Holy shit, another day, another bleeding-heart emo girl blog post! Woo!
When Balance and Composure announced their fall tour, I was really bummed to see that Pittsburgh wasn’t on the list, but my consolation was that I’d get to see them before that at Riot Fest, so I should just take that and be satisfied and stop whining and pouting and talking about how disappointed I am and just grow the fuck up and get over it right? Sorry, I think I’m mixing this up with SOMETHING ELSE. #presidentialelectionPTSD
So Riot Fest came and went. I got to see B&C and it was great! It was only my second time seeing them live, which is pretty crazy considering they’re pretty popular in the scene I follow. But they were always one of those bands that I liked but not LOVED. I used to get them mixed up with several other bands that I felt the same way about: liked it when it came up on a playlist, but never actively sought them out. Then I saw B&C open for Circa Survive one time, I think it’s been about 2 years now? Almost. But it clicked for me that night. I got it. Seeing them live changed everything for me and I heard their songs an entirely different way—with my heart. This is why I skipped out of Bob Mould’s set early to ensure I got a good spot near the stage for B&C at Riot Fest last September. They were at the top of the list for me that weekend, you guys. Ask Henry: he had to hear me WHINE LIBERALLY about it all fucking weekend.
Still, I thought I would be OK missing their fall headlining tour, but then their new album was released in the beginning of October and MY LIFE CHANGED. If it’s possible to imprint on an object, an idea, a concept….well then that’s what I was experiencing.
So my rational, adult-like CONCESSION when it seemed like going to Cleveland on a work night just wasn’t viable, especially with the super fun unexpected expenses we’ve had to deal with over the last month when the automobile gods pointed their golden socket sets* at us.
*(I dunno. I googled “tools to work on cars” and supposedly this is important to have.)
Oh, and then our fridge has begun a slow, frustrating death. I LOVE BEING AN ADULT!
And still there I was, in the midst of all of these annoying life nuisances, clutching onto Henry’s leg, begging him to take me to Cleveland to see Balance and Composure. Like, for real begging. I’m not proud of it but MUSIC MAKES ME DO DIRTY, SHAMEFUL THINGS. But Henry was all, “STOP WHINING. THE PATRIARCHY HAS SPOKEN.”
Finally last weekend, Henry could stand it no longer and said, “FINE, WE WILL GO TO CLEVELAND. YOUR VOICE HAS BEEN HEARD.” See?! DON’T STOP FIGHTING FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN. Just keep poking and prodding on every social media platform. I pestered him from all angles: text, email, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (he got an actual video of me saying PLEAAAAAASE and crying), and Twitter. Don’t ever stop campaigning for what you believe in. APPLY PRESSURE. BE PUSHY. FLIP OVER A CAR.
OK, don’t actually flip a car. Leave that to the hateful people.
Thursday finally arrived and it was the one positive thing I had to look forward to that week. That didn’t stop me from ranting until my mouth was foaming like Cujo, but even that felt good. To just talk and talk and talk (and punch the inside of the car door a few times). But once we arrived at Beachland Ballroom, it was time to let the healing begin. And I was so calm and heart-eyed from the moment we got in line outside, and I didn’t hate anyone. Not even Henry.
I was glad that we got there before doors opened because I have The Nerves when it comes to venues I’ve never been to before, so it was helpful to be one of the first people there and have a chance to get my bearings. I liked it right away! Just one nice, big open room with a really cool bar—I got some kind of pumpkin sour beer and it was OK and anytime I drink a new beer, I have to text Lisa to tell her about it because she’s my life manager. Lisa said that sour beers are like the new trend, but I wouldn’t know.
It didn’t taste like pumpkin, but it definitely tasted like sour.
Johnny sounds like a huge prick!
OK OK OK the first bad was Mercury Girls and they were fine! Girl singers makes me say “eh” usually but this one was pretty cool, she had a nice 60s beach vibe to her voice and it was lulling me into a peaceful state. I liked it. Henry said “eh” and then shook his head, but fuck Henry. No one cares what the white privileged male likes. Except for most of the country, apparently.
