Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Top 3 Highlights of 2013, According to Alyssa Dempsey

>>  2013 saw a lot in terms of bands going the extra mile for fans, and receiving sincere support in return (in most cases). With marketing techniques getting more creative and the internet continuing to decrease the fan-musician barrier, this year has shown us that there is always room to grow in an industry that is often dismissed as “dying.” Here are a few of the top highlights from 2013:
- Written by Alyssa Dempsey, Hooked On Records 

Fall Out Boy Reuniting
Whether you’re a Fall Out Boy fan or not, it’s hard to deny that their reunion was a major highlight of 2013. Only a few unconfirmed rumors preceded the announcement, and when the band did jump back onto the scene, it was with a seriously planned flourish. 2013 saw FOB release Save Rock and Roll, in addition to the less-poppy Pax Am Days. The band killed it with live gigs, performing on a number of TV shows as well as playing huge festival slots and a headlining tour. I’m even gonna go ahead and draw a parallel to Queen Bey with their tactic of springing new material suddenly on fans and making a video for every song on their new record. All in all, a well-planned return to the spotlight.
Take away: Fall Out Boy’s back and they did it right.

TWY 4 in 24
            The WonderYears made a bet this year that they could beat Hopeless label-mates All Time Low’s record of three shows in a day with four in 24 hours. And although it technically wasn’t successful, it was pretty impressive. #TWY4in24 worked as part of a promotion for the realist pop punk group’s newest full length, The Greatest Generation, which debuted in May. This mini-tour was accompanied by a Philly pop-up shop and streaming pre-release singles that crashed The 4 shows in 24 hours were remarkable not only for the novelty, but also for the fact that the whole band gave their highest amount of energy at each performance, despite what must have been a pretty grueling 24 hours. The quick-selling nature and odd timing of some of the shows, with one at 10am and another at 2am, speaks volumes for The Wonder Years’ solid fan base.

Take away: TWY is here to stay and they’re only getting bigger and better.

Brand New Full Discography Shows
            This is pretty recent for a top highlight of 2013, but it still deserves a spot. Back in November, Brand New announced full discography shows where they would play two of their four albums at each date. The shows sold out within seconds and immediately sparked frustration among the fan base due to trouble with scalpers. The drama only continued with something of an uproar at the first Long Island date when the rockers chose to play The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me and Daisy. Many fans felt as though they had been ripped off in some way for not getting to hear the more popular records, Your Favorite Weapon and Deja Entendu. This sparked anger on both sides, with disappointed attendees and fans who felt that the crowd reaction was immature, to say the least. I was lucky enough to attend the New Jersey date where they played the first two, and I’ll say it was an absolutely incredible experience. Despite the drama that seems to surround this band, we’ve been lucky enough to see a resurgence in live shows, and hopefully that continues.

Take away: People love to complain, but Brand New is still killin’ it.


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