Bayside closes out the summer with The Menzingers and Sorority Noise at Amos’
Last week, I took you through Motion City Soundtrack’s final show in Charlotte and it was an emotional roller coaster for everyone. This week, I’m taking you through my own emotional roller coaster as I tell you about seeing Bayside, The Menzingers, and Sorority Noise at Amos’ Southend last night. If you recall, Motion City Soundtrack opened for Panic! At The Disco in 2008 at Amos’ and it was my first concert; as I walked into the venue last night, I felt the heavy pull of nostalgia tug at my 23-year-old emo heart and was overwhelmed by the amount of thoughts bouncing around in my skull. To know that Amos’ will be closing gets me all misty-eyed when I think about it too much, but I couldn’t ask for a better lineup to close out the summer. Seriously, 2016 has kind of sucked but has also brought some amazing tours to North Carolina.
Connecticut-natives Sorority Noise walked on the stage at 7pm sharp and began their set almost immediately; I’m talking picked up their respective instruments and just went for it. And it was awesome. I think one of the coolest parts about their set was the transition between each song. There wasn’t much talking in between, instead the empty space was filled with subtle musical connections as the next song began.
Part of my job as a journalist is to use our various forms of social media to involve those who couldn’t be at the show, i.e. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook Live (if I can ever get the stupid thing to work… one day!). My favorite way to broadcast the show is through Snapchat because it’s easier than ever to post something to our story. While I was filming a Snapchat during Sorority Noise’s set, I heard familiar lyrics; it’s important for you to know that this was my first experience with the band so I knew approximately zero songs. That’s when it hit me and I let out a tiny scream that you can most definitely hear in our Snapchat story.
The four-piece band added a short cover of Julien Baker’s “Good News” and it. was. everything. They only performed a verse before they did what they do best and transitioned into their own song, so I may or may not have sent them a tweet where I basically begged them to come back out and finish the cover… But that’s irrelevant. Anyway.
Before they finished their set, vocalist Cameron Boucher broke his silence between songs and, in a moment of pure vulnerability, shed light on his manic depression and the loss he’s suffered this year.
“I’ve lost six friends this year to suicide,” said Boucher. “So I’m here to tell you how valuable your life is to others, whether you know it or not.”
Mental illness is so rarely talked about in the music industry so to see Boucher create a platform for others to feel comfortable and to speak was not only refreshing, but also inspiring. Although the circumstance he is in hurts my heart, I was moved by his openness.
Sorority Noise exited the stage with booming cheers to follow them as The Menzingers’ crew began to set up. Just as swiftly as they started their set, they ended it. No hellos, no goodbyes.
The Scranton-based band shook the foundation of the beloved Amos’ with their high-energy set. Although this sentence is 100% true, it doesn’t seem to quite describe the vibe given off by the The Menzingers. Let me try again.
The Scranton-based punk rock outfit put on an unbelievable set that caused the audience to jump so high and so violently that the poster-covered wall I was leaning on shook.
Is that better? Regardless, I think I had more fun watching the crowd flail their arms and start a mini-mosh pit (you know, the less violent kind) than the band on stage. Okay, that’s an exaggeration; they were both equally entertaining. Perhaps the most entertaining part of their set was during one of my favorites, “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore,” when the crowd shouted at painstaking decibel, you guessed it, “I don’t wanna be an asshole anymore.
What was not-so-entertaining was the drunk middle-aged man who kind of came out of nowhere and put his sweaty arm around me. He started to sing (read: scream) in my ear, pressed his scruffy cheek against mine, and hugged me multiple times during the song. As much as I tried to laugh it off, I was more than annoyed. I’m glad he was having fun at the show, but I think he needed to take The Menzingers’ lyrics to heart and not “be an asshole anymore.”
This was my first time seeing The Menzingers live after being a fan for about a year now and man, what a show. Like I said, 2016 kind of sucks but the music has been excellent.
Bayside’s crew swiftly set up the stage as I took a stroll around the venue, admiring the signed posters hung on the wall from acts that have played Amos’ since its birth. I wasn’t able to get too sad about the closing of the venue and the memories I made there because the lights dimmed just in time.
Remember when I said The Menzingers made the walls shake? That was amateur hour compared to the energy Bayside brought. Deafening screams of joy from men and women of all ages pierced my ears and another mini-mosh pit was formed, again not the violent kind, simply the kind that involves lots of dancing and jumping. No punching, thankfully. One thing I took note of was the lack of consistency I found in the ages of fans there. Teen girls dressed in nike shorts and converse jumped around with moms and dads while blue-haired millennials drank craft beer at the bars (oh wait, that was me). You know a band is just damn good when it attracts people from all sorts of social groups.
Three songs in a row were played with an impressive light show, and we all know how much I love a good production. Blue and green lights flickered up and down, left and right, and basically blinded me as Bayside hopped around stage, grinning from ear-to-ear. The band has been playing together for over a decade but it seems as if they’ll never get tired of being on stage with each other. Those smiles turned to ridiculous grins that the audience soon mirrored when the four-piece covered The Killers’ classic “Mr. Brightside.” Everyone knows the words to that song and if you tell me you don’t, you’re lying.
The 90-minute set flew by and before I knew what was happening, Bayside left the stage, graced us with an encore, and left just as quickly as they arrived. I looked at my phone and realized it was already 10 p.m. but full disclosure, I thought they had only been on stage for 30 minutes. I dragged myself to the car, saddened by the night’s end, but not before taking a moment to notice my surroundings. People flooded the doors, gushing about the concert animatedly and screaming Bayside songs down the street. New friends exchanged phone numbers and old friends took pictures to remember a show they’ll most likely never forget.
It’s moments like these that assure me live music is the best kind of music. I wanted to personally thank Sorority Noise, The Menzingers, and Bayside for creating this kind of environment and letting all of us be part of it but they were nowhere to be found after the show. If you get the chance, check out this tour and thank them for me. The tour is only three dates in, so you’ve got plenty of time to go out to a show and experience the magic. See more tour dates here!
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