Today I sat on my sofa, working from home, with Youtube playing State Champs music videos. I was belting out the words to Remedy and Hard to Please with the sad realization that this may be the first summer since I was 17 that I haven’t spent bouncing around underground venues screaming along to sad songs.
Last year was rough, my first summer without Vans Warped Tour, something I thought I’d never say goodbye to.
Now here I am this year, seven months concert free. A type of sober I never wished to be.
So the only way to remedy this sad feeling inside of me was to obviously blast the Pop Punk’s Not Dead playlist on Spotify, plan my future line up, and reminisce on some of my favorite concerts, which I decided to share with all of you.
See below for some of my favorite shows I have been to!
- Vans Warped Tour 2014
Honestly, every year was a blast and it was hard to pick my favorite, but I went with 2014 because some of my favorite bands played, like Mayday Parade and The Maine, but it was also my first year going to the king of all emo shows, Warped Tour.
I asked my mom every year if I could go and finally when I got my license, there was no stopping me!
This year sported some new age pop punk like Real Friends, We the Kings, and We Are the In Crowd with some sad acoustic tunes from my high school crush, Nick Santino, along with some bands I now love and barely knew then like Beartooth and K. Flay.
This year also had a short round of Pvris showings and anyone in high school KNEW that that was my band.
This year was so incredible that I couldn’t even settle for just the one showing in Hartford but actually came down to St. Petersburg with my mom and best friend to do it all again! I’ll never forget the mad dash into Vinoy Park when we heard State Champs start their set, the dolphins in the backdrop, The Summer Set’s Brian Dales waiting to take a dip in the bay, and crowd surfing to The Story So Far with a random girl we met.
2. Twenty One Pilots Bandito Tour 2018
I’ve been to numerous Twenty One Pilots shows throughout the years, ranging in size from a tiny standing room only venue in Union Square to a sold out show at Madison Square Garden. None of them can top the show on November 3, 2018 at Amelie Arena when a boy named Tyler – and not Tyler Joseph – asked if they could buy me a drink.
Yes, this is how Tyler and I met, at a concert, how fitting.
Twenty One Pilots concerts are always my favorite, the atmosphere is always chill and I always feel as if I’m just listening to my band with thousands of my closest friends. Their sound is always so crisp and clean and their show always entertaining with new and old antics to keep the crowd going.
3. Glamour Kills Holiday Fest 2014
15 bands. 3 rooms. 1 epic night.
In 2014 Glamour Kills – yeah remember that company that everyone had to wear because of Alex Gaskarth – threw the ultimate holiday party in NYC.
I partied in college, but no party will ever compare to feeling I had at this festival.
The festival was jam packed with some of the hottest up and coming pop punk bands on the scene and even more pop punk artists flooding the building.
Most memorable part of the night had to be when the State Champs set got too rowdy for me, I lost my friend, and decided it’d be better to watch from the back where my throat wasn’t getting molested by this giant mans elbow every time he jumped to Elevated.
I went for the most reasonable way out, by crowd surfing to the front so I could then escape on the side. When I started walking to the back on the side I looked up to find a tiny person with a hat hung low over her eyes. Me being even shorter was able to notice it was Lynn Gunn, just my idol at the time! I started to shout ‘omg you’re Lynn Gunn!’ but was quickly quieted. She let me know that she was keeping it on the DL that she went to the show that night but took my sh*tty iPhone 4 and took some sh*tty selfies with me.
So yes, I saw my idol during my favorite bands set. My life was made that night.
4. Emo Night Brooklyn First Ever Booze Cruise
Just picture a boat full of sad 21 year olds drunk belting out The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance.
When Emo Night Brooklyn announced they were having a booze cruise on the East River the month after my 21st, I knew I had to go. This was one of my last nights home before heading back to Virginia for senior year of college and I intended on making it the best end to my final summer break.
At the time I didn’t have many friends still residing in the tri-state so I did this one solo. Luckily, former emo kids love to drink and talk about their emo days.
I quickly made friends and got the party started with my Dirty Shirley’s.
We all danced until 4AM when our throats were scratchy and dry from singing all of the songs that got us through our teen years.
I’m still friends with many of these emo kids on Snapchat and Instagram and we all love to talk about upcoming shows and the sad demise of Warped Tour.
Let’s just say this, I flew my ass from Florida to Norther Virginia for this show. Because when three of your all time favorite bands get together for a show, you do whatever you can to see them.
This show was hectic but some how chill? I got through the night with my half up half down do still in tact.
6. Shot Boys of Summer in Danbury, CT
State Champs really got me to spend so much money between high school and college. I even splurged on VIP for this show so I could meet the band and make sure to get the best spot in the place!
This concert was at the tiny Heirloom Arts Theater in Danbury, CT. So tiny it didn’t even have a barricade between the crowd and the stage with minimal security. It was a true punk show.
I planted myself at the stage, front and center.
I spent the entire show warding of moshers from behind, lifting people onto the stage from crowd surfing, and then throwing my hands right back up for them when they would stage dive after dancing for five seconds on stage with the band.
This show was wild and I’m still not sure how my best friend and my parents let us party like this at 16 and 18.
7. Tons of Rock 2017
For anyone looking to travel for music, this is the festival. This festival closed out my summer abroad in Norway studying music journalism.
My friend and I camped out at the festival in an old castle on the outskirts of Oslo.
We spent the day wandering from stage to stage taking pictures and interviewing festival goers. We loved how everyone we spoke to was from a different country but so excited to be here for Tons of Rock.
I was so excited to land this festival because this was the year Blink 182 was *supposed* to headline, right after their years long hiatus. I was intent on being the one to get an interview with them, alas, they decided to cancel their involvement and never showed up.
None the less, I still had the ultimate rock and metal experience by seeing bands like Slayer, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, and Satyricon.
These have been just a few of my favorite festivals and shows I have been to and yes it was hard to get it down to just these seven!
I cannot wait for concerts to start happening again and maybe I’ll be able to join the press again one day so I can take some pictures from the pit!