Monday, September 28, 2009

[Concert Review: Blink-182]

My good friend Jen Loglia [her blog] won tickets from a radio station to go see Blink-182 in concert in Tampa and I was the lucky person she chose to go with her!

It took place yesterday [Sunday, September 27, 2009] at the Ford Amphitheater in Tampa, Florida. [Just a side note, I hate Ford Amphitheater. I had always thought that I would forever dislike outdoor venues and that they all sucked - until I went to Bayfront Park in Miami, which is an intimate outdoor venue, if that's possible to believe.]

Playing that day was Asher Roth, All-American Rejects, Fall Out Boy and Blink-182. I did not see Asher Roth and will consider myself better for it.

All-American Rejects were just okay: Tyson Ritter [the lead singer] had recently suffered a leg injury of sorts that rendered him in a full-length leg cast and wheeled around in a wheelchair for parts of the performance. He was also clearly doped up on pain meds; he had joked about it at the beginning of his performance, but I didn't realize he was serious until he held the mic up at various times to his wheelchair girl to sing and had the audience sing about 70% of "Gives You Hell" (their latest single). Overall, I think it could have been better, but I will forgive them this time...

Fall Out Boy was just okay, as well. Note: this was the FOURTH time I have seen Fall Out Boy in concert (them being my very first concert for UCF's Homecoming back in Nov. 2007). This was also my least favorite time seeing Fall Out Boy, though I will say that the venue may have had something to do with that, with its obnoxiously distorting speakers and literally blinding LCD screens. FOB played their big hits (Dance Dance, Thanks for the Memories, Sugar We're Going Down, etc), as well as various songs from across their 3 albums. Overall, they were a good runner-up band to Blink-182.

Finally, Blink-182 came on stage - and they made the entire 3-hour roundtrip drive, 90+ degree heat and crappy venue worth it. They were everything you'd expect from Blink-182 in concert: crazy, funny, potty-mouthed, goofing off with on-stage antics [drinking contest on stage, anyone?] - and seriously rocking out. The guys put on a great show, playing many of their popular radio hits [What's My Age Again, I Miss You, The Rock Show, All the Small Things, etc] as well as some other songs from their older albums. The camera loved panning over Travis Barker (drummer) and rightfully so: he's one of the most talented drummers in the music industry at the moment, further showcased by an insane drum solo on an aerial stage that was suspended in mid-air during their encore. Overall, I would highly recommend seeing them to anyone who loves even one Blink-182 song or just loves being at a good rock show. Here's to hoping they stick together and come out with a new album soon!

[september, where'd you go]

Its junior year of college and I think I've finally got it down! So far this semester, I've been keeping up with my classwork [abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, perception, and spanish 1], working [campus job + research], balancing my extracurricular activities [Honors Congress and club ultimate frisbee] and actually having time to socialize with friends and such. The new apartment is great; my roommates and I took a bunch of black & white photos of us and our friends to decorate and that was loads of fun [link to album]. I'm loving it.

Weekend Wrap-Up:

This past weekend was one of the most epic I have had in a while. If its any indication, it basically started on Thursday night.

>Chevelle Concert at House of Blues. Went with Concert Buddy Robert, had an excellent time, would hihgly recommend seeing them live if you like their music. Nothing like a hard rock concert, a good mosh pit, and excellent music to make everything feel great! (Link to my concert review) A few fights broke out, but no pit-poopers!

>Apartment pics with the roommates. Lots of fun.

>Went to Gainesville, went kayaking at Cedar Key, spent the night at UF

>Back to UCF for 3 hours, then went to the Ford Amphitheater in Tampa for the Blink-182/Fall Out Boy/All-American Rejects/Asher Roth concert, back to UCF to pass out for 5 hours for class today.


This week I Recommend

>Concerts: 1) Find a band/artist you like that is touring. 2) Buy tickets. 3) Go to concert. 4) Rock out/jazz out/rap out/country out/all of the above? 5) Rinse and repeat. Nothing beats seeing a band live. Especially at a cool venue like the House of Blues [Chevelle was my 6th(!) concert there].

>Stretching: I don't do it enough, case in point that my shoulders are still ridiculously sore from kayaking on Saturday. Hopefully I don't forget this crucial step next time.

This Week I Don't Recommend

>Rocks: Rocks are boring, unless your a geologist or referring to the music genre. This weekend I gashed my foot on an underwater rock while exploring Cedar Key. It didn't even give the satisfaction of showing itself to me so that I could glare at it. Stupid rock.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

[Concert Review: Chevelle]

I have been listening to Chevelle music for years and not even realizing it; their songs 'The Red', 'Send the Pain Below', and 'The Clincher' are rock radio station staples. However, I did not truly start listening to them until about a year and a half ago when I got some of their music from a friend [JoeK] who really likes them. I've been in love ever since.

My concert buddy for Chevelle was my good friend RobertL and the concert took place at the House of Blues Orlando [best venue ever, in my opinion, which I would like to note allows moshing - basically a requirement for a hard rock concert to be worthwhile.] The opening acts were After Midnight Project and Halestorm. After Midnight Project was a decent band; not bad but nothing memorable. Halestorm, however, was a great surprise. With a female lead singer who truly knows how to rock out, Halestorm put on a great performance, even coming out and doing an all-band drum jam session at one point. I will definitely be looking out for more of their music in the near future. [Another note: look how close we got to the stage; Robert and I have this making-our-way-to-the-front-of-the-pit thing DOWN!]

Then Chevelle came on. And rocked out. Hard. It was a fantastic concert. They played all of their radio hits ['The Red', 'The Clincher', 'Send the Pain Below', 'Closure', 'I Get It'], some songs off their new album, and even played a crowd request ['Get Some', one of my 2 all-time favorite Chevelle songs - the other one is 'Forfeit']. The photo to the left was the only one I managed to snap on my phone before I put it away for safe keeping; the pit got pretty intense at that point.

Overall, I would rank this as my second favorite House of Blues concert [first being Say Anything], in my top 4 favorite concerts, and definitely a band to see again!