Photos by Alexa Chihos
Although I spent the majority of my week outside of my comfort zone, Sunday night was spent in a genre that is near and dear to my heart and came with bands that have meant the world to me for literal decades. It was a stellar way to end what was an amazing week.
The Get Up Kids took the stage ten minutes before advertised. It was the first time in a long time that I wanted to thank my anxiety and my getting to shows early because I had missed a single moment of their set, I would have been super bummed. Even though I had just seen vocalist Matt Pryor perform at The Turf Club in May as his project The New Amsterdams, it didn’t compare to seeing Matt perform as part of The Get Up Kids on Sunday. Hailing from Kansas City, The Get Up Kids, as they put it, are your favorite band’s favorite band. That’s truly the best way to put it. Since 1995, this band has been at the forefront of the emo scene with their distinct sound and style. Getting to see that on the enormous stage of The Armory was a dream come true.
I’ll admit, I was one of the few people in the audience singing along, and that low-key broke my heart. The Get Up Kids are a legendary group but one that doesn’t get as much attention or appreciation as they should. Them being on this giant tour is definitely helping shine the light on their talent but I fear that the excitement in the room mixed with the fact that they started a wee bit earlier than expected may not have done them justice. Honestly, had the night been organized by influence, they should have been the headliners but, I digress and was just thrilled to see them perform.
Unfortunately, the line-up for New Found Glory was a wee bit different on Sunday night. Guitarist Chad Gilbert was not there. Chad was diagnosed with cancer in August of last year but fought like hell and it went into remission but only for a little bit. Unfortunately, that cancer is back and he had to sit out on this tour. The band and all of the fans are praying for a speedy recovery but the stage just wasn’t the same without his almost hardcore-inspired influence on the stage and in the music. In his absence, there was not only a robotic Chad (which brought a huge smile to my face) that strummed along to the songs, there was also Kevin Skaff (of A Day To Remember and actually originally from Minnesota) to play the part. Although Chad’s shoes are impossible to fill, Kevin did a great job and felt like a cohesive part of the group.
Although I felt like I was never a huge fan of this band, I felt like I was able to sing along to all of the seventeen songs they performed. It wasn’t until about halfway through their set that I realized how much I had underestimated the lasting power of this band on myself. By the third song, “One More Sad Song”, I realized that I had been singing along this whole time like my life depended on it. It’s crazy– the power of nostalgia. Here’s a band that I had listened to just every once in a while growing up yet here I was nearly two decades later recalling every single word. It was a throwback for sure and it made me feel emotional yet excited all at the same time.