed a song IN the crowd. It was really a great show, from start to finish.
  • 7/17/10 - (Pictures) - This was a long and eventful day at Nassau Coliseum. I saw 13 bands, yet only 4 full sets from start to finish. I did my first ever live interviews with 2 bands that I simply adore. I made new friends, and spent time with ones I haven't seen in a while. My full review of that day was one of the longest things I've posted on this site, but I've been told it's a good read :) Check it out for yourself here.
  • 7/21/10 - (Pictures) - I got a phone call one afternoon. 45 minutes later, I was on my way to go see John Mayer and Train at Jones Beach. Like I've said before, sometimes the most unexpected occurrences turn out to be the best. This was hands down the most unique show I've ever been to. I wasn't sure about how Train would be live, but I was really impressed. They played some obvious songs like "Hey Soul Sister" and "If It's Love", but I was looking forward to seeing the classics, such as "Calling All Angels" and, my favorite, "Drops Of Jupiter." It was really cool, especially when I sat back and realized that I never thought I'd see these songs live. The singer even walked around hugging fans in the crowd at one point while singing "Marry Me." Everyone got a kick out of that, but for the most part, people were just waiting for John Mayer. I'd always been interested in seeing him live, but it was something I never pursued. I'm hot a huge JM fan, but I know he's really talented. His performances was probably one of the best I've seen, he played for what seemed like forever, but nobody would think to complain. Like Train's set, John played some well known tracks like "Heartbreak Warfare", "Half Of My Heart", and "Who Says". He also played "Covered In Rain", "Gravity", and even a cover of "Raspberry Beret" by Prince. It was like a night that would never end, he just kept going and nobody wanted him to stop. He did finally say goodnight, but only to pop up in the crowd a mere yard or two away from me to perform his encore. He played "Your Body Is A Wonderland" and a few others on that platform before walking back up to the stage to end the show on a high note. I could go on about it, but basically I was really lucky to be able to attend this show.

  • 7/24/10 @ The Crazy Donkey
  • 7/29/10 - I was given a ticket for this show a week or so beforehand. It was a bunch of Long Island bands playing at The Vibe Lounge, but the fact that Phone Calls From Home would also be there really caught my interest. I've known PCFH for a while, and they're a band that always puts on a great show. I didn't see every band that played, but that wasn't really my purpose in going. I was talking to Corey Balsamo for a long time before we even entered the venue, he wasn't playing but he's also friendly with the guys in PCFH. I missed the first band, but from what I overheard, that might have been for the best. I entered the venue halfway during the second band's performance after Jason Vieira (PCFH) told me that they were some talented guys from his hometown. He wasn't lying, they were really good. Seth & Zakk really blew me away. It was just 2 guys playing acoustic songs that they clearly put a lot of heart & soul into. I didn't know of them, or that they would be playing, but I'm really glad I got to see them. I got to talk to them for a bit, and they seem like really great guys. I picked up a copy of their Snakk Pakk EP, and I listen to it all the time. I would recommend it to anyone who likes catchy, upbeat acoustic music. After that, we basically killed time until Phone Calls From Home took the stage. Their fan base has been growing steadily throughout the year, and I'm really proud of how far they've come so far. The band is always full of energy and loves getting the crowd involved, which makes for a great show every time.
  • 8/9/10 - (Pictures) - Shows like this keep me smiling for a week. This was the day I attended An Evening with The Maine featuring This Century and special guests. At the time, I was completely unaware of who the additional 'guests' would be. Once I managed to get tickets to this sold out show, I entered the venue and waited to find out. Turns out this guest was Austin Gibbs. A friend showed me Austin's Self Titled EP last summer, and I was really glad to finally get to see it performed live. A good amount of people in the crowd didn't know the opening act, but they seemed like they enjoyed the performance. The highlight came when Austin played "I Like The Ones", a song from his 1986 EP. The audience really responded to that song, and it was obvious that Austin truly enjoyed playing it. Through talking to him after the show, I learned that Austin really enjoyed being in New York and that this tour was a great experience. This Century played next, and they clearly had a great following on Long Island based on the audience's reaction. I was familiar with the band but I didn't know their music that well before the show. After seeing them live, I found myself unable to stop singing "No Way Out". The band played several of their catchy pop songs and the crowd absolutely loved them all. I've seen The Maine quite a few times, but they never cease to impress. They played some of their usual songs, such as "The Way We Talk", "Into Your Arms", and "Girls Do What They Want." They played songs from their new album Black & White, such as "Growing Up", "Inside of You", and "Right Girl." What I really loved about this show was the amount of unexpected songs added to the band's set list. They played one of my favorite songs, "Daisy", and I wasn't the only one in the crowd who was excited to hear it. The Maine also surprised everyone by throwing in a couple of cover songs into their set, including "Roses" (originally by Outkast) and "Should I Stay or Should I Go" (originally by The Clash). No matter how many times you've seen The Maine live, or even if you're not a huge fan of the band, I suggest going out to a show. It's always a good time as long as you can deal with the crowd, and you never know what the band will surprise you with.

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