A Day to Remember
With All Time Low, Pierce the Veil, The Wonder Years
Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
What do bands on the regular Warped Tour circuit do when they're not on Warped? They throw a house party, that's what -- or at least that's what Florida band A Day to Remember did. With a stage set to rival Lady Gaga, the group brought along a "house," fire, the cops, and a few thousand of their closest friends to the Roy Wilkins on a school night.
The longevity of a punk band these days is fleeting, but ADTR have stuck around for over ten years now, growing their metal-core fanbase based on their catchy music. Their newest album, Common Courtesy, was supposed to have dropped on the same day as their St. Paul date, but according to lead singer Jeremy McKinnon, it just wasn't meant to be -- thus will be released the following Tuesday.
With a prerecorded intro of the band inviting friends over to McKinnon's house for a party, ADTR entered the stage via the "garage" and opened with "All I Want" from their fourth studio album What Separates Me From You. Vocals are sometimes traded between Jeremy and rhythm guitarist Neil Westfall, but all eyes are on Jeremy. Slimmed down, the lead singer moves around onstage like a graceful boxer, hopping around on the balls of his feet, looking as if he was ready for any fight. It's a good thing too, because in every word he sings and every scream he puts out, all of the pent up rage is felt in the room.
The Roy Wilkins must have upped their insurance for the evening with all of the effects that ADTR brought in, which included fire that shot out every so often and could be felt at the back of the room. The elaborate stage setup allowed some of the band to roam on the "roof" as they played out classics such as "Mr. Highway's Thinking About the End" and "A Shot in the Dark." A few years ago the band was invited to cover some pop songs, and they chose the Fray's "Over My Head (Cable Car)," so they pulled the piece out last night to the delight of fans. The familiar piece took on a different, not-so-toolish tone when punk licks were added to it.
|The Wonder Years|
All Time Low
Photos by Youa Vang
Can a punk show with a screamo band be too much to take sometimes? Maybe, so ADTR slowed the pace down a bit by performing an acoustic version of "You Had Me At Hello" -- something that had not been done before this tour. During the break, the band threw in "If It Means a Lot to You," a love song that they don't often get a chance to perform live.
There was no chance to catch your breath after the calm, for they launched right back into the frenzy. McKinnon often urged the crowd to form a circle pit, instructing those that didn't want to be there to "politely step to the sides." Their newest single "Dead and Buried" opened with a Beastie Boys-like beat, but took a quick turn into familiar ADTR territory with riffs and hooks. When a song like "The Danger in Starting a Fire" is on the setlist, you can be sure that the pyrotechnics will be brought out again, adding to the chaos and and excitement fueled by testosterone and Rock Star Energy Drink -- the sponsor of the tour.
In metalcore, Jeremy doesn't regularly get to stretch his amazing vocal range, but for one of their biggest hits "Have Faith in Me," the singer was able to showcase the spectrum of his talent needed to fuel the emotion in the song. The time-honored "The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle" closed out the regular set, but the band wasn't done -- they saved the best for last and invited a group of about 30 to join them onstage.
Written in their early 20s, "All Signs Point to Lauderdale" talks about wanting to leave Florida and getting out of the "washed up town" -- a sentiment many young kids have. That's not the end of the story, though. Their catchiest single "The Downfall of Us All" had the crowd on their feet and screaming with joy. If "All Signs Point to Lauderdale" is the first part, "The Downfall of Us All" is the sequel, chronolizing them signing a record deal and making their way up and out. As the show came to the final few minutes, the "cops" showed up to break the party and came down with a "chopper," setting fire to the "house." The night was declared a success as the final curtain with the words "The End" dropped over the massive stage. To an adult, A Day to Remember's music may seem confusing and antagonizing, but in reality, it's the same thing that rock music has been saying all these years: kids just want to be heard.
Critic's bias: I am not really into metal-core, but A Day to Remember's music struck a chord with me. In essence, they are fun, and their intention is to have a lot of fun onstage.
The crowd: The band's audience has grown up, so most were in their late teens to early 20s.
Overheard in the crowd: "My shoe!" as a girl's shoe went flying while crowdsurfing.
Random notebook dump: There was a P.O.S. and Mod Sun spotting in the crowd.
All I Want
I'm Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?
Fast Forward to 2012
Right Back At It Again
You Be Tails, I'll Be Sonic
A Shot in the Dark
Over My Head (Cable Car)
You Had Me At Hello
If It Means A Lot to You
Mr. Highway's Thinking About the End
Dead and Buried
The Danger in Starting a Fire
The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle
Violence (Enough is Enough)
All Signs Point to Lauderdale
The Downfall of Us All