A Day to Remember
It appears that everyone who went through a middle school emo phase in the early 2010s, and repressed it, has since come out of the shadows. Maybe I’m projecting. Maybe I’m just bitter at not being allowed to exclusively wear band merchandise and clothes from Hot Topic. Regardless, A Day to Remember is one of the first bands that encapsulates my coming-of-age.
A band named Can’t Swim was the first of many bands to open for A Day to Remember. I only got to catch the last song of their set, “Stranger.” I had never heard of them prior to the show, but I’m not opposed to listening to more of their songs or keeping my eye out for new releases. The band was enjoyable, but I didn’t find it too special. The screaming to vocals ratio was a bit higher than I would like, but maybe I’m just jaded. Maybe I only cling onto OG bands like A Day to Remember because of their sentimental value. Regardless, I’m happy to add “Stranger” to my “Songs I’ve Heard Live” playlist.
Beartooth came next. Although I had heard much praise for them over the summer, I pushed off listening to them until the concert. Even my concert-going accomplice’s enthusiasm wasn’t enough to sway me. I’m now kicking myself for being stubborn and for not giving them a listen earlier. They struck a nice balance between vocals and screaming and had the audience jamming and moshing.
I Prevail was another band that I heard so much about, but had never listened to. They are on the track to prevail my upcoming “Favorite November Tracks” playlist. Their style was closer to that of Beartooth than of Can’t Swim, which I don’t oppose at all. The energy was high in the first two sets, but it seemed to intensify for this third set.
A Day to Remember truly did live up to their name through their performance. They started off with one of their classic tracks, “The Downfall of Us All.” They kept the audience on their toes with older releases from their albums Homesick and Common Courtesy while also including new tracks. “Rescue Me” is a recent collaboration with Marshmello — which I had initially been unsure about — but the fusion of rock and EDM somehow works. “Degenerates” is the band’s most recent release from their upcoming album You’re Welcome which comes out in just under two weeks. The track is definitely more on the pop-punk side, but I’m eager to see what direction the band takes with their sixth album.
The band finished off the show with an encore of three songs. Before they showed up on stage again, I was left sort of empty. How could the band not perform “If It Means a Lot to You,” perhaps one of the most iconic emo songs? The second that lead singer Jeremy McKinnon swapped his electric guitar for an acoustic guitar and called for the audience to turn on the flashlights on their phones, I knew exactly where the show was heading.
Much like I did when I was in junior high after a rough breakup, I was screaming along to the anthem of my adolescent heartbreak. “All Signs Point to Lauderdale” was next on the encore list. If I had to summarize angsty pop-punk adolescence in a song, this would be it. Even though everyone was exhausted by the encore, the energy didn’t die out. The mosh pits kept forming and I kept finding myself flying around like a ball in a pinball machine. But hey, I’m not complaining: it was A Day to Remember.
If you told the teenage version of me that I would see A Day to Remember, I would’ve called you a liar. Yet, I got to see them from the pit. I even got in my first mosh pit. Maybe next time I’ll be adventurous enough to crowdsurf.