Top 10 Albums

Last week, I wrote a Writing Wednesday post about ten books that have stayed with me. Today, I figured I’d do the same, except MUSIC style.

So here you go, in no particular order, my top ten albums and top two favourite songs per album (because I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned most of these songs in other posts):

1) Sinners Never Sleep – You Me At Six

Reckless (if you’ve ever met me, you’d already know that)

Bite My Tongue (ft. Oli Sykes)

2) Vices & Virtues – Panic! at the Disco

Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)

Hurricane

3) Pioneer – The Maine

Like We Did (Windows Down)

My Heroine

4) Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now – All Time Low

A Love Like War (ft. Vic Fuentes)

Somewhere in Neverland

5) Battle Scars – Paradise Fears

Lullaby

Warrior

6) Santi – The Academy Is…

Everything We Had

Neighbors

7) Everything in Transit – Jack’s Mannequin

Bruised

Dark Blue

8) Save Rock & Roll – Fall Out Boy

Young Volcanoes

Alone Together

9) Sempiternal – Bring Me the Horizon

Sleepwalking

Can You Feel My Heart

10) Hello Fascination – Breathe Carolina

Dressed Up to Undress

I.D.G.A.F.

I couldn’t wait for the summer and the WARPED TOUR

It’s the most glorious time of the year – Vans Warped Tour is in full swing!

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I’ve attended the Toronto date since 2010 – it’s my second favourite day of summer (the first being Ro’s birthday, of course).

In the months leading to Warped, I carefully make a list of bands: which ones I desperately want to see, and which ones I wouldn’t mind seeing if I happen to have time. Because that is Warped’s biggest downfall: timing. Inevitably, a band you want to see will be on one stage and another band you want to see will be playing all the way on the other side of the grounds and you have to make the decision of which one is more important to you. It’s heartbreaking, but sacrifices must be made.

This year was a little more disorganized than the past few years (and that’s saying something!) For one, I hate the venue (the Flats at the Amphitheatre are a pain in the butt on a normal day – throw in a few thousand sweaty music fans, and you get chaos!), plus a lot of the bands were late crossing the border from Indiana, so the schedule wasn’t released until over an hour after doors opened.

I could dwell on the bands I (regrettably) missed (don’t even get me started on Crown the Empire because I might cry), but, after a rocky morning, the day got better.

On Friday, we had the best possible weather – the past two years, rain bursts delayed performances and basically just made a mess (Warped ’12 stands out in particular, as the tour was actually put on hold for almost an hour and everyone was crammed into the amphitheatre because of the storm) – but it was all clear skies and brisk windy periods.

These are the bands we saw (in order) and my favourite song of their set:

We the Kings

The Maine

The Ready Set

Neck Deep

The Summer Set

Breathe Carolina

We also saw parts of RealFriends (they were on right before The Maine) and The Color Morale (we could have seen more but they took forever to set up and we had to walk all the way across the grounds to see Breathe Carolina). Plus I met Rob Dyer from Skate4Cancer (who is one of the sweetest people in the WORLD), and Eric Halvorson and Nick Santino from A Rocket to the Moon (Nick was playing acoustic – stupidly enough at the same time as The Maine – and Halvo was their secondary merch/tech guy).

I was disappointed that there were bands that I missed (*sniff CROWN THE EMPIRE sniff*) (also, if Anberlin doesn’t play a final show here, I might riot), but at the end of the day, I was sweaty, sticky, smelly, and sore…and satisfied. I can’t pick a “best” Warped experience because each year has been so different (in terms of bands playing vs bands we actually saw, weather, etc), but it was still an excellent day of music, merch, and meeting band members – three of my favourite things.

Hello Fascination

2010 was the year I started exploring “screamo” music. I don’t remember why, how or even when I decided to started incorporating other genres into my otherwise exclusively-pop-punk library, but the first “screamy” band I listened to (and immediately loved) was Breathe Carolina.

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David (clean vocals) and Kyle (formerly the unclean vocalist…I’ll get to that in a minute).

I started with their second album, 2009’s Hello Fascination. Again, I don’t remember why I started with this and not their debut (2008’s It’s Classy, Not Classic), but I’m thankful that I did. Since Classic isn’t my favourite BC album, I don’t know if I’d have given them another chance if I had started with that.

You’re being loud without a sound.

