Wednesday, February 11th, fuck yeah! That was the night of the Pierce the Veil/Sleeping with Sirens World Tour here in Pittsburgh. They played here for two nights because Pittsburgh goes HARD for PTV; I wanted to go both nights but Henry was like YEAH RIGHT PICK ONE so we went the second night because everyone knows that the second night is the best. (That’s a thing, isn’t it?)
We went to Rivertown first for a quick pizza dinner and drinks, passing the ever-growing line of kids outside of Stage AE. Worried about not getting a good spot, I lied and said that the show started at 6. “An early show tonight, I guess,” I shrugged, and Henry didn’t question me. I rushed him out of Rivertown around 5 so we could get in line.
“Are you kidding me?!” Henry cried, double-checking his ticket once we were already firmly planted in the snaking row of scene kids. “It says DOORS at 6, not SHOW at 6!” And I just laughed, because duh. So we stood outside in the cold for the next hour while crackheads tried to get us to buy their black market PTV t-shirts (my favorite was when one of them dropped one on the ground, accidentally stepped on it, and then waved it around in the air, hollering about how great the quality was). The wait in line was mostly OK, the group of kids in front of us were relatively tame, but the one had her mom with her and she got increasingly more showboat-y as the wait progressed. She kept trying to be all self-deprecating about her age (39) but then tried to make up for it by bragging relentlessly about all the shows she’s been to. (BLACK SABBATH. BREAKING BENJAMIN. THE VERY FIRST WARPED TOUR EVER OMG.) And then she was like, “CLUTCH IS SUPPOSED TO BE COMING HERE SOON I WOULD LIKE TO GO SEE CLUTCH I THINK THEY’RE PLAYING HERE NEXT WEEK CLUTCH CLUTCH CLUTCH” and it was like, “OK WE GET IT YOU LIKE CLUTCH.” Personally, I don’t like Clutch, and this bitch was making me dislike them even more. She just kept going on and on about all these old concerts and how she was probably dating herself, because you know, being “old” means you have to go to great lengths to prove that you still like music.
So I kept trying to raise Henry’s arm in the air while obnoxiously crying out, “Judas Priest! Ted Nugent! CHEAP TRICK!” For some reason, this just put Henry in an even worse mood and then he looked like this:
I was going to launch into a rant here about age versus music and why does it even have to be a factor, but I’m trying to live a stress-free life and that topic just makes me angry. I’m sure Henry could offer up a transcript of the rant he had to listen to before the show at Rivertown, if anyone is interested. (Kidding. Henry doesn’t listen to me when I speak.)
Bottom line is you’re never “too old” to be a fan of a band. If I didn’t go to a show because I was afraid of being the oldest one there, or having people mistake me for a chaperone/mom, that would just be a shame. And also, I would probably not go to a LOT of shows then since most bands I like have a young fan base.
Once the doors opened, the line moved relatively quickly. Henry and I got separated at the security checkpoint, and he was extremely dismayed to learn that I made it in first and claimed a prime spot against a railing. I thought this was a Good Thing since he didn’t want to go all the way onto the floor with the children (plus, I wanted to be able to see while still being in the midst of things, so this spot was seriously the best of both worlds because we were raised up just high enough that no one could stand in front of me on the floor and block my view); apparently though Henry had hoped that we could go upstairs with the parents in the balcony. I just laughed, because no. I told him he was welcome to go up there alone, but he always gets scared when I get faux-courteous. Who knows if he’ll get castrated later for taking me up on my trick offer.
Now is the part where I type words about the bands that were there, so you are welcome to peace out.
I am notoriously snobby when it comes to girl singers. I always have to laugh when Scene Fems get all up in arms that there are “never enough” females on Warped Tour because why flood the tour with mediocre music? PVRIS is one of the few bands with a female lead that has actually gotten my attention in awhile. I hesitate to describe them as dark electro-pop, because that usually calls to mind something of a more Goth nature, but to me they sound like a glorious collision of synthpop and post-hardcore. They are SO YOUNG and started making waves in the scene before they even had an album out. I like that they’re bringing some estrogen to Rise Records, and I also like that they have essentially been groomed by Blake and Sierra from Versa. It shows. Lynn’s voice is just what this scene has been missing. Ugh, they are wonderful. This is why I can’t write about music for a living, because it’s all HEART EYES and UGH YOU GUYS THEY PENETRATE MY SOUL. Can’t turn off how I feel, ever.
This is basically the same way I felt when I first heard Paramore back in the day. “Fuck yes, a singer-broad who doesn’t annoy me!” I can’t wait to go see them 934790374 more times. They remind me a little of The Flir, and I fucking loved The Flir so much but then they just kind of….stopped.
Henry said they were “OK” but that “the singing needs worked on.” You can catch Henry on the next season of The Voice, by the way.
I think I’ve posted about them on here before, but here is an acoustic video in case you felt the urge to put something in your hearing orifices.
II. Mallory Knox
They’re from England and this was their first time on tour in the States. So that was cool. I don’t know what else to say. It’s not that I didn’t like them, but my attention was definitely elsewhere during their set. The Penguin game had started and I was frantically checking my phone for updates, etc. and then I saw on Instagram that EMAROSA announced they’re playing Warped Tour this summer so I was basically peaced out of Mallory Knox’s set from that moment on….until I heard what I was sure was about to be a Whitesnake cover and then realized that the singer just kind of sounded like David Coverdale. I shared this observation with Henry, who just frowned and shook his head no.
