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A Day To Remember Brings Good Vibes to The Rave
In two years’ time, A Day To Remember has released and supported their fourth record, “What Seperates Me From You”, has been on the Vans Warped Tour, made their television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live and are now on the heels of releasing their newest effort, “Common Courtesy”. The band has garnered a lot of success by relentlessly touring and releasing their pop punk jams regularly. So when they announced their return to The Rave/Eagles Club in Milwaukee, it was no wonder why tickets sold out so quickly.
Supporting A Day To Remember were French counterparts Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and Californian metallers Of Mice and Men. Culminating in the “Right Back at It Again” tour.
By the time Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! took the stage, The Rave was already packed with a crowd that; despite being a little chilly outside, were ready to party like they were at Bradford Beach in mid-July. Although the crowd responded positively to the band by jumping along and waving glow sticks provided by the band, “Chunk” didn’t seem to have a lot of fervor. When singer Bertrand Poncet told the crowd that it was their last day on the tour, it was no wonder they weren’t as energetic as one may think. For the most part the band stayed mostly stationary, head banging, while Poncet took center stage and solicited reactions from the crowd.
Due up next were Of Mice and Men, who almost seemingly crashed the party by bombarding the crowd with devastating blasts thanks to drummer Valentino Arteaga, low balling metallic riffs, and visceral blood curdling screams provided by front man Austin Carlile. There couldn’t be a more polarizing band to follow up Chunk! or directly support A Day To Remember, Of Mice and Men were all business. As the band took the stage, the crowd exploded into a whirlpool of bodies, shoving, jumping, and screaming along with Carlile’s every word. Of Mice and Men made it look easy as the band’s intimidating presence overpowered the crowd.
Though Of Mice and Men pummeled The Rave with their metallic attack, it did not break the lively spirit of the attendees, but made it stronger. As sound check took place the entire crowd sang karaoke style to the music playing over the PA as if the actual bands were performing right in front of them. It was quite the scene to behold. Seeing the crowd was not restless in the least, I took the time to speak to a few concert goers about why A Day To Remember meant so much to them. One girl explained to me “Their music is so inspirational. You can tell there’s sincerity in everything they play.” I never knew how true this would hold until the band actually took the stage.
Without wasting any time, seemingly riding on the coattails Of Mice and Men, A Day To Remember opened their set with “Violence (Enough is Enough)”, a brand new track that would have pulverized any other crowd after what was left in the wake of Of Mice and Men. The band quickly jumped in to the anthem powerhouse “2nd Sucks”, which since the last time it was played at The Rave, has become the most popular live video from the band via YouTube. Providing more proof that Milwaukee crowds are second to none.
Throughout the night, the band mostly played material from their watershed album “Homesick”. Towards the middle of the set, the band broke away from their heavier songs to show off their pop punk chops in fan favorites like “Better Off This Way”, “Have Faith In Me”, and “Another Song About The Weekend”. During many of the songs, the crowd appropriately tossed around beach balls, and launched rolls of toilet paper in to the air as they were blasted with confetti. Between songs singer Jeremy McKinnon would engage the crowd, making small talk with the people up front and even pointing out the fans who had donned costumes. “I see you back there Pikachu!” Exclaimed McKinnon, “You make me happy. You’ve always been there for me Pikachu. One of these days I want to perform a show where the whole crowd is dressed up. So it looks like one of those weird sex conventions.” It was moments like these that made the crowd fall in love with McKinnon and the rest of the bands charismatic identity. Which one fan lamented, the supporting bands seriously lacked.
At the tail end of their set, A Day To Remember pulled out another new song, “Right Back At It Again” and reached far back in to their catalog with “You Should’ve Killed Me When You Had The Chance” before capping the set with “The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle”. But it wasn’t long before A Day To Remember returned to the stage for a four song encore consisting of an acoustic rendition of “It’s Complicated”, an almost completely a cappella “If It Means A Lot to You”, “All I Want” and riff laden jam “The Downfall of Us All”.
Now, McKinnon pleaded with reviewers who attended the show not to write about this, but it has to be noted. During “If It Means A Lot to You”, there were some equipment problems that led to McKinnon completely singing the song by himself, and though he was irritated by the faulty rigging, he joked about the situation and was adamant on performing the song. This performance was ultimately the strongest point of the show. McKinnon’s voice soared elegantly as the entire crowd harmonized with him, often opting silence as he traded off passages with fans. And just as the song hit its apex, the rest of the band took the stage and finished the song off in a blow-out performance.
Is it any wonder why A Day To Remember are so aptly named? The fan I spoke to hit the nail on the head. The band is sincere and driven. Whether they played to a sold out crowd or to a bar of 20 people, I think they wouldn’t even care because when they play, they look like they are genuinely having fun for the sake of having fun.
SetlistViolence (Enough is Enough)
A Shot in the Dark
I'm Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?
My life for hire
All Signs Point To Lauderdale
Mr. Highway's Thinking About The End
Better off This Way
Have Faith in Me
Another Song About The Weekend
You Already Know What You Are
Why Walk On Water When We've Got Boats?
Right Back At It
You Should've Killed Me When You Had The Chance
The Plot To Bomb The Pandandle
It's Complicated (acoustic)
If it Means A lot To You
All I want
The Downfall of Us All
- Keith Gasper