My weekend was amazing– a little out of the ordinary for me– but amazing. From finally experiencing the very talented Minnesota Orchestra on Friday night to witnessing comedic genius with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes on Saturday, it sure was a full weekend but it felt like something was missing. Both Friday and Saturday night were great but they weren’t rock shows. I didn’t have to compete with crowds of people for breathing room and didn’t smell the scent of sweat through the air. Those things may not sound like fun to you but, to me, they are my air, my water, they are what I need to survive. Dramatic? Absolutely but it’s so true and that’s why no matter how amazing but Friday and Saturday was for me, it wasn’t until I walked into a sold out Armory on Sunday night that I really felt like myself and felt alive (other than the nasty cold I’ve been fighting all weekend).
Can’t Swim kicked things off and instantly reminded me that they are one to watch. I’ve heard them before and have always liked their music but their live show brought so much more to the table. Reading back, I saw these guys back in November of 2017 with Joyce Manor. I remember enjoying them but don’t remember them being anywhere near as intense then as they were last night. A heavy mix of hardcore beats with almost pop-punk infused guitar work, their sound was infectious and aggressive. Although they only had twenty minutes on stage and it seemed like their set was over before I could even get in a good spot to see them, they definitely left an impression on the crowd and I can’t wait to see them again hopefully headlining their own tour next year. They definitely have the energy and passion that it takes to make a good headliner.
I’ve seen ADTR multiple times before but there was something different about last night. Although there was plenty of production value from balls of flames shooting up from the back of the stage to fireworks and smoke cannons, there was something more genuine about their performance on Sunday than I had ever felt from them before. Sure, they’ve always been a band that has seemingly kept their heads from getting to big but they are clearly kings of the scene and, I don’t care how good of a person you are, that changes you. The members of ADTR don’t hang by their merch table like they did back in the day but there was still and undeniable sense of gratitude that was felt from the stage.
Just like the previous two bands, ADTR’s nearly twenty song set seemed to be over in the blink of an eye. From the first note of “The Downfall of Us All” to the final chord of “The Plot To Bomb the Panhandle”, it was hit after hit. I couldn’t sing along to all of the songs as I have only briefly listened to their new music, but that didn’t stop me from screaming the lyrics I grew up with during their older tracks at the top of my lungs. Their setlist was perfect and merged new and old, fast and slow, but my favorite song of the set had to have been their quick cover of “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit. Although it wasn’t the full song, listening to a band who had such an impact on my life play one of my favorite songs of all time was just the icing on the cake of an already amazing evening.
Getting out of my comfort zone at the orchestra on Friday and at the movie screening on Saturday was great but being at a good ol’ fashioned rock show on Sunday was bliss.