I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen the line to get into First Avenue so long and it honestly stressed me out. I had checked the time of the show over and over again to make sure I was going to be there on time but was thrown for a loop when First Avenue tweeted out set times and they started a half-hour earlier than what was posted on their website. I was a bit frantic as I arrived to the legendary venue and my anxiety kept rising as I realized I wasn’t going to be in the venue in time to catch much if any of the opening act. Even with that anxiety, there was an undeniable sense of excitement radiating from the line. Although I only knew one of the three bands performing, everyone else’s excitement seemed to take me over and, before I knew it, the anxiety was gone and I was inside the packed venue.
As I had suspected, I all but missed opening act Moontower. As I b-lined for my normal spot, I noticed that the vocalist of this electro-pop trio wasn’t on the stage. Instead, he had situated himself in the middle of the crowd and was truly getting the night started off right. Although I only heard half of their final song, I loved what I got to experience and this band is definitely one that I hope to catch live soon. The amount of energy that the band had and the whole breaking the barrier between the crowd and stage thing had me more than intrigued. Beyond that, the way the crowd roared as the band said their thank yous and the screen came down to conceal the stage was deafening. What I’m trying to say is that although I only caught half of their last song, Moontower’s set clearly packed a punch and their name is one I expect to see a lot more often in the near future.
Although I think The Wrecks had absolutely stolen the show and run away with it, we still had one band left for this packed all-ages show. I knew nothing about The Driver Era walking into the concert on Monday night and I was clearly alone in that boat. With every slightest movement on stage or on the stairs that lead up to the stage, the audience would erupt into a deafening scream. It was kind of funny to watch and it was super easy to get lost in the excitement. All of the anticipations came to a blast of power and screeching as the one and only The Driver Era took the stage. As mentioned, I knew nothing about this band but quickly put it together that there is a connection to Disney based on the influx of tweets and comments I was getting on social media from accounts that mentioned Disney. I won’t go into the full history of this band because, well, it’s history, but my inkling was right. Formerly known as R5, The Driver Era’s Ross Lynch is also an actor and known for his role of Austin on The Disney Channel original series ‘Austin & Ally’. He also has been a smattering of movies including ‘My Friend Dahmer’ which I had actually just watched over the weekend. What I’m trying to say is that there’s a reason this band is so popular and a reason that First Avenue was full of so much excitement and I was ready to see if there was more than just a Disney past that brought the young audience out.
Much like The Wrecks, The Driver Era clearly has a cult-like following. Although I couldn’t sing along to a single track, the rest of the audience could and they were screaming along to every single word of every single song. There’s no questioning the connection between listener and band in the case of this act and it’s a gorgeous thing to see it live. Although everyone was clearly having the time of their life during the set, you could feel how this band meant so much to so many people in the audience and it had my heart feeling so full and warm. Although their set lasted well past some kids’ bedtimes, The Driver Era could have played for at least four more hours and it still would not have been enough for the crowd and, even though I absolutely felt a little out of place and eventually gave in and found solace in the 21+ section upstairs so I could have a drink, I probably would have stood there eating up every song with everyone else.
Monday night’s show was the first show on a lengthy tour for these guys and, if this first show is any indication as to how it’s going to go, well, it’s going to be one hell of a tour. I urge you to check it out if it’s coming near you. Even if it’s not your music, the amount of energy and passion that came from all three of these bands can not be understated and is something that absolutely must be experienced.