Dec 152011


Is it weird that I still don’t feel like writing much in here? Trying to push through the pain by writing about the night from several weeks ago when Henry and I were in Cleveland for the AP Fall Tour. There was a guest list mix-up and I ended up not having a “plus-1” so Henry almost lucked out. However, Jason was standing right there and called over Dawn, the AP marketing person, who hooked Henry up with a laminate. He thought he was such a superstar after that and it was nauseating.

This tour’s lineup was: Sharks, The Swellers, Title Fight, Gallows, and Four Year Strong. I had previously seen all of these bands except for Title Fight, and Gallows had a different singer when I first saw them at Warped Tour in 2007. I had a feeling that Henry would enjoy himself more at this show because all the bands are pretty bro-centric and have an older fan base. No Minnie Mouse-bowed scene girls in the crowd dyking out over Craig Owens this time.

Personally, I was really looking forward to seeing Sharks again, since their set at last summer’s Warped Tour got rained out. These guys are so young (all under 21 I think), yet they remind me of a band that would have played on the Young Ones. Skinny British kids, straight-up punk rock, no gimmicks or schtick. It’s refreshing and full of heart. Even Henry looked relatively undaunted.

Since it was the last night of the tour, some of the other bands passed out signs for the kids in the audience to hold up during Sharks’ set that said “Go home, wankers” and rolls of toilet paper were being hurled from the sides of the stage. Watching the bands fuck with each other was my favorite part of the night.



I liked the Swellers so much more this time around than when I saw them in 2009 with Alisha. I think I wasn’t really into that kind of music much back then, this newer wave of pop punk, but my musical tastes are constantly in flux and I have grown to appreciate this genre of music over the years. I think that’s the one of the most fun and exciting things about being a music fan, is when you suddenly realize, “Hey, this band actually is kind of great” and then you have an entire back catalogue of records to dive into. I could never be that pigeon-holed fan who won’t give anything else but their favorites a chance.

Except for ska. I am done giving ska a chance. Me and ska are never going to prom together.

The Swellers ended up being Henry’s favorite of the night. I offered to buy him some of their albums when we came home, but he was all, “No, that’s OK” because Henry doesn’t ever like anything enough to want to buy the album unless it’s Judas Priest.

Title Fight ended up being the sleeper hit of the night for me. I had a vague interest in seeing them, but they definitely weren’t my priority. However, they killed it and totally won me over with their 1995-high school boy looks. Henry did not like them at all, so I made sure to play them constantly in the car for the next week.


Still not a fan of Gallows. I just don’t like that kind of hardcore punk and their new singer really got under my skin. However, some old drunk dude got whisked out of the pit by security, so there was that. (Except that I missed it because it was the ONE SECOND I glanced at my phone to check the score of the Penguins game.)






Four Year Strong closed out the tour, and it was bittersweet.


And then shit like this happens:


After the show, we got a table in the after party’s Foundation Room with Terri and Christian, at which point we filled up plates with cookies, cheesecake squares and heaping mounds of whipped cream for dinner. I was excited to hang out with them some more and talk about music (it’s not easy finding other adults who want to talk about music with me), yet we ended up talking about hockey the whole time. And amicably too! Even after I lorded the recent Penguins win over them. Jason kept coming over to check on us, and seemed alarmed when he found out that Pens and Flyers fans were discussing hockey.

“Did you check Erin’s purse for a knife?” he asked Terri and Christian. What little faith he has in me!


Eventually, it was time to call it a night. We had a two hour drive ahead of us and it was after midnight. A few years ago, that would have been no biggie, but I am Old now (kind of) and I didn’t want to stay over because I was in a big hurry to see Chooch. I guess I really am a mom after all.





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