Something like a crisis, a quarter life gone by

I accidentally posted this yesterday when I was saving a draft, so I apologize if you receive duplicate notifications.

It’s August, which means it’s time for my traditional second Paradise Fears show of the year (the first being back in February).

I don’t remember the name of the person who opened, mainly because he mumbled a lot and I couldn’t quite understand him. But it didn’t really matter because William Beckett was up next.

I’ve been meaning to do a WB Music Monday post but haven’t gotten around to it yet. He was the singer for The Academy Is… who I loved (and still love). He’s always been one of my favourite singer-songwriters and his live performances are always entertaining: even though it’s literally just him, a guitar, and his laptop (or “band in a box” as he calls it). A highlight of his set was when Sam and Michael (from Paradise Fears) joined him on stage for a new song.


Just putting it out there: William instagramed this shot which was taken by my good friend, Jane. 

Next was Against the Current. I’ve never heard of them before, so I was surprised to find out they had a female singer. Their songs were quite catchy and I’ll probably look them up (eventually). They – rather boldly – covered “Chocolate” by The 1975; while they made an admirable effort, I feel like that’s a song that’s uncoverable – you can try, but you can never quite mimic Matt Healy’s way of slurring the words together (but maybe I’m just biased). They did an excellent job covering Paramore’s “Ain’t It Fun”, though.

Finally, the moment I was waiting for: Paradise Fears.

As I tweeted yesterday, I could see them live a thousand times, and I’d still be awed. They are incredibly talented and their live show has only gotten tighter in the past few years (take it from someone who’s seen them 7 times as openers and headliners).

They put so much passion, energy, and enthusiasm into their live shows and it’s amazing to watch. They’ve always been good performers, but each time I see them, they seem to take it up a notch and just keep on improving.

The setlist was one of the best (though I think I say that after ever PF show): old songs and new, including my current obsession “You To Believe In”:

They haven’t released the official video yet, but I like how Sam makes the others start clapping. An acoustic performance like this also shows their raw talent.

Aside from three new songs – “You To Believe In”, “Color” (which has a Jack’s Mannequin vibe to it and I mean that in the best way possible), and “Reunion” (a song so new, I’ve never heard it until now – plus it featured Sam solo on the piano which was wonderful) – they played quite a bit from 2011’s Yours Truly, and, of course, a lot off of 2013’s Battle Scars. They also did two covers: Macklemore’s “Same Love” and Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap”. Both are songs that I had never heard before PF released covers, so I automatically prefer them to the originals.

There’s no video for their “Boom Clap” cover either, except for their tour trailer.

Before the show, I had meet & greet, and the guys were as sweet and welcoming as they always are. They took pictures and stood around for an hour listening to fans; Jordan, Sam, and Cole also did an acoustic version of one of their first songs, “Fall On Me”, which was beautiful. Another fan had made hearts with the band members’ names on it and was handing them out, asking people to hold them up during “Battle Scars”. It was a heart-lifting (no pun intended) moment, especially seeing the looks on the guys’ faces when they saw the crowd.


This picture was also taken by Jane. Look at how big Sam’s smile is!

Sidenote: Since I haven’t mentioned her before, you might has guessed that this was the first time Jane came to a show with me. I introduced her to PF about 2-3 months ago (when I was wearing my “Battle Scars” t-shirt and she asked where it was from), and, being a long-time WB fan, she decided on a whim to join me at last night’s show. I’m happy to say that she – in her own words – is now a “Paradise Fears convert”.

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.


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?