I heard Ocean Avenue when MTV still played music videos. It was early in the morning and I think I had just eaten breakfast and was watching television in my grandmother's basement. That was in 2003 - I was still in Middle School. I thought to myself - this band has a violinist? That is badass.
I picked up their CD that evening via the illegally downloading trend of that decade and jammed all night. Yellowcard stuck with me for years and years - with catchy songs and a punch of energy. But I never got a chance to see them until this year - 13 years later - on their last and final tour. I'm not disappointed or sad - I understand all things must come to an end. I can only hope that their music lives on, and is passed down for all the enjoy - because damn if they aren't amazing.
The first time I saw Mayday Parade was a Wednesday night at a small, rickety, venue called The Brewery (RIP) I remember this vividly because - it was a school night, there was a severe thunderstorm warning, and because of this there was only 12 kids that showed up.
It's crazy to think that 10 years later - they are playing to crazy crowds that brave the 100 heat just to get a glimpse of them. I met one girl in the parking lot who says she only comes to Warped Tour for Mayday Parade then leaves - that's dedication.
I have never been a fan of Sleeping With Sirens until I was browsing through Target when I heard their song blasting over the speakers along with their music video. It caught my attention because I found it odd for Target to be advertising a rock group such as themselves, and then I was extra shocked to find out that it was Sleeping With Sirens. Their new sound was a lot different than I remembered them when they first debuted and I was intrigued.
I picked up their latest release before I headed to Warped Tour and actually found them to be the most photogenic, sincere, and thoughtful band of the whole tour. Their energy on stage was of love and devotion to their fans and their music. It was easy to see how their fan based is so easily captivated by them. Thankful I got a chance to capture that magic.
Another long time love of mine - I first saw We The Kings in 2007 - when Check Yes Juliet made it onto my Limewire download. Yes - I am that old. Their melodies along with their catchy, pop, girl obsessed lyrics were everything I was looking for as a High Schooler. And thus I was hooked. I have to say I didn't know they were still touring or making music, but I was happy to see them succeed, and hear a few songs I remembered from way back when. A great addition to the lineup on these stages, it's almost like a pallet cleanser between bands. Worth the sun.
It feels like only a couple of months ago - frontman Deryck Whibley was at death's door. Hospitalized for alcoholism - it was amazing to not only see him perform but to look so much healthier than he had appeared.
Having never experienced a Sum 41 show I was braced for punk rock insanity - throughout the performance Deryck chose attendees to come on stage and "party with them." These kids had a blast as they got to be on stage with punk legends. Hitting on all their classics, I can only hope Sum 41 continues to thrive.