It has been a trying past two weeks. Honestly, that’s an understatement but I won’t get into it because none of it really matters. All that matters is how I’ve spent the past two nights, lost in a cloud of nostalgia that assured me everything would be okay. Saturday night with Motion City Soundtrack was terrific but I decided to take the night for myself so I won’t be writing about that show but I have so much to say about Sunday night with New Found Glory, Four Year Strong, and Be Well so buckle up.
I wish I could say that I knew Be Well as I made my way into First Avenue on Sunday night, but I had no clue who this band was. As soon as they took the stage, there was something oddly familiar about many of the members and although I hate being on my phone during shows, I had to stop everything and look them up and what I found out was equal parts shocking and amazing. Members of this hardcore band are former members from bands like Bane, Darkest Hour, and Converge. Maybe that means nothing to you but it meant so much to me and instantly had me wanting to eat up every note of this band’s powerful opening act. Although it was short, it absolutely packed a punch, and even when you take away the legendary status of some of the members, you are left with a truly flawless sound and perfect stage presence to match. Their sound definitely leaned into the hardcore vein of things making them undoubtedly the heaviest of the three bands to take the stage but I struggle to call them a straight-up hardcore act. They had pop-punk elements that blended into their heavy-hitting breakdowns perfectly yet distinctly. Although Sunday was my first introduction to the band, it will not be the last time I see or think about Be Well. What a way to kick off a show.
Just like during the set from Four Year Strong, I feel like I instantly got lost in everything happening around me. From screaming along to every word (I have the sore throat today to back that up) to bopping around like a fool during their pseudo-breakdown moments, I was just truly in my happy place as the band played through their twenty-one-song set. Sure, the highlight of NFG’s set was the fact that they played through that quintessential album but the song choices for what followed were flawless. From their amazing better-than-the-original cover of “King of Wishful Thinking” from Go West to their oddly perfect cover of “Let It Go” from Frozen, it was just hit after hit and there wasn’t a single moment throughout the set where I wished they had chosen a different track to play.
My boyfriend, God bless him for putting up with my concert addiction and my constant need to be lost in a haze of nostalgia, enjoyed the show but had no attachment to the band or the music. At one point we went outside to get some fresh air and I found myself trying to explain NFG to him but struggling to find the words. What it comes down to is this band is who they are because of the fans. NFG is just one of those bands that means so much to so many people and seeing that on display in the form of a live performance is something that just leaves me speechless every time. I’m not sure my boyfriend will ever understand why Sunday meant so much to me but I think he felt the power it had on me and that’s all I could ever ask for.