Mini Show Reviews: October 2016

Bastille – October 5


I’ve seen Bastille twice before this (and have tickets to see them next March) and they never fail to put on a fun show. While their most recent album Wild World is fairly mellow, they’re so full of energy on stage. Singer Dan Smith was especially impressive this time – they’d cancelled their New York show the night before ours because he strained his voice, but he was still able to perform for us, hitting all the high notes with minimal effort. The first 3/4’s of the show was basically their album (minus a handful of songs), including “Send Them Off!” and “The Currents” (both of which I really like) and it was cool to hear because it gave me a better appreciation for their new material. Of course, my favourite part was when they broke into their last three songs,pulled from their debut album, Bad Blood, including my fave “Pompeii“.

This Wild Life – October 8


I’ve seen This Wild Life before (briefly at Warped 2015 and then opening for Mayday Parade), and, while their songs (which are mostly acoustic) can be very mellow, they put on a really fun show. Lots of energy and sing-a-longs, and the band members seem like genuinely nice dudes (we saw them hanging out outside the venue before their set). Opening bands Movements and Have Mercy were pop punk-y fun (I realized belatedly that I actually know a Have Mercy song, “Two Years“). This Wild Life’s set was just over an hour long, during which they performed some of the new songs from their recent album, Low Tides (such as “Hit the Reset“), as well as fan favourites from previous releases like “Pink Tie” and “Concrete” (which is really good live). My sister compared them to an acoustic version of twenty one pilots, which is accurate, and I hope more people start paying attention to them.

Sum 41 – October 18


Even though I JUST saw Sum 41 at Warped this summer, I was still pretty excited to see them headline. Opening band As It Is was as energetic as ever (I still can’t take Patty Walters and his constant tongue-sticking-out move seriously, but they were fun), and Senses Fail was also pretty good (their songs tend to blend together for me, but that’s just because I’m waiting impatiently for “Can’t Be Saved“). Sum 41 burst onto the stage and played for about an hour and forty minutes (longer than I expected), with a set that was a nice mix of new songs from their recent album, 13 Voices and “classics” from their 15+ years as a band (“Motivation“; the heart-breaking “Pieces“, which I forgot about but still love; opening with “The Hell Song“). Deryck Whibley has a surprising amount of stage presence which I didn’t really feel at Warped, probably because the stage was so far away, but in a sweaty venue, it was exactly what you want in a punk show. Obviously the highlight was “Fat Lip” (which they closed with) because MAN, that’s such a good song!

The Wonder Years – October 24


Our last show of the month was super pop-punk – just the way I like it. Seaway opened the show, and, even though I just saw them at the end of July, they were still very entertaining. I had been looking forward to Knuckle Puck’s set, but, unfortunately, they couldn’t make it across the border after getting into a fender bender (with a DEER)…instead, I put all my energy into jamming the heck out to Moose Blood (they played my two favourite songs – “Gum” and “Knuckles” – back-to-back, which means I almost died). I don’t know what it is about RealFriends, but I just can’t get into them (I’ve tried like 4 times), so I didn’t really pay attention to their set.

The Wonder Years is the type of band that I forget I enjoy until I randomly hear a song or catch them live. They have such great lyrics – my fave off their recent album, No Closer to Home, is “I Don’t Like Who I Was Then” – and, especially now that I’m 26, I love screaming along to “Passing Through a Screen Door”. They put on a solid performance (not every band can get away with starting a set with an acoustic song), and their encore of “Came Out Swinging” was everything a pop-punk fan could want.

Without you I’ll be miserable at best

Is there a band (or multiple bands) that you often forget you actually like? I feel that way about Mayday Parade. I actually quite like them, but for some reason, I tend to complain about listening to them. I can’t explain it, but after seeing them live on Thursday, I’m going to make a bigger effort to give them the respect they deserve.

mayday parade

The first time I saw Mayday Parade was as a opening band on the AP Fall Ball Tour in 2009, so it’s pretty cool that this time I saw them as the headliner on the AP Fall Tour.

The other bands on the bill were As It Is, This Wild Life, and Real Friends.

We saw As It Is at Warped, and they’re great live. I have a harder time listening to their album only because Patty Walters has a high pitched voice. It’s not a bad voice, it’s just higher than I prefer (like Kellin Quinn in Sleeping With Sirens).

We had started watching This Wild Life at Warped as well, but then wandered away in search of Mallory Knox (we ended up finding Mikey, the singer, so it worked out for us), and I was excited to actually see them this time. They’re delightful! They don’t like the type of band who would be all acoustic-y and laid-back, but their music is very boppy and, happily, they played their cover of Bring Me the Horizon’s “Sleepwalking”.

I’ve spoken before about how I don’t love Real Friends, and honestly, I haven’t changed my mind. Like Issues, they’re a band I should like because they sound like other bands I enjoy, but there’s something about them that leaves me indifferent.

Finally Mayday Parade came out. They opened with a song off their latest album, Black Lines, and then, happily, played “Jamie All Over” which is the one Mayday Parade song guaranteed to have me screeching the lyrics at full volume.

The rest of the set was full of new songs and old ones, and even a short acoustic section in the middle that included a tear-jerking rendition of “Terrible Things”. A lot of MP’s slow songs are super sad.

The highlight of the set was right before the encore: they played “Miserable at Best” which is another classic MP song I enjoy, and, after leading the crowd in a massive sing-a-long, the band walked off stage while the audience continued to sing the chorus. It was the perfect way to leave the stage.

We left before their last song (“Jersey”, which neither of us love), but it was still a good show. Give them a listen if you haven’t already (though I won’t blame you if you feel indifferent at first – they’ll grow on you).

It’s like I’m sleepwalking

I have one more week of this publishing course and then, once I’m done, I’m going to try and make Music Mondays a little more in-depth (the way they were before).

In the meantime, I would like to draw your attention to This Wild Life’s fabulous cover of “Sleepwalking”:

For those who aren’t sure, this is Bring Me the Horizon’s original version:

Incredible, isn’t it?

I’ve been hearing about This Wild Life for the past few months through the various music news channels I follow (absolutepunk, Property of Zack, idobi radio, etc). Then the band randomly started following me on Twitter and – because I had heard so much about them – I followed back. They were on my Warped list but I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to check them out.

Last week, when I was avoiding applying for internships, I decided to finally look them up…and that’s when I discovered this video. It’s my favourite BMTH song, so naturally, I was curious to hear a cover – an acoustic cover, no less.

It actually gave me chills for a minute because it’s so different than the original but it’s absolutely gorgeous. I haven’t listened to their album yet, but if this cover is any indication, it’s going to be a fantastic experience.