Fuck you, Henry.
During their set, JON SIMMONS AKA THE SINGER OF B&C, walked past us and I internally began to die. I slowly turned around and mouthed “OH MY GOD” to Henry, who just rolled his eyes in response. I think his belly probably flipped a little bit too though because Henry isn’t so straight that he’s unable to recognize dreamy guys.
I was almost as excited for the next band as I was for Balance & Composure — FOXING. These guys have eluded me for years. I don’t know how I have such a knack for missing them every time they come to town; I think the last time was last April when they were here for Broken World but all the bullshit with my grandparents’ house had me so exhausted that I ended up not going.
Oh my fucking god, I knew it was going to be great, but not THAT great. They fucking killed it and brought the entire room together when the singer spoke his piece in between songs, about how it was his birthday, but it was the worst birthday of his life thanks to how shitty this election had turned out.
“For the next 40 minutes, let’s just pretend like it didn’t happen.” And then you could barely hear the start of the next song over the uproarious agreement. Solidarity. That’s the only good thing that has come from this, realizing that my scene is full of such compassion. Even Henry said he wasn’t mad about it, and this is the guy who was so disgusted in 2004 when we went to see Metric and The Stills at Mr. Small’s, and the singer from The Stills got political on everyone. I mean, if not for that, I might not even have any recollection of The Stills.
And when they played Rory, I wanted to start hitting myself in the head right along with the singer.
I just asked Henry what time B&C came out and he mumbled, “10:30. I know that because I kept looking at the time.” This show started later than most shows we go to, and Henry was quietly stewing over this, since we still had a 2+hour drive back to Pittsburgh afterward, LOL. Luckily for Henry though, there was an empty table nearby, so he got to lounge and nod off during their set while I resumed my patented “YEAH I’M HERE ALONE, SO WHAT” stance.
But you guys, you guys, you guys, they opened with Midnight Zone and I thought my heart was going to come tumbling out of my kooka. THAT SONG. This isn’t from the Cleveland show, but it is STILL SO HOT, HELP ME JESUS.
HIS DANCING, STOPPPPPP MY HEART CAN’T TAKE IT.
There was a girl next to me who was so into it that she was doing some weird kind of country line-dance, and I was like “get it, girl.” It was awesome. She was so happy to be there and we smiled at each other at one point, and I love connecting like that. Mostly because it doesn’t involve words or touching.
“Tiny Raindrop” is my go-to B&C jam and hearing it always makes me so happy – I love that song so much I wish I could wear it! Like just put my arms right through it and wrap it all around me like a soft beautiful pashmina.
- Midnight Zone
- Tiny Raindrop
- When I Come Undone
- Mediocre Love
- For a Walk
- More to Me
- Is It So Much to Adore?
- Lost Your Name
- Tore You Apart in My Head
I feel like I’m missing something, but the set was so on point, the whole band was flawless, the crowd had so much energy—I felt so grateful to be there. How did I get so lucky on the boo-thang front? Henry is the best boo-thang I could ever ask for!
And he bought me a tour poster because god forbid our walls have any open space left on them.
If there’s anything that’s going to heighten my sensitivity and inability to stop tears from pouring from my eyeballs, it’s a good show. This was such an incredible night. Going to shows gives me life, and I will never ever ever take this for granted, especially not the road-trips that Henry takes me on to see bands he doesn’t like and sometimes even hates. But he at least admitted that he likes Balance & Composure and that even though he did nod off in his chair a few times, he swears he actually paid attention the times he was awake and thought it was “good.”
The only downside is that the show didn’t end until almost midnight and, after stopping at Sheetz to get food and a mega-caffeine boost, we didn’t get home until sometime after 2:30am. I won’t ever sleep as a passenger out of solidarity to Henry, but man, I wanted to succumb to slumber in a bad way. It was actually painful.
But so motherfucking worth it. I still have chills thinking about it. <3333