Originally when I first got wind of Skatefest I was skeptic because it had been some time since the event had happened and the idea of The Receiving End of Sirens reuniting seemed so unbelievable. Sure it has only been two years since the band completely disbanded, but for someone who grew up listening to and worshiping the band and never had the opportunity to see them was an awful feeling. So when it was confirmed that they would be playing Skatefest with Casey I instantly bought tickets, knowing that I would be there no matter what. There are just some things in life that mean so much to you that others wouldn't understand and I knew that May 8th would be one of those nights for me.
When I finally got to The Palladium it was about 3PM after driving for 2 and a half hours. I walked in to be pleasantly surprised to find All The Day Holiday performing. These guys are still criminally underrated. I figured with the release of their album last year everyone would be all over them but sadly the kids there were more excited and responsive to I See Stars. Just because ATDH doesn't have generic br00tal breakdowns doesn't mean they deserve any less of a response. Their set was basically flawless and left a good impact on a few people that went into the show with an open mind.
Next was I See Stars, who I have to admit isn't anything new or exciting but for what they do they aren't completely terrible. Sure they use auto-tune and have cliche breakdowns and cheesy synth lines throughout their songs but they are all pretty young for the most part and have a lot of energy to their live show. If they continue to push themselves musically and try and move past the musical genre/scene they are in right now they could do something with their music but right now I can't see them being much more than another stagnant band in an ever growing bland scene. I hope that they prove me wrong.
VersaEmerge followed, which I was kind of excited for. I was really big on their Perceptions EP but was curious to hear how they sounded live and how any new songs would sound. Sierra definitely packs a lot of punch to their live show, covering a lot of the stage in little time. A lot of their songs seemed to blend together and not really stand out for me. This isn't to say that they didn't put on a good show, I was impressed with their performance, I just wish they had a more diverse sound to their live show. With that being said the new song sounded pretty good and I plan on giving their new album a few spins when it drops later this year.
Luckily I had an interview with Jimmy of Polar Bear Club at 5:30 so I didn't have to sit through Our Last Night's set. For what I did sit through, it was rough. Sure the band is young but again, it's the same thing every other single heavy band is trying to do out there. There really isn't anything original about them. But I put them in the same boat as I See Stars. They are all still really young and have the ability to become something special if they experiment and break out of the mold that has been made for every band of their kind. Oh, and their screamer? The 18 year old or however old he is? That kid has a set of pipes on him. I may not like their music but I can respect the hell out of that kid because he scream like a champ. Kudos to you bud.
Sadly because of my interview I had to miss out on basically all of Moving Mountains set which was one of the bands I was really looking forward to. I got to catch a few songs in between waiting and going to meet up with Jimmy. It sounded great and people seemed to be digging it which was even better. Hopefully I get to see these boys soon because it has been way overdue.
5:30 rolled around and I met up with Jimmy and we headed out to his van to do the interview. Was one of the highlights of my night getting to talk to him, probably next to meeting Casey. Completely down to earth, honest and just downright passionate about music. In all honesty talking to him it was like I had known him for ages. The man is well spoken, calm and collected. Couldn't have asked for a better man to interview. I can't thank him enough for taking the time out of his day to sit down and just chat for a solid half hour. Expect to see the interview in about a week.
After the interview I headed back inside to catch Envy on The Coast tearing up the main stage hard. New songs and old, they killed all of them. You want a band that was on top of their game, it was EOTC. Ryan sounded fantastic and the energy of the crowd was ecstatic. The band has always been great but this was probably the best I have ever seen them and that only shows more promise for the future. This is one of the brightest bands in the scene right now, if you haven't jumped on them yet, you probably should.
Finally one of the other moments I had been waiting for, a moment that has been years in the making. I finally got to witness The Dear Hunter live. Crazy right? One of Casey's biggest fan-boys had never seen the man live. Every time the band came close to me I either couldn't make it or they had to cancel. Everything was perfect, Casey even though feeling a little sick nailed every note and the band killed the songs. Personally I thought they were even better than record which isn't an easy feat. Maybe that was just how I felt because it had been such a long time coming and I had finally got to experience something I have wanted to bad. After playing a good mix of all the albums, they closed with their cover of The Beatles classic "Happiness is a Warm Gun" which couldn't have been any better. I don't get how anyone couldn't like Casey or the music he makes, the man is just a genius in his own right. There aren't enough words to explain how much the man has changed my life with his music.
After I made my way up to the second stage to catch Polar Bear Club for an awesome intimate set. When I talked to Jimmy he said he was stoked to play the second stage because they had been playing bigger stages for awhile so they were glad to have the small more intimate crowd and that was exactly what happened. The band and the crowd were basically in unison, every motion was full of energy and craziness. Kids stage diving, Jimmy incorporating the crowd into the mix, and everything else in between. Even Dan of Four Year Strong sat in on the side to watch their high energy set. My only problem was I wish Jimmy's vocals had been turned up a tad bit, but other than that the band was awesome and brought Skatefest to their knees.
Then the wait started, with that wait came Vanna. Now I don't want to sound like a hater but this band has been doing the same thing over and over and over. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems like Massachusetts kids worship these guys for who knows why. I mean I can definitely think of worse bands out there but there is just nothing original to them. So I had to sit through their half hour set or however long it was (felt like an eternity). Once it over the feeling that rushed through my body was unexplainable.
Finally, the moment that everyone in the place had been waiting for. I rushed down to the floor passing all of the Vanna kids trying to get as close as I possibly could. While the band started setting up it also felt like forever but once the band started the crowd erupted. This was The Receiving End of Sirens biggest show in 2 years since they disbanded and it couldn't have been any more perfect. As they broke into "Planning A Prison Break" the crowd went wild as if they had never been gone. Alex actually ended up getting hit in the face by Brian while they were playing and busted his face open which was pretty ridiculous but once he got cleaned up they were right back at it. They played an awesome mix of both albums although I wish they played Between The Heart And The Synapse from front to back. Casey played keys on all of the Mi Fa Mi songs which was a nice change of pace. The crowds energy went unmatched, the only thing I have ever seen close to it was at Brand New which says a lot about how important this band is to it's fans and how much impact they had on the New England music scene even the scene as a whole. I can't remember the exact setlist, I will edit it in later but they did an encore of "Swallow People Whole" followed by "Broadcast Quality" which couldn't have ended the night on a better note. Everyone there knew every word and poured out emotion for the whole set. Blood, sweat and tears were left all over The Palladium last night and nobody would want it any other way. Last night was one of those nights that you will remember forever, and know that you were a part of something special that can't be replicated no matter how many times they decide to do a reunion show or tour again. You can try an explain it to someone who wasn't there but it just won't hit them the same way, and that's what music is all about. You never realize how much you miss something until it's gone, and then when you get the chance to have it back you make sure you experience it to the fullest because it could never be there again.
All pictures belong to Future-Breed be sure to check them out and show some love because they do a great job.