BC is a good transitional band – they incorporate many elements of pop-punk and refer to themselves as being electronic, but then, just as you’re bopping your head and tapping your feet, along comes Kyle with the screaming and you think to yourself, “THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER.” Or I did, anyway. They might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I personally enjoy the combination (plus they put on a fantastic live show).

After seeing them four summer straight, I finally met BC this past August (if you wanna get technical, I briefly met them the first time I saw them – Warped 2010). They were super nice (especially Kyle who, despite the fact that he literally screams for a living, is one of the sweetest guys in the world) and it’s still a great memory. Then Kyle’s girlfriend had a baby girl and while they make an adorable family, Kyle decided to no longer be a part of BC.

I was actually rather upset when I found out though I understand and respect his decision. One of the last songs they released with Kyle was the catchy-as-all-heck “Mistakes”:

Breathe Carolina is set to release their fourth album, Savages (a follow-up to 2011’s Hell Is What You Make It) sometime this year. I thought they were almost done it, but I have a feeling they’re re-recording the unclean vocals so that Kyle isn’t on it (I don’t think they’ve explicitly stated it, but that’s probably what’s happening).

Either way, I’m excited for new music from them and – unless plans changed post-Kyle’s departure – David told me they’ll be playing Warped again this summer. So that’s something to look forward to!

Last night we were dancing on tables, swinging from the chandeliers

I don’t think I’ve ever danced as much or as hard as I did last night.

Last night was the Toronto date for Summer Fest 2013 – an absolutely incredible line-up that consisted of Keep It Cute, The Ready Set, T-Mills, Breathe Carolina, and headlined by We the Kings. Of those five bands, I love three of them (to be honest, I could have done without T-Mills). But a few months ago, once dates had been announced, the bands started talking VIP. And I decided that I needed to meet (and greet) Breathe Carolina.

Technically, we’ve met before. Warped 2010 – my first Warped – was about 2-3 months after I started listening to them. I stood in a long line and got my Hello Fascination album signed. (there is an oft-told anecdote about how You Me At Six was SUPPOSED to go on stage around the same time, on the stage across from BC’s tent, but instead it was Hey Monday who I cannot stand. But that’s a story for another day). Unfortunately, they didn’t have time for pictures and I was deeply disappointed. (if you ask Ro about this, she will tell you that David practically spat into her ear when explaining the lack of time. I believe my reaction was “I CAN’T BELIEVE HE SPAT IN YOUR EAR, YOU’RE SOOO LUCKY”).

This time around, m&g was supposed to be before the show. For some reason (lack of organization mainly – I choose to blame The Opera House, who is notorious for not being organized when meeting bands are involved) – it was moved to after the show. I was okay with that, except I knew I would be sweaty and hoarse and my hair would be EVERYWHERE, but I accepted it. What else could I do?

While inside though (since VIP included early entry), I met Kyle! He’s one half of Breathe Carolina (the screamy half) and he is such a sweetheart. He was setting up his face painting station but he paused to chat with me and a couple of other girls who also had m&g.

The show itself was EXCELLENT. I jumped, I screamed, I danced, I flailed around when any of the bands played a song I love. I may have even done “the robot” a few times. I’ve never understood why/how people can stand still during certain bands. It’s not possible with Breathe Carolina. I don’t think I can even put into words how good it was, though that might be due to lack of sleep (I’m sure Ro, Nina, and Anna will agree. With both the show and the lack of sleep).

Eventually, after the lights popped back on and We the Kings had strode off stage, partially covered in confetti, the Breathe Carolina merch guy (whose name I can’t remember) corralled all the VIP and led us outside to meet the guys. Everyone got in line and one by one went up to have a chat.

David was friendly and polite and very apologetic for making us wait till after the show. And Kyle remembered me! Sure, I had only met him about five hours previously, but I wasn’t expecting him to remember our earlier conversation (he had been asking me about my Choonimals tank top before getting distracted and never finished his question).

They are both so grateful for their fans and they constantly thank everyone for coming out to the show. So it’s always nice to be appreciated even when you’re standing there thinking “I love you guys so much but not in a creepy stalker way. It’s more of  a ‘thank you for making such fantastic music’ way”.

Also, I am a hugger, and the fact that they both hugged me pretty much made my week.

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Finally! After nearly four years, I have a picture with Breathe Carolina!

There were ten thousand things I wanted to say to them, but I forgot how to think by the time it was my turn. At least I told them that I’ve seen them once a summer for four summers straight…and then David told me they’ll be at Warped next year!!

The only problem is: how can I wait until next summer to see them again?