Maybe I need to listen to them some more, I don’t know.
III. Sleeping With Sirens
Sleeping with Sirens is kind of THE BOY BAND of this scene. Their opening video montage even spoofed off of that, actually. So when Mallory Knox was over and the SWS backdrop slowly began to rise, the girls in the crowd went ballistic. “Take it easy!” Henry spat disgustedly into the general area. “They’re not even coming out yet!”
Truth: I was disappointed when this tour was initially announced and I saw that Pierce the Veil was co-headlining with SWS. My feelings toward SWS have really run the gamut over the years. When I first heard If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn back in 2010, I was all a-smit with Kellin Quinn. Granted, he looked like a little scene fetus, but that didn’t change the fact that this was going to be The Song that Henry and I fake-danced together at our imaginary never-wedding. I even considered having it choreographed. I used to walk the high school track by my house after work some times and I would listen to that song on repeat, with complete and utter disregard to the rest of the album.
But then I saw them live and was like, “Oh.” At first I thought it was just because it was Warped Tour. Sometimes bands just sound better inside grimy venues at night, than on some tiny stage in a parking lot, you know?
But then I saw them several more times, in a variety of settings.
He cannot sing live, you guys. I don’t know what it is. Acoustic, he’s not too bad. But with a full band, up on a stage, it’s like, “No, go home.”
However, I was shocked this time around because he didn’t sound as terrible as he normally does! But then Henry pointed out it was because they turned up everything else. And then I was like, “Oh. That makes sense. Never mind.”
Ew, agreeing with Henry makes me feel itchy.
But this is not to say that the rest of the band sucks! They are actually pretty wonderful have always saved the show every time I’ve seen them. They’ve definitely jumped on the fast track to fame, so their shows are pretty spectacular on the ol’ eyeballs nowadays. It’s all kind of lights and videos and streamers — you know, things to distract you from the vocal flaws!
OK FINE, I totally wear Kellin’s clothing line and keep a picture of him on desk.
The one huge highlight for me was seeing Nick Martin, who assumed the role as their guitarist after Jesse Lawson left in 2013. I LOVE NICK MARTIN SO MUCH! Back in the day, I used to play one of his old Underminded songs over and over in the car and sigh dreamily to Henry, “Isn’t he the best screamer ever?” Of course Henry answered with a frown.
I met Nick in 2009 when he was on Craig Owens’ solo tour. He is such a fucking great guy. He was also in Isles and Glaciers and then Craig Owens post-Chiodos “I’LL JUST START MY OWN BAND!” band D.R.U.G.S. But then Craig went back with Chiodos and basically left the rest of D.R.U.G.S. hanging. So it’s nice to see that Nick got himself a gig with a successful band, playing for bigger than crowds that he was with D.R.U.G.S.
They played “…James Dean” and I was trying to get Henry into it but he had the “Not enough beer in the world” expression on his face.
IV. Pierce the Veil
I don’t even know what to say about Pierce the Veil that I haven’t already. They have been firmly planted inside my heart for the last eight years and they inspire me so much. I can honestly say that I have never been to a bad PTV show (except maybe the one in Buffalo but that wasn’t their fault) and it’s pretty expected at this point that I am going to be emotionally ravaged for the next few weeks after. So I’m going to be really blunt and say that I don’t think I can write much about it, other than to say it was an amazing night that made me want to paint and write and potentially send an email that maybe I shouldn’t.
They played “Caraphernalia” and I almost chewed off my lip because THAT SONG. So much meaning. What’s so good about picking up the pieces, indeed.
JAIME!!!!!!! Henry was pissed that he missed this because he was off buying me a shirt, LOLforever.
“One of these days, that will be me up there, having my face sung to by Vic Fuentes,” Henry dreams.
Kellin Quinn came out to close out the show by singing “King For a Day” with PTV, which was expected. And good. I’m so happy to see Pierce the Veil playing for so many people now, but I selfishly long for the days when I was standing right in front of the speakers at a skate park in Buffalo with only about 100 kids behind me.
LOOK AT WHAT A LITTLE BABE HE WAS IN 2008!
Really, what I miss the most is hearing the old stuff. One of the last times I saw them, they played “Yeah Boy” but it seems like it’s so rare. I would kill to hear some stuff from “A Flair for the Dramatic” because to me, that is their best. I was whining about it to Terri (thank god for Terri!) and she said maybe they’ll do a 10th anniversary tour for it like so many other bands have been doing lately. I would fucking die if that happened.
After the show, we were briskly walking through the frigid night to the trolley station, when Henry said, “Tony cut his hair, didn’t he?”
“I don’t know!” I cried, because sorry, bro, I’m there for the music not the looks.
“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. He cut his hair, definitely.”
Oh OK, Henry. For someone who doesn’t care about this shit, he sure has a thing for the post-hardcore coif scene. If Craig Owens from Chiodos even uses the tiniest spritz of Sun-In, Henry is all over that shit.
“Craig’s hair is lighter,” he’s been known to scream in the middle of shows.
So now I’m convinced that Henry dreams about being some kind of Scene Barber, snipping Vic Fuentes’s split ends, pomading Andy Biersack’s pompadour, freshening Jonny Craig’s fade and “accidentally” nicking his jugular. OMG we can call him Scene-y Todd!
Apologies for the shitty ‘shopping on this but I did this quickly on my lunch break at work and had to use PAINT. Ugh!