A Day To Remember’s “Parks and Devastation Tour” has been winding its way across the US since it kicked off in Pittsburgh at the beginning of September. With a Friday night show at San Jose State’s Event Center, the only Bay Area show was already teed up for what would prove to be a crazy night.
Chiodos kicked the show off with a short but ferocious set. By the time they took the stage the floor was already packed and, having been trading opening slots with Motionless In White, came across as seemingly impervious to the early start time of 6:30 pm. Frontman Craig Owens was all smiles as he tore through the set that ended with him inviting the fans to crowd-surf to the front for a high five during Baby, You Wouldn’t Last A Minute On The Creek (note: security loves it when bands do that stuff). And if 30 minutes wasn’t enough, Craig invited everyone back to the merch table for pictures and autographs which by all accounts lasted well over an hour and didn’t leave a single fan hanging.
A quick set change meant it was time for Motionless in White and the second the crew dropped their banner across the back of the stage, there was a shriek from the crowd. If there wasn’t already enough adoration in the room, Chris Motionless busted out an a capella riff on the Cure’s Friday I’m In Love, but dropped San Jose into the last line of the lyrics. After a dig at L.A., it was back to the matter at hand, cranking through a 30 minute set.
With a brand spanking new album out (Reincarnate), MIW pulled out three new tracks which had more of a Manson-esque vibe than the older material. While not everyone may have been familiar with the new stuff, Chris Motionless kept the pot (and pit) stirred by challenging the crowd, “you can choose to stand there and be miserable or rock the f*** out!” It seems that most people chose the latter approach and by the time the band returned to more familiar territory with Abigail and A-M-E-R-I-C-A, the Events Center was running full-tilt.
The sign on the box office said that there were tickets available at the door however, if you happened to walk into the Event Center around 8 pm just prior to Bring Me The Horizon’s set, you would have thought the place sold out. With the massive stage outfitted in a monotone white, BMTH filled in the blank space with abundant use of projectors and back lighting to set the mood. Short on small talk and banter, frontman Oli Sykes focused on literally commanding the audience … “I want to see a mosh pit right now!” … “let me see your hands in the air!” … “get your middle fingers in the air!” … “show me a wall of death!” … and the crowd obediently followed orders, the floor a swirling mess of sweat and swinging limbs for pretty much the entire set.
When the 45 minute set wrapped, there were so many people filing out of the floor and looking absolutely spent that someone turned to ask, “is it over?” Nope, this show was far from being over.
After watching Bring Me The Horizon’s set (which was followed by an abnormally large number of people asking security about lost wallets, phones and shoes), it was hard to imagine that there was much energy left for the headliners. And while the stage crew had done an amazing job until now of switching up the stage in 15 minutes between bands, it felt as if some of that energy drained out of the room as the agonizing wait for A Day To Remember dragged past 40 minutes.
Ushered in by a blast of confetti, ADTR would prove that it was all worth the wait. Sticking with the “Parks and Devastation” theme, the stage was decked out with turf, fake trees, a camp fire, a tent over the drum kit and the now-familiar Mount Rushmore-inspired backdrop. Any concern over how the rest of the evening was going to play out quickly evaporated as ADTR brought their infectious energy to the stage and the crowd surfers began hurdling to the front of the room. During City of Ocala, the mosh pit was truly inspiring as it threatened to engulf the soundboard.
It wouldn’t be an A Day To Remember show without the hamster ball and Friday’s show had no shortage of shenanigans to keep even the casual ADTR fan entertained.
Remaining Dates on the Parks and Devastation Tour:
- Sept 30 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre
- Oct 1 – Houston, TX @ Reliant Arena
- Oct 5 – Louisville, KY @ Champions Park
- Oct 6 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
- Oct 7 – Charlotte, NC @ The Uptown Amphitheatre at The Music
- Oct 9 – North Charleston, SC @ North Charleston Coliseum
- Oct 10 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
- Oct 11 